By designing curriculum that reaches across different departments, colleges and fields, the College of Environmental Design (CED) seeks to train students who have an interdisciplinary approach to solving today’s most pressing problems. Through the creation of interdisciplinary programs, CED students are well equipped to tackle design challenges from multiple perspectives and on different scales.
Fall 2018 Activity Update
The Master of Real Estate Development + Design (MRED+D) Program
The new MRED+D, which welcomed its inaugural cohort of 16 students during the summer of 2018, is already on course to become a leading program in the field of real estate design and innovation nationwide. Created to train the next generation of real estate professionals in the Bay Area, these students are learning what it means to build the sustainable, equitable and prosperous cities for the future. Highly interdisciplinary in nature, this program draws upon the expertise of faculty across all CED departments and actively engages the professional sector inside and outside the classroom.
By taking courses such as Public-Private Partnerships, Strategies & Tools, Development Finance, Professional Practice, Principles for Sustainable Environmental Design, and a summative development + design studio, MRED+D students obtain their degree within 3 semesters and are positioned to use their cross-disciplinary vocabulary to work across industry lines and develop the type of real estate solutions that responsibly address affordability, resilience, design, ecological and social norms.
The Master of Design (MDes) Proposal
In partnership with the College of Engineering (CoE), CED submitted a proposal to the university to launch a new Master of Design (MDes) self-supporting graduate degree program. This proposal taps into the expertise of faculty from both colleges and is now with Graduate Division for a multi-layered review process.
With a 2020 program start, this degree would span 3 semesters and focus on the intersection of design, technology, and social practice. Students graduating from this professional masters program might seek jobs in areas such as artistic production, technological innovation, product design and design interventions in cities. The goal of this program is to train early to mid-career professionals (with 1-3 years of work experience) through 6 core courses and studios, and a handful of electives in CED and CoE for a total of 38 units.
This effort is spearheaded by CED’s own Professor of Architecture, Nicholas de Monchaux, alongside Landscape Architecture professor, Walter Hood, in concert with CoE colleagues: Bjoern Hartmann, faculty director for the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation and Associate Professor of Computer Science, Eric Paulos, Chief Learning Officer for the Jacobs Institute and associate professor for Computer Science, and Emily Rice, Director of Programs and Operations at the Jacobs Institute.
The CED Global Access Program (CED-GAP)
CED-GAP is a specialized study abroad program that began in the Spring of 2018 for international students hoping to gain an “inside look” into the innovation occurring within CED’s departments. This unique program offers an opportunity for international students to fully integrate themselves into life at the college through meaningful cohort experiences that include site visits to professional firms, immersive California field trips and social activities. Each semester CED-GAP students take 3 CED courses and 1 specialized fundamental studio called: “You Are Here, Bay Area Transformations.”
Along with curated coursework, students enjoy pre-planned visits to firms and companies such as Surface Design Inc., Aidlin Darling Design firm and Pinterest Headquarters. Field trips to museums like the De Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences are also a cornerstone of this program. Hands-on studio work that takes place in CED’s Digital Fabrication Lab, Fabrication Shop and computer labs, further augments the learning experience. Field trips to natural California environments, such as the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge, which the studio project is centered around, also create a true curriculum crossroads between nature, culture and course work.
The Global Leadership Program
The Global Leadership Program is a new initiative as of Summer 2018 that provides the professional sector with access to the resources and expertise of CED’s world-renowned faculty. Through this program senior executives, practitioners, government agencies and civil servants have the opportunity to visit Berkeley for short-term, custom programs that are specifically designed to meet the professional needs and practice-based inquiries of these groups. Custom leadership programs feature faculty lectures, site visits and talks from some of the most well-respected academics in the country, who are at the forefront of research that the both the public and private sector relies on to anticipate future growth and forwarding looking interventions in cities.
In the spring of 2018 CED offered its first Global Leadership Program to a group of 20 individuals from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority in India. This delegation took courses from CED faculty members over a two-week timeframe, on topics such as: “Energy Efficient Building Technologies”, a talk by Associate Professor of Architecture Stefano Schaivon, and “US Housing Policy, Programs and Finance” taught by Terner Center Visiting Scholar and former Region IX HUD Administrator, Ophelia Basgal. In addition to in-class learning and discussion, the group toured sites like Factory OS and the San Francisco Shipyards Project. The second custom program offered by CED in the summer of 2018 was tailored to a group of Ph.D. students from Shanghai University and Shanghai Academy, who were interested in exploring the intersection between sustainability and economic development. Talks on topics such as, “Housing for the Future: Eco-Block” presented by Harrison Fraker, F.A.I.A., Chair, Energy Resources Group and CED Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and site visits to places like the UC Berkeley Garden Village Student Housing project, proved to be fruitful and exciting for this co-hort of international guests.
Global Urban Humanities Certificate updates
The Global Urban Humanities (GUH) Certificate which was formalized in 2017, is now in full effect offering an interdisciplinary experience for undergrads and graduates who want to explore the complexities and overlaps between the humanities, policy, art and design realms. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, GUH allows students to combine methods including ethnography, mapping, visual representation, and even choreography and theater in order to better understand global cities. In the Fall of 2018 students will be invited to participate in upcoming talks on various GUH topics such as a discussion on, “New Orleans: Historical Memory and Urban Design”.
Certificate in Design Innovation updates
The Berkeley Certificate in Design Innovation is another example of curriculum crossroads in that it is an interdisciplinary approach to design through courses taught in four schools across campus: CED, College of Engineering, the Arts and Humanities Division, and the Haas School of Business. Through this certificate, students learn how to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of innovation, from idea to execution and beyond. Industry partnerships that support this program have only increased its popularity across campus, attracting a diverse and wide array of students who contribute to meaningful conversations about the future of our cities.