Graduate Courses

Summer Session 2016

Summer Session 2016 information will be posted in February 2016. Continuing CCA student registration for on-campus summer courses will begin March 7; registration for nondegree students will begin on March 28.

Summer Session 2015


333: Architecture Summer Studio
3 critics for 3 projects in 3 weeks
Instructors: Brian Price, Andrew Atwood, Anna Neimark
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 27-August 14, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

333 is an intensive architecture design studio that brings leaders in the field to work with students in a laboratory–like environment at CCA. 333 emphasizes exploration and innovation with cutting–edge methods, materials and technology. 333 capitalizes on the rich geographical, social and cultural features of the San Francisco Bay Area as resources and catalysts for experiments in architecture and urban design. CCA’s digital fabrication labs and shops will be available for the duration of the course.

Andrew Atwood’s creative work is situated in contemporary digital techniques and technologies to expand on existing methods of architectural representation, in effect creating new forms, visualizations, and processes for architecture. He designs and builds digital machines to explore design and building processes. Atwood's work and teaching demonstrates a sophisticated knowledge of historical precedents, representational theory, construction and digital fabrication. The machines and their products inventively conflate two- and three-dimensional representation, as well as the digital and physical, and make evident his capacity to design across scales, from architectural details to buildings to regional landscapes.

Atwood has received critical acclaim from respected architectural publications, including: Architectural Record, Perspecta, Project and ThinkSpace Pamphlet Series, and Matter: Material Processes in Architectural Production.

Atwood teaches architectural design at UC Berkeley.

Anna Neimark is a principal of First Office, co-founded in partnership with Andrew Atwood in Los Angeles. Built projects include a collaboration on the Pinterest Office Headquarters in San Francisco, a Dome stage in Afghanistan, a temporary Screening Room at the MAK Center for Art in Architecture in Los Angeles, and a rehabilitation of a Shotgun House in Lexington, Kentucky. Neimark has published essays “On White on White” in Log and “The Infrastructural Monument” in Future Anterior, as well as texts co-authored with Atwood in Perspecta, Project, Think Space Pamphlets, and the forthcoming issue of the Cornell Journal for Architecture. A selection of essays and projects, Nine Essays by First Office, has just been published by Graham Foundation’s Treatise: Why Write Alone. Neimark is faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Prior to joining the faculty at SCI-Arc, she taught at the University of Southern California and worked at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam and New York.

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.

The following summer study-abroad courses also satisfy Architecture Studio Requirements:
China Stitchlink


Honorable Innovation: Design the Revolution

Instructor: Sharon Green
SF / DSMBA–630 / 7 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
June 1-July 8, Mon. / Wed., 6:30-9:30 p.m.
July 11, Sat., 1-5 p.m.

There’s talk of revolution everywhere, and many of us yearn to be part of creating Big System Change locally and globally. Applying the principles, processes and tools of design, we explore visions for the future; harvest insights and wisdom from past and present revolutions; consider the qualities of honorable, responsible, and sustainable revolution; examine the obstacles to and accelerators of Big System Change within complex systems; consider the roles of conservation and innovation in Big System Change; and develop liberating structures, energizing processes, and inspiring interactions to sustain revolutionaries.

We work together to craft a few revolutions while weaving in music, dance, food, and play to keep us engaged and sustained. Throughout we’ll be practicing the revolutionary tools of reflection, appreciative inquiry, dialogue, and written and oral storytelling. No experience needed; passion for collaboration highly recommended. Viva la Revolution! (3 credits)

This course satisfies an MBA in Design Strategy Elective or a Grad-wide Elective.

Social Ventures

Instructor: Steve Diller
SF / DSMBA–638 / 5 sessions
Prerequisite: current enrollment in CCA's DMBA program
San Francisco campus and off-campus
May 26-August 15

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 6–28: Readings
Section 2: First residency, May 28-31
May 28: In-class instruction, foundations
May 29: In-class instruction, research, collaboration with partners, plans
May 30: In field (location TBD)
May 31: In-class work: process information from field, create project plans
Section 3: Production, June 1–Aug 14
June 1–3: Field research (research findings due July 10)
July 11–18: Meetings with local partners to evaluate findings, set direction
July 19–August 14: Write venture plans (plans due August 15)
Section 4: Final Residency
August 15: 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 an MBA in Design Strategy Elective or a Grad-wide Elective.

