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  • Locations: Kyoto, Japan; Tokyo, Japan
  • Program Terms: Summer, Summer Faculty-Led
  • Budget Sheets: Summer, Summer Faculty-Led
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 03/27/2020 04/05/2020 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Program Credits: 4 Class Standing Restrictions: No requirement
Required GPA: 2.0 for Undergraduate Students, 3.0 for Graduate Students Housing: Housing provided, Student must reimburse professor
Language of Instruction: English Program Director: Tetsu Ohara
Field of Study: Communications Design, Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design
Program Description:

Summer: Japan Brochure Picture

This Interior Design course re-examines the definition of ‘interior space' It is available to all School of Design students. The departments include Industrial, Interior, Fashion and Communication Design.  This 4 credit elective course is open to both undergraduate/graduate students who are in good academic standing.  
This 6 week immersion course will be held in NYC + Tokyo/Kyoto. In the beginning and end of the course, the classes will be held on Brooklyn Campus. And this course will take place in early June/July 2019.
This experience is structured in three parts. First the participant will GATHER information about Japanese culture/design/language and choose several research topics on this ephemeral culture before the travel. During the stay in Tokyo/Kyoto, they will IMMERSE in series of experiences.  And bring those experiences back to NY and work on design proposals that will INSPIRE the world around them.

+    By exploring and learning about one of the most progressive metropolis in Asia (East) and compare and contrast to the West (NYC).  The emphasis of the Tokyo excursion will focus on its unique cultural essence, design sensibility, environmental awareness and crafts/process of making things that are different from the non-native point of view.
+    Students will generate a question/problem to solve during the visit to Japan.  After returning to Brooklyn, they have two weeks to generate a design proposal to its challenges.  Their design proposal will be aimed at social/spatial issues found during their visits in Tokyo from a foreign vantage point and provide innovative and pragmatic solution to its problems.

Student Learning Outcomes:
+    Students will learn about a foreign history, language and design methods/process unique to Japanese culture.
+    Students will critically analyze the efficient use of interior environment & spatial  negotiations in both public and private realm.
+    Students will propose a creative design solution to a foreseeable social/environmental/lifestyle future challenges.
+    Students will engage in rigorous research in climate specific environmental wisdom and practices.

Why Tokyo/Kyoto?:
+    Tokyo is situated along with tectonic Ring of Fire (Earthquake prone territory). Along with the innovative high quality of living that Tokyo offers, the city sustains strong seasonal forces and natural disasters. Japanese designers require not only the high design sensibility to cultural references but also need to seek practical, durable and environmentally sound interior solutions to societal and natural challenges.
+    13.6 million people live in as one of the world”s most exciting city – an ever-evolving capital in design, fashion, culinary and architectural field.
+    Due to an anticipation towards 2020 Summer Olympic held in Tokyo, there are large infrastructural upgrades, city planning advancements along with various new architectural developments that will inspire the visitors.
+    Kyoto was mostly spared the carpet-bombing during the 2nd world war and largely left intact. It has thereby many world heritage sites with imperial palace, religious shrines and temples.
+    The craftsmanship in Kyoto is well known and highly visible throughout the city and provides a good insight into historical and applied modern building techniques.
+    In Japanese design, there is a tendency to blur the line between Interior and Exterior Spatial boundaries while contrastingly there exists clear line of demarcation (ex. removing footwear in the vestibule). Many moments of culturally specific etiquette can be experienced through traditional architecture & interior spaces in Kyoto.

Interested applicants, please read through the Special Projects: Japan Summer Study Course Information packet to find out more information on Research Topics, Class Scheduling for 6 weeks, Course Submission Requirements, Travel Itinerary and Program Cost. 

Special Projects- Japan Summer Study Course Information Packet.pdf


Even for 2 weeks, some students will need the temporary visa to travel to Japan.  This visa will fall under the category of "academic survey/research presentation" instead of a "student visa".
Exemption list is available in the link below. U.S. citizen, South Korean, Taiwanese, etc don't need to apply for a visa.  These students will just need a passport for the trip.