Explore design beyond campus: Jacobs Design Field Trips

September 24, 2018 | 2:59 pm

This fall, students will have the chance to explore design beyond campus through our Jacobs Design Field Trips. Attendees will visit sites at the cutting edge of design and technology innovation and learn about wide-ranging avenues for continuing their design practice beyond their time at Berkeley. Read on to learn about this semester’s field trip lineup and register to join.

Field Trip Lineup


Friday, October 5th | 2:45-5pm | Bolt office, San Francisco

Bolt is a venture capital firm focused on pre-seed, pre-product companies. Their portfolio is a mix of consumer, enterprise, and industrial projects. Bolt companies leverage the firm’s office space, prototyping lab, and full-time engineering team to position themselves for further fundraising. During our field trip, we will get a guided tour of the prototyping shop and have an opportunity to ask questions about what it’s like to work with a VC firm, from the perspective of Bolt and their portfolio companies.

If you are interested in learning more about Bolt, you can reach out to Eric Weinhoffer, Prototype Engineer at Bolt and Jacobs Design Fellow.

Facebook Area 404

Friday, October 19th | 12:30-5:30pm* | Facebook headquarters, Menlo Park

Area 404 is Facebook’s 22,000-square-foot lab, outfitted with state-of-the-art machine tools and test equipment. It supports hardware innovation across Facebook in two ways: 1) building out and maintaining hardware development environments for teams across Facebook and 2) partnering with product teams to help bring up their hardware with prototyping and engineering services. We will visit different areas of the lab during our tour, including Electronics Engineering, Failure Analysis, Inspection & Metrology, the Manual Machine Shop, the CNC Machine Shop, as well as the “Candy Store,” where we’ll encounter robots, levitation, curved LCD screens, and more!

* This time is inclusive of travel time to and from Facebook via charter bus. The actual tour will be 2-3:30pm.

The World of Ray and Charles Eames at the Oakland Museum of California

Friday, November 2nd | 1:45-3pm | Oakland Museum of California, Oakland

We will take a docent-led tour of The World of Charles and Ray Eames, an exhibition curated and organized by the Barbican, London. Fueled by their belief in design as a way of life, the innovative husband and wife duo Charles and Ray Eames were two of the most influential designers of the twentieth century. Going beyond their most well-known designs, the exhibition portrays their legacy and lives in California. We will explore the breadth of their work across many fields in this interactive exhibition that brings their ideas and playful spirit to life.

Sequential (formerly Dave Smith Instruments)

Thursday, November 8th | 3:45-5:30pm | Sequential office, San Francisco

Join us for a field trip to Sequential (formerly Dave Smith Instruments) a company that develops and manufactures electronic musical synthesizers for professional and semi-professional musicians across the globe. Its clients have ranged from Pink Floyd to Taylor Swift and from Arcade Fire to Lady Gaga. During the studio tour, we will hear directly from company founder, Grammy award winner, and Cal alumnus Dave Smith about his creative innovation process, and how he turned his passion for developing cool instruments into a successful business.

Smith got his start while an electrical engineering and computer science student at Berkeley. In 1974, he built his first hardware product, a 16-step analog sequencer, which ultimately led to the birth of Sequential Circuits, a company he ran until it was bought by Yamaha in 1987. Smith is sometimes referred to as the father of MIDI, or musical instrument digital interface. He also built Prophet-5, the first fully-programmable polyphonic synthesizer of its kind and the first musical instrument to include an embedded microprocessor.


Design Field Trips are open to all Berkeley students and free (though students will arrange their own transportation, unless otherwise specified). Go here to register for field trips; registration opens roughly two weeks prior to each trip. To receive an announcement when registration opens for a particular field trip, sign up here.