Graduate Courses

Summer Session 2016

Continuing CCA student registration for on-campus summer courses March 4-27.


333: Architecture Summer Studio: How to Live Together

Instructors: Visiting Artist, Pier Vittorio Aureli, DOGMA, Yale, AA; Neeraj Bhatia, The Open Workshop, CCA
SF / 15 sessions / ARCHT–444 / MARCH–604
Prerequisite: Undergraduate: completion of at least one year of Architectural studies; Graduate: permission of graduate department chair
July 25-August 12, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

This studio examines new forms of domestic space, using San Francisco as its test site. Focusing on current issues of inequality and the legacy of the Bay Area’s countercultural movements, communal housing experiments, and migratory populations, the studio uses form and typology as the instigator to rethink domestic spaces that counter dichotomous conditions such as private/public, living/working, production/reproduction. In essence, we will design new models for how to live together through large-scale forms of representation -- drawings, etchings, and paintings.

Domestic space could be considered a political space because, more than any other space, it best represents the ethos, or the “habitual”, namely a pattern of daily routines that defines the formal structure of life. For this reason, domestic space can be assumed as the most accurate seismographer of the political condition of our time. The subsumption of society into productive powers for capital now involves the incorporation of all subjective potential, the capacity to communicate, to feel, to create, to think, or to establish relationships. Production now takes place outside of the factory or the office and now situates itself in various social relationships. This is why these relationships, their organization in space, and the ethos they produce are not only important, but the quintessential element to understand, if we are to identify new modes of living that can counter the effects of capitalism. San Francisco’s current housing crisis has already promoted new forms of living and living together -- micro-units, communes, dormitories, mobile housing, hacker hostels, tent cities, amongst others.

Led by Pier Vittorio Aureli, a leading figure examining the role and relationship between architectural form, politics, and the city, this studio will use these domestic models as a starting point to instill the political within the architectural. (3 credits)

This course satisfies 3 units of Advanced Studio, a Studio Elective, or a BT Elective for BArch students; for MArch students, this course satisfies an architecture Elective or BT Elective.

Pier Vittorio Aureli is an architect and educator. His work focuses on the relationship between architectural form, political theory, and urban history. Together with Martino Tattara, he is the co-founder of Dogma. Since the beginning, Dogma has developed a specific interest in large-scale interventions and in urban research by participating in international competitions and by working with municipalities and other public parties. Aureli teaches at the Architectural Association where he is Diploma Unit Master, lecturer in the History & Theory Program and Director of the PhD Program by design. He has taught at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam where he was PhD Supervisor and Coordinator of the “City as a Project” PhD Program, Columbia University in New York, TU Delft, Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio, Switzerland, Barcelona Institute of Architecture. Aureli is the author of several books including The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture Within and Against Capitalism (2008), and The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (2011).

Design / Make / Fabricate - Part 2

Instructor: Meghan Dorrian
SF / 15 sessions / ARCHT-540-01 / MARCH-640-01
PrerequisitesUndergrad: Architecture Studio 3 (ARCHT-303) or Interior Design Studio 3 (INTER-300). Grad: N/A
July 25-August 12, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Funded by the city of San Francisco through the Pavement to Parks program, the site specific, design-build work will endeavor to augment the neighborhoods spatial environment and activate positive use of Tunnel Top Park, a 30,000 sq.ft site on the corner of 25th and Pennsylvania. Tunnel Top Park is a recently reclaimed deluge space conceived by a grassroots group of active neighbors. The summer course will springboard from the research of a Fall semester investigation in Active Urbanism, and a Spring Semester design and prototyping course where four designs were proposed and tested at 1:1.

The Summer intensive build session will execute a single design over the course of three weeks, with prefabrication occurring at CCA and culminating in the on-site installation of a seating/shade/light structure for the community of Tunnel Top Park. The course will investigate both traditional and digital fabrication techniques and focus on the process of making, construction management, design detailing, and documentation.

Students may need to purchase additional materials at their own expense.

This course satisfies 3 units of Advanced Studio, a Studio Elective, or a BT Elective for BArch students; for MArch students, this course satisfies an Architecture Elective or BT Elective.

