Inside the studio: Teaching Design Innovation

With the two-year anniversary of Jacobs Hall’s opening approaching, faculty members offer a look at how they’re bringing design innovation into the classroom, fostering creativity and collaboration within Jacobs Hall’s studios.

March 4, 2015 | 4:21 pm

Explore stories and upcoming events from the Jacobs Institute and our design innovation community. Want more information? Visit our media page or sign up for our newsletter. For information on past events at the Jacobs Institute, visit our events archive.

A Hands-on Introduction to Berkeley Engineering

August 16, 2017

Through the Maker Design Studio, incoming students participating in the Pre-Engineering Program got an early introduction to hands-on prototyping at Berkeley.

Inside the studio: Teaching Design Innovation

July 12, 2017

With the two-year anniversary of Jacobs Hall’s opening approaching, faculty members offer a look at how they’re bringing design innovation into the classroom, fostering creativity and collaboration within Jacobs Hall’s studios.

A Life And Career By Design: Paul Jacobs

July 6, 2017

California Magazine — Qualcomm executive chairman Paul Jacobs was named UC Berkeley’s 2017 Alumnus of the Year earlier this spring.

Five questions with Adam Hutz

June 29, 2017

In this Q&A, rhetoric doctoral candidate Adam Hutz discusses the “languages of making” and how he’s woven hands-on design and fabrication into his graduate experience.

Getting into the field

May 23, 2017

This spring, a pair of program series— Design Field Notes, a talk series that invites practitioners to share their work in a Jacobs Hall studio, and Design Field Trips, which allow students to visit professional design spaces —connected students with the Bay Area’s rich design ecosystem.

A look at the Jacobs Spring Design Showcase

May 8, 2017

Students from 17 courses held in Jacobs Hall — along with clubs and student-taught DeCals that use the building’s resources—presented projects at the 2017 Jacobs Spring Design Showcase.

An Interstellar Journey

April 26, 2017

Berkeley Engineering — Space Technologies @ California (STAC) is a group of students aiming to push the frontier of space research and the space industry. Team members can frequently be found at Jacobs Hall as they develop new ideas and work on their designs.

Five Questions with James Pierce

April 17, 2017

James Pierce is a designer and researcher who explores speculative design, design theory, and everyday social practices. In this Q&A, he discusses teaching at the Jacobs Institute and Berkeley’s context for design.

Newly Launched Berkeley Design Innovation Certificate Promotes Creativity, Collaboration at Cal

April 13, 2017

UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design — The newly launched Berkeley Certificate in Design Innovation — a partnership between the College of Environmental Design, the College of Engineering, the Haas School of Business, and the College of Letters and Science’s Arts and Humanities Division — assumes that innovation involves the integration of many modes of technology, knowledge, and thought.


April 11, 2017

Civil Engineering Magazine — Student group RISE, part of Berkeley’s interdisciplinary design community, will take an innovative, zero net energy house into a competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Jacobs Spring Design Showcase Lineup Announced

April 10, 2017

Students from 16 courses, along with design clubs and other makers, will showcase innovations in fields from health to socially engaged art at this open house.

48 Hours, 11 Innovations at TOM:Berkeley

March 25, 2017

In a 48-hour makeathon focused on developing custom solutions for everyday challenges encountered by people with disabilities, 11 teams worked with need-knowers to create prototypes.

Inviting Innovation Through Interdisciplinary Programming

March 21, 2017

Other Machine Company — This interview offers a look at how the Jacobs Institute approaches creating co-curricular programming and ensuring that spaces are inviting to students from all disciplines and experience levels.

Student projects honored in World Changing Ideas Awards

March 20, 2017

Two projects developed with resources at the Jacobs Institute, CITRIS Invention Lab, and Berkeley’s design ecosystem have been recognized in Fast Company’s first-ever World Changing Ideas Awards, which honor businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that offer innovative solutions to the issues facing humanity.

Makeathon to build tech for people with disabilities

March 17, 2017

Berkeley News — On the weekend of March 17-19, nearly 100 makers, students, and people with disabilities will gather at Jacobs Hall to develop custom solutions for everyday challenges.

Countering extremism with technology

March 14, 2017

Berkeley Engineering — Every Thursday afternoon, students gather in a light-filled teaching studio of Jacobs Hall to develop technology-based solutions to a very tangible problem: ideologically motivated violence.

Designing healthy futures

March 2, 2017

From 3D-printed prosthetics to smart devices, students at Jacobs Hall are exploring intersections of design and health — and pushing in new directions.

