SPRING 2024 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.

DES INV 10 – Discovering Design (2 units)

This course, ideal for students who are looking for an introduction to the broad world of design, covers design careers, design fields, histories of design and ethics in design. Students will gain language for analyzing and characterizing designs. In this course you will be learning design both from theoretical and historical perspectives, and from studio-based design exercises and projects. The weekly assignments and final projects will emphasize foundational design skills in observation, ideation, problem finding and problem solving, formgiving, communication, and critique.

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 104 – Design Frameworks (3 units)

This course begins with an open-ended question (“What is design?”) and asks students to think critically about the central tenets, commonalities, and limits of design in an ever-changing complex world. A historical and theoretical overview of predominant schools of thought across all scales of design (i.e. industrialization, modernism, post-modernism, and beyond) will ground the discussions to follow. Topics related to environmental sustainability including industrial ecologies, ecological design principles, lifecycle, biomimicry, LEED and accreditation systems, and closed-loop cycles will be presented.

Design Skills

ARCH 11B – Introduction to Design (5 units)

Introduction to design concepts and conventions of graphic representation and model building as related to the study of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and city planning. Students draw in plan, section, elevation, axonometric, and perspective and are introduced to digital media. Design projects address concepts of order, site analysis, scale, structure, rhythm, detail, culture, and landscape.

ARCH 160 – Introduction to Construction (4 units)

This introduction to the materials and processes of construction takes architecture from design to realization. The course will cover four material groups commonly used in two areas of the building assembly (structure and envelope): wood, concrete, steel, and glass. You will understand choices available and how materials are conventionally used. By observing construction, you’ll see how our decisions affect the size of materials, connections, and where they are assembled. Architects must understand not only conventions, but also the potential in materials, so we will also study unusual and new developments.

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 23 – Creative Programming and Electronics (3 units)

This course teaches techniques to conceptualize, design and prototype interactive objects. Students will learn core interaction design principles and learn how to program devices with and without screens, basic circuit design and construction for sensing and actuation, and debugging. Students work individually on fundamental concepts and skills, then form teams to work on an open-ended design project that requires a synthesis of the different techniques covered.

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 and 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. 

LDARCH 1 – Drawing a Green Future (4 units)

This introductory studio course is open to all undergraduate students in the University, who want to investigate the process of drawing as a method to learn how to perceive, observe and represent the environment. This studio will encourage visual thinking as a formative tool for problem solving that provides a means to envision a sustainable future. The focus will be on the critical coordination between hand, mind and idea.

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 (4 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 (4 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.

Advanced Design

CIVENG 186 – Design of Internet-of-Things for Smart Cities (3 units)

Hands-on engineering design experience for creating cyber-physical systems, or more colloquially, “internet-of-things (IoT) systems” for smart cities. Projects overlay a software layer onto physical infrastructure to produce one integrated system. Student teams will identify a challenge with current urban systems, e.g. mobility, energy & environment, water, waste, health, security, and the built environment. Student teams design and prototype an innovation that addresses this challenge using maker resources, e.g. 3D printing, laser cutters, and open-source electronics. The project will be executed via the “Design Sprint” process, which is popular in agile development and Silicon Valley. Students present projects to industry judges.

COMPSCI 160/260A – User Interface Design & Development (4 units)

The design, implementation, and evaluation of user interfaces. User-centered design and task analysis. Conceptual models and interface metaphors. Usability inspection and evaluation methods. Analysis of user study data. Input methods (keyboard, pointing, touch, tangible) and input models. Visual design principles. Interface prototyping and implementation methodologies and tools. Students will develop a user interface for a specific task and target user group in teams.

IEOR 170 – Industrial Design & Human Factors (3 units)

This course surveys topics related to the design of products and interfaces ranging from alarm clocks, cell phones, and dashboards to logos, presentations, and web sites. Design of such systems requires familiarity with human factors and ergonomics, including the physics and perception of color, sound, and touch, as well as familiarity with case studies and contemporary practices in interface design and usability testing. Students will solve a series of design problems individually and in teams.

LDARCH 111 – Plants in Design (3 units)

Through lecture, research, and studio assignments, this course introduces the use of plants as design elements in the landscape, from the urban scale to the site-specific scale, focusing on the public open space. By analyzing historic, contemporary, and Bay Area examples, the course examines the spatial, visual, and sensory qualities of vegetation, as well as the interplay with ecological functions and engineering uses of plants.