Meghan Dorrian has worked professionally in fabrication and architecture since 2007, specializing in material specific fabrication in steel, concrete and timber.  She has worked at Face Design & Fabrication in Brooklyn, NY, Chris French Metal, in Oakland, Concreteworks, in Oakland, and her own practice, Young America Creative.  She received her Bachelors of Architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and Masters in from the Architectural Association via the program Design & Make.  She has taught at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.


ID Sketching/Ideation Sketching

Instructor: Max Sims
SF / DESGN-630 / 15 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
July 6-August 8, Mon./Wed./Thurs., 3-6 p.m.

ID Sketching/Ideation Intensive focuses on developing drawing and sketching skills as used in Industrial Design practice: 3D object sketching foundations, freehand construction (line weight, composition, basic layout, light source) and rough “marker” rendering techniques. Along with developing sketching fluency, students explore ideation techniques and rapid visualization strategies. Feedback on each student's design process and abilities are provided through individual critiques with the instructor as well as group presentations. Students learn and internalize hand/eye drawing competency prerequisite for professional practice.

This course satisfies a Grad-wide Elective.

Design MBA

Social Ventures

Instructor: Steve Diller
SF / DSMBA–638 / 5 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
San Francisco campus and off-campus
May 19-August 20

This course offers graduate students an immersive introduction into social issues and ventures in the United States and, potentially, abroad. Students explore a series of issues to gain an understanding of the field of social ventures: the stakeholders, business models, and realities of starting a social venture. In addition, students document and craft their experiences into marketing plans that can be used by local organizations.

Through a combination of classes, consulting with the instructor, and community immersion, students investigate key concepts in social entrepreneurship: cultural sensitivities, economic structures, business models, and social issues. The class exposes students to the social venture landscape, allowing them to understand and influence the factors that contribute to systemic social impact through the use of marketing and design thinking. (3 credits)

Section 1: Pre-class activities
May 4–19: Readings
Section 2: First residency, May 19-22
May 19: In-class instruction, foundations
May 20: In-class instruction, research, collaboration with partners, plans
May 21: In field (location TBD)
May 22: In-class work: process information from field, create project plans
Section 3: Production, June 1-August 20
June 1–3: Field research (research findings due July 8)
July 9–16: Meetings with local partners to evaluate findings, set direction
July 17–August 19: Write venture plans (plans due August 20)
Section 4: Final Residency
August 20: In-class brainstorming, information dissemination, and finalizing deliverables

For costs associated with fieldwork, each student may be reimbursed up to $350 by the college, as long as the student provides a brief project summary and original receipts for legitimate project-related expenses by August 14, 2015. Participants are responsible for any travel costs over $350 associated with the course or any expense for which an original receipt is not provided.

This course satisfies a DMBA or Grad-wide Elective.

Money Insights

Instructor: Steven Gilman
SF / DSMBA–630 / 12 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
July 6-August 10, Mon./Wed., 6:30-9:50 p.m.; + 1 Tues. to be announced (probably August 9)

Money Insights is an exploration of money in all of its various forms. Just as importantly, it covers (and uncovers!) the underlying thought process, position framing, and point of view that investors and money managers use. We examine the many different types of markets, the types of financial instruments used, and the institutions that play in the global financial system.

The subject material covers landscape that affects the financial well being of individuals and small companies, such as design firms, startups, venture capital, global enterprises, government participation, not-for-profits, social and impact ventures. Combining academic study, practical application, and real-world actuality, the course provides the tools you need to make rational, appropriate, and real decisions at any organizational level.

We explore the roles, rules, and functions of the markets for funding and investment availability and review topics that include debt instruments, angel and venture financing, private equity, initial public offerings (IPOs), socially responsible investment, crowd/social funding and other forms of access to capital. Fund-raising in the not-for-profit sector is discussed along with the impact and relevance of environmental, social, governance (ESG) and SRI factors.

This is not a heavy quantitative course, yet complements and enhances understanding in the necessary business skills of accounting, finance, business models, strategy, and decision making functions of successfully running a sustainable business. Who Money Insights is for -- anyone who will need to make money-related decisions for personal life, small business, global enterprise, or other alternative initiatives. (3 credits)

This course satisfies a DMBA or Grad-wide Elective.