As 3D printing grows, so does need to reclaim plastic waste

February 16, 2017

Berkeley News — Berkeley students are leading the 3D Printer Filament Reclamation Project, working to make 3D printing more sustainable across campus.

Beyond the Classroom: Spring Student Programs at the Jacobs Institute

January 31, 2017

In the spring semester, the Jacobs Institute’s student programs will include a range of Design Night workshops, as well as several field trips to sites of design activity in the Bay Area.

Mark Hatch joins Jacobs Institute as entrepreneur-in-residence

January 19, 2017

The Jacobs Institute is pleased to announce that Mark Hatch, a leading voice in the maker movement, has joined the Jacobs Institute as Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

Spring events at Jacobs Hall

January 17, 2017

The Jacobs Institute is heading into 2017 with an exciting lineup of talks, public programs, and opportunities to explore design innovation.

Reimagining Mobility

December 20, 2016

In a new course offered by the Jacobs Institute, students explored cutting-edge mobility technology and prototyped novel transportation experiences.

A season of talks at Jacobs Hall: three themes we heard

December 19, 2016

Diverse design voices shared their insights and ideas in public talks at Jacobs Hall in the fall semester.

Berkeley students present projects in arts and design

December 15, 2016

Berkeley Arts + Design — Craft and creativity were on display across UC Berkeley’s campus at the end of fall 2016 as students across disciplines presented their final projects of the semester.

Jacobs Hall ranks platinum for sustainability

December 9, 2016

Berkeley Engineering — Jacobs Hall has received platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program.

Spotlight on R I S ☰, Berkeley’s Solar Decathlon Team

November 28, 2016

As it designs and builds a solar-powered home, Berkeley’s Solar Decathlon team is focused on creating sustainable community impact.

Designing for Dialogue

November 22, 2016

Exploring the relationships between technology, design, and public dialogue, students and faculty are working to create new modes of community conversation.

2016 Jacobs Winter Design Showcase Lineup Announced

November 21, 2016

On December 7 and 8, the Jacobs Institute will host the Jacobs Winter Design Showcase, an open house featuring innovative student work. With projects from students in 17 courses, the showcase offers an opportunity to meet student makers, explore new creations, and take part in Jacobs Hall’s richly interdisciplinary community.

Five Questions with Jingyi Li

November 3, 2016

Between coursework, research, and all kinds of creative making, student Jingyi Li is a frequent presence at Jacobs Hall. In this Q&A, Li talks about working across disciplines, the Berkeley design community, and more.

A Grand Tiny House

October 28, 2016

Berkeley Engineering — Focusing on sustainability, affordability, and durability, a team of Berkeley students placed second overall in a collegiate tiny house competition organized by the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District. As part of their process leading up to the competition, the interdisciplinary team ran a student-led DeCal course in Jacobs Hall in spring 2016.

Energy Department Recognizes Berkeley For Leadership in Campus Energy Innovations

October 27, 2016

U.S. Department of Energy — The Department of Energy cited Jacobs Hall in its recognition of UC Berkeley for leadership in campuswide energy innovations.

Spotlight on Berkeley Hyperloop

October 19, 2016

Berkeley Hyperloop is taking on an ambitious design challenge — and it’s part of a rich ecosystem of Berkeley students applying classroom learning and hands-on design skills to real-world challenges.

Halloween Makers’ Contest at Jacobs Hall

September 29, 2016

In the spirit of hands-on creation, the Jacobs Institute is hosting a Halloween Makers’ Contest open to everyone with a fall 2016 Maker Pass.

How robotic floats coaxed secrets of climate change from the ocean

September 12, 2016

Berkeley News — Berkeley Lab and Berkeley scientists, along with students, embarked on a 10-day research voyage to fine-tune robotic floats capable of measuring carbon cycles in the ocean, an important source of information about climate change. The team fabricated components of these floats using 3D printers in Jacobs Hall.

Two Student Projects Recognized in Innovation by Design Awards

September 12, 2016

Two student projects — an ecosystem of augmented power tools and a bioinspired water collection device — have been recognized in Fast Company’s 2016 Innovation by Design Awards.

Entry Points for Hands-on Making: Fall Design Nights

September 7, 2016

With the goal of providing accessible entry points to students from across campus, the Jacobs Institute will be offering four Design Night workshops in the fall semester. These one-off workshops, held in a Jacobs Hall makerspace, enable students to gain tangible skills and invite them to participate in an active community of learning and making.

