Beyond the Classroom: Spring Student Programs at the Jacobs Institute

January 31, 2017 | 2:54 pm

In addition to a full lineup of public talks and events, the Jacobs Institute is offering programs created specifically for our student community this spring. The Design Night series continues this semester with the goal of providing accessible entry points to design for students from across campus. These one-off workshops, held in a Jacobs Hall makerspace, enable participants to gain tangible skills and invite them to participate in an active community of learning and making. The institute is also launching Design Field Trips, which provide an opportunity for Berkeley students to explore the Bay Area’s rich design ecosystem. By visiting companies, organizations, and projects at the cutting edge of design and technology innovation, students will learn about the many avenues for continuing their design practice beyond their time at Berkeley.


Design Night workshops are open to all UC Berkeley students and do not require a Maker Pass for participation, providing an opportunity to explore what’s possible in Jacobs Hall.

All workshops are free; registration will open roughly two weeks prior to each event. To receive an announcement when registration opens, sign up here.

Intermediate CAD in Fusion 360

Wednesday, February 15, 6-8pm | Jeff Lee, Applications Engineer at Autodesk

In this workshop, you will explore intermediate workflows in Fusion 360, which include Assembly and Simulation. Jeff will discuss fundamentals for learning to assemble parts (such as components, joints, and joint limits) as well as discuss various simulation types and simulation workflow.

As a prerequisite, students should understand basic part modeling (how to edit sketches, apply dimensions, edit features, etc.), as this will not be covered in the workshop. By the end of the workshop, you should be able to understand:

  • General concepts of components, joints, joint limits, simulation types, material selection, constraints, loads, contacts, and simulation results
  • Fundamentals of Assembly
  • When to conduct Simulation

Making Connections

Tuesday, February 28, 6-8pm | Matt Wolpe, Design Specialist at the Jacobs Institute

This Design Night will be a deeper dive into wood and metal’s properties as materials and specific techniques for makers to connect them. The workshop will start with a brief slideshow about material science, important distinctions (hardwood vs. softwood, sheet good vs. solid wood), then move into a slideshow of sample joints while passing around full-scale mockups and having a hands-on demo. The sample joints will be mainly focused on what we can do with the tools available at Jacobs Hall.

This workshop is designed for beginners. You will have the chance to learn:

  • Material property fundamentals of wood and metal for makers
  • Specific techniques to connect wood and metal, including advantages and disadvantages with each joint

Introduction to Solidworks

Friday, March 17, 1-3pm | Joshua Mouledoux, Student Supervisor at the Jacobs Institute

In this workshop, you will be introduced to Solidworks, a software for computer-aided design (CAD). The emphasis will be on creating part models and working assemblies, not on creating part drawings.

No previous experience is required, this will be a beginner’s level workshop. Participants will learn:

  • Why Solidworks?
  • How to create sketches and use them to form parts
  • How to create oblique geometry
  • How to create an assembly through mating parts together
  • Tips and tricks to perform slightly more difficult tasks more efficiently

Design Portfolio 101

Wednesday, April 19th, 6-8pm | Paula Te, Jacobs Design Fellow at the Jacobs Institute and Sara Krugman, Design Director at

Working on your portfolio and need advice? Already have an internship/job lined up, but wondering how to add future work to your portfolio? Building a portfolio for a specific goal you have in mind? Don’t know where to start?

Get portfolio advice and feedback from Sara Krugman and Paula Te, whose experiences cover the broad landscape of the design industry, from consulting to in-house to startups, and across multiple types of design (UI, UX, visual, interaction, product).

In this session, Sara and Paula will go through the essentials of a portfolio and what employers look for in one. They will share resources, tips, and advice for documentation and portfolio-building. You will share your portfolio in progress and get one-on-one feedback on how to improve it. Bring your portfolios and/or come prepared with projects in mind that you’d like to put into one; you will have time during the workshop to update or create a draft of your portfolio.

You will come away from the workshop with:

  • Good documentation strategies and resources
  • Knowledge of different portfolio-building platforms
  • Advice/feedback on your existing portfolio
  • A rough draft of how to structure documentation for your portfolio

Register for this workshop.


Design Field Trips will take place in various parts of the Bay Area. Unless otherwise specified, participating students should arrange their own transportation to/from the Field Trip location.

Registration will open roughly two weeks prior to each trip. To receive an announcement when registration opens, sign up here.

BeautyCooper Hewitt Triennial

Sunday, February 12, 12-1pm | San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

We will take a docent-guided tour of the Cooper Hewitt Triennial exhibition, which comprises 280 works by 57 international, cutting-edge designers from 27 countries. Featured projects range from experimental prototypes and interactive games to high-tech fashion and architecture made possible by new material technologies. Across the board, this exhibition is about beauty—and its uplifting, surprising, and inspiring impact on our lives. You are welcome and encouraged to stay after the tour to explore the exhibition and the rest of the museum on your own.

Cooper Headquarters

Friday, February 24, 1:30-3pm | Cooper, San Francisco

We will visit Cooper, an award-winning design and business strategy agency that is headquartered in San Francisco. Since 1992, Cooper has transformed thousands of companies, from startups to Fortune 10s, through design and business strategy and professional education. We will hear from members of the Cooper team (including a Berkeley alumna) about design methodologies and what it’s like to work in the design field, participate in a design thinking activity, and go on a tour of the brand-new Cooper office.

Autodesk Pier 9

Friday, April 14th 1-2pm | Autodesk Pier 9, San Francisco

We will take a guided tour of Autodesk Pier 9; launched in 2013, Pier 9 was designed as a place to explore every stage of the process of making things, from idea to digital model to real-world physical product. In this state-of-the-art digital fabrication workshop, a community of technical experts and creative partners collaborate on projects that dissolve the boundaries between software and hardware. We will learn about and see how Pier 9 makers are discovering ways to advance 3D design and fabrication technology, to change design, engineering, and manufacturing.