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Course Descriptions

The classes listed below are not necessarily offered every term. For current class schedules, or to register, select Register Now .

Helpful hint: When you are ready to register, write down your class number(s) before selecting Register Now .

  • ACN-459W

    DIY like an Architect

    Are you a DIY home improvement enthusiast who would rather give up your firstborn than let anyone else design your dream project? Then this hands-on introduction to "architectural thinking" workshop, taught by architect Alla Kazovsky (aka "DIYally), is for you. Having experienced the thrill and satisfaction of forging her own path, DIYally encourages self-reliance in others and, as "architect on demand," spurs others into action by offering advise with no strings attached. Through brainstorming exercises like mind mapping, collaging and 3D diagraming, you will become familiar with the range of tools an architect employs while moving from concept to solution. No prerequisite other than a desire for self-expression.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring and Summer

  • ACN-007

    Design 360

    Are you interested in art or design, but not sure which area suits you best? Would you like to sample each major offered at Art Center? Then this class is for you! Design 360 explores the major art and design fields offered in Art Center's degree program, including: advertising, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, fine art, illustration, product design, environmental design, entertainment design, and transportation design. Through projects centered around one major theme, you will have a chance to explore the principles of each of these art and design disciplines. Drawing skills will be emphasized as an essential way to communicate your ideas. This class is the perfect first class for adult students (over age 18) who are either new to design or seeking to expand their creative horizons.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-509W

    Designing + Dyeing "by Hand" -

    To create beautiful, effective, sellable surface/textile designs, it is critical to understand and develop ideas and concepts thoroughly before beginning work on the computer. This new class therefore features a variety of "by hand" methods that can be used in creating final designs for apparel, paper, accessories, and home decor. Shibori dyeing, batik/resist printing, hand stenciling, low-water immersion, foiling, silk screening, embroidery, embellishments, and sustainable dyeing techniques will all be explored. A final collection will then be created based on the "by hand" technique of your choice.

    Prerequisites: Knowledge of color theory; basics drawing skills are recommended but not required.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring

  • ACN-260W

    Furniture Design

    Explore the diverse discipline of furniture design through various projects, such as functional furniture, interior systems, hybrid objects and lighting. Learn how to develop a concept into an actual object through various exercises in ideation, sketching, model building and materials exploration. Students will design and develop final models and basic production drawings, as well as design and fabricate a final 1:1 scale project. Class will meet at South Campus for the first few weeks; remaining classes will be held at the Hillside Campus model shop facilities.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-458

    Interm. Environmental Design

    Building upon the design fundamentals and basic presentation techniques covered in Introduction to Environmental Design, this course explores more complex parameters as devices for developing individual voices and intellectual processes. Students will design two projects in which they will distill the essence of abstract concepts and translate them into physical form language and materials / color palettes that define specific emotional experiences, brand philosophies and convey layered messaging. Emphasis will be on a higher degree of portfolio quality presentations using scale models and drawings, and may include temporary full-size installations and mock-ups of micro environments. Several field trips will be planned based on the current schedule of design events, exhibitions, availability of locations, etc. Demonstrations will include basics of using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Environmental Design 1 or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor.

    1.5 units

    Class regularly offered in Spring

  • ACN-038

    Intro to Communication Sketch.

    Learn how to put ideas to paper quickly and convincingly in this intensive class. Drawing techniques covered in this course will enable you to handle a variety of subjects and everyday objects, including products, appliances, office equipment, furniture and materials such as wood, metals, plastics and glass. Emphasis is on mastering basic forms - such as cubes, spheres and cylinders - to produce attractive drawings. Mediums used will include pencil, pen, felt marker and pastel. Acquired skills are appropriate for students interested in industrial design.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-060

    Intro to Environmental Design

    This foundation course introduces the broad range of possibilities within environmental design through a series of projects. Environmental design focuses on a holistic and experiential approach to designing experiences, spaces, objects and images. Projects will range in scope from the design of overall immersive spaces to the detailed elements that define them, focusing on the design and integration of furniture, lighting, materials and graphics. The development of basic skills in concept development and visual communication (including drawings, models and other media) will be covered. Weekly presentations and lectures on significant artists, designers and architects will also take place. Visiting design professionals will provide tangible insight into career paths within environmental design.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-076

    Intro to I.D. Modeling

    This course provides an introduction to the techniques that will allow you to develop and execute well-crafted models and gain an increased awareness of 3D form. In this seven-week workshop, you will be introduced to the Art Center Technical Skills Center and become familiar with many of the materials that are used to build models for industrial design presentations. Some of the materials you will work with are styrene, urethane foam, and polyester resin. Hands-on exercises include wood lathing, vacuum forming, and mold making. Fiberglass layup and two-part molding/casting may also be covered, if time allows.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-089

