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Resources for the Special Topics Class California by Design


California By Design

Course Guide

Bruce Matthes, Dario Miticocchio

How to use this Course Guide

Students will examine how the design of artifacts relates to built environments and discover how California’s history, culture, environment and economic trends influence design. The design process as it evolves from “garage to factory” will be examined through lectures, discussions with a Locals Only Panel, and exposure to regional cultural contexts. 

Use the links on this site to access course documents, library materials, and online resources.  

Class Meeting Times

Week One: Monday to Friday  10:00am - 3:00pm

Week Two: Monday to Friday 10:00am - 3:00pm

Lunch everyday: noon to 1:00pm


Learning Outcomes

  • Understand historical perspectives on the evolution of surfing, skateboarding, and other related sports within the context of California.             
  • Explain the role California's topography and climate has had on design attributes unique to the west coast.                            
  • Collaborate in teams on design research related to innovation within the action sport and lifestyle industry.   
  • Identify an opportunity to design a product, space, or brand experience that contributes to the Californian lifestyle.
  • Apply the design process to any problem combining “hard” requirements and “soft” qualities.

Course Documents

NewSchool Instructors

Bruce Matthes Headshot








Dario Headshot

RICHARD WELSH LIBRARY at NewSchool of Architecture + Design

1249 F Street San Diego CA 92101

619 684 8783