The mission of the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD) is to offer professional education in the design fields leading to baccalaureate and master’s degrees and successful careers in design. SASD develops students’ abilities to identify, analyze, and solve design problems using culturally sensitive and environmentally sustainable methodologies and technologies. SASD is committed to advancing the use of best practices in all areas of design.
The SASD Design programs are built to emphasize the importance of practical, theoretical, and professional activities and practices in the various design fields. Students learn about the fundamentals and details of design; their application to real-world use; design’s impact on the user population; and the various means and methods needed to take their designs from concept to reality. SASD Design facilities include studio spaces, computer labs, libraries, and an inspiring location. We have a large international community with contacts in other countries to exchange ideas, and we are proud of our international designer-in-residence program.
Professional EnvironmentEach program at SASD has dedicated spaces for classes and studios. Common areas on each floor give students a place to meet to rest, study, talk, and to form friendships and networks. All floors of the design building (ABC) have spectacular views of Long Island Sound and its ever-changing reminders of nature’s beauty and power.
Computer labs are shared by all design majors with both Windows PCs and Mac OSX for students’ preferred platform. Software available includes essential applications such as Auto-CAD, NX, Rhino, Maya, and Solidworks; as well as the complete Adobe suite of Creative Cloud applications including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and others. Interior and graphic design each have specialty labs tailored to those majors. Wi-Fi is available to students on the UB networks.
Design students have access to printing facilities for their projects, ranging from simple draft or high-res color laser prints to large format inkjet plotting for architectural plans and presentation boards. Special projects can be made on the 3-D printer using ABS plastics, or laser cut in a variety of materials. And, traditional model-making, ceramic, and furniture workshops offer students hand-crafting options for visualization, prototyping, and finishing.
Personal AdvisingSASD students and faculty cultivate close, personal relationships. SASD faculty members serve as academic advisors to all design majors, and guide students through their years of study as well as their plans after graduation.
Collaborative and Real World ProjectsStudents are encouraged to collaborate across disciplines as they will in real-world career situations. Collaborations lead to realistic and intelligent examinations of and solutions to problems posed by instructors or outside clients. In Design Service, SASDʼs student-run design studio, graphic designers have the opportunity to work for clients on all real-world projects. Interior Design and Industrial Design students often enter and win competitions, including the Auto Safety Competition, 48 Hour Repack, and The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) annual competition. Collaborative and real-world project clients have included Unilever, LG, Antonazzi Associates, Bigelow Tea, the Bridgeport Food Co-Op, and many more. Real-world projects for interior designers include several private residences, working with a large Bridgeport-based developer, Carter Gremp, and collaborating on the HiHo Motel in Fairfield CT.
Career FocusAn important semester event is the Semester Review; professional designers are invited to a portfolio review in celebration of students’ semester work. Students collect their best works to be commented on by the faulty and professionals, and get feedback on their strengths and weaknesses for growth and improvement. Students present portfolios to prospective employers as a way to begin the career search process.
The senior thesis, a self-directed project, instills independence and self-reliance. With the combination of a professional, robust portfolio and extensive internship experience, our graduates are well prepared for an exciting and fulfilling career.
Local InnovationConnecticut has a spectacular history of innovation, invention, engineering, illustration, and design. Connecticut has the highest number of patents per capita. Many well-established corporations and a rapidly growing array of new high technology companies are in the immediate area. Bridgeport Machines, Dictaphone, Pitney Bowes, Remington, and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation are our neighbors. Evo, Product Ventures, Group Four Design, 9th Wave, MadisonMott, and The Bananaland are just a few of the consulting animation, interior, advertising, product developing design firms a short distance from the increasingly vibrant center that is Bridgeport.
Alumni EmploymentRecent Graphic Design alumni work or have worked at the Mobile Innovation Lab at IBM, ESPN, Tommy Hilfiger, Burtʼs Bees Baby, Beeby Clark + Meyler, Media Boom, Paralta Design, Osh Kosh Bʼgosh, Percolate, Make Meaning, Really Good Stuff, Assa Abbloy, Sidney Frank Importers, Save the Children, Luzern Laboratories, Circle 1 Marketing, The Creative Group, Monokrom, and many more companies both large and small.
Industrial Design students have been placed at Electric Boat in New London, at Sikorsky, Evo, Innovative Design and Exhibitions Co., Thermatool, Bausch, among many others.
Interior Design alumni work or have worked at Francine Home Collections, Ray Forehand Interior Design, Lake Interiors, Fairfield Interiors, Joe Matto Architects, Ron Cacciola Interior planners, Trudy Dujardin Interiors, Gregg Pollack Interiors, M.D. Design, Madelaine Hamilton Interiors, Contemporary Millwork and Kitchen, Patdo Lighting, Kuchma Corporation, and many more companies in the area.