Tokyo / Paris / Oaxaca

This summer offers at least three exciting opportunities for CCA Students: study abroad courses in Tokyo, Paris and Oaxaca:

Tokyo with Doug Akagi
This course is a journey of discovery – documenting dichotomies, synergies and juxtapositions, and experiencing the power of the old and the shock of the new. Participants explore Japan’s present day capital, Tokyo, and its ancient capital, Kyoto (from 794-1868 CE), discovering, recording, and interpreting examples of traditional Japanese aesthetic values and their modern day manifestations.

Students spend 10 days in Tokyo with a 4-day excursion to Kyoto via the Shinkansen, Bullet Train. As with any journey to a foreign place, the first challenge is learning how to navigate the new environment. In both cities the class rides some of the world’s best intra-city transportation systems, interconnecting subway, trains, and buses, to get to all relevant destinations.

While the focus of the course is an investigation of traditional Japanese aesthetics, students also explore the compelling surface of Tokyo. For the duration of the trip, the class lives in the question of what ties the old to the new. [more]


Paris with Erik Adigard & Laurence Arcadias
This is a collaborative course with Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in which nine students from each school participate. The course allows students from all disciplines to investigate key design, media, and platform issues while exploring Paris. Participants learn to use time-based media as vectors, video, and stop motion. The main tools range from Flash and AfterEffects to stop-motion/Dragon, but the class also considers 3D, motion graphics, and other techniques.

The program challenges students to combine the thorough observation of specific aspects of the city with time-based sketches done as drawings, videos, photos, and/or any other media that each student may choose. Students are asked to produce process books such as moodboards, sketches and storyboards, and one short animated film each of the first two weeks. These inform a final animation thesis related to their subject of choice. [more]


Oaxaca with Raul Cabra
This experimental studio explores the opportunities and implications of collaborative work with local artisans in a cultural context rich in tradition and history. It also provides an opportunity for a carefully crafted cultural immersion. Personal work and formal experimentation are necessarily informed by an interaction with local history, arts, and culture.

This studio consists of three weeks of experimental work, bringing together artists, designers, and artisans in the city of Oaxaca. The goal of the class is to investigate and define new methodologies for the use of design, art, and creativity as tools for social change and cultural engagement. Students work one-on-one with local artisans in a wide range of media.

Fieldwork is complemented by weekly visits to important sites with the guidance of local historians, anthropologists, archeologists, and architects, as well as by explorations of the culinary arts for which Oaxaca is famous. Daily discussions address ethical issues of cultural appropriation and translation, the use of art and design as a “revitalizing” force to promote economic development of dying artistic trades, and the creation of mutually beneficial models for creative collaboration. [more]