Jacobs Hall COVID-19 Response

May 19, 2021 | 10:00 am

We will be adding updates to the beginning of this news post as they become available. Information in newer announcements supersedes the information in older announcements.

Reopening Updates

As the UC Berkeley campus begins to reopen, the Jacobs Institute will continue to follow all campus guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and faculty. As of May 2021, the following plans have been set in place for the summer and fall of 2021. Please keep in mind that these plans could change pending campus and public health guidelines; major updates to Jacobs reopening plans will be posted here. 

Summer 2021

Summer 2021 will continue with remote instruction and our Makerspace will continue to be closed for physical access. Our remote fabrication services (Jacobs Project Support) and remote 3D printing services (Jacobs Self Service Printing) will continue to be offered to research groups, students enrolled in summer courses, as well as the general campus community. Our Design Specialists will also continue to provide remote project support through JPS and Virtual Office hours. Our student advisors and other program staff will also be working remotely and reachable through online channels during the summer. There will be no in-person public events; our Summer Design Showcase will be held virtually at the end of the summer session on August 13th. 

Fall 2021

Unless otherwise noted in the Schedule of Classes, classes will resume regular in-person instruction. The Jacobs Makerspace will reopen following capacity guidelines set in place to align with campus-wide policies. For the wider campus community, we will continue to offer Jacobs Project Support and Jacobs Self Service Printing options. For Jacobs-affiliated courses, programs and student groups, we plan to reintroduce the Maker Pass program, which allows for hands-on instruction and usage of our fabrication equipment. We will also be reopening the Research Maker Pass program. Students will be able to get support from Jacobs technical and program staff both in-person and online, as our staff return to campus. Jacobs speaking engagements and public events will continue remotely for the time being, though this may change as campus expands in-person activities alongside city and state-wide safety protocols. Student-run activities will be hosted in the building in accordance with campus guidelines.

Spring 2021 Update

As of November 2020, we will continue with remote learning for the spring 2021 semester, following campus and county-wide health guidelines. Our Jacobs Project Support system and other tools for project facilitation will continue for student work and research. We will update this page with any new information about instruction and campus access as we receive it from campus officials. To learn more about JPS and other project support, visit our Makerspace Access page.

Fall 2020 Update

The fall 2020 semester will be facilitated through remote learning, and Jacobs Hall will remain closed to non-essential community members. For project support, we have initiated the Jacobs Project Support (JPS) and Makerfleet systems, for student work and research. Please visit our Makerspace Access page to learn more about this program.

July 30th Update

Though the Makerspace remains closed to non-essential community members, we are dedicated to supporting research, our Design Innovation students and coursework, and the campus community to the best of our ability for the Fall 2020 semester. Please visit the full Makerspace Access During COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place page to learn more about project facilitation and Makerspace support during shelter-in-place.

July 21st Update

Following campus guidelines, all courses for the fall semester will begin with remote instruction. The campus will continue to prepare for hybrid modes of instruction should public health conditions change. Should limited in-person instruction become possible at some point in the term, students will still be able to work remotely should they prefer. All instruction will remain remotely after Thanksgiving, as previously planned.

As of now, there will be no in-person events held at Jacobs Hall, as per campus instructions. Reunion and Parents Weekend at Homecoming will be held digitally, as will our recurring speaker series, Design Conversations. Please check back for a link to participate in this speaker series.

Student clubs and meetings are also postponed from meeting at Jacobs Hall for the time being.

June 25th Update

For Fall instruction, public programming, student groups and events, and general building operations, the Jacobs Institute will continue to comply with campus leadership, as well as county and state-wide guidelines. Please note this information is subject to change based on this instruction. 

Course Instruction

  • DES INV Courses and Decals: Most courses, including DES INV courses, will be offered remotely; a select number of courses will be offered in-person or through a hybrid model. To get information about the format for each course, please visit the Berkeley Class Schedule.
  • Because DES INV 95, Design Field Notes will be offered remotely and no longer has room constraints, we will increase its enrollment capacity.
  • Departmental courses and Decals: For the status of departmental course offerings and Decals, please check with departments and instructors directly or visit the Berkeley Class Schedule. We expect many of the courses scheduled for Jacobs Hall to move online due to their size. 

Makerspace Access

  • Access to the Makerspace will be limited to Research Maker Pass holders, DES INV course projects, and Innovations Catalysts grantee projects. Due to limited staffing and social distancing space constraints, this access will also be limited to a job shop model where projects are submitted to, and fabricated by, our technical staff.
  • Students will have the ability to meet remotely with technical staff, and arrange for remote pick-up for their parts.
  • Students can continue to schedule remote office hours with Design Specialists.
  • Please visit the Making at UC Berkeley map for a resource list of alternative fabrication resources in the Bay Area.

Building Access

  • Building access will be strictly limited to currently enrolled students and instructional staff for in-person classes. The Makerspace will be closed to general access.  We will update our community as this model changes.


  • Researchers can sign up for a Research Maker Pass to get access to our job shop model.

Jacobs Events & Programs

  • We will continue with virtual versions of our Design Conversations speaker series and our semesterly Design Showcase. Please check the News and Events page for updated dates and information on how to participate.

