Go beyond the classroom with CCA faculty

They are designers, architects, poets, practicing artists, and published writers pushing the boundaries of their professions all while mentoring the next generation of artists and creatives.

What inspires professors to make an impact in their field? At CCA, faculty lead dynamic careers outside of the college, on top of being expert teachers. Faculty from across the Design, Fine Arts, Architecture, and the Humanities and Sciences divisions reveal insights into their creative professions beyond academia and what inspires their work.

From exhibitions and award-winning publications to futuristic design projects and animated films, get a glimpse of their incredible work.


Oracle text in the middle of a blue and black background.

Graham Plumb, Oracle, 2024. Courtesy of the artist.

Graham Plumb
Associate professor, Interaction Design

“I spent part of my recent half-sabbatical researching the ways different professions attempt to imagine, predict, or prepare for the future. This research forms the groundwork for a series of interviews that will appear within an installation I call the Mechanical Oracle. Like an inquisitive interlocutor, the electro-mechanical machine scans an imaginary void for voices that bring to light the mystical methods, rational systems, creative approaches, design strategies, and data-driven techniques that lie behind each specialism. The Mechanical Oracle celebrates the human imagination’s power to speculate about the future, while also sharing insights on how we can gain agency over what lies ahead.”

Kathy Lam working on Belonging Benches with the CCA community.

Kathy Lam working on Belonging Benches with the CCA community.

Kathy Lam
Chair and faculty, Furniture

“As an educator I find great joy in creating space for students to make furniture together. My own practice is marked by a sense of community. What have I been up to lately? A collaborative furniture project titled Belonging Benches that provides places to rest on the CCA campus. A collaborative work in clay was exhibited in Los Angeles earlier this year. And this fall I’ll be hosting making workshops at a historic craft site in the redwood forests of Northern California.”

Fine Arts

The still pulses with queerness through the celluloid cracks of 16mm, red tape, and red nail polish.

TT Takemoto, After Bed, 2023 (still). Courtesy of the artist.

TT Takemoto
Associate professor, History of Art and Visual Culture and Director of Faculty Development and DEIB Academic Initiatives

“Recently I have been manipulating film footage and archival materials by painting, scratching, and lifting 16mm/35mm emulsion using razor blades, clear tape, and nail polish. I enjoy spending hours "touching history" related to the complex lives of queer Asian Americans. For me, this labor speaks to the difficulty of remembering in the absence of memory, especially when so many Asian American stories have been overlooked, censored, or obscured.”

Figures of people lying down with textured growing tree roots in a teal background printed on silk and cotton.

Ranu Mukherjee, Time Warriors, 2023. Courtesy Gallery Wendi Norris.

Ranu Mukherjee
Chair and professor, Film

“Outside of CCA, I work from my studio in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. I make collage-based paintings, film installations, performances, and public artworks to cultivate ecological, feminist, and multi-dimensional perspectives on time, energy, and power that I feel emerging from ruptured colonial legacies. I often layer materials and references, working with pigment and sari cloth or animation and choreography. My most recent exhibition was with Gallery Wendi Norris in New York. The gallery published my first monograph, Shadowtime, in 2021.”


Architecture projects, blue prints, and images, on a blue table.

Neeraj Bhatia, Life After Property, 2024. Photo by Philip Arnold.

Neeraj Bhatia
Associate professor, Architecture

“When I’m not teaching at CCA, I am deeply invested in my practice, THE OPEN WORKSHOP. The office is a design-research practice and works through a variety of mediums—books, exhibitions, and buildings. We are currently working on two edited volumes, Bracket [On Sharing] and Architecture Beyond Extraction—both examining questions of mutualism and reciprocity. In addition, we are developing an exhibition, Life After Property, which gathers a series of projects done in the past three years examining different forms of land tenure, ownership, and forms of access. Lastly, we have a building project under construction in the North Bay, designed as an intergenerational house. We work fluidly between these mediums and use them to be historically situated, as well as project into the future a more equitable society.”

Tree branches with persimmon fruit and images in between branches.

Margaret Ikeda, Legacy Project Assembly. Courtesy of the artist.

Margaret Ikeda
Faculty member, Architecture

“I work at a design studio I co-founded in Berkeley called Assembly. In the last decade, I have worked to develop a legacy project for a property bought by my grandparent’s Japanese farming community on the Central Coast in the 1920s. During World War II when increasing U.S. restrictions were imposed on people of Japanese descent, the site became a refuge. The goal is to honor this land which historically housed a school, community center, kitchen and was the central gathering space for a marginalized group of Japanese immigrants, for the benefit of the current community (defined in the East Cherry Avenue Specific Plan) without erasing the integrity of the site and the legacy of its activity.”

Humanities and Sciences

A comic strip of a person tending to their garden with background color themes being brown, green, and beige.

Yasmeen Abedifard, Death Bloom, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Yasmeen Abedifard
Faculty member, Comics

“Outside of campus life, my focus is on comics. When to Pick a Pomegranate is my upcoming comic that will be published by Silver Sprocket. My latest work, Death Bloom, earned the 2023 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Minicomic. I sell my work at comic and art events locally and beyond. With Daniel Zhou and Raul Higuera, I co-run D.R.Y., spotlighting the Bay Area comics scene. We’re crafting a 48-page Risograph anthology featuring 16 local artists. Additionally, with CCA faculty member Anna Firth, I collaborate on Wet Press, having released postcards from animated films and a 2024 calendar.”

A book cover titled Fire Season by Joseph Lease with an abstract background in red, green, blue and black shadows.

Fire Season, by Joseph Lease, 2023.

Joseph Lease
Professor, Writing and Literature

“As a full-time poet, my acclaimed works include Fire Season (Chax Press, 2023), The Body Ghost (Coffee House Press, 2018), Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011), and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). My poems “Broken World” (For James Assatly) and “Send My Roots Rain” were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology. “Broken World” was also anthologized in The Best American Poetry (Robert Creeley, Guest Editor). My writing delves into the intricacies of the human experience and the themes of identity, loss, emotion, and resilience resonate.”

Published on April 9, 2024.