Testlab Berlin: Future of Work

Majors open to

Environmental Design

Product Design

Other majors by petition

Host Department

Environmental Design

Faculty Lead

Rob Ball (ENV)
Michael Sans (PRD)


18 units ArtCenter credit
(12 studio, 6 H&S)

How To Apply

Applications for this program were due by Wednesday, February 20 at 1pm (Week 6). 


  1. Must have completed at least four terms of undergraduate study or two terms of graduate study prior to the Summer term
  2. Must have at least one term remaining upon return to ArtCenter
  3. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  4. Must not be on academic or disciplinary probation at the time of the application

* If you do not meet the minimum eligibility requirements you still may be able to apply. Please contact studyaway@artcenter.edu.


In addition to full-time ArtCenter tuition, you will be responsible for a program fee of $4,000.

This fee covers the following costs: 12 weeks in a furnished studio apartment (two people per studio) within walking distance to Bikini Berlin, utilities, house linens, WiFi,  weekly cleaning and linen-changing services, language instruction materials/textbooks, and travel/medical insurance.

Additional costs that you will be responsible for that are NOT included in the program fee are: round-trip airfare LAX-Berlin (~$1,250), passport ($135), and daily personal expenses—meals, souvenirs, toiletries, supplies, local transportation, cell phone, etc. ($40-$50/day).


Term: Summer 2019
Dates Abroad: Saturday, May 4 – Sunday, July 28, 2019

You will complete the remainder of your studio coursework back at ArtCenter through August 14, 2019.

*Housing for this program will begin on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Housing will end the morning of Sunday, July 28, 2019.

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About Future of Work
In Berlin, known especially for its idiosyncratic spirit, work has always been about community and exchange of ideas. It’s no surprise that C-base, one of the first hacker spaces originated here in 1995. In 2009, the ground breaking Betahaus became known as a paradigm for co-working in Europe.

Today, Berlin hosts more than 30 official co-working spaces. And many more exist ‘Berlin style’ operating out of the spotlight but with no less attention to fostering community, however small and targeted to unique constituencies.

As Berlin becomes a new tech hub in Europe, welcoming such companies and Google, Facebook and Amazon it does so with some sus- picion and circumspection. The corporate model is not as welcome in a city known for more unconventional ways of working valuing an open sourced exchange, life balance and making connections to benefit the larger community.

But that independent spirit is just what brings new companies to Berlin. Berliners think differently about work, working together and how the critical life balance is achieved.

Students are challenged to look at the next incarnation of the Co-Working trend, examining possible hybrids that engage all of our senses and offer opportunities to redefine the future of work. They will look at the psychological and social aspects of Berliners more entrepreneurial attitude to different kinds of work – and how to construct meaningful physical environments around them to deliver the most effective impact.

Check out this article to get an idea of what ArtCenter students can expect from a semester in Berlin!

About Berlin
Twenty years after its post-Wall rebirth, Berlin is a scene-stealing combo of glamour and grit, teeming with top museums and galleries, grand opera and guerrilla clubs, gourmet temples and ethnic snack shacks. Whether your tastes run to posh or punk, you can sate them in Berlin. When it comes to fashion, art, design and music, the German capital is the city to watch. A global influx of creatives has turned it into a cauldron of cultural cool reminiscent of New York in the ’80s. What draws them is Berlin’s legendary climate of tolerance, openness and experimentation infused with an edgy undercurrent that gives this ‘eternally unfinished’ city its street cred. Cheap rents don’t hurt either.

All this trendiness is a triumph for a town that’s long been in the cross-hairs of history: Berlin staged a revolution, was headquartered by fascists, bombed to bits, ripped in half and finally reunited — and that was just in the 20th century! Famous landmarks such as the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and what’s left of the Berlin Wall are like a virtual 3-D textbook in a city where you’ll find history staring you in the face every time you turn a corner. Perhaps it’s because of its heavy historical burden that Berlin is throwing itself into tomorrow with such contagious energy. At times the entire city seems to be bubbling over into one huge party. Yet despite its often hectic pace, Berlin functions on an exquisitely human scale. Traffic flows freely, public transportation is brilliant, you can walk without fear at night, and your restaurant bill would only buy you an appetizer back home. Come and join the party and be swept away by the riches, quirks and vibrancy of this fascinating city.

Information Sessions
• Tuesday, January 29 (Week 3) at 1 pm in Room 191, Hillside
• Thursday, February 7 (Week 4) at 1 pm in Room 190, Hillside

Selection and Notification Timeline
• Applications Due: DEADLINE EXTENDED to Wednesday, February 20 at 1pm  (Week 6)
• Decisions Announced: Wednesday, February 27 (Week 7)
• Program Commitment & $200 Deposit Due: Wednesday, March 6 at 1 pm (Week 8)

Scholarship Information