embARC Summer Design Academy

Why Berkeley?

At Berkeley, our faculty and students participate in real-world issues, challenging current thinking and working to design a better future. As a CED student, you’ll be a part of one of the most highly rated institutions in the world, among renowned faculty and a richly diverse community of students, in an unparalleled intellectually dynamic environment.

Founded in the wake of the California gold rush, the University of California's flagship campus at Berkeley has become one of the preeminent universities in the world — a catalyst of economic growth and social innovation and a place where talented students from a variety of backgrounds and means come together to explore their potential and shape the future.

Photo: Blake Garden, UC Berkeley


Located on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay, with spectacular views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Berkeley campus occupies 1232 tranquil wooded acres, of which 178 comprise the central core. As you wander through campus you’ll be surrounded by historically significant Beaux Art classical and collegiate gothic-style buildings designed by John Galen Howard as well as structures by Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles Moore and Joseph Esherick. 

There is a wonder of things to see, explore and experience at Berkeley. The campus is home to 32 libraries — in 2008, the Association of Research Libraries ranked the UC Berkeley's University Library as the No. 1 public research university library in the country. Berkeley hosts numerous museums and galleries, including seven natural history museums; the Berkeley Art Museum, which houses diverse collections of more than 13,000 objects; and the Pacific Film Archive, which includes 10,000 films.

View of the Beautiful Berkeley Campus

Photo: David Schmitz


Why the Bay Area?

Renowned for its natural beauty, entrepreneurialism, rich history and diversity, there is no better place to study, learn and have fun than the San Francisco Bay area.

NATURAL BEAUTY: From the dense urban landscapes of downtown San Francisco to the open spaces of the Oakland Hills and the spectacular San Francisco Bay, the Bay Area offers incredible opportunities to explore and be inspired. We are surrounded by hills, mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The Bay Area has a special beauty found nowhere else in the world. The temperate climate and geographic diversity guarantee that there will be something fun to do outside the classroom year round, whether it's hiking in Muir Woods and the East Bay Regional Parks, kayaking in the Bay, snowboarding in Tahoe, or skating in Golden Gate Park.


Bicycle riding along the creek at UC Berkeley

Photo: Steve McConnell, UC Berkeley


ENTREPRENEURIALISM: The vibrant and diverse culture in the Bay Area fuels innovation — we are home to many of the industry leaders in technology such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Apple — making it one of the most exciting places in the country to live and work.

HISTORY: The rich history of the Bay area, and its booming enterprise, are evidenced in our many outstanding examples of architecture, urban planning, and landscape design. Examples by Frederick Law Olmsted, Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, Thomas Church, Jack Kent, William Wurster, Harwell H. Harris, Robert Royston, Charles Moore, Peter Walker, Joseph Eichler, Allan Jacobs, Peter Calthorpe, Renzo Piano, Thom Mayne, Herzog & de Meuron, and Snöhetta, are only a small handful of the iconic designers and planners who have left their mark here. It’s no surprise that many world class architecture and landscape design firms have chosen to make their home in the Bay Area.

DIVERSITY: Anywhere you go in the Bay Area, there’s a community vibe that immediately makes you feel welcome. With Berkeley at its core, there truly is no better place to design your future.

Why CED?

The College of Environmental Design (CED) has been at the forefront of environmental design education since our founding in 1959. We were the first to combine architecture, planning, and landscape architecture into a single college. All of our programs are designed to guide students toward the creation of sustainable and beautiful buildings, environments, and communities based on sound ethical, social, and ecological principles.

San Francisco City Scape