California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts

School: California College of the Arts
Location: San Francisco, California
Undergraduate program: Bachelor of Fine Art in Industrial Design
Graduate program: Master of Fine Art in Design (Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interaction Design)
Number of students: 200
Number of faculty: 70 (full-time, part-time and adjunct)
Notable alumni: Tony Cross and Noah Murphy-Reinhertz of Nike, Leslie Greene of Google, Anh and Hoang Nguyen of Playground, Nick Cronan of Branch Creative, Gabriel Lamb of Apple, Cubby Golden of New Balance
Website: www.cca.edu/academics/industrial-design

Strengths: A solid grounding in craft history, proximity to the world’s most powerful hotbed of tech and digital minds and companies

The overview: Started in 1907 by German cabinetmaker Frederick Meyer, a key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, the school has a storied legacy. Today the ID curriculum, which is still anchored by a two-pronged focus on the “craft of making” and the “craft of thinking,” benefits from the innovations, opportunities and entrepreneurship coming out of nearby Silicon Valley (partnerships are common). Despite that connection, the program is most proud of its involvement in addressing local communities’ needs (some studio classes are devoted to social impact design and sustainability).