Fall 2021 BCDI Courses


Design Foundations

ART 8/8A 001- Intro To Visual Thinking (4 units)

A first course in the language, processes, and media of visual art. Coursework will be organized around weekly lectures and studio problems that will introduce students to the nature of art making and visual thinking.

ART 23AC – Data Arts (4 units)

Can we measure everything? What is the role of privacy? Can we count beauty? Is data always fair? This course explores participation as the foundation of online citizenship. Participation is based on data literacy and community awareness. Through online assignments, peer reviews and video chats, students form communities of explorers and innovators who challenge data culture through creative interventions including surveys, visualization, animation, video, interaction design, music and other forms of digital expression. Assignments are based on readings about media theory, abstraction, interactivity, design theory, archives, performance, identity, privacy, automation, aggregation, networking, diffusion, diffraction and subversion. 

DES INV 15 – Design Methodology (3 units)

This introductory course aims to expose you to the mindset, skillset and toolset associated with design. It does so through guided applications to framing and solving problems in design, business and engineering. Specifically, you will learn approaches to noticing and observing, framing and reframing, imagining and designing, and experimenting and testing as well as for critique and reflection. You will also have a chance to apply those approaches in various sectors.

ENV DES 1 – Introduction to Environmental Design (3 units)

This course will teach anyone how to start to be a designer, not just of drawings and objects, but also buildings, landscapes, and urban spaces. And not just in isolation, but in the complex web of ecological and man-made systems which makes up our shifting environment. You will take from the course first-hand experience of drawing, measuring, and design — which form the basis of the professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning— and which culminate in a final design project in the course. The course is open to all undergraduate students.

THEATER 60 – Intro to Technical Theater & Production (4 units)

A practical introduction to the terminology, theories, approaches, and techniques of technical theater and production. The course will cover theatrical terminology, stage equipment and architecture, production personnel and processes, and design departments, including scenery, properties, costumes, lighting, sound, and video. The course has a laboratory component. Based on student preference and availability, assignments for work on departmental productions will be made to one of two types of lab: department shops on a regular weekly schedule throughout the semester, or as run crew for a production fulfilling all required hours including evening and weekend calls.

Design Skills

ARCH 11A – Introduction to Visual Representation and Drawing (4 units)

Introductory studio course: theories of representation and the use of several visual means, including freehand drawing and digital media, to analyze and convey ideas regarding the environment. Topics include contour, scale, perspective, color, tone, texture, and design.

ARCH 150 – Introduction to Structures (4 units)

Study of forces, materials, and structural significance in the design of buildings. Emphasis on understanding the structural behavior of real building systems. 

DES INV 21 – Visual Communication & Sketching (3 units)

Good ideas alone are not the key to being a great designer or innovator. Rather, it is the strong process and communication skills that will make you stand out as a design practitioner and leader. In today’s landscape of product design and innovation, great visual communicators must know how to 1) effectively and confidently sketch by hand, 2) understand and utilize the basics of visual design, and 3) tell captivating and compelling stories. This course, offered in a project-based learning format, will give participants practice and confidence in their ability to communicate visually. 

DES INV 22 – Prototyping & Fabrication (3 units)

This course teaches concepts, skills and methods required to design, prototype, and fabricate physical objects. Each week relevant techniques in 2D and 3D modeling and fabrication are presented, along with basic electronics. Topics include a range of prototyping and fabrication techniques including laser-cutting, 3D modeling and 3D printing, soldering, and basic circuits.

DES INV 190-1/ME 292C – Human Centered Design Methods (3 units)

This course provides hands-on and real world experience in the development of innovative and realistic customer-driven engineered products, services or systems. Design methods and tools are introduced, and the student’s design ability is developed in a capstone design project or equivalent. The course is organized around the following modules: design research, analysis & synthesis, concept generation & creativity, prototyping, communication & visualization. Students will be expected to use tools and methods of professional practice and use these tools to consider the social, economic and environmental implications of their products, services or systems. There is an emphasis on hands-on innovative thinking and professional practice. We will engage product designers from industry as speakers and coaches.

ENGIN 26 – 3D Modeling for Design (2 units)

Three-dimensional modeling for engineering design. This course will emphasize the use of CAD on computer workstations as a major graphical analysis and design tool. Students develop design skills, and practice applying these skills. A group design project is required. Hands-on creativity, teamwork, and effective communication are emphasized.

