Project Highlights

Buoyant Ecologies

Buoyant Ecologies presents work from the fall 2014 CCA Integrated Building Design studio led by CCA Architecture faculty members Adam MarcusMargaret Ikeda, and Evan Jones.

The exhibition, the product of a unique collaboration between CCA and Autodesk's Pier 9 Workshop, includes six student proposals for a floating expansion of the Pier 9 Workshop on San Francisco's Embarcadero.


Curricular initiatives
Studio partnerships

Buoyant Ecologies

Market Street Prototyping Festival

CCA's Architecture division and the Digital Craft Lab hosted a series of events as part of the Market Street Prototyping Festival, a three-day festival that is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to activate the sidewalks of Market Street (its busiest street) by supporting the vision of creative people.

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Students at Market Street Prototyping Festival

Rebranding Sustainability

In spring 2014, students from the Animation, Architecture, Furniture, Illustration, and Industrial Design Programs took part in the Rebranding Sustainability, an interdisciplinary ENGAGE course partnering with San Francisco Goodwill.

Students produced replicable product prototypes using Goodwill’s excess material, which were then showcased in an exhibition in Goodwill's Coporate Offices.

Vsit the course process blog »

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Goodwill exhibition for Rebranding Sustainability

Architecture Charrettes

Each year, during the first three days of the fall semester, CCA’s Architecture Program presents this annual design competition.

The goals of the competition are to foster a more productive and social studio culture as well as encourage students to think big and take risks with their designs.

Fall 2014’s competition Soft Environments examined inhabitable inflatable structures made with semitransparent plastic.

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Students in charettes


A three day symposium, intended as the beginning of a conversation designed to ignite the development of better human systems and included a series of lectures, events, and an exhibition. Ecopoesis, a term first used by Robert Haynes, a Canadian biophysicist, geneticist, and terraforming expert to detail ideas of creating ecosystems on otherwise lifeless planets, was adopted and adapted to describe how designers, scientists, artists, writers, and other thinkers are working to create human systems more compatible with Earth’s changing natural systems. 

Waste Land

The Waste Land curricular effort is part of CCA's Exploring Science in the Studio project (eS²), which aims to explore ways to meaningfully integrate science in art and design education.

For Wasteland, five instructors from across the college thematized issues around waste in their course, and inviting a so-called embedded scientist to come into the studio to provide science instruction relevant to their course.

The Wasteland exhibition showcases works of architecture, art, design, and writing produced by students in five Fall 2013 "Waste Land" courses (Architecture, Industrial Design, Diversity Studies, Sculpture, and Writing & Literature).

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Water Works

Water Works was a theme-based selection of courses that encourages students to address ecological concerns such as water usage and conservation, and was part of the college's first Science in the Studio initiative to implement scientific instruction into the studio curricula of the four major academic disciplines: architecture, design, fine arts, and writing.
The fall 2010 Water Works courses challenged students to bring scientific ideas directly into their projects of art, design, and writing and culminated in an exhibition on the Oakland campus that showcased collaborative and independent projects featuring water as the running theme. Following the opening reception, CCA's first-ever tenure-track science instructor, Christine Metzger, a geologist and Critical Studies assistant professor, moderated a special discussion with the instructors about the successes and challenges of the projects.

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Solar Decathlon 

CCA architecture and design students partnered with Santa Clara University as Team California in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, a high-profile competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The competition focused on a crucial global problem—the ever-increasing need for energy—and offered real solutions, including renewable energy sources and ways to use energy more efficiently.

Team California beat out top universities such as Tufts University, Rice University, and Cornell University with its energy-efficient, beautiful, and comfortable solar-powered home, titled Refract House, taking third place as well is first place in the Architecture and Communications individual competitions.

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Beyond Mobility

California College of the Arts (CCA) + Audi Innovation Research (AIR) office launched the CCA + AIR “Beyond Mobility” Fellows Workshop -- an interdisciplinary collaboration geared toward exploring the car as a key intersection in this broader network of interconnected devices.

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