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Architecture and Design in Tokyo

Program full for summer 2024 (waitlist open until March 1)

We hope to offer this program again in a future summer.

Faculty Leader

Mark Guirguis

Prof. Mark Guirguis

Mark has previously led two UCSD Global Seminars on theatrical design in Athens, Greece.  

He is Professor and Head of Undergraduate Design in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UCSD. He trained and received his Professional Bachelors’ Degree in Architecture from the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow Scotland and studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He works professionally as a set designer for theatre and has worked for numerous professional theatre companies across the country. He is the recipient of numerous design nominations and four Ostrander Awards for excellence in set design. His travels have taken him across South America, Europe, Russia, Egypt, and to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.


Why you should go

This course presents a unique opportunity to creatively engage with the city of Tokyo and to experience its cultural life first hand.  One of the two courses of this seminar will focus on production design for film and the process of how visual ideas evolve and are developed for storytelling.  The second course will be an introduction to the foundational skills for drawing by observing and recording; this class will ultimately be focusing on sequential art forms (i.e. comics, graphic novels, storyboards).  This seminar will include a field trip to the city of Kyoto as a traditional counterpoint to the contemporary metropolis.  The rich cultural landscape of Japan will make this a five week experience that is both enriching and informative to students with interests in architecture and design as well as the narrative art forms of film, anime, and manga.

Who should go

This seminar is intended for students of all backgrounds.  This will be a fantastic experience for anyone interested in immersing themselves in the city from a creative/artistic perspective. Those with any level of interest in architecture, film and animation should seriously consider taking this pilgrimage.  These two courses may satisfy fine arts requirements for Revelle, Muir, Marshall and ERC Colleges. Warren students may be able to use these courses toward 2 programs of concentration requirements or 2 area studies requirements or 2 upper-division non-contiguous requirements. Sixth College students can satisfy their art making breadth requirement, and Seventh College students can get credit for their high impact requirement. Consult your academic advisor to determine officially how the courses will apply to your graduation requirements. No prerequisite course is required for TDGE 125 or TDDE 131; students will be given consent to enroll.

Information Sessions

  • Monday, Jan 29, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
  • Register here for the live Zoom link, and/or to get the post-session recording.

See the Info Session Calendar


Departure from U.S.: Sat., June 29, 2024
Arrival: Sun., June 30, 2024
Mandatory Orientation: Mon., July 1, 2024
First Day of Class: Mon., July 1, 2024
Last Day of Class: Fri., August 2, 2024
Departure for the U.S.
(or personal travel):
Sat., August 3, 2024

Flight Information

  • You will be responsible for purchasing your own airplane tickets, and your program coordinator will provide guidelines and resources during the pre-departure process to help you find an appropriate flight.
  • Do not purchase plane tickets until the program is confirmed. All approved applicants will be notified by e-mail when the contract has been signed.

Global Seminar Fees

All fees subject to change. See for current tuition and campus-based fees.

  UCSD Other UC Non-UC
Program Cost:
(includes $500 administrative fee)
 $7,167.76 $7,167.76 $7,167.76
Estimated Tuition and Campus-Based Fees:
$2,514.43 $2,564.43 $3,454.43
(not including airfare or personal expenses)
$9,675.72  $9,725.72 $10,615.72

Budget Sheet

Funding Options

See the funding options page to learn how financial aid and scholarships can help you pay for this program.

Local Site Visits

  • Fujiko F. Fuijo Museum
  • Imperial Palace Tour
  • Tokyo Anime Center
  • Tokyo International Forum
  • Tokyo SkyTree
  • Modern architecture guided tour. Possible sites may include works of Kenqo Tange, Tadao Ando, Tooyo Ito, Kisho Kurakawa, Nikken Sekkei
  • Mitsuo Aida Museum

Overnight Excursions

  •  Kyoto (5 Days/4 Nights)
    • International Manga Museum
    • Kyoto Station
    • Goju Tower
    • National Museum of Modern Art
    • Temples:  Daigo-ji Temple, Chion-in Temple Sammon, Ninna-Ji Temple, Nanzenji Suirokaku Temple, Chisashaki-in

Excursions are subject to change without prior notice. No refunds are possible.


  • Double-occupancy rooms at a 3-star hotel
  • Rooms have wifi & air conditioning
  • Housing arrangements are subject to change based on local circumstances without prior notice. No price adjustments are possible.

Included Meals

  • Welcome dinner upon arrival
  • Farewell dinner at end of program

Classroom and Computer Access

  • Classroom space is to be confirmed. 
  • It will have wifi & air conditioning.
  • Wireless access may be intermittent due to local conditions. No refunds or price adjustments are possible.


  • Transportation by private bus to and from Haneda airport to the student housing is included in the program. Two different pick-up times will be arranged based on the most common flight arrival times.
  • Do not purchase plane tickets until the program is confirmed. All approved applicants will be notified by e-mail when the contract has been signed.
  • A local transportation pass for Tokyo will be provided for each student.
  • Transportation for all out of town excursions


  • Information about how to obtain a local SIM card will be provided at the pre-departure orientation.
  • Students will be responsible to purchase their own calling time/minutes.

Insurance, Health, and Safety

  • An in-depth orientation will be given on the morning after arrival, including health and safety procedures.
  • Program partner staff will be available by telephone after hours.
  • All students will be registered for UC travel insurance valid for program dates + 14 days cumulative.
  • Students travelling more than that should obtain independent travel insurance.