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Jacobs Institute launches new Master of Design degree with Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design

With applications opening in Fall 2019, a new Master of Design program will prepare students for creative and technical roles at the intersection of design, policy, and activism.

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Respecting our Relations: Dori Tunstall on Decolonizing Design

After her recent talk at Jacobs Hall, we spoke with anthropologist Dori Tunstall (Dean of Design, OCAD) about respect and decolonization in design and a new model for our relation to technology.

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Join Our Team!

Three open positions at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation offer opportunities to manage the digital infrastructure of UC Berkeley’s largest makerspace and contribute to public programs and storytelling at the intersection of design and technology; and oversee our new Master of Design program. We also continue to welcome applications to our Lecturer Pool.

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Making Do before Making New: Fabien Cappello Rethinks Design’s Social Values

“We don’t need more brands, rather I feel the urgency to redefine our role as designers, not as generators of capital but as catalysts of cultural and social values.”

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Courses: Fall 2019


The design, implementation, and evaluation of user interfaces. User-centered design and task analysis. Conceptual models and interface metaphors. Usability inspection and evaluation methods. Analysis of user study data. Input methods (keyboard, pointing, touch, tangible) and input models. Visual design principles. Interface prototyping and implementation methodologies and tools. Students will develop a user interface for a specific task and target user group in teams.

Eric Paulos | 4 units


This course, ideal for students who are looking for an introduction to the broad world of design, covers design careers, design fields, histories of design and ethics in design. Students will gain language for analyzing and characterizing designs. In this course, you will be learning design both from theoretical and historical perspectives, and from studio-based design exercises and projects. The weekly assignments and final projects will emphasize foundational design skills in observation, ideation, problem finding and problem-solving, form-giving, communication, and critique.

Yoon Bahk | 2 units


Good ideas alone are not the key to being a great designer or innovator. Rather, it is the strong process and communication skills that will make you stand out as a design practitioner and leader. In today’s landscape of product design and innovation, great visual communicators must know how to 1) effectively and confidently sketch by hand, 2) understand and utilize the basics of visual design, and 3) tell captivating and compelling stories. This course, offered in a project-based learning format, will give participants practice and confidence in their ability to communicate visually.

Purin Phanichphant | 3 units


This course introduces students to key vocabularies, forms, and histories from the many arts and design disciplines represented at UC Berkeley. It is conceived each year around a central theme that responds to significant works and events on the campus, providing an introduction to the many art and design resources available to students on campus.

This fall we will focus on design and its connection to the arts across a range of disciplinary contexts. We will explore the role of design in imagining the built environment (architecture, city planning), in framing our experience of “new” media and technology, as well as design’s intersections with allied creative fields (theater, exhibition, public art, craft). Throughout, we will consider how design offers a toolkit for framing and approaching complex problems and how responsible design emerges through news forms of collaboration with a broad field of experts—including users, artists, engineers, scientists, and others. Moreover, we will consider how creative workers address key social issues through their practice. How, for instance, do data-driven systems for decision-making affect inclusivity and equality? How will artificial intelligence shape the future of work and the future of cultural life? How will designers and their collaborators work together to address issues of climate and sustainability? As today’s most pressing challenges cut across disciplinary boundaries, designers are articulating new methods for connecting the conceptual knowledge for asking, “Why?” with technical skills for asking, “How?”

Robert Kett and Bjoern Hartmann | 3 Units