Environmental Design Degree Project | Development SM2014

Yo Oshima


Wednesday 2pm – 7pm
Rm 130

Environmental Design Degree Project | Development

The degree project is the final part of the Environmental Design program. It represents the broad scope of environmental design and the highest caliber of design excellence within the department.

The project reflects an area of design that you are personally invested in or desirous of pursuing upon leaving Art Center.

Evaluation for research and preliminary design reflects an understanding and communication of the essence of the project, mastery of some of the deeper issues of investigation – and finally, your seamless transition and execution of preliminary design.

The project will take form in 6 phases:


PROJECT AND CLASS SET-UP Due Week 1 / In class 

-Self Evaluation / Goal setting -Share your current work: Portfolio -3 proposal directions

You’ve been thinking about it – let’s get it on the table
Based on your interests and target market, propose 3 potential projects.
Each idea doesn’t need to be specific, but rather reflect the area(s) you’re interested in. Please be relevant to issues an Env Designer might engage in 2014 and beyond
Be provocative and look for issues that are driving culture and breaking new ground
Some projects might be hybrids.
For example, past projects have included new ways of looking at:

Home healthcare / dealing with aging populations
Elementary school education / new space / learning paradigms
Sports Arena / velodrome racing with a digital track / new technology Cultural centers / communicating cultural values in a new Chinatown Home office / working in rentable spaces – synergy of collaboration Community restaurant / making use of discarded food
Event space / customize your own party
Felt & Wood veneer panel system / customizable for home and industy Residential / re-examining what it means to be ‘home’
Exhibit / teen pregnancy in Los Angeles
Dog shelters / animals at risk / neighborhood involvement

Create at least 2 pages (11 x 17, portrait format) for EACH project that describes your direction, with supporting photo / graphic images.



1. Statement paper / Designer One Sheet

(11 x 17, portrait format, 1 copy. Post over your work area)
Write one page that describes / evaluates yourself as a designer about to be begin their career as an environmental designer. Write this as a reflective piece as well as one that promotes your interests and abilities.

Take a photo of your yourself: Create a self portrait, so to speak of you now at 7th term.

2. List at least 5 – 7 design firms that you’d like to work for or whose work inspires you. (11 x 17, portrait format 1 copy. Post next to your statement paper)

Why does the direction of the studio appeal to you? How is it inline with your personal direction.
Include their full name, photos of their work, web link and contact info and why this firm is a good fit for you.

** Spend time on this

3. Choose 1 project to move forward with Project Definition and Research

Develop the area that you’ve chosen with the following deliverables in mind: Typologies and Case Studies


What is the type of design project you are doing (in general terms). What is the history of your type / hybrid of project? Document this. Then select 2 design projects (case studies) that have some relevance to your proposal. Explain why they are relevant and document them graphically.

What is it?

Clearly define your project in a no more than 2 sentences.
It can be positioned as a thesis statement or simply a definition for a design problem for a specific environment or community.

Who is it for?

Who is the target audience, user, market? What is their profile? Be very specific.

Where is it?

Where is your project located? What impact does the location have on your particular problem? What are the surrounding businesses like. What kind of synergy does it create?

Why is it important?
Your project should be a manifestation of some beliefs and opinions you hold. It should have an agenda, something it wants to change or inform – within a community or environment.

Due Week 3 

Board Research and Definition / Presentation

Create your wall / board presentation that clearly defines and explains your project. It must have the look, feel and attitude of your area of exploration and include all research elements for Phase 1 and 2

Use headings and graphic hierarchy to communicate your project.
Move beyond 11 x 17 print outs to create a montage. Pose questions.
We should visually get the spirit of your project by a quick view of your wall.
Write a short paragraph of what your conclusions are, an itemized list of what you’ll need to progress.



Translate / Transpose your wall research and definition presentation into a digital presentation.

Make sure the vibe you had on your wall, translates into digital form through background, headline font, body copy font (no smaller than 24 pt)
Visuals, mood and clarity are critical
This presentation should ‘set up’ your design phase as a template to follow



Concept ideation

Sketches, drawings, media, multi-media

Orthographic Drawings

Plan, sections / elevations, details




Sketch models, material and color studies

Full scale / detail, if appropriate

Week 7, Wednesday, Mid term Review

Powerpoint / Keynote Oral Presentation
Sketch Models (required)
Concept sketches and orthographic drawings, sketch models or other delivery methods that reflect the essence of your project. In class review.



Week 10,

Project Development Review with David

Orthographic drawings and sketch models (other?) that reflect the development for your project. Run through of keynote / ppt

Week 13, Wednesday

FINAL run through
Preliminary Design and Development Presentation Powerpoint / Keynote Oral Presentation

Deliverables will be determined individually.

Week 14, Wednesday,  FINAL Presentation

Powerpoint / Keynote Presentation
Digital file of presentation to me
Sketch model / other 3D evidence of your project (required)
Juried review

Class Structure

Class will be structured with both class group reviews and weekly individual desk crits. Each student will have a designated space that will serve as an ongoing ‘exhibit’ of their progress / process.
If you have nothing posted, I’ll presume you’ve not done any work for the week. Show it.

Mentors / Advisors

Students are urged to pursue mentors or advisors within their area of interest for valued input, advice and professional perspective.


If, due to some act of God, you’re unable to attend class, you must notify me and submit your work for update immediately thereafter.
The semester moves quickly and will be one of the most rigorous experiences you’ve had at Art Center.
It is critical that you keep up

Please take note: Students are expected to be in class promptly at our start time. One unexcused absence is cause for a grade reduction, 3 unexcused absences grounds for failing the course.


A grade and corresponding grade points are assigned after the completion of each class.
The grade points are used to determine semester and cumulative grade point averages (cum GPA).
The semester GPA indicates your academic progress for the semester. The cumulative GPA is an average of all semester GPAs and is used to determine scholarship eligibility, status and recommendation for degrees and honors. Please see the Student Handbook for additional guidelines. Faculty members use the following grading system

  • A 4.00 points
  • A- 3.75 points
  • B+ 3.50 points
  • B 3.00 points
  • B- 2.75 points
  • C+ 2.50 points
  • C 2.00 points
  • C- 1.75 points
  • D+ 1.50 points
  • D 1.00 points
  • D- 0.75 points
  • F 0.00 points

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