Fine Arts Studio Research Lab

Artists Writing: Thesis Prep

Instructor: Maria Porges
SF / FINAR-604 / 7 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
May 26-29, Tues.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
August 12-14, Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to get a head start on their thesis over the summer without the typical constraints of an on-campus class. Between the beginning and ending weeks, students have the freedom to work on their writing at their convenience. Writing deadlines over the summer keep students on track.

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. In-class exercises, one-on-one coaching, and editing practice -- learning how to edit your own work by editing the work of others -- helps you develop material for the thesis required in the second year, as well as to write statements describing your current studio projects.

Class meets daily from May 26-29, 9:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m., focusing intensively on each student’s proposal as presented at the Advancement Review and using that as a jumping-off point. We talk about how to constructively refer to artists and texts and how to organize the writing process. Our first goal is to develop an outline for the thesis itself.

Between May 30 and August 11, students work independently, submitting writing for editing and comments on a weekly basis. August 12-14, the class meets again as a group to share progress and ideas; individual meetings are scheduled as well to prepare for the coming semester. (3 credits)

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

Preserving Place

Instructor: D-L Alvarez
SF / FINAR-604 / 10 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
June 1-July 2, Mon., noon-3 p.m. / Thurs., 6-9 p.m.

San Francisco is undergoing major shifts in populations; long-time residents having to look elsewhere for housing, while new populations import new priorities and sensibilities. This city is no stranger to flux, though what is often blanketed as the tech boom introduces an aggression in the tactics and speed of its takeover henceforth unseen.

It’s easy to bemoan these changes, but what solutions are at hand for sustaining urban diversity? What are local activists, historians, and creative individuals doing to ensure this change does not equal total erasure? Can a culture that previously blossomed out of location manage when scattered to the four winds?

Preserving Place is a salon-style SRL that will often meet at locations that have historical and cultural significance to the kind of fringe communities that, from the gold rush era to current times, have set San Francisco apart from cities internationally. With invited guests at each meeting place that share their talents and knowledge, this is a discussion-heavy group. Students listen to talks, hear readings, look at visual work, and go on small neighborhood explorations, and then converse. The instructor curates the initial salons focusing on queer communities and fringe sensibilities.

Later, the entire group works collaboratively in organizing events, and in the end, smaller student teams handle curatorial responsibilities. The focus is not only to open up an on-going dialogue on a central subject, but also to build skills in coordinating community-based cultural and social events that are the keystones to tailoring a coterie. (3 credits)

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

Visual and Critical Studies


Instructor: Rebekah Edwards
SF / VISCR–608 / 12 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
May 26-June 3, Tues./Wed., 4-7:30 p.m.
June 30-July 15, Tues./Wed., 4-7:30 p.m.
August 11 & 12, Tues./Wed., 4-7:30 p.m.

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 26/ 27 and June 2/3 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. We meet as a seminar again June 30-July 15, 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. We return to seminar Aug 11th and 12th and do final workshops on the writing produced through the praxis period.

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 clarified 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.


Instructor: Andrea Dooley
SF / VISCR–606 / 12 sessions
Prerequisite: graduate standing
June 1-July 8, Mon./Wed., 1-4 p.m.

Currently we suffer, according to Doreen Massey, under a “failure of spatial imagination. Failure because we are inadequate to face up to the challenge of space; failure to take on board its coeval multiplicities, to accept its radical contemporalities, to deal with its constitutive complexity.” In this course we take up the “challenge of space” to understand how space and place as cultural, political and social constructions, have become an elemental part of ongoing conversations in Critical Theory, Cultural and Visual Studies, Urban Studies and Art History. 

We consider the word place to have many meanings and will extend the fundamental understanding of place to consider working questions such as: How do we define site, space, place, and landscape? What constitutes the construction and production of space?  What role does space play in the issues of identity formation? What are the power relations of space and mobility? What is the “city”, the “suburb” and how are these places constituted?  What is the role of the state in place? What is the nature of the relationship between violence (natural disaster, war, occupation, apartheid, state violence, genocide etc.) and space? Can a space be “un-made” or emptied? (3 credits)

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


Mentored Study in Writing

Instructor: Hugh Behm–Steinberg
Prerequisite: for undergrads, Writing 2, Jr. Standing; for graduate students, graduate standing
May 26-August 14, individual meeting times to be scheduled with students

Mentored study provides one–on–one study over the summer with a faculty mentor. It gives students the freedom to 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.

Appropriate for students at all levels, from those just starting out to those who are interested in pursuing more advanced projects. Frequent, regular meetings are based on writing the student produces. (3 credits)

This course satisfies a Grad-wide Elective.