Curator’s Picks from the Class of 2020 Showcase denote special recognition. View all, as well as student work from across the divisions, below.

Class of 2020 Showcase

View work from across our college’s four divisions of Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, and Humanities + Sciences; explore end-of-year experiences reimagined for virtual presentation; and peruse student features on our social media.


A singular moment to engage and interact

To celebrate the achievements of our students completing their undergraduate and graduate work this spring, we proudly present the Class of 2020 Showcase.

After the college closed its Bay Area campuses in March to help contain the spread of COVID–19, everything needed reconsideration. How would the college share and discuss the culminating work of graduating students? Our community began to approach this as an opportunity to invite a wider audience to witness how our students make art that matters. CCA’s programs are rigorous and intensive, and the curriculum is strongly rooted in values of equity, accessibility, and inclusion. Thus, our showcase welcomes all to access and explore fine arts thesis work, “attend” readings and symposiums, view animations and films, learn about actionable architecture and design projects, and more.

This is not an exhibition. This is a digital record of work, a time capsule, a record of a community thinking and making during a historic time. We know there are few silver linings to be found in a moment as devastating as this. Our intent is to help visitors find something else entirely—an idea that unlocks another one, an artwork that changes or offers some perspective, an up-and-coming designer, a new hire. Even at a time when so many feel powerless as individuals, art and design empower us collectively. We invite you to contemplate, reflect … and enjoy.

Curator’s Picks denote special recognition


A faculty curator from each division chose students to receive special recognition for their contributions to the Class of 2020 Showcase. These Curator’s Picks, which demonstrate outstanding work, are displayed by division below.

2020 Divisional Curator Team


New disciplinary knowledge transforming theory into action

We envision a better world through architecture, combining disciplinary innovation with social and environmental impact. Our work addresses issues of global relevance, including climate change, resource scarcity, housing inequity, and other issues that are particularly relevant in this new reality.

A note from Dean Keith Krumwiede

“Over the past months, as we’ve distanced ourselves in the service of our mutual well-being, I’ve watched with gratitude and admiration as CCA’s students, faculty, and staff have come together from remote locations near and far to support each other and advance our common cause—making art and design that matters. And this crisis has thrown what matters into sharp relief.

I believe that we’ll look back at this moment and see a demarcation: the time before COVID–19 and the time after. Our task, our responsibility, is to imagine the after. To consider where we are and how we got here, and to chart a path to where we want to be. We’ll need intelligence, vision, and a lot of heart to get there.

As is abundantly evident in the diverse approaches to architecture and design presented here by the Class of 2020, our graduates are already anticipating our needs and rising to meet the challenges our future holds. The courage, creativity, and compassion they’ve exhibited throughout this crisis gives me hope that the after will be better than the before.”


Hands-on investigations informed by a spirit of inquiry

We engage with current global challenges and prepare ourselves to tackle the ones taking shape now. Our design practices are driven by an ambition to develop solutions and shaped by theory, deep practice, emerging forms, and new technologies.

A note from Dean Helen Maria Nugent

“CCA is a sanctuary for advancing design research and practice, a distinctive place where wonder and imagination are amplified through rigor and craft. We equip makers and thinkers with the wherewithal to envision a future that is inclusive, generative, and enriched by their creative capacity to deliver inspired results.

Design is an ever-evolving practice and an inherently optimistic pursuit. I like to think of our faculty, students, and alumni as heroic advocates skilled in the art of designing the systems, objects, experiences, stories, and strategies that we need today—and tomorrow.

In this extraordinary moment, our interconnectedness as humans and dependence on our shared planet is more apparent than ever. The technology and tools we use to communicate across time and space are now at the forefront of our everyday lived experience. Our faculty, staff, and students have relied on these digital platforms to complete their teaching and learning journey this semester. Although we all deeply miss the joy of experimenting together in our labs, studios, and workshops, the work that our students have produced during this unprecedented time is deeply compelling and quite simply amazing. A hearty congratulation to all!

I am honored to share the work of our exceptional graduates through the Class of 2020 Showcase and related program sites. This newest generation of CCA-educated designers and strategists will undoubtedly transform our world for the better through their craft, responsiveness, and vision. I am eager to see what their passion discovers.”

Fine Arts

Boundary-challenging bodies of work immersed in critical thinking

We view art as a vessel for proposing new ideas and bridging connections across disciplines, dialogues, and communities. Our practices draw inspiration from the Bay Area and are socially engaged in a universal, multivoiced perspective—so we can continue to push boundaries as cultural dynamics evolve.

A note from Dean Allison Smith

“On behalf of all of the program chairs, faculty, and staff in our division, I want to congratulate graduating CCA students and our entire community for advancing their art practices, their teaching practices, and students’ progress toward their degrees in spring 2020 during the novel coronavirus pandemic and San Francisco’s extended shelter-in-place orders. The ingenuity, creativity, compassion, and persistence that everyone at CCA has demonstrated in these uncertain times is a true testament to the value of our artistic skill sets and to the unique role that artists have to play in times of great uncertainty.

Although socially distanced, virtually produced, and remotely experienced, the intimate presence and vibrancy of the artists and artworks featured here is clearly apparent, and I am confident that their creative contributions to the arts will be deeply felt, if not increasingly appreciated, in the months and years to come. It takes time to process the conversations, critiques, and other dynamic exchanges that are the cornerstone of art school pedagogy, and it will take time to heal from and be able to contextualize the momentous impact of COVID–19 socially, culturally, and historically. I am so inspired by our students’ accomplishments, I feel excited to see how they will apply their educational experiences to the next phase of their lives, and I look forward to seeing all that they will do next as part of our esteemed community of alumni.”

Humanities + Sciences

Formal presentations of research, analysis, and writing by diverse voices

We draw upon innovative and multicultural modes of storytelling to examine and expand creative impact. From literature to comics to critical compositions in various forms, our work strives to observe and participate in social transformation.

A note from Dean Tina Takemoto

“The Humanities + Sciences division is thrilled to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of our graduating Class of 2020. Commencement marks a significant milestone of professional achievement. We applaud our students for earning undergraduate degrees in Writing + Literature, as well as graduate degrees in Comics, Writing, and Visual + Critical Studies. Working closely with faculty, mentors, and peers, these writers and artists have immersed themselves in their practice while honing their craft and exploring new modes of expression.

Over the past several weeks in particular, students have worked tirelessly to bring their scholarly and creative visions to life amid the challenges of sheltering in place during the coronavirus crisis. We honor this new generation of thought leaders who are enhancing and transforming society. Their work not only attests to their perseverance and passion but also to their commitment to equity and social justice. Now more than ever, we value their critical insight and will rely upon their creative energy to envision new ways of being in this rapidly changing world.

Join me in celebrating our graduates and their commencement showcase, which highlights the breadth and depth of their extraordinary work. Congratulations, Class of 2020!”


Virtual happenings hosted by academic programs

A network of instances examine material and form

Several academic programs have reimagined their traditional end-of-year experiences and events to accommodate socially distanced idea sharing and community building. In these spaces you’ll find lectures, readings, digital collections, and more. They’re presented as observations to the scope of students’ intellectual curiosity and creative action, as well as the outcomes of CCA’s dynamic learning-through-making educational model.


Support students on social media

Follow CCA for collegewide features

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Aug. 27, 2020

Dean of Humanities + Sciences @tt_takemoto joined over 80 artists from @inplainsightmap to advocate for the end of immigration detention centers by skytyping messages across the U.S. during Independence Day weekend 2020. When reflecting on why they selected Terminal Island as the location for their message, Tina says:?
“Terminal Island is the location of the notorious U.S. federal prison, where inmates are suffering from one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the entire federal system. By late May, inmates were literally screaming for help as nearly 70% of the facility’s population was infected, and the death toll continues to rise due to the prison’s failure to take basic safety measures. My message ‘NOT FORGOTTEN’ stands in solidarity with the prisoners who are suffering from this gross endangerment of human lives.”?
To hear more from Tina and their efforts to cultivate creative action, visit: ?
Dean Tina Takemoto’s message “NOT FORGOTTEN” over federal prison Terminal Island in San Diego on July 3. Photo by Mark Von Holden.

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Aug. 26, 2020

CCA is dedicated to making our campus a place that is equitable, inclusive, and actively anti-racist for everyone. We’re holding ourselves accountable and will continue to communicate with you as we implement steps that are measurable and transparent. Learn more about our initial actions and track our progress at:

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July 14, 2020

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard the painful experiences of discrimination that members of our community have faced and we’re focused on what we can do to make our campus safe and actively anti-racist. Improving the process for reporting, acknowledging, and responding to student concerns is one of our top priorities, and these testimonials will inform this process. As we develop next steps and take action, we will continue to keep the community informed.?

For those who are struggling, we want you to know that we see you and we hear you. If you would like to consult with a counselor or are seeking mental health resources during this time, below are services that are available to both students and non-students.

For current CCA students, the ?24/7? mental health crisis hotline is ?510.594.5099?. Tele-health appointments are also available ?through July 31? for enrolled students in California:

The national suicide hotline is a resource available to all: or 1.800.273.TALK (8255). For California residents, the state offers a peer-to-peer mental health line that is available ?24/7?, with the caveat that the folks who are on the line are well trained but not mental health professionals: or ?1.855.845.7415?. CCA’s counseling office also offers referrals to mental health professionals in the Bay Area for non-urgent support. The office’s main voicemail is ?510.594.3670? to request a referral.

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July 13, 2020

Last week, Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit to reverse the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the US Department of Homeland Security guidelines on international students. We’ve joined the legal fight by signing an amicus brief that includes other members of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design.?
Our international students are an essential part of the CCA community and we will do everything possible to support them.

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