    Introduction to 3D Design

    Designers and artists work with form and space to create meaningful and useful products, communications and experiences. In this course, you'll explore the basic elements and principles of three-dimensional design as a means for artistic expression and design solutions of all kinds. Develop a working knowledge of the processes and vocabulary associated with three-dimensional form. Topics include form, space, mass, weight, balance, rhythm, unit forms, structure and balance. This course focuses on principles and elements of design and the design process. While digital tools may be used, assignments and exercises are created by hand and are conceptual in nature. The course is an ideal foundation for beginning- and intermediate-level students interested in transportation and product design, architecture, 3D modeling, sculpting, environmental design, furniture design and more. Open to beginning and intermediate-level students.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-106

    Perspective

    Increase your understanding of 3D perception and linear perspective systems. Through a series of exercises, develop your technical skills and improve your ability to simulate 3D space on a 2D plane. Theories explored in class apply to traditional and digitally generated images. Primary applications are to illustration and to industrial and environmental design. A foundation course for many majors. Transferable for Illustration majors (see REGISTRATION INFO-COURSE CREDIT for details).

    3 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-386

    Product Design 1

    Product Design 1 will focus on the main elements and processes in compressed form that make up a product design experience from start to finish. This will include basic sketching, composition, personal branding and presentation. Focus will also be put on brainstorming techniques (open your mind in attitude and exploration), iconography, infographics, storyboards and methods to protect IP. Emphasis will be placed on research and integrating study models into the final project. All work will also be presented in a process book at the end of the term.

    Prerequisite: Product Design: Basics and Product Design: Process. Concurrent enrollment in ACN-076 Intro to ID Modeling is recommended but not required.

    Transferable for prospective Product Design majors. *

    3 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-434W

    Surface Design: Illustrator

    This one-day workshop provides an overview of Adobe Illustrator tools, tips, tricks and best work practices needed to create commonly used vector-based repeat patterns for the surface/textile industry. Hands on projects during the workshop will allow you to practice full drop, half drop, brick, diamond, mirror and scatter-toss repeats. Other topics include precise measurements, color editing, pattern swatches, pattern maker, manual pattern layout, custom brushes, technical requirements for mass production, and more. Adobe Illustrator is ideal to use for vector-based artwork and is equally important as Photoshop is for continuous tone artwork. Equal knowledge of both programs is crucial for professional level work in the field of surface/textile design.

    Prerequisite: Digital Design 1, or basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-433W

    Surface Design: Photoshop

    This one-day workshop provides an overview of Adobe Photoshop tools, tips, tricks and best work practices necessary in creating commonly used repeat patterns for the surface/textile industry. In-class hands-on projects will be done to practice full drop, half drop, brick, diamond, mirror and scatter-toss repeats. Other topics include precise measurements, color editing, define pattern, pattern layers, manual pattern layout using both transform and offset options, technical requirements for mass production, and more. Adobe Photoshop is ideal for continuous tone artwork and is equally important as Adobe Illustrator is for vector artwork. Equal knowledge of both programs is crucial for professional level work in the field of surface/textile design.

    Prerequisite: Digital Design 1 or basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-508W

    Textile/Surface: Explore

    In a world where many designs feature "generic" surface/textile motifs and collections, this course will emphasize finding your own unique design style and sensibility. Find out what distinguishes you from other artists as you develop a portfolio of several collections during the course. We will "mine" journals and past artwork, transform written product, personalize a global trend, and perform other in-class projects that will free you to take risks, push through difficulty, and find what inspires you. Creating a unique branding strategy through social media and website design will also be discussed and critiqued.

    Prerequisites: Introduction to Surface Design, or Design for Textiles + Surfaces, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor. Access to a computer, scanner and printer, plus previous Photoshop or Illustrator experience is helpful.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring

  • ACN-236

    Theme Park Design

    Learn how to translate your imagination to reality through the unique and exciting process of theme park design. This exciting industry utilizes a diverse knowledge base of skill and expertise. In this course, you will learn how to use visualization skills to communicate immersive story driven experiences with responsibility to real world building restraints. Although the class will focus on hand-sketching and rendering skills, digital painting techniques will also be covered. Students will build an understanding of architecture, engineering, master planning, show set design, production design, lighting design, and show operations. This class is a rare opportunity for students who are interested in entertainment design or environmental design to start building a portfolio of themed environments. Projects will include dark ride attraction design, drawing over 3D models that have real world restraints, park icon designs, show set elevations, etc.

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Entertainment Design or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor. Digital Painting for Entertainment is recommended but not required. Access to a laptop with a current version of Photoshop is also highly recommended but not required.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer