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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-078W

    Basics: Interplanetary Flight

    Humans today are encountering new worlds. Thanks to robot emissaries, we are in the extraordinary position of experiencing these places up close for the first time. This raises a myriad of questions for designers: How do you design a spacecraft to travel among the planets? Under what conditions does it have to operate? How do you make it fly? How do you tell it what to do? What information does it send back? You don't have to know the first thing about space flight to participate fully in this course. Your only requirement is that you be curious about how humans are exploring the universe today, and what we're finding. The course an interactive, high-fidelity survey of disciplines and projects in today's interplanetary flight will involve participants in a variety of techniques, including visuals, design-based learning, hands-on physics, brainstorming, lecture, demonstrations, a stellar guest speaker or two and much more. More info: people.artcenter.edu/doody South Campus

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • 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-223W

    Costume + Fashion Design

    Explore the conceptual garment design and illustration methods of the entertainment and fashion design industries. This class will cover design foundations, concept development methods, marker and colored pencil illustration techniques, historic costume research and contemporary fashion. Students may use manual or digital methods to execute project concepts and may choose to focus on designs for costume, fashion or video game character costumes. No sewing is involved. Ideal for students interested in costume design, fashion design, and video game character design.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Summer

  • 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-544

    Designing Pop-Up Books +more

    In this new course, you will explore 3D paper engineering mechanisms used in publishing from children's pop-up books, pull tabs and novelty board books to unique pop-up greeting cards and fine art installation environments. Learn techniques and mechanisms to create movement with paper from 2D to 3D, and animate your ideas using paper as your surface and tool. Each student will develop a concept proposal or dummy book ready for submission to your specific genre. Pre-press production and publishing submission requirements will also be covered. Skills learned can be applied to a range of disciplines including entertainment, illustration, graphic design, fine art, product, and environmental design.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall 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-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-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-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-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-298W

    Manufacturing Techniques

    As a manufacturing center, Los Angeles provides a tremendous resource for designers; just about anything you want to create or put into production can be made here. In this seven-week course, you will receive information on how to work with a wide range of materials and industrial processes including glass, wood, metal, plastic and ceramics. Materials, technologies, processes, production, product planning and the business context of manufacturing will be explored. This class also includes information about working with vendors in the United States and outsourcing overseas, lifecycle analysis, recycling and lean manufacturing methods. Design exercises will be given to explore materials and manufacturing processes.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-383W

    Molding and Casting/Silicone

    This workshop will provide you with an introductory experience with the materials, techniques, and physical skills required to replicate a three dimensional object. You will explore one- and two-part silicone molds (RTV- Rubber), materials for rapid casting, and learn safety and environmental considerations of said materials. No previous shop experience required.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in 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-309

    Photoshop Rendering for I.D.

    For those interested in taking their industrial design rendering skills to the next level, this digital rendering course builds upon fundamental knowledge of manual techniques and applies it digitally using Adobe Photoshop. You will learn to use basic Photoshop functions such as masking, airbrushing and image manipulation to create realistic, 3D-looking products. Materials, textures and lighting will be covered through design projects ranging from consumer electronics to automobiles. Prerequisite: Intermediate level Product and/or Transportation Design courses, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor. Prior Photoshop knowledge is helpful, but not required.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Summer

  • ACN-589W

    Powerful Presentations

    How to tell it so you can sell it. Whether you are a creative or business professional, you must learn to connect effectively with your audience and communicate your ideas in a compelling way. This inspirational workshop will help you hone one of the most critical and often overlooked skills that everyone must possess: the professional presentation. Learn how to take your presentation skills to the next level using words, voice, body language and visuals. Mastering these skills is vital to your professional success whether you are a designer, artist, entrepreneur or business leader.

    Noncredit

    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-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-484W

    The Next Great Idea

    In this one-day workshop, you will develop a keen awareness and understanding of the methods that artists, designers, and copywriters use to grow their creativity, with special emphasis on creative problem solving in a visually-oriented workplace. Gain a better understanding of the creative process, simplified; from idea to final execution and how it differs from what most people do today; how to come up with a wide range of potential solutions for visuals and/ or written word; what to do to put yourself in a creative state of mind; and understand the differences between creative play and creative problem solving - and how both are necessary. Open to students and working professionals with an interest in advertising, illustration, fine art, graphic design, photography, film, and product design.

    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

  • IDFN-131X

    Way Things Work - Product Des.

    In Way Things Work, you will learn the mechanics, manufacturing, and assembly of everyday products through research of past, present and future mechanical designs and devices. By making simple working mechanical machines and thoroughly analyzing existing products by disassembly, you will learn why certain materials, shapes, and manufacturing processes are used in everyday products. This course is part of ArtCenter's undergraduate Product Design program; space for ArtCenter at Night students is limited. Transferable for prospective Product Design majors with grade of B or better.*

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Summer