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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 .

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  • ACN-202

    Brand Experience Design

    In order to stay competitive and connected with their customers, today more and more brands are morphing into multi-threaded brands. Brands are now more relevant, personal and experiential in their customers' daily lives, which means branding strategists and interaction designers now need to play key roles in determining how they grow and thrive. In this course you will learn how to collaboratively build successful brands and deliver immersive experiences. You will use trends and consumer insights research, interaction design and branding strategy projects to deliver enriching experiences for your target audience. An ideal class for design professionals, branding strategists and corporate executives, as well as students applying to ArtCenter's full-time Interaction Design, Graphic Design, Advertising and Industrial Design degree programs.

    Prerequisites: Passion and creativity! Prior design experience or fundamental design coursework highly recommended. Basic computer skills and access to a tablet or computer (desk or laptop) are required.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-061

    Branded Environments

    Branded environments are one of the most powerful ways to engage people in a truly brand experience. By understanding the brand and the message to deliver in a space, designers are able to create powerful ways of interaction and emotional impact. Learn how to turn your brand story into a three-dimensional experience using space planning, interior architecture, materials, furniture details, lighting, graphics and media. You will explore and learn from a broad spectrum of projects including retail sites, restaurants, offices and exhibition spaces. By the end of the course, you will have a well conceived branded space and a better understanding about the process to design and present your project. Prerequisite: Introduction to Environmental Design 1, or by permission of an Art Center advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • 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-068

    Digital Painting Entertainment

    This introductory digital painting course is designed specifically for aspiring entertainment design, entertainment arts, and illustration students. Painting can seem complicated, but by understanding the medium and combining foundation skills with more lateral approaches, you can discover the joy of digital painting. The first half of the course will focus on the fundamentals of painting in Photoshop. Working primarily from observation (master copies, plein air photographs, movie stills), you will learn to create color palettes, how to make brush strokes, understand value, and use lighting and rendering to complete a composition or character. The second half of the class will focus on imaginative principles of creating paintings from scratch using more advanced techniques. For in-class assignments, no digital tools are needed, just a pen or pencil. For homework assignments, students must have access to a computer with Adobe Photoshop CS6, a Wacom tablet and a digital camera to take reference photos for plein air, brush and texture projects. Prerequisite: Introduction to Entertainment Design, or by permission of an Art Center advisor.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • 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-353

    Intermediate Transportation

    Expand and strengthen your creative processes, automotive design knowledge, and visual and verbal vocabulary through two seven-week projects. Learn about basic vehicle packaging, product planning and strategy, brand considerations, basic feasibility issues and other industry information. Please bring your portfolio to the first class meeting.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • 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-045

    Intro to Entertainment Design

    Concept designers for the entertainment industry skillfully illustrate and design unique and compelling characters, environments, vehicles and props for all kinds of stories and eras. This industry requires a unique combination of industrial design and illustration skills to understand how things are built, to communicate this through drawings and to show narrative aspects of the design. This course offers an introduction to the concept design process. Students will create original design solutions through sketches and renderings to support a story. This is an ideal class for students considering Art Center's undergraduate Entertainment Design major or for those seeking an understanding of how concepts are created for entertainment-oriented projects. Prerequisites: Intro to Figure Drawing and Perspective, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor.

    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-200

    Intro to Interaction Design

    This course offers a hands-on introduction to interaction design, the craft of how people interact with products, systems and services. Through brainstorming and critiquing different types of user experiences such as mobile and social applications, websites, gestural interfaces, games, consumer electronics, smart products, tangibles and art, students will become familiar with the range of design elements and methods that make up interaction design. Equal parts thinker and maker, students will conceive, design and produce simple interactive projects. An ideal course for students thinking of applying to Art Center's Interaction Design program, adults considering a career change and those interested in understanding this emerging field. Prerequisite: curiosity and a desire to create never-seen-before solutions. Fundamental design skills are recommended but not required. Basic computer skills are required. Transferable*

    3 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-050

    Intro to Product & Transp Des.