ME 110 – Introduction to Product Development (3 units)

The course provides project-based learning experience in innovative new product development, with a focus on mechanical engineering systems. Design concepts and techniques are introduced, and the student’s design ability is developed in a design or feasibility study chosen to emphasize ingenuity and provide wide coverage of engineering topics. Relevant software will be integrated into studio sessions, including solid modeling and environmental life cycle analysis. Design optimization and social, economic, and political implications are included.

MUSIC 158B – Situated Instrument Design for Musical Expression (4 units)

The practice and theory of contextual instrument design for use in musical expression is explored. Students create new instruments and performance environments using a variety of physical interaction paradigms, programming practices, and musical processes emerging from the UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). Building on the methodologies established in Music 158A, the course develops aesthetic, analytic and technical skills through discussion, empirical study, and collaborative engagement. With a balance of artistic and technical concerns, participants deepen understanding of the creative process, demonstrating the results through class installation and public performance.

NWMEDIA C203 – Critical Making (4 units)

Recent developments in creative technologies (such as augmented/virtual reality and artificial intelligence programs) have allowed artists to experiment in their studios in novel ways. How do we tell stories, question the status quo, envision alternative futures, or push boundaries using new programs, forms, or spatial understandings? How can new mediums inform the way we understand and produce works of art? How do we critically engage, subvert, and challenge the commercial industry model of new media production?

 By utilizing research and experimentation with new tools and software programs, we will consider art making in relation to other more traditional media. This is not a technology class with a dash of art on the side. In this class, developing your artistic voice will be just as important as honing your technical skills. We will have a historical approach and we will look at new media art in an ongoing dialogue with sculpture, installation, film, video, sound art, and performance art. Students will be introduced to contemporary art projects by artists working in socially engaged forms, raising awareness and creating opportunities for conversation about our political and ecological realities. 

While it is not necessary to have proficiency in specific software programs before taking this course, having some familiarity with creative tools is beneficial. Merging new and traditional mediums will be encouraged. Assignments include: using artificial intelligence programs to iterate on collaborative drawings, using Adobe Illustrator and a laser cutter to design and install an art intervention, and exploring spatial immersion and critical worldbuilding using virtual reality.

THEATER 100/UGBA 190T – From Imagination to Innovation: Activating creativity for transformational change (4 units) formally THEATER 100/UGBA 190C – Collaborative Innovation

It is often said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” But how do you ignite and harness your imagination – the inspiration for your dreams? And once you have a dream, what does it take to innovate – to turn the dreaming into doing and bring it to life? The class explores these topics and provides practice in innovation as not only a mindset, but also a process involving a series of tools and steps that can guide us in making ethical change in the world. Through hands-on, project-based exercises, this course will teach students to put their imaginations into action to better observe, frame, critique, make, and reflect upon their ideas for change. 

Envisioning and making change in the world is a complex, multifaceted, and interdisciplinary process that calls upon a wide array of skills including creative and critical thinking capabilities. For that reason, this class is part of both the Big Ideas and Berkeley Changemaker curriculum. The course objectives include: (1) teaching students to access and build upon their creative potential, and, (2) guiding students in developing both a team and individual frameworks and processes for change. Both of these objectives will enable students to think both creatively and critically about what could be, rather than what is, in order to bring to life what can be imagined. 

Whether your goal is an art project, start-up, a new approach in the lab, an AI application, or just to make the world a better place, this course will provide methods to activate your entire mind and body, as well as the techniques and skills you need to innovate and create change. The class instructors will co-teach, and we will invite guest lecturers and students from different parts of the campus into the class for inspiration and to open new avenues for exploration.

THEATER 175B – Scenography: Lighting Design for Theater (4 units)

This is the second of two classes in stage lighting design and execution. In THEATER 175B you will study the design and execution of stage lighting from the visualization of the initial concept through the realization of that concept on stage. The course is divided into four segments. Review the foundational information about stage lighting. Develop a Production Proposal, for ROMEO & JULIET, analyze the material and present a proposal for a production of R&J. Design a repertory light plot by drafting the plot with VectorWorks Spotlight, a CAD program for stage lighting. Finally, in the Lighting Project, you will work with the BDP light plot in the Playhouse, creating light cues for music of your choice.

*See the Successfully Petitioned Course List for more Spring 2024 course options