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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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This year, the Jacobs Institute will solicit feedback from our student community and revisit the design of our programs to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019

Design Conversations: Aza Raskin

Join us for a talk by Aza Raskin, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology and former Head of User Experience for Mozilla Labs.

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DECEMBER 11-12, 2019

Jacobs Winter Design Showcase, Dec 11-12

On Wednesday, December 11, and Thursday, December 12, please join the Jacobs Institute for the Jacobs Winter Design Showcase. At this open house, you can meet student designers, check out innovations in fields from health to mobility, and celebrate the…

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Courses: Spring 2020


In this one-semester, P/NP course, students will attend the weekly Design Field Notes speaker series, which features local design practitioners who share real-world stories about their projects, practices, and perspectives. Talks are scheduled most weeks during the semester; during any off weeks, students will engage in facilitated discussions.


This course is a fast-paced introduction to a suite of foundational design, prototyping, communication, and technical skills that are essential to a successful career within the design of emerging technologies. It introduces students to design thinking and the basic practices of interaction design. It follows a human-centered design process that includes research, concept generation, prototyping, and refinement. Students will become familiar with design methodologies such as sketching, storyboarding, wireframing, prototyping, etc. It also develops fluency across a range of core technologies and how to operationalize them within a design context. Students must work effectively as individuals and in small teams to design a range of interactive experiences using various technologies.


The emergence of robotics in creative sectors has sparked an entirely new movement of collective making that is inextricably open and future-oriented. Challenged by increasingly complex technological and environmental problems, architects, designers, and engineers are seeking novel practices of collaboration that go far beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. This collective approach to working with robots is not only revolutionizing how things are designed and made, but is fundamentally transforming the culture, politics, and economics of the creative industries as a whole. Unlike most other CNC devices, today’s robotic arms are not restricted to any particular application but can readily be customized and programmed to suit a wide range of specific intentions, both at the material and conceptual level. This versatility has shifted the perception of robots as mechanistic, utilitarian devices suited to standard serial production, towards understanding them as creative tools for exploring, designing, and realizing physical objects and the built environment. The goal of this class is to investigate the unique possibilities of robotic manufacturing and combining it with emerging technologies such as AR/VR, 3D scanning, and data-driven 3D printing for the development of new and creative building processes. Working together as one team, the students in the class are given the task to envision a novel workflow for smart fabrication and human-robot interaction that could fundamentally change how we are going to produce, assemble, and operate our built environment in the future.

This course is open to graduate students from the fields of architecture, electrical engineering, and computer science. Prior experience in robot programming, AR/VR, 3D printing, 3D scanning, and design programs such as Rhinoceros and Grasshopper would be beneficial.