Pacific Rim 13: TasteMaking Tokyo

Majors open to

Environmental Design

Product Design

Other majors by petition

Host Department

Environmental Design

Faculty Lead

Dan Gottlieb
Penny Herscovitch


18 units of ArtCenter credit
(12 Studio + 6 H&S)

How To Apply

Applications for this program were due on Friday, June 1 (Week 3) at 1 pm.


  1. Must have completed at least four terms of undergraduate study or two terms of graduate study prior to the Fall 2018 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
  5. Must have a high skill-level in and knowledge of building, model-making, and prototyping

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


Deposit: If you are accepted to the program and choose to commit, you will be responsible for providing a $200 non-refundable deposit.  This deposit is due within one week of your acceptance and ensures your commitment as a downpayment towards the total program fee.

Program Fee: In addition to Art Center tuition, you will be responsible for a program fee between $3,600-$4,300. This fee covers the following costs: housing at the Hashimoto Apartments (shared, furnished rooms), excursions (including Naoshima Art Island, Mt. Fuji, etc.) and other cultural activities, wifi, on-site orientation, travel/medical insurance, and 24/7 emergency support.

Additional: Other costs that you will be responsible for that are NOT included in the program fee are: airfare LAX-Tokyo (~$800-$1,100), a passport ($135), a visa (if necessary), and personal expenses such as meals, toiletries, supplies, local transportation, cell phone, etc. (~$40/day).


Term: Fall 2018
Dates Abroad: August 29 – December 10, 2018

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About TasteMaking Tokyo
Reimagine the elements with which we eat, drink, and refresh. How can the design of the objects that surround us elevate our daily routines to a level of ritual, from lighting a candle, to sipping a cup of tea, to savoring the first bite? Informed by traditional and modern rituals, how do you define future rituals for a new generation, and how might new design influence global tastes? Japanese culture is rich with ancient and modern food traditions, from Tea Ceremony and Buddhist Temple food; to bento boxes and communal meals; to contemporary pop-ups and experiments driving the future of food. From mid-century indoor-outdoor living, to 60s pop, to 80s Tokyo, Japanese and US design cultures have both influenced each other and driven global tastes. And as we confront a ever-changing world, how might the future of dining play with and against tradition? On this program you’ll explore cultural, social and ritual aspects of dining; food on-the-go in a mobile society; nutrition, health and wellness; the process of growing food; and the impact of food waste. Design new tableware, lighting & furnishings for dining for a global market. How does each element—from the utensils to the bowl to the table, lighting & surroundings—influence your experience of the meal? There will also be a 2-week research trip to Naoshima Art Island to explore contemporary art and architecture focused on rituals around nature & the seasons in Kyoto & Nagoya. Highlights include traditional tea ceremony, contemporary design & tech, Buddhist temple meal, contemporary food design/youth culture, street food, and pop-ups.

This project continues a decade-long collaboration between Tama Art University and ArtCenter College of Design. Previous projects together include Future Craft: Japan + Thailand and Eco-Research Lab Costa Rica. See here for a full list.

About Tokyo
Yoking past and future, Tokyo dazzles with its traditional culture and passion for everything new. Tokyo’s maze of neighborhoods seems to offer up every imaginable sight and sound—some of them cacophonous and modern (speeding bullet trains; herds of hurrying, be-suited businessmen; bizarrely futuristic toilets), and some of them ancient (Buddhist shrines and temples; the waddling combat of sumo wrestlers). It’s a modern city built on old patterns, and in the shadows of skyscrapers you can find anachronistic wooden shanty bars and quiet alleys, raucous traditional festivals and lantern-lit yakitori (grilled chicken) stands. In older neighborhoods you can shop for handicrafts made just as they have been for centuries, or wander down cobblestone lanes where geisha once trod. Dining in Tokyo is an experience that showcases the city’s long-standing artisan culture. You can splurge on the best sushi of your life, made by one of the city’s legendary chefs using the freshest, seasonal market ingredients, or you can spend $6 on a bowl of noodles made with the same care, attention to detail, and a recipe which has been honed through decades of experience.

Information Sessions
• Wednesday, May 23 (Week 2) at 1 pm in Room 108A/B, Hillside
• Tuesday, May 29 (Week 3) at 1 pm in Room 108A/B, Hillside

Selection & Notification Timeline
• Applications Due: Friday, June 1 (Week 3) at 1 pm
• Decisions Announced: Thursday, June 7 (Week 4)
• Program Commitment & $200 Deposit Due: Wednesday, June 13 (Week 5) at 1 pm

Scholarship Information