UCLA Design Media Arts
Summer Institute 2021


During the two-week program, students explore a variety of media examining different practices and design methods applied to the domains of type, net, worlds, and video. Broadly addressing a common theme, all four classes contribute to the creation of an integrated, multi-media exhibition at the end of the residency. The theme for 2021 will be “Lights and Shadows.” Each class is taught by one instructor and one program assistant; class size is limited to a maximum of 20 students.


Alicia, 2016
Amy, 2017
Avery, 2019
Cathy, 2017
Claire, 2019
Emily, 2019
Ian, 2016
Isabella, 2016
Jabari, 2018
Jasmine, 2019
Lars, 2019
Maddy, 2016
Melanie, 2019
Miao Lan, 2018
Michelle, 2018
Mitchell, 2019
Nathan, 2017
Olivia, 2019
Smriti, 2018
Wanting, 2019
Wayne, 2019


Students explore graphic design as image-making coupled with basic typography through a series of fun and fast-paced assignments and exercises. All projects encapsulate a yearly theme while addressing form, composition, hierarchy, and creativity. Students develop a design process and critical visual vocabulary through experimentation and group critiques.

Alex, 2019
Alexandra, 2019
Anjali, 2019
Ayesha, 2018
Brian, 2017
Chloe, 2018
Claire, 2019
Danielle, 2019
Dylan, 2019
Elanie, 2019
Eri, 2019
Erin, 2019
Ethan, 2019
Garrett, 2019
Grady, 2019
James, 2019
Jamie, 2019
Julie, 2017
Kai, 2016
Katie, 2019
Katrina, 2017
Opal, 2016
Pandi, 2017
Remy, 2019
Ruoxuan, 2018


This course focuses on the internet as a medium for creative expression and artistic intervention. Through examples and small exercises based on a given theme, students study the web in the tradition of art and activism. Using techniques like collage, appropriation, and strategies of artistic self-expression, students analyze these forms for their aesthetic and social potentials. References to relevant artworks are provided, both in and outside the field of Net-based art.

Aaron, 2017
Abe, 2018
Alexandra, 2019
Beatrix, 2017
Carly, 2019
Catherine, 2019
Dylan, 2019
Elana, 2017
Ellie, 2019
Emily, 2019
Ethan, 2018
Harper, 2018
Isabella, 2016
Jasmine, 2019
Justin, 2017
Kate, 2018
Kye, 2019
Lucy, 2018
Samantha, 2018
Sheng, 2019
Sherlene, 2019
Sophia, 2019
Vaishnavi, 2017
Valerie, 2016


Electronic games offer an exciting mode of interactive storytelling. Virtual spaces and intangible systems can strike complex moods. In this course, students learn the basics of how games are developed and explore “Worldbuilding" as a form of visual narrative, playfulness, and immersive participatory experience. Students use Unity4D game engine to build and dismantle three-dimensional (3D) games.

Alyson, 2019
Camille, 2019
Charles, 2019
Colleen, 2017
Anderson, 2018
Eshan Jain, 2018
Francesco, 2019
Garrett, 2019
Gunnar, 2018
Hailey, 2017
Jack, 2019
Kathleen, 2018
Mitchell, 2019
Rebecca, 2018
Rohan, 2019
Ruoxuan, 2018
Sam, 2019
Sean, 2017
Sherlene, 2019
Tanvi, 2019


Video is a powerful medium capable of capturing, parsing, and imagining environments and stories. In this course, students learn the exciting properties of time-based media and ways to enable their creative potential. Exploring the technical and experimental approaches to cinematography, animation, and sound, students gain a basic understanding of video-making and the strategies to create unique perceptual events.

All four classes will relate to and influence each other, and they will contribute to the creation of an integrated, final, multi-media project.


The DMA Summer Institute curriculum is based on materials covered in the department's undergraduate curriculum. Instructors for the DMA Summer Institute are graduate students and alumni of the department's prestigious MFA program Please visit UCLA Department of Design Media Arts for more information about our undergraduate and graduate programs.

Materials & Supplies

  • – Laptop or desktop computer
  • – Minimum 8GB RAM
  • – 40GB free disk space
  • – Discrete graphics chip with minimum 2GB VRAM
  • – Screen resolution at least 1920x1080
  • – Webcam
  • – Microphone
  • – Internet
  • – Smartphone with video capabilities
  • – Paper
  • – Glue
  • – Pencils
  • – Magazine
  • – iPad or second monitor (recommended)
  • – Headphones (recommended)


Students will need access to an Adobe Creative Cloud all apps license. UCLA will provide free temporary access to the necessary CC product license(s) for students that do not already have an existing subscription. All enrolled students will receive additional details closer to the start date of the program.
Either a “Student” or “Personal” license for Unity is required, both are free for individual learning use (more directions on downloading software will provided closer to the program).


For questions about the program, please contact Helen Tran, Assistant Director of DMA Summer Institute, at dmainfo@arts.ucla.edu .