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Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Environmental Design

“Environmental Design is a human-centered discipline that is focused on the design of a user’s total experience. We span the creative environment between spatial, object and emotional communication.”

David Mocarski, Chair

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Art Center’s Environmental Design Department focuses on the design of the total spatial experience—from the first moment of encounter to the last moment of interaction. We believe that the strength of a project’s message is based on the power of the story content and context that it defines, the interaction it creates, and the emotional interface that it accomplishes.

Our Environmental Design students approach design from the inside out. By understanding the emotional outcome or need, we are able to craft a stronger message to drive the context of the project. Our students tackle a broad spectrum of projects including: branded retail sites, theme restaurants, exhibition design and residential spaces. We focus on delivering effective, inclusive environments using sustainable materials and manufacturing practices.

Students develop a global sense of design that investigates where and how people live, work and play—as well as a passion for designing not just what goes inside the box, but rethinking where and why the box exists. They explore new ways to blend technology and humanity to enhance ergonomics, simplify use and create emotional impact. Projects vary in scale from a single piece of furniture to a complete experience.

Through Transdisciplinary Studios, often sponsored by corporate clients, and Designmatters projects on behalf of humanitarian organizations, our students are able to apply their skills for commercial and nonprofit causes.

We intend to show that by having a strong grasp of design history, an astute awareness of present design trends and a long gaze to the future, environmental designers can contribute to the way in which future design interfaces, supports and drives our culture.

Art Center now offers a graduate degree in Environmental Design for students to specialize and obtain advanced knowledge in Spatial Experience or Furniture and Fixtures.

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