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Innovation Exchange


San Francisco, CA, USA

Program Description

Harrisonburg portion: May 19, 2014 to May 27, 2014 -and- June 9, 2014 to June 13, 2014 

San Francisco portion: May 29, 2014 to June 5, 2014

Students will be introduced to the philosophical foundations and applied approaches of the practice of sustainable design in order to develop a toolbox of design skills, terminology, and technical understanding necessary to create innovative designs targeting pertinent issues in sustainability. Students will meet researchers, designers, and entrepreneurs who have transitioned ideas into marketable companies in order to expose them first hand to how design, entrepreneurship, and technology must come together to create innovations that meet real sustainability needs. Students will work in a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary environment to design, develop, and construct innovative technologies of their own in self-identified topic areas that address real sustainability needs. At the conclusion of the course, students will pitch their designs to actual entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the Silicon Valley for feedback hopefully providing the catalyst for students to take their ideas to the next level.

Location Description

This course will begin in Harrisonburg on JMU’s campus. The first two weeks will primarily be spent in classroom and design studio settings. During this first two weeks in Virginia, students will be taken to various technological centers in the region. The second half of the program will be based in the Bay Area (primarily San Francisco and Palo Alto), CA. Again instruction will housed in classroom and studio settings. Students will also be taken to various green technology and innovation centers throughout the area.


Audrey Barnes | | Art, Design & Art History
Robert Nagel | | Engineering


Accommodations will be provided for through hotels and residence halls/dormitories, with several lunches or dinners provided per week in the program fee.

Additional Items to Consider

This program is targeted towards junior and senior Engineering and Industrial Design students.

Application Process

For this program, students are required to submit the following material(s):

  • A supplemental essay addressing the following question:

    "What are your interests and experience in sustainable design?"

  • Attend an interview with the program director prior to the application deadline: Audrey Barnes | | Art, Design & Art History  -and-  Robert Nagel | | Engineering

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.5, although the GPA minimum can be overridden based on a student's essay and interview responses.

For more detailed instructions and to download the application, please click on the following link to the Applications and Forms section for JMU Short-Term Programs.

Official transcript required for first-semester transfer students and non-JMU students.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ENGR 498: Advanced Topics in Engineering (3 credits)

INDU 492: Topics in Industrial Design (3 credits)