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Philosophy and Pedagogy

What is the School for Poetic Computation?

SFPC is an alternative school for art and technology. We are striving to create a model of education based on collaboration between faculty and students. By participating you will be actively shaping an emerging culture of open source and transparent education.

You can read some articles about the kind of work that’s developed at SFPC on our Press page. In the first year, New York Times covered our inaguration. You can check out a short video of the first classs at Seen in NY and the latest student showcase projects on the Creative Applications. You can also check out videos on our Vimeo for selected talks and class documentations.

Where did the idea come from?

We have been teaching and organizing workshops at schools and festivals around the world. We want to create a safe haven for others to develop ideas into reality. We want to bring all of our experience and knowledge to make a sustainable system for learning and teaching code, experimenting with pedagogy, electronics, installation, performance, user experience, data visualization and etc.

What kind of students are you looking for?

We are looking for people from all backgrounds, who are curious, generous and open. Anyone with a passion to explore poetic computation is invited, and we are looking for diversity in all its forms. Our only expectation is that you are eager to experiment, can learn from failure, and come fully dedicated to the learning experience. In the past, we have had students with a broad array of technical experiences and we were delighted, though unsurprised, that everyone had something to learn from each other. A group of faculty leads a selection process that is based on applicant’s answers to an application form, work samples, and short interviews.

What is the teaching philosophy?

We celebrate failure and collaboration. Our classes are going to be a mix of lecture, demo and lab hours. We respect our students and support them as artists and educators. We hope our students will have the experience to create projects on their own and teach after the program.

What other schools like this exist?

Here’s a list of short, non-degree granting programs to learn coding: The Recurse Center, Code Cooperative, Women Who Code. We are very happy that our alumni are starting their own schools such as School of Ma in Berlin in Berlin, and OF Course in Shanghai in Shanghai. Teachablefile is a huge list of artist-run schools. The book, Art School: Propositions for the 21st Century, is a good intro to alternative art schools. We also love Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment.

Who started the school?

The school was co-founded in by Zach Lieberman, Taeyoon Choi, Amit Pitaru, and Jen Lowe in 2013, with Casey Gollan working on administration.

Who runs the school?

The SFPC Team: Zachary Lieberman, Taeyoon Choi and Lauren Gardner organize the sessions. The SFPC Steering Committee: Ida Benedetto, Amit Pitaru, Tega Brain, Todd Anderson, Robby Kraft, Brian Solon provide additional support. We try to work with new teachers and visitors every session, often involving our alumni and community.


Do I need programming skills to be accepted?

For participating in our 10 Weeks program, we encourage students to have some familiarity with programming and technology in general. If you are an absolute beginner, there will be assignments prior to the School that will get you familiar with the medium. Many of the online classes are open to people without prior experience. We offer Creative Coding Bootcamp for those who are interested in learing code for the first time.

Where do I apply?

Check the Call for Students in the “Participate” section of our website.

How long is a session?

We offer 1-day Workshops, Part Time Intensive and Ten-Weeks: Full Time Immersive sessions in our NYC location. We are offering a variety of online, remote classes in 2020 for the first time.

Can non-US citizens apply?

Yes. The 10 weeks session accommodates international students visiting with visitor visas.

How can I find out about future sessions?

Due to the COVID-19 outbreaks, the School for Poetic Computation is offering classes for online, remote learning for the first time. Please check out our Participate page.

Do you have a Code of Conduct?

Yes, we have a working Code of Conduct which we adapt to specific courses in collaboration with teachers and students. We are indebted to many of our friends and mentors for the Code of Conduct, including Babycastles and BUFU, who helped us become a more welcoming space for diverse communities.

Is your class accessible for disabled students?

We aim to be an inclusive and accessible for the disabled and Deaf community. Our classes are not fully accessible at the moment. In the past, we worked with American Sign Language Interpreters and Visual Interpreters, as well as accessibility and disability rights organizations to make our classes more inclusive. If you have any access needs, please email

Will you ever come teach in my city?

We’ve done a few remote programs, namely in Detroit and Yamaguchi as well as exhibitions in Houston, San Francisco, and Barcelona. In order to plan a remote program, we need to have an institutional partner who are willing to support the project. Due to the COVID-19, we are focusing on online programs at the moment.

Will you offer 10-Weeks session in NYC this Fall or next year?

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 and following all Federal, state, and local guidance regarding COVID-19 procedures. We are hoping to make a decision about fall sessions by late June. At the moment, we are committed to providing online classes for our community.

Basics and Administration

Is this a real school?

Yes. In the sense that there is a lot of learning and teaching happening in a physical space.

Are you accredited?

No. We do not issue formal degrees. By participating you will join a group of alumni growing into a lively community of collaborators.

Where is the school located?

We are located in 155 Bank Street, in the courtyard of the Westbeth Artists Community in the West Village, New York City.

How can I support SFPC?

If you are interested in helping underwrite scholarships or support our school through sponsorship, please contact for more details. We are also able to receive tax deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor.

Accessiblity at SFPC

Is Accessible?

We’re taking steps to improve it! See more information about our accessibility and social media practices on the guidelines page.