Golden Bear Arts + Design
The Creative Gateway courses listed below provide opportunities for a broad introduction across a range of creative fields. They give you the opportunity to join thinking and making, while also providing access to performances, screenings, exhibitions, and other exciting events, on-campus and off. Such courses provide a foundation for future experiences as artists, performers, designers, videographers, and writers -- and for future experiences as responsive thinkers and engaged audience members in the domain of arts and culture.

For up-to-date information about 2017/2018, see the Berkeley Academic Guide for schedule and course availability. You can also read about the creative gateway in this article, Major New Effort to Elevate Berkeley's Creative Curriculum, Gretchen Kell, Berkeley News. 

 

Courses

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies | Big Ideas Courses

 

LS 25 | Thinking Through Art and Design @ Berkeley
Curation Across Disciplines (Fall 2017)
Instructors: Shannon Jackson, Natasha Boas

This course introduces students to key vocabularies, forms, and histories from the many arts and design disciplines represented at UC Berkeley. It is conceived each year around a central theme that responds to significant works and events on the campus, providing an introduction to the many art and design resources available to students on campus. Students will compare practices from across the fields of visual art, film, dance, theater, music, architecture, graphic design, new media, and creative writing, and explore how different artists respond formally to the central themes of the course, considering how similar questions and arguments are differently addressed in visual, material, embodied, sonic, spatial, and linguistic forms.

The Fall 2017 version of this course will focus on “curation” across disciplines. What is a curator, historically and in our contemporary moment? How has the task of the curator changed to respond to current trends? How does the role of the curator change in the fields of the visual arts, the performing arts, in science and technology, and the curation of education, digital and community engagement?

 

LS 25 | Thinking Through Art and Design @ Berkeley
Bay Area Cultures (Spring 2018)
Instructor: Jeffrey Skoller

This course introduces students to key vocabularies, forms, and histories from the many arts and design disciplines represented at UC Berkeley. It is conceived each year around a central theme that responds to significant works and events on the campus, providing an introduction to the many art and design resources available to students on campus. Students will compare practices from across the fields of visual art, film, dance, theater, music, architecture, graphic design, new media, and creative writing, and explore how different artists respond formally to the central themes of the course, considering how similar questions and arguments are differently addressed in visual, material, embodied, sonic, spatial, and linguistic forms.

The Fall 2018 version of this course will focus on “Bay Area cultures,” responding to the upcoming exhibition on this topic at BAMPFA. How has the Bay Area contributed to wider creative trends across the fields of visual art, film, performance, design, and engineering? What are the histories and legacies of cross-disciplinary experimentation within the Bay Area, and how might we mobilize them for a shared creative future?

See Academic Guide

 

Department of Art Practice
 

ART 8 | Introduction to Visual Thinking
Instructor: John S McNamara

A first course in the language, processes, and media of visual art. Course work will be organized around weekly lectures and studio problems that will introduce students to the nature of art making and visual thinking.

See Academic Guide

 

W23AC | Data Arts
Instructor: Greg Niemeyer

Can we measure everything? What is the role of privacy? Can we count beauty? Is data always fair? This course explores participation as the foundation of online citizenship. Participation is based on data literacy and community awareness. Through online assignments, peer reviews and video chats, students form communities of explorers and innovators who challenge data culture through creative interventions including surveys, visualization, animation, video, interaction design, music and other forms of digital expression. Assignments are based on readings about media theory, abstraction, interactivity, design theory, archives, performance, identity, privacy, automation, aggregation, networking, diffusion, diffraction and subversion.

See Academic Guide

 

College of Environmental Design 
 

ENVDES 1 | Introduction to Environmental Design
Instructors: Nicholas de Monchaux (Fall), Achva Benzingberg Stein (Spring)

This course will teach anyone how to start to be a designer, not just of drawings and objects, but also buildings, landscapes, and urban spaces. And not just in isolation, but in the complex web of ecological and man-made systems which makes up our shifting environment. You will take from the course first-hand experience of drawing, measuring, and design — which form the basis of the professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning— and which culminate in a final design project in the course. The course is open to all undergraduate students.

See Academic Guide

 

ENVDES 4A | Design and Activism
Instructor: Greg Castillo

This course explores the relationships between design and activism, raising critical questions about what design is, and how designers serve as guardians of culture and as agents of change. Students will participate in "spontaneous acts of design activism" that address contemporary issues through the making of forms and space to reinvent relationships between people and their environments.

See Academic Guide 

 

LDARCH 1 | Drawing a Green Future: Fundamentals of Visual Representation
Instructor: Charles (Chip) Sullivan

This introductory studio course is open to all undergraduate students in the University, who want to investigate the process of drawing as a method to learn how to perceive, observe and represent the environment. This studio will encourage visual thinking as a formative tool for problem solving that provides a means to envision a sustainable future. The focus will be on the critical coordination between hand, mind and idea.

See Academic Guide

 

Berkeley Certificate in Design Innovation
 

DESINV 10 | Discovering Design
Instructor: James Pierc

This course, ideal for students who are looking for an introduction to the broad world of design, covers design careers, design fields, histories of design and ethics in design. Students will gain language for analyzing and characterizing designs. In this course you will be learning design both from theoretical and historical perspectives, and from studio-based design exercises and projects. The weekly assignments and final projects will emphasize foundational design skills in observation, ideation, problem finding and problem solving, form-giving, communication, and critique.

See Academic Guide

 

History of Art Department 
 

HA 36 | Asia Modern: Art + Architecture, 1800 – Present
Instructor: Atreyee Gupta

This course offers an introduction to the art and architecture of modern South, Southeast, and East Asia from 1800 to the present. Asia, of course, is as vast as it is diverse. Keeping this in mind, this course will not attempt an encyclopedic survey of Asian art. Instead, using a comparative perspective, each week will focus on a set of case studies—the work of particular artists and art movements or the architecture of specific Asian cities—to reconstruct an expansive history of art and architecture in Asia. Examples will range from modern painting, sculpture, photography, and architecture to contemporary new media, performances, installations, and participatory art projects. Class lectures will be complemented by a close examination of collections of Asian art on campus and in the Bay Area. Simultaneously, taking advantage of the presence of numerous diasporic Asian artists in the area, we will venture outside of the classroom to track histories of modern and contemporary Asian art in our localities, neighborhoods, and communities.

See Academic Guide

 

Department of Music

 

MU 29 | Music Now
Instructor: Ed Campion

This course explores the basic materials and models that set the boundaries for various present-day musical experiences. Students are exposed to terminology and modes of engagement with the aim of inspiring new paradigms of listening (e.g., listening to silence, noise, space, and timbre). Composers and musicians of today continue to explore new ways of defining and organizing sounds into music. The course focuses on the most adventurous music of our time, but the concepts learned can be applied to any style of music. The course is designed to enrich and deepen the students' musical abilities through direct involvement with musical materials. Direct engagement through listening and participatory learning is accomplished in part with software created at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies. The course does not require students to be able to read music nor to own a personal computer.

See Academic Guide 

 

Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

 

THEATER 26 | Introduction to Performance Design
Instructor: Abigail Dekosnik

This course introduces the critical terms and practices of the contemporary study of performance. Several key terms and important genres of artistic and social performance will be engaged; the course will draw critical and disciplinary methods from anthropology and ethnography, from the theory of dance and theater, from literary and cultural theory. Critical and theoretical concepts will be used to analyze a wide range of live and recorded performances, as well as performance texts.

See Academic Guide