Summer Abroad in Paris, France

Paris squat. Paris has a long history of street art and some very creative expressions.

The following course was held in summer 2013. Complete information for Summer Study Abroad 2014 will be posted (dates, descriptions, pricing) by December 20, 2013.

This three-week collaborative CCA/MICA course allows students from all disciplines to investigate key issues of motion as they relate to creativity, design, communications and critical thinking. The course teaches the basics of animation and time-based media with tools ranging from hand drawings to stop-motion, Flash, AfterEffects, motion graphics and newer techniques like Edge. It also includes the screening and review of relevant works.


Instructor: Erik Adigard, with Laurence Arcadias

Course dates: July 22–August 11
Paris housing still provided for optional use: August 12–18
Although the course is only three weeks, student accommodations in Paris are booked from July 19-August 18. Registered students are welcome to remain in their accommodations, at no extra charge, through August 18 to explore the city on their own.

Interested students should contact the instructor, Erik Adigard, providing a few work samples, to start the approval process for registration.


Big cities naturally tend toward entropy, but great cities adapt through great design. Urban culture is all that happens between these two notions. This is what we explore in one of the world’s most beautiful yet complex cities.

While exploring Paris, the program challenges students to combine thorough observation and analytical thinking with creative techniques to represent specific aspects of urban motion.

Students improve their creative skills by learning how to:

  • explore, analyze, and understand the identity of a place through its temporalities
  • think critically and clearly define a point of view;
  • understand the way in which disciplines relate through rich media (today, none can fully exist without the others
  • harness the huge publishing potential of time-based media and devices, such as mobile media and rich media platforms;
  • relate creation to personal explorations for those who so desire.

Students meet exceptional Parisian talents and discover world class museums, monuments, and urban areas that range from antiquity to 21st century experiments. Although interdisciplinary in nature, the course aims at nurturing each student within their own interest and specialty—graphic design, interaction design, animation, architecture, photography, illustration, etc. As such, the course will help 5D, 4D, 3D and 2D designers to understand how time can reveal the essence of structures, representations, patterns, and behaviors.

In this intensive workshop, we invite all participants to freely explore, experiment, debate, collaborate and above all to reflect on their practice.

Studio & Accommodations

The 17th century Cloitre des Recollets, is a former monastery and now an international research center for artists, designers, architects and scientists. The Center is located in the heart of Paris between the bustling Gare de l’Est and the hip Canal St. Martin neighborhood. Accommodations are in shared lofts with a bed on each level. Each loft includes wifi, bathroom, kitchen, linens, and weekly cleanings. Recollets also houses the vibrant, affordable, restaurant, Café A. Students receive a 20% discount card for the café, as well as invitations to all Recollets events.

Optional tools for students to bring

  • Laptop, smartphone, digital camera, Ipad, note pad, pencil, scissors, glue and/or graphic
  • CS6, Flash, After effects, Final Cut Pro or Premiere or editing app

For last year's program, please refer to

If you are interested in applying, please send a few work samples to

About the Team

Awarded the annual Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, 2012-2013, Erik Adigard is a communication designer with extensive experience in print, interactive, and time-based media. He brings a broad understanding of the design concerns and techniques that are impacting the realm of rich media. Adigard is known for his work for Wired magazine and IBM, which, with many other experimental projects, have been shown in international museums, biennales, and film festivals. More recently, he co-designed the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale U.S. Pavilion exhibit which won a Special Mention. Adigard is currently working on a book project that explores the new nature of "image", as it is affected by mobile social media. More:

Laurence Arcadias is a world-class animator who has won numerous awards for her experimental work. She has taught extensively in the US and in Europe and is currently Chair of the animation department at MICA. Her experience includes three years at the Apple Research Lab and collaborations with Brenda Laurel at Purple Moon. Arcadias brings full mastery of traditional animation techniques as well as practical knowledge of Flash and AfterEffects. More:


Undergraduates: completion of sophomore level by summer 2013 and instructor approval, and if taking it for:

  • Upper Division Interdisciplinary Studio: Drawing 1, 2D, 3D, 4D, English 1, Foundations in Critical Studies, Intro to the Arts, Intro to the Modern Arts, and Jr. Standing
  • Graphic Design Studio Elective: Completion of Level 2 co-reqs, and Jr. standing
  • Graphic Design Investigative Studio: Completion of Level 2 co-reqs, and Jr. standing
  • Advanced Design Studio (GD4 or Type 4 for students from the old degree audit before FA11): Completion of Level 3 co-reqs

Graduates: instructor approval

In addition all students must be in good academic, conduct, and financial standing for the 2012–13 academic year.

Course Satisfies

For undergraduates, this course satisfies a Studio Elective, an Upper Division Interdisciplinary Studio, Graphic Design Investigative Studio, or Advanced Design Studio.

For graduates, this course satisfies a gradwide elective.

Program Fee

$4,650 + $50 summer registration fee

Program fee includes

3 units, housing, guest critics, museum entrance fees, local transportation, and travel/health insurance (see insurance)

Program fee does not include

Airfare to and from Paris, most meals

Please make sure you read the related links in full:
Financial Aid
Passport, Visa, and Insurance
Code of Conduct

In-person registration begins on Friday, March 1, for all summer study abroad courses. Students should register no later than Monday, March 25. If spots are available in the course after this date, students may still register as long as accommodations have not been finalized.

All CCA Summer Study Abroad courses (including New Mexico, New York, and Texas Studios) are coordinated by the Office of Special Programs.


Office of Special Programs
Oakland campus, Ralls 201

Nina Sadek
Dean of Special Programs

Carol Pitts
Operations Manager, Special Programs