Jacobs Student Resources

  • All student resources and programs will be offered run remotely, including student advising and Design Fellows mentorship. 
  • We will continue to host our successful Virtual Workshop series. For the ongoing list and information on how to join, please visit the Virtual Workshop page. 
  • We will not be running in-person programming, such as Design Field Trips, for the Fall semester.
  • Throughout this summer and the coming year, the Jacobs team will develop alternatives and new resources to remotely support our student community. If you have suggestions, please send them to Amy Dinh.

Student-Run Clubs and Events

  • Based on campus guidelines, we will not be able to host student club meetings and events in Jacobs Hall for the Fall.
  • The Jacobs Institute is committed to supporting online student events through promotion, connections to guest speakers, and other resources. Please reach out to Lauren Ardis or Amy Dinh about requests and ideas for supporting student activities. 

May 26th Update

The Bay Area’s shelter-in-place guidelines will continue until further notice, in compliance with the City of Berkeley, our main public health authority that governs campus operations. In addition to the City of Berkeley, we are also working under guidance from Alameda County, the State of California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal bodies, and the UC Office of the President. We will continue to update this news post at more information becomes available.

May 4th Update

The Bay Area’s shelter-in-place guidelines have now been extended through May 31.

All summer courses offered at Jacobs Hall have been moved to remote facilitation. Learn more and register here.

Based on Campus’s guidance around reduced campus operations continuing into the summer, we will not be offering Maker Pass access this summer. The Jacobs team will continue to utilize our Makerspace and technical resources to support critical research, and hope to expand to support course work and general research, as guidelines allow. Learn more about Maker Pass summer resources on our Maker Pass Updates post.

April 6th Update 

Following guidance from state, county, and campus leaders, Jacobs Hall will stay closed for the semester. New updates are below; the other changes to programs and operations described in the March 16th update will also remain in place.

Jacobs Events & Programs

  • There are no in-person events while Jacobs Hall is closed, but we will continue to engage with our community online.

  • Attend a virtual skills-building workshop in April.

  • Join us for Digital Cal Week, with Jacobs events on April 18th and April 22nd.

  • The virtual Jacobs Design Showcase will be held on May 6th and 7th. More details will be shared soon.

March 16th Update

Per the latest campus announcement about Alameda County’s shelter-in-place order, the following changes will affect Jacobs Hall programs and operations from Tuesday 3/17 through Tuesday 4/7.

Course Instruction

  • All in-person instruction is canceled for the remainder of the semester.

Maker Pass Access

  • The Jacobs Hall makerspaces will be closed.
  • During the closure period, please be reminded that remote design consultation and mentorship for Maker Pass holders with our Design Specialists is still available here.
  • For more Maker Pass program-specific related updates, review this news post.

Building Access

  • All of Jacobs Hall, including the teaching studios and offices, will be closed.

Jacobs Events & Programs

  • There will be no events held at Jacobs through 4/7.
  • Please review the March 14th announcement below for a more detailed list of event changes.

Student-led Activities

  • As Jacobs Hall is closed, there will be no student activities, including meetings and events, in the building.

Staff Contact

  • Jacobs staff have shifted to working remotely and can be contacted via email.

March 14th Update

Based on Chancellor Carol Christ’s announcement regarding actions designed to limit coronavirus (COVID-19) risk on campus, we are implementing the following changes to programs and operations at Jacobs Hall, effective immediately through March 29, through the end of spring break. We will email announcements and update this news post with any relevant changes. 

We thank all members of the Jacobs community for your resilience and adaptability during this time.

Course Instruction

  • Beginning Tuesday, March 10, most in-person classes are suspended; lectures and discussion instruction will move to remote, web-based alternatives through the end of the spring semester. 
  • For the small number of courses that do not have a remote option, students will need to get guidance from their instructors on how they are adopting social distancing practices.
  • Should campus reopen courses for in-person instruction at some point, in-person course attendance will not be mandatory for the rest of the semester. Students who are able to make a decision now to finish this semester remotely are welcome to do so.

Maker Pass Access

  • The Jacobs Hall makerspaces will be closed, beginning 3/14 thorugh 3/29. We will update you on makerspace accessibility as the date gets closer. 
  • We have arranged for Maker Pass holders to pick up any work left at Jacobs Hall during the following times:

    • Tuesday 3/17 10 AM-3 PM

    • Wednesday 3/18 10 AM-3 PM

  • During the closure period, please be reminded that remote design consultation and mentorship for Maker Pass holders with our Design Specialists is still available here.

Building Access

  • Jacobs Hall general building access hours will remain open from 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM, Monday through Friday. With the makerspace closed, only the teaching studios are open at this time.

Jacobs Events & Programs

  • Design Conversations with Leah Buechley, scheduled for 3/13 is postponed until further notice.
  • Design Field Notes with Mark Cordell Holmes (3/30), Nadia Gathers (4/6), and David Merrill (4/13) are postponed until further notice.
  • Design Conversations with Bryce Johnson, scheduled for 4/3 is TBD.
  • UC Berkeley’s annual welcome and visit day, Cal Day, scheduled for 4/18 is canceled, campus-wide.

Student-led Activities

  • Student club leaders can elect to continue their meetings and events in Jacobs Hall, as long as their activities are in-line with current campus policies. 

Staff Contact

  • Jacobs staff have been given the flexibility to work remotely. If a staff person is not present in the building, you can contact them via email.
  • If you have general questions, please email jacobsinstitute@berkeley.edu