Summer Abroad Japan - Instructor

UC Davis Study Abroad, Summer Abroad Japan, Design Japan Abroad Program, Header Image, Overview Page

Summer Sessions:  New this summer, the Global Learning Hub will be offering two one-unit Summer Session courses on global learning.
Advising:  We look forward to helping you. Email us with questions or to set up an appointment.
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Design Japan

Program Instructor - China

Marc Ishisaka-Nolfi


Marc Ishisaka-Nolfi is a continuing Lecturer in the Department of Design at the University of California at Davis. With over 15 years of teaching experience, his many courses have covered topics from the study of Form and Color, Photography for Designers,  Graphic Design and the Computer,  Kinetic Typography, Coding for Designers, Letterforms and Typography, Graphic Design Studio and workshops in film and audio production for the Department of Cinema and Digital Media Program. Along with other courses in Film, VR, Traditional and Digital Photography, Color Management, Branding and Location Photography at other institutions. He is student focused and routinely sponsors internships, independent studies as well as mentors undergraduate and graduate students while also volunteering his time to develop and run a gardening program at a local elementary school.

A Message to Students and Parents

Join me for  an incredible experience on an academic and experiential level. Japan is a designers paradise. One would be hard pressed to find another country like Japan that inundates the senses on so many levels. inspiration is everywhere - from the sheer quantity of packaging that you can see and experience on a daily basis, to the many different styles of food offerings and the way that they are packaged as experience. From the simple bento you find at 7-11 to tastier fare at finer restaurants, it is a visual feast.

Classic elements of design can also be experienced at the hundreds of shrines and temples around Kyoto and Tokyo, allowing Design students to soak in the rich history that influences Japanese Design and that has also influenced Design around the world.

I was very fortunate to have lived in Japan in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hokkaido - many of the same cities we will be visiting during the summer. I want to share my knowledge and that same sense of wonder and amazement that I felt by immersing students in local culture, helping them navigate it, and introducing them to a global mindset that will hopefully be a touchpoint for them in the rest of their lives while weaving the course content into that experience. I want students to be informed, responsible and open-minded citizens of the world that are respectful of diversity and that seek to understand local and global communities and how we are all connected.