Now in Residence: Artists at Jacobs Hall

September 6, 2016

The Jacobs Institute welcomes an inaugural cohort of three artists-in-residence, who will bring new ideas to life in Jacobs Hall during the fall semester.

Meet our Design Fellows

August 30, 2016

Three design fellows will join the Jacobs Institute community for the 2016-2017 school year, bringing new perspectives and wide-ranging areas of expertise.

Fall events at Jacobs Hall

August 23, 2016

From a pop-up series of informal talks to a student design showcase, the Jacobs Institute will produce a range of public talks and events in the fall semester.

New Joint Maker Pass Announced

August 10, 2016

The CITRIS Invention Lab and the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation are launching a new joint Maker Pass, enabling integrated access to these two spaces for prototyping and fabrication.


July 27, 2016

With the aim of encouraging novel usage of its space and equipment, the Jacobs Institute has launched an artist residency program. Open to all Berkeley students, the program invites artists and experimenters to propose projects that push the boundaries of what can be made in a makerspace.

Young makers build prosthetic hands for children in need

July 19, 2016

Berkeley Engineering — At Jacobs Hall, middle school-aged participants in Berkeley Engineering’s Girls in Engineering program build kid-size prosthetic hands from 3D-printed parts to donate to children in need.

New Course: Reimagining Mobility

June 14, 2016

In the fall 2016 semester, the Jacobs Institute will offer a new course that explores emerging trends in mobility, with a focus on problem-finding and the early stages of the design process. Participants in this interdisciplinary, project-based course will envision meaningful interactions between people and new transportation modalities.

Bringing Cutting-Edge 3D Printing to Berkeley

June 8, 2016

With the addition of a 3D printer that takes a new, photochemical approach to additive manufacturing, Jacobs Hall’s advanced prototyping lab continues to grow as a site of innovation.

Eric Paulos to Discuss Jacobs Institute at Design Education Symposium

May 25, 2016

Berkeley Center for New Media — Eric Paulos, acting chief learning officer of the Jacobs Institute, will discuss the institute as a plenary speaker in the first international symposium-workshop on the Future of Design & Design Futures at the Universidad de Ibagué (Colombia) in June. The 2016 theme for the program is Design Education: Towards Care-ability, offering an opportunity to discuss the unique format for cultivating design and innovation that the Jacobs Institute supports.

An Ecosystem of Impact

May 17, 2016

After a semester in which nearly 30 courses took place in Jacobs Hall, the Jacobs Spring Design Showcase offered a look at how an interdisciplinary ecosystem at Berkeley is fostering a focus on design for real impact.

Five Questions with Jeremy Fiance

April 25, 2016

Jeremy Fiance ’14 recently launched The House Fund to invest in Berkeley student, faculty, and alumni startups. In this Q&A, he discusses his involvement with Berkeley’s design and entrepreneurship communities.

Jacobs Hall Named a Top Green Project

April 22, 2016

American Institute of Architects — The American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment selected Jacobs Hall as one of this year’s top ten examples of sustainable architecture and ecological design projects that protect and enhance the environment.

Jacobs Spring Design Showcase Lineup Announced

April 20, 2016

On May 4 and 5, the Jacobs Institute will host an “open house” showcase of student work. Featuring displays and demos from 16 courses held in Jacobs Hall in the spring 2016 semester, the showcase will be an opportunity to meet student makers and explore interdisciplinary design coursework.

Remembering David Dornfeld, 1949-2016

April 12, 2016

Berkeley Engineering — David A. Dornfeld was the founding faculty director of the Jacobs Institute. A renowned manufacturing expert, he was widely admired as a teacher and well-regarded as a thoughtful leader.

Global Urban Humanities Open House + Book Fair


Celebrate the fifth year of activities for the Global Urban Humanities Initiative, which studies global cities by bringing together scholars, artists and designers from the arts and humanities, architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning.

Design and Diversity

06.01.2017 — 09.07.2017

This exhibit of original materials from UC Berkeley’s Environmental Design Archives showcases a nexus of design and diversity.

Towards Inclusive Tech

09.14.2017 — 09.15.2017

This conference, co-sponsored by UC Berkeley’s School of Information and the Center for Gender, Equity, and Leadership (CGEL) and the Institute for Business and Social Impact, both at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, seeks to engage a robust dialogue between researchers and practitioners about how to build more inclusive technical education and workplaces — and to inspire a new generation of scholarship and practice in the area.

Impact Design Education Summit


With support from the Autodesk Foundation, the Blum Center for Developing Economies will host the Impact Design Education Summit to bring together educators and practitioners to discuss the state of university-based impact design education.