ENGIN 29 – Manufacturing & Design Communication (4 units)

An introduction to manufacturing process technologies and the ways in which dimensional requirements for manufactured objects are precisely communicated, especially through graphical means. Fundamentals of cutting, casting, molding, additive manufacturing, and joining processes are introduced. Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), tolerance analysis for fabrication, concepts of process variability, and metrology techniques are introduced and practiced. 3-D visualization skills for engineering design are developed via sketching and presentation of 3-D geometries with 2-D engineering drawings. Computer-aided design software is used. Teamwork and effective communication are emphasized through lab activities and a design project. 

MUSIC 158A – Sound and Music Computing with CNMAT Technologies (4 units)

Explores the intersection of music and computers using a combination of scientific, technological, and artistic methodologies. Musical concerns within a computational frame are addressed through the acquisition of basic programming skills for the creation and control of digital sound. Will learn core concepts and techniques of computer based music composition using the Cycling74/MaxMSP programming environment in combination with associated software tools and programming approaches created by the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies. Included will be exposure to the essentials of digital audio signal processing, musical acoustics and psychoacoustics, sound analysis and synthesis. The course is hands-on and taught from the computer lab.

THEATER 173 – Scenography: Scenic Design for Performance (3 units)

This introductory course teaches some fundamentals of scenic design. Design for live performance will be approached as an integration of all the performative tools – text, visuals, sound, space, kinetics, etc – with particular focus in this class on the overall scenographic environment. Through personal development and group explorations students will be given basic conceptual and art-making tools allowing them to evolve, communicate and realize scenic and environmental solutions. Previous art training is helpful but not essential. The student must provide most art supplies.  The final evaluation will include a presentation in lieu of an exam.

THEATER 174 – Scenography: Costume Design for Performance (3 units)

This studio class explores some fundamental approaches and techniques for designing costume. Performance design will be approached as a product of all the performative tools and contexts – text, visuals, sound, space, kinetics, etc – with particular focus for this class on the scenographic role of the performer. Through personal expression and collaborative investigation students will be given some basic tools allowing them to conceptualize, communicate and realize costumes. Previous art training is helpful but not essential. The student must provide most art supplies.  The final evaluation will include a presentation in lieu of an exam.

UGBA 190D – Innovation and Design Thinking in Business (2 units)

The goal of this course is to equip students with innovation skills and practices. This is a learn-by-doing lab. Students learn research methods, ethnography, analysis and synthesis, reflective thinking, scenario creation, ideation processes, rapid prototyping cycles and designing experiments, iterative design and how to tell the story of “Never Before Seen” ideas. Class time is spent using hands-on innovation and human-centered design practices. Teams present work for critique and iterative development. The course features short lectures, guest talks, campus-based fieldwork, site visits, research and readings. Projects will be launched in the sessions and each team will be coached and mentored.

Advanced Design

CIVENG 190-1/DES INV 190-11 – Electric Mobility Engineering (3 units)

This course provides students with an introduction and hands-on engineering design experience on electric mobility. Transportation is the largest energy end-use sector at 37%. Over 95% of transportation energy is fossil fuel based. Consequently, decarbonizing transportation is a critical step toward climate change mitigation. Electric mobility describes concepts for utilizing electric power technologies for transportation, such as batteries and electric motors. This includes electric cars, micro-mobility, electric aircraft, electric ships, and more. The course is divided into three parts: First, we examine the economic, environmental and ethical principles behind transitioning combustion-based drivetrains to electric drivetrains. Second, we introduce the fundamental principles behind electric drivetrains, including electric machines and batteries. Third, students will disassemble an electric scooter, discover how it works, and then create an improved design.

COMPSCI 294-137 – Immersive Computing and Virtual Reality (3 units)

CY PLAN 140 – Urban Design – City Building & Place Making (3 units)

The course is concerned with the multidisciplinary field and practice of urban design. It includes a review of historical approaches to urban design and current movements in the field, as well as discussion of the elements of urban form, theories of good city form, scales of urban design, implementation approaches, and challenges and opportunities for the discipline. Learning from cities via fieldwork is an integral part of the course. 

INFO 290-001 – Product Design Studio (3 units)

This course is intended to give participants hands-on software product design experience based on current industry practice. The course will be project-based with an emphasis on iteration, practice, and critique from experienced industry designers. During the course, participants will work iteratively on a series of design projects (both solo and in groups) through a full design process, including developing appropriate design deliverables and gathering feedback. We’ll also cover specific topics, including design and prototyping tools, working with and developing design systems, typical phases and deliverables of the design process, and designing in different contexts (e.g. startups vs. larger companies). There will also be guest lectures from industry experts.