Fine Arts

Thesis Prep / Artists Writing

Instructor: Maria Porges
SF / FINAR-604 / 7 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
May 19-27, Thurs.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
August 15-18, individual meetings to be determined

Where do we find the language to talk about our work -- describe it not only physically but conceptually -- as well as figure out how to move it forward? In this class, you have the opportunity to find your own voice, advancing both the theory and the beliefs that support your visual work through clear writing, and get a head start on the thesis required in your second year without the typical constraints of an on-campus class.

Between an initial series of workshops and final one-on-one meetings, you have the freedom to work on writing at your convenience. Deadlines over the summer keep the process on track. In-class exercises, one-on-one coaching, and editing practice help you develop your ideas, as well as enhance your ability to write statements describing your current studio projects.

Class meets daily from Thursday, May 19th to Friday, May 27th. We start with each student's proposal as presented at the Advancement Review and use that as a jumping-off point for learning how to constructively refer to artists and texts and how to organize the writing process. Between May 30 and August 11, students work independently, submitting writing for editing and comments on a biweekly basis. During the week of August 15, individual meetings are scheduled to prepare for the coming semester. (3 credits)

This course satisfies a Studio Research Lab or Grad-wide Elective.

Visual Criticism


Instructor: Rebekah Edwards
SF / VISCR–608 / 12 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
May 17-25, Tues./Wed., 4-7:30 p.m.
June 21-29, Tues./Wed., 4-7:30 p.m.
July 26-28, Tues./Wed./Thurs., 4-7:30 p.m.
August 15-17, Individual meetings to be determined

This summer session of Voices has a special focus on developing sustainable writing practices to carry graduate students through the development, research and writing of their thesis or other large project.

The course explores authorial voice through low stakes writing exercises (both creative and critical) and we practice various writing strategies that facilitate consistent and sustained work. We discuss ways of utilizing peer support and methods for developing a writing community and try our hand at both.

We discuss developing research questions, practices and resources. The focus is on developing the prospectus that is due at the end of the summer, however, students may choose to work on any project. The course is structured as periods of intensive writing seminar (consisting of readings, discussion, writing exercises) and periods of non-resident supervised practicum during which time the students research and draft a paper (usually, but not necessarily, the prospectus).

We meet as a seminar for two weeks, May 17-25, developing research and writing goals and strategies. This is followed by a three week writing practicum in which students work independently to research and begin drafting their chosen project (students will need access to a computer during this independent research). We meet as a seminar again June 21-29, during which time we workshop and discuss drafts and further explore questions of voice, genre, research, production. Students then have a second, three-week independent writing practicum in which they develop their project, followed by a three-day workshop July 26-28. In the final week of Aug 15-17, we schedule individual meetings.

Topics include: how to translate a glimmer of an idea, a continuing obsession, a semester project or a seminar paper into a thesis project; how to clarify and develop a working thesis for your project; how to manage the research and writing of a prospectus; how to develop writing community; how to develop a writing praxis that is sustainable and facilitates the completion of the thesis.

Students practice all stages of the writing process, from brainstorming to revising and deep editing, all with the intention of harnessing the power of voice for the myriad of rhetorical situations in which the professional visual and cultural critic will find themselves. We explore different forms related to project/thesis development such as: the artist statement, abstract, exhibition proposal, & prospectus. This course provides students the opportunity to develop tools and techniques for critical writing. (3 credits)

This course satisfies the Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies Voices requirement or a Grad-wide Elective for non-Visual and Critical Studies majors.


Mentored Study in Writing

Instructor: Hugh Behm–Steinberg
LITPA-300 / WRITE-660
Prerequisite: graduate standing (course is also open to upper division undergraduates)
May 16-August 20, meeting times to be scheduled with individual students

Mentored study provides one-on-one study with a faculty mentor. Meeting eight times over the course of the summer, it gives students the freedom to flexibly pursue their own intellectual work seriously and intensively, while the faculty mentor engages and guides them through in-depth discussion and detailed critical commentary.

In consultation with the mentor, a student also incorporates relevant reading into the course. This reading provides the basis for reflective or critical writing by the student that becomes part of the overall dialogue. This course is for students at all levels, from those just starting out to those who are interested in pursuing more advanced projects. Meetings take place in either Oakland, San Francisco or off campus. (3 credits)

For graduates, this course satisfies a Grad-wide Elective.