Academy of Art

Anyone joining me in their MFA program? I think I will be taking at least one course this summer. Also, any advice on the the move to San Fran? Im currently living and working in Philly, so it is kind of a big move.

Hey, I have been in the Grad program for the past year. I am now going part-time, due to working at a consultancy.


  1. San Fran is colder than you think.
  2. Matano has done alot for the program
  3. School is a tool, don’t let it use you
  4. The food here is perhaps the best in the country
  5. The Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the states
  6. Network, Network, Network

Are there any areas where you would suggest living? Im the type of guy who likes to be near the action, but I also have a limited budget and I know its expensive out there.

I was also wondering how long it will take you to finish the program part time. I feel real world experience will be just as important. First year I want to be reintroduced to school/design, but after that I think part time might be the way to go.

I would say Berkley, or the Sunset.

Berkeley is a hip little college town, but There is the mental block of driving or taking bart over the bridge. The Sunset is beautiful on warm sunny days, but cold as hell when it rains or on some windy nights.

There are alot of other areas, depends on how much your comfortable paying.

I say if you can afford the 18k or so (tuition/housing) per yr. finish in 2 to 3 yrs.
If you don’t want to go in Debt, choose wisely.

Do you have an undergrad degree in ID?

berkely or the sunset??? not sure about that…berkely is cool, if you go to Cal…which you do not. so really, you do NOT want to live there. everything cool about berkely can be found in the haight…

the sunset is also not really a great spot. it will be foggy every day. it will be cold. and it’s way across town from all the action. there are a few cool blocks in the sunset, but i would hardly call it desirable.

i’d suggest cole valley/upper haight (a tad yuppy), lower haight (punk/hippy), nob hill (snob hill), the mission (hip), or north beach (fun)…and personally, i think potrero hill is really cool…so calm and funky yet close to everything.

if you have a car, then treasure island is decent, as would the richmond and sunset, but with no car stick to my first few suggestions…

Oh, I did leave out the car point. You kinda need a car if you live outside of the St’s. Although, public transportation is beautiful in the Bay.

I say come here and drive or Muni to some of these areas to get a feel for the culture.

The Sunset is good for me because it’s away from all the action, only a 15min drive downtown. Family oriented, with large streets and plenty of free parking.

My man’s right on about Berkeley. Watch out for the tenderloin, though it is really close to campus. Northbeach, Marina, and Knob hill are all very expensive. The Richmond/Haight are good areas too. The Mission may be hip, but can also be dangerous. Treasure Island sucks. There aren’t any resources not even a grocery.

Also, consider dropping by the school to look for shared rental. Living with other designers would be a good feeling. Craigslist is a great resource.


I have an undergrad degree in architecture from Penn. I am really interested in getting involved in the materials dept. @ North Face or something similar. I am getting into ID with the goal of being a footwear/sneaker designer. Without an undergrad degree in ID, I think it may be some time before I land a job/intership outside of architecture. Any suggestions of where to look in that area?

Well my friend thats a good question. I can say that I have done consulting work for a few footwear companies/start-ups in the area. There aren’t too many opportunities here, but Oregon is a Sunday’s drive away.

Northern Cali has a reputation as a product design area, with many successful top tier consultancies. You have a better chance of landing an internship in this area than footwear.

I would suggest building a strong portfolio focused in your discipline of choice. Then contact the guys in Oregon on perhaps Mass. If your passionate it will show!