Summer Programs

Disc* [Design & Innovation for Sustainable Cities]

July 3 - August 4, 2017

Disc* is an intensive five-week summer program for current college students offered by UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design that explores an interdisciplinary and multi-scalar approach to design and analysis in the urban environment. Disc* participants engage with the discourses of urban innovation, acquiring the tools and expertise necessary to craft design-based solutions that meet the urgent challenges of global urbanization.

The Program

Guided by UC Berkeley faculty, Bay Area urbanists, designers, makers, and entrepreneurs, Disc* students learn how to confront the most pressing challenges of global urbanization using innovative people-centered design. Through design and digital fabrication studio sessions, lectures and talks, demos and workshops, field work and site visits, students have the opportunity to develop and test their own creative ideas while working with some of the most forward-thinking researchers and practitioners from the Bay Area design community.  Disc* graduates have a strong understanding of the present and future of global urbanization processes and a broad toolkit with which to tackle its urgent demands, as well as compelling artifacts for their academic portfolio.


The program is built upon four main platforms. The Urban Innovation Talks introduce students to the most forward-thinking researchers and practitioners from the Bay Area design Community.


Fieldwork + Site Visits give students an opportunity to engage directly with the dynamic built and natural environment of the Bay Area while meeting with expert guest speakers.


The Global Cities/Global Communities + Urban Innovation Seminars are meant to develop a theoretical framework for understanding the complex urban issues that face cities and strategies for design.


The Studio + Digital Workshops are at the core of the program, building skills and offering a hands-on makerspace for creative work to take place. Working in teams, students develop a project from design conception to final prototyping and present the final result of their work to instructors and guest critics.


"Disc*2016 challenged me to think more critically and globally, and it also sparked a newly discovered passion... I will continue pursuing this passion in the future, and what I'm taking away from Disc will carry into the future. I feel truly accomplished, and having the chance to do it all in the Bay area is something I will never forget!"


-Disc*2016 alum


Why Should I Attend?

  • Identify and explore the major debates around global urbanization and sustainability.
  • Understand the potentials and limitations of design and technology interventions.
  • Construct a project that spans from concept to design and fabrication.
  • Connect with a network of highly engaged colleagues, faculty and practitioners.
  • Earn college-level credit on an official UC Berkeley transcript.