Fall 2020 Updates

School of Architecture Fall 2020 Updates

September 2, 2020




Shop Location: 1849 Washington Street/Van Ness Avenue. Entrance on Washington Street.

Shop Schedule: Tuesday- Saturday

Shop Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Studio Hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Shop Reservation Advance Minimum: 48 Hours

Shop Facilities Landing Page:


Need Assistance?

Material & Tool Support questions: labtechsupport@academyart.edu.

Webcheckout & Reservations questions: webcheckouthelp@academyart.edu.


Materials of interest to ARH students that are currently available for purchase from the shop:

Styrene Sheet, Acrylic (1/8″), Masonite (1/4″) , AC Plywood (1/2″), AC Plywood (3/4″) , Birch Plywood (sizes: 1/4″, 1/2″, 3/4″), MDF (sizes: 1/2″ & 3/4″), Tack cloth, Sandpaper, Small medium & large plastic cups for casting.

Please note: The shop currently does not sell cardboard, chipboard, or basswood products. We are working on having the shop stocked with cardboard soon. Please check back.

August 31, 2020

Building hours at 1849 Washington St for the fall semester will be:

Tuesdays – Saturdays 9am – 5:30pm

ARH students will have access to the shop and/or a studio desk for a fee. Please see PDF document at the link below for a list of fees and instructions on how to sign up on Peoplesoft. Students can sign up at any point in the semester.

ARH Academic Services Resource Menu_FA2_ 8.27.2020

ARH Shop Manager Gena Whitman will be at the IND shop. Gena is available to answer questions about equipment and materials available for ARH students at the IND shop. She can be reached at GWhitman@academyart.edu

Some materials available for purchase at the IND shop are:



1/8”x12”x24” clear extruded (approximately $12/sheet)

August 19, 2020

The university has decided to close 601 Brannan St building for the duration of fall semester due to safety concerns. ARH students will be offered shop and studio access at the School of Industrial Design located at 1849 Washington St (cross street Van Ness). Greg Grundstrom, Gena Whitman, and other ARH shop staff will be at the 1849 Washington building to support ARH students. The building will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays. Information on fees and hours are being finalized this week and will be shared soon.

The Industrial Design (IND) shops exceed the ARH shop in terms of its offerings. ARH students will have access to a similar level of shop equipment offered by ARH shop and will pay a lower shop fee than typical IND students. The full offering of IND shops is available for a higher fee.

1849 Washington Street

August 11, 2020

The University is creating new guidelines for safety protocols which will be published to students prior to fall semester start. At the risk of sharing information prematurely, with the caveat that information shared here may change, we are nonetheless sharing what we know at this point. This is to give our faculty as much time as possible before semester start to prepare for fall.

601 Brannan Hours: Tue – Sat 10am – 8pm TBC

Course fees for most courses will be optional in acknowledgement of students who are unable or feel unsafe to use the Brannan facility.


Wood Shop

The university is working on providing a very limited number of spots available (approx 8 to 10 max TBC) for students to use the shop. Students can opt in and pay a fee to use this resource. There will be a new check-out procedure through which students must reserve a spot in advance. The shop hours are planned to be 12pm – 3pm and 4pm – 7pm TBC.

Students and faculty should note that a new cleaning regiment will be put in place. Each night the custodians will be cleaning the entire building, including the shop, with an electrostatic sprayer which will increase humidity levels in all the spaces. It is unknown whether the spraying will damage models-in-progress. It is advisable that no models be left overnight at Brannan. In addition, in the case that Brannan must be shut down with short notice to adhere to SF health mandates, we do not recommend leaving behind models or supplies which will not be retrievable during the shut down.


Computer Lab

All computer labs at Brannan are closed for fall. The university is working on providing remote access to the school computers. Students can opt in and pay a fee to use this resource.


Drafting Desks

The university is working on providing a limited number of seats available to students who need drafting desks. Students can opt in and pay a fee to use this resource. There will be a new check-out procedure through which students must reserve a spot in advance.

July 13, 2020

SUBJECT: Update to Information Concerning International Student Policy

Dear International Students:

We know that you most likely are aware that the court decision regarding international student policy has been postponed until Tuesday afternoon. We believe this is a positive sign. At this point in time we want to reassure all of our international students, that the Academy of Art University has their best interests at heart. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that you maintain your status and remain healthy. More details to come this week.

To read more about the pending court hearing between MIT/Harvard and US Government read these articles:

Harvard, MIT Seek Temporary Halt to Trump Administration Rule on International Students https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/07/08/us/08reuters-usa-immigration-students-lawsuit.html

California sues to stop Trump effort to bar international students amid pandemic:https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/UC-plans-to-file-lawsuit-to-stop-barring-of-15397116.php

Warm Regards,

The International Student Services Team

July 9, 2020

Dear School of Architecture Students and Faculty,

In the belief that transparency is essential during these uncertain times, the School of Architecture will be sharing Fall 2020 plans on this page. We will be continually updating this page over the course of the summer as the Fall 2020 Opening policies and plans become clearer. The department leadership has been and will continue to work very hard behind the scenes to prepare for Fall semester. While we do not yet have definitive answers, we will share our decision-making process as well as breaking news as they arise.

On June 26, 2020 the University Announcement confirmed that all classes and studios will remain remote for the Fall semester. Students have the option to choose a fully online content delivery OR synchronous Zoom lectures with campus facilities being used for projects. When this was announced the School of Architecture was already starting to plan for ways to use 601 Brannan shops, studios, and other resources to support student work and studio endeavors.

On July 6, 2020 we became aware of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Announcement that requires international students to have some form of onsite course participation this Fall. We are strongly opposed to this unexpected announcement at this critical time in the pandemic growth. Nonetheless, we know that the Fall 2020 University plan will be re-examined to support International students’ needs.

All decision-making by University to-date with regard to COVID-19 has been done with the needs of our F-1 visa international students in consideration. We want all students and faculty to know that the balance of the health and well-being of the students and faculty, the needs of our international student body, and the opportunities and needs of our degree programs are at all times being weighed in the our planning. Please be patient as the events of this week are being given consideration.

Mimi Sullivan
Executive Director

Mark Mueckenheim
Graduate Director

Jennifer Asselstine
Undergraduate Director

Eric Lum
Online Director

Academy of Art University
School of Architecture

601 Brannan Street, Room 200
San Francisco, CA 94107 USA

P: 415 618 6560

On 7/6/2020, AAU learned of the ICE announcement regarding new requirements for international students. Chief Academic Officer Sue Rowley shared this email on 7/7.

Dear Academy Community,

I have received an abundance of emails and phone calls from around the university concerning the recent news surrounding international students, and a change in federal government policy. I am currently working with my liaison in Washington DC to determine the best course of action. As more information is received and discussed, we will notify everyone involved with updates. There is no reason to panic, and I will communicate the answers to your concerns within the next few days.

Warm Regards,

Sue Rowley

Chief Academic Officer

On 6/26/2020 AAU announced that in-person classes will not be held this fall. Please visit this page for the full announcement.

Academy of Art University will continue to offer its remote and virtual classes for the Fall 2020 semester. However, we will be opening our labs and workshops for studio course homework along with our residence halls and dorms.

“Onsite” classes will be conducted synchronously via Zoom. At the direction of the university, the School of Architecture is working on incorporating in-person interactions between faculty and students at Brannan that complies with City of San Francisco Health Department Directives. We have begun collecting feedback from faculty and communicating with AAU to formulate a plan.