Berkeley Engineering opens Jacobs Hall, a hub for design education

On Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, the College of Engineering holds a public celebration to mark the opening of Jacobs Hall, a new educational building featuring four floors of studios and maker spaces for classes and projects in digital design, prototyping, fabrication and manufacturing. Jacobs Hall is the headquarters of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, launched by the college to immerse students in hands-on, human-centered design.

The Aug. 20 program begins at 1:30 p.m. at Jacobs Hall, 2530 Ridge Road (see map). Speakers include Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, engineering dean Shankar Sastry, Jacobs Institute faculty director David Dornfeld and Paul Jacobs, executive chairman of Qualcomm. An open house with tours and exhibits follows.

Class instruction – including curriculum created just for Jacobs Hall – will commence in the new building starting Sept. 14. During the fall semester, 16 courses will be offered in Jacobs Hall, including:

  • A “How It’s Made” freshman seminar.
  • The Challenge Lab, in which student teams compete to create innovative products serving a social cause.
  • A class in user interface design, expanded from 100 to 220 students thanks to grant funding.

Among the fall 2015 offerings are five brand-new courses launched by the Jacobs Institute to make use of the new space and equipment in Jacobs Hall, including a suite of three classes that provide incoming undergraduates with a roadmap in design innovation. More information about Jacobs Institute courses can be found here.

Each semester, as many as 800 students will take classes or participate in other activities in Jacobs Hall.

The 24,000-square-foot building was constructed at a cost of $25 million, funded entirely by philanthropy.