    This course is strongly recommended for beginning design students who want to enter the product and transportation design fields. Design projects involve fundamental design principles and procedures, drawing techniques and presentation methods as they relate to product and transportation design. Sketching demonstrations and exercises utilize pencil, marker, chalk, Prismacolor and gouache. Career information and opportunities are discussed.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-261

    Intro to Rhino: Furniture/Envi

    This course is an overview of 3D computer-aided visualization concepts through the instruction of industry leading software, Rhinoceros 3D, with the focus on modeling for the design and representation of built environments and furniture. The use of V-Ray for still image rendering will be introduced and the course will touch on the use of Photoshop and Illustrator as essential support tools. The course is structured around three primary functions, Basics, Representations, and Advanced Modeling, which are not seen as completely separable, and intertwine with each other throughout the class. The first component of the course focuses on basic modeling skills, and modeling architecture of various scales so that students will become familiar with contemporary design methodology. The second part of the class introduces the process of representation and concepts of visual communication. Prerequisite: Digital Design 1 or by permission of an Art Center advisor.

    3 units

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-055

    Intro to Transportation Design

    This course is strongly recommended for beginning students who want to enter the automotive design field. Class projects will involve fundamental design principles and procedures, industrial drawing techniques, and presentation methods. The role and responsibilities of the professional industrial designer as well as career information and opportunities will be discussed.

    These off-campus courses are taught in professional design firms by ArtCenter alumni. Registration and all inquiries are handled by ArtCenter's Public Programs office in Pasadena. Please do not contact the locations hosting these classes. Class meets at Honda R&D Americas Inc.,Torrance; enrolled students will receive location details via email before the term begins.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-300W

    Invention Innovation: Products

    This course builds the skills independent designers need to develop, produce and distribute their own products. You will design and develop a product line and a manufacturing company, identify and secure intellectual property, write a business plan, evaluate its feasibility and raise funds. You will also apply the same knowledge to license a product line to an actual manufacturer, as well as generate a business plan and licensing packet to send out to potential licensees. The course uses weekly visual, verbal and writing exercises to show designers the similarities between business and design.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in 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-086

    Product Design: Basics

    Housewares, appliances, electronics, toys, soft goods, sporting goods, tools, lighting and other lifestyle products are just some of the items that product designers create. This seven-week crash course is designed for beginners seeking to explore educational and career opportunities in product design fields and learn basic industrial design sketching and fundamental design processes through hands-on projects. No prerequisite.

    1.5 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-087

    Product Design: Process

    Students with basic skills in product design will learn to apply more advanced "design processes" through one intense project. In-class demonstrations of more advanced rendering and presentation techniques will also be covered. This course is recommended for intermediate or returning industrial design students, as well as design professionals. For individuals interested in applying to Art Center's industrial design or interaction design programs, the project created in this course will be suitable for use as part of your application portfolio.

    1.5 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-139

    Sketching for Designers

    Learn to communicate your ideas through quick sketching techniques using a variety of media, including pencil, pen and markers. Emphasis is on developing visual communication skills for graphic design and packaging, product and advertising. Class will cover type indication, 3D form development and observational sketching through still life. This is an ideal class for designers who need to brush up on freehand drawing skills.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-307W

    Transpor-Tainment

    From Rey's speeder in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Mercedes' Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile concept, the lines between sci-fi, production, concept and entertainment are becoming blurred. Automotive design is often energized by the open-minded spirit of the entertainment industry and, likewise, vehicles designed for entertainment purposes need a sense of realism through the fundamentals of transportation design. This intermediate-level transportation/entertainment vehicle design course embraces and nurtures these notions by exploring what it takes to transport humans (and other creatures) from point A to point B. This course examines buyer/character, usage/theme, ideation sketch development and final renderings through two intensive projects.

    Prerequisites: Introduction to Product and Transportation Design or Introduction to Entertainment Design, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor. Concurrent enrollment in Introduction to Communication Sketching or Visual Communication and Form Development is strongly recommended.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-074

    Visual Communication

    Mastering visual communication skills is vital to your academic and professional success as an industrial designer. This class deals with a variety of sketching techniques designed to help you communicate your creative solutions and explore form development as it relates to product, transportation, entertainment and interaction design. Class exercises will be geared toward improving your drawing skills as well as providing a strong foundation in perspective, composition, value, craftsmanship and use of graphics in presentations. Emphasis will be placed on rapid ideation to improve the flow of your ideas on paper.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer