UCB2 - Disc*: Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities
2 July 2018 – 3 August 2018
Hosted by University of California, Berkeley
Disc* is an intensive program that takes an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar approach to analysis of the urban environment, and explores the potential of design and innovation as catalysts for change. Students attend lectures from top practitioners in the field, engage in interactive demos and workshops, experiment with fabrication technology in the Digital Lab, conduct field work and site visits, participate in seminars and discussion, and immerse themselves in design studio culture. Disc* participants acquire the tools and expertise necessary to craft design-based solutions that meet the urgent challenges of global urbanization.
The program is comprised of four components. The Urban Innovation & Global Cities/Global Challenges Seminars will establish a theoretical framework for the program. The invited lecturers and guest speakers will expose students to the work of some of the most renowned & forward-thinking researcher and practitioners in the Bay Area. Fieldwork and site visits will give students an opportunity to engage directly with the dynamic built and natural environments of the Bay Area. The studio sessions and digital workshops will build core hand-on skills, empowering students to craft their own design solutions. Working in teams, students will develop a project from design conception to prototyping and present the final result of their work to instructors and guest critics.
Disc* students graduate with the necessary knowledge and skills to develop and represent their design ideas, preparing themselves to become the next thought leaders and game changers in the shaping of our built environment.
Figures are estimates only. Click on each item for details.
Tuition FeesUSD 4,191 domestic / USD 6,691 international
AccommodationArranged by student
Miscellaneous FeesApprox. USD 50 for studio materials
ScholarshipsA small handful of partial need-based scholarships are available.
2018 site visits to be confirmed in spring 2018.
Past site visits include:
- Bay Area Regional Overview: Exploratorium Fisher Bay Observatory to Mt. Tamalpais via ferry, BART
- Eastern San Francisco Waterfront via bus (from Heron’s Head Park to India Basin)
- Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop, Digital Fabrication Lab, and Gallery (led by John Bela, Autodesk Artist-in-Residence)
- San Francisco Overview (led by SPUR Sustainability Development Policy Director Laura Tam)
Target Audience/ Prerequisites
No previous design experience is necessary.
Delivery Method & Learning Outcomes
Urban Innovation Seminar | Gabriel Kaprielian
The Urban Innovation Seminar is meant to complement the studio with theory and lively discourse. Students will be active participants in the learning process. There will be weekly assigned readings and writing that in addition to a seminar presentation by the Program Director will provide a framework to discuss and contextualize the program goals and studio work. The Urban Innovation Seminar will be presented in three modules: Urban Place, Urban Form, and Urban Futures.
Global Cities / Global Challenges Seminar | Ghigo DiTommaso
Global Cities / Global Challenges is a series of lectures addressing some of the most pressing challenges our cities are facing today. The series will focus on issues of social and environmental justice while exploring a variety of strategies and tactics for good city-making. We will learn more about the causes of the wicked problems we are tackling and discuss what is at stake if we don’t find soon viable solutions, while also learning about success stories that show how things can really change for the better. We will look at case studies from across the world, chosen to illustrate what environmental design can do to make our urban regions more resilient, livable, and equitable.
GIS Workshops | Katie McKnight
The GIS workshops will cover the basics of digital Geographic Information System mapping and will directly support the studio project work. The GIS Workshops will include geo-referencing historic maps, creating thematic maps, and visualizing data geospatially. There will focus on topics that will assist you in creating a past, present, future narrative of your assigned team site. You will use historic maps to understand the urban morphology and historic ecology, while layering current and projected future maps to see areas of intersection and transformation. Additionally, you will create scaled base maps to use as reference during your site Fieldwork. Lastly, you will explore higher level mapping functions such as 3D visualization with ArcScene, while paying particular attention to mapping as an art to achieve compelling and informative graphics.
Rhino Workshops | GSI Instructors
The Rhino workshops will demonstrate digital 3D modeling and 2D drafting techniques, rendering with the VRay plug-in, graphic exporting, and digital fabrication file processing. Topics in the workshops will directly support the studio project work. The Rhino Workshops will focus on digital modeling and drafting to develop your urban design scenarios, in addition to exporting 2D graphics for Adobe software and presentations and creating perspective renderings with VRay.
Adobe Workshop | Kent Wilson
The Adobe workshop will include instruction with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. The workshop will link the workflow from Rhino 2D graphic exports, digital rendering, and generally focus creating high quality presentation materials from design work. Photoshop will include instruction on rendering techniques. Illustrator will be used primarily to create 2D vector graphics. InDesign will be used for Presentation Board layouts.
Digital Fabrication Workshop | GSI Instructors
The Digital Fabrication workshop will demonstrate techniques for additive and subtractive manufacturing. You will use Rhino software to create 2D and 3D files for fabrication. This includes the use of 3D printing and lasercutting. In this process, you will learn to materialize your digital designs into physical artifacts.
Learn theory and skills to analyze a complex urban environment, assess need through research and mapping, develop an informed design proposal, and create effective representation utilizing computer software and digital fabrication methods.
Project final review
Evaluation and Grading
- Timeliness and effort on assignments
- Participation and engagement in teamwork
- Personal progress and development
- Quality of work production and representation
Credit equivalent at host university & contact hours
Participants should expect to spend approximately:
- 20 hours in the field
- 30 hours in digital/software workshops
- 25 hours in seminar/lecture
- 45 hours in studio
- 10 additional hours in review/presentation
Evening activities and weekend travel is possible as deadlines allow, but participants are discouraged from taking on significant outside obligations. Part time work or study concurrent with Disc* is not feasible.
Lecturer(s) / Tutor(s)
Gabriel Kaprielian, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design
Agostino DiTommaso, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design
Participants are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. Disc* students are eligible for on-campus housing.
Required and/or Recommended Insurance
Medical care cost in the U.S. is more expensive than most countries. It is important to purchase short-term health insurance in case of a medical situation. The University Health Services can advise you on available options and recommend coverage levels: https://uhs.berkeley.edu/insurance/international-summer-session-students.
Further Required Application Material
Applicants will be asked to provide transcripts, proof of English proficiency, CV/resume, cumulative GPA and statement of purpose through the slideroom application portal: cedberkeley.slideroom.com.
Further information can be found here: https://ced.berkeley.edu/academics/summer-programs/discovery/.