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Learn about the interdisciplinary undergraduate program for artists, designers, storytellers, programmers, and technology enthusiasts.
What is SIAT?
SIAT is the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University. At SIAT, we focus on the creative development of digital technologies, and on the people who use them. Are you interested in telling stories? You’ll have a variety of sandboxes to play in, from game design to interactive film. Interested in impactful ideas? We can help you design and develop digital solutions for the communities and cultures that matter to you. Want to make new friends and industry connections? We invite you to join our active student community and far-reaching industry network.
If you are interested in programming, art, and design, SIAT may be a good fit for you! Here are some of our top undergraduate SIAT projects:
“Lux is a virtual reality game about a friendly creature that helps the player navigate an alien planet, created by a team of six for IAT 445: Immersive Environments. The focus of the designers was on creating a bond between the player and the fictional creature, making use of the immersive qualities of virtual reality to give the experience a real emotional impact. This project gained the designers entry into the Oculus Start Program.”
Team members: Minh Buinhat, Melissa Campos, Juliana Loughin, Marie Louka, Quinn Macdonald, and Dominic Quon.
“Zillow Places is a mobile-first platform that helps people find their ideal place to rent in a new city, created by a team of five as the final project for IAT 438: Interactive Objects and Environments. Users are offered their best matches based on their specific needs and are provided a more personalized browsing experience online, bridging the gap between looking for a place and finally moving in. This project was a finalist for the 2016 Vancouver UX Awards.”
Team members: Armina Foroughi, Frances Breden, James Wang, Sumeet Anand, Shilp Vaishnav
What is it like being a SIAT student?
Watch this video to learn all about our student experience, created by talented SIAT students AJ Panghulan, Edward Li, and Justin Wang.
Watch this video to learn about the first-year experience at SIAT, courtesy of our very own Interactive Arts and Technology Student Union.
Why join SIAT?
SIAT is a program about ideas and the creative ways we can use art, design and technology to understand and solve problems. SIAT is interdisciplinary. That means your course work combines art, design, social science, and computer science so you develop the unique blend of critical thinking and creative skills that employers look for.
SIAT has several dedicated spaces and a large pool of library equipment reserved for our students. Work on group projects in one of our three studios, construct your next material masterpiece at our Solid Space fabrication lab, or play with cutting edge equipment from DSLR cameras to virtual reality headsets.
The faculty of SIAT boasts a range of talented industry experts and academics. Explore the work of some of our most engaged professors:
Things like photo albums and music collections capture our life histories — they represent aspects of who we once were, and help us reflect on what we might become in the future. But in the digital age, our albums have hundreds of thousands of photos, and our music collections are streamed from the cloud through services like Spotify. William Odom and his research group explore how we can design technology that supports meaningful interactions, despite the large and dynamic nature of these collections.
Alissa Antle creates new forms of computer systems that change the way people think and learn. She focuses on helping disadvantaged children learn better. For example, her interactive technologies have been used in schools to help children with dyslexia learn to read and write, and to help children with anxiety learn to self-regulate at school and home.
Bernhard has been researching Virtual Reality for more than 20 years, going beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to combine the natural sciences with human-centred and creative approaches. Using immersive VR in his iSpace lab, Bernhard is currently studying how we can use Virtual and Mixed/Augmented Reality to foster meaningful experiences and emotional shifts that we might otherwise never be able to experience, like the astronaut’s experience of the “overview effect” as they view earth from outer space.
What can you do with a SIAT degree?
SIAT fosters skills and industry connections that open up a wide array of potential career paths for SIAT graduates. Observe this graphic to see which careers are associated with each concentration:
Don’t just take it from us! Learn about SIAT success stories:
Marine Au Yeung, BA 2019
Interaction Designer at Artefact
“What makes the SIAT program unique is the people. There is a strong sense of comradery, and the courses bring people together. A lot of the time, this comradery grows into long-lasting friendships and mentorships that continue teaching and driving you to become better at what you do and to be a better person.
SIAT also provides opportunities to work in the industry before graduation, which I consider crucial, including co-ops, internships, and the annual Touchpoint conference where students meet and interview with industry professionals. Beyond technical skills, SIAT prepared me for life after graduation by helping me develop in-demand soft skills such as efficient communication, working well under pressure, and understanding how to compassionately and effectively collaborate in a realistic work environment.”
Sean Leach, BA 2019
Product Designer at Instagram
“The people you meet in SIAT are truly incredible, and I have developed life-long friendships with people who started off as classmates. SIAT offers so many different opportunities outside of the classroom. I took part in two field schools studying design and architecture in the Netherlands and Italy. The experiences I had there taught me how different types of learning can broaden our perspectives. I also had multiple opportunities to get industry experience which prepared me for life after graduation. I was able to complete three internships during my undergrad, one of them ending with a full-time job offer at Instagram (which I gladly accepted!)”
Sydnee McLeod, BA 2019
Community Manager, Norsfell
“SIAT covers such a wide variety of creative areas. From graphic design to video editing, to game design, you get to try out such a variety of classes and can decide which path you prefer to head down. I think that benefitted me as I gained different skills, whether they be art-related or more on the technical side of things. I focused mainly on the arts side of the program, and on classes about why people use technology the way they do.
The SIAT co-op program helped me to polish up my resume and cover letter, which I believe set a foundation for getting a job. Co-op also had opportunities for networking events, which led to interviews. I always knew I wanted to work in the games industry, and I now work at a games’ company as a Community Manager for a PC title. I use a little bit of something I learned in (nearly) every class in my job now.”
Want to learn more about SIAT?
Learn more about our program and what it can offer you:
- Email our first-year advisor, Naomi Loo, to book a tour of the campus and ask any questions you have about our program.
- Take a look at our undergraduate program to see where you might fit.
- Review the admissions process to find out what you need, before you apply.
- Take a look at our faculty, the Faculty of Communications Arts & Technology to see if our other schools have something you may like (or prefer).