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Design and Creative Technology Academy

Spend the week with TCNJ Design and Creative Technology!

Calling all aspiring designers, innovators and music producers. This program is for you! Explore game design, graphic design, digital fabrication, or music technology at TCNJ this summer from June 23-28, 2024. We offer both on-campus and commuter options!

Registration is now closed. Please email for assistance.

About the Academy

Choose a dynamic path: Game Design, Graphic Design, Digital Fabrication, or Music Technology!

Game Design for Everyone

Instructor: Josh Fishburn

In this workshop, each participant will design, program, and refine at least one small videogame using a creative coding tool that encourages tinkering and play. We will teach game design fundamentals to help you focus your ideas, programming techniques to help you implement them, and play-based techniques to refine them. We welcome those of all skill levels and offer a supportive, collaborative learning environment. The software tools we use are free and/or open source, and you’ll be able to share what you make with others. TCNJ’s Game Design area has been consistently recognized for excellence, including a national ranking among the top 25 schools that offer a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design. In 2023 it ranked in the top 3 programs in New Jersey, according to Animation Career Review.

Graphic Design

Instructor: Jason Alejandro

Students who choose this pathway will explore the field of visual communication and learn how to be creative, collaborative, and skillful practitioners of interdisciplinary media arts. Students will leverage their personal vision to investigate their social responsibility as designers who contribute to culture. We will create projects in both print and digital media, with lessons in typography, image-making, historical trends, and multimedia design. Students will use the Adobe Creative Suite on Apple computers in our state-of-the-art labs. We will learn more about current careers in publishing, advertising, branding, web design, and other in-demand digital devices.

Digital Fabrication

Instructor: Brett Ratner

Students who choose this pathway will be introduced to the creative possibilities of a Makerspace, exploring skills in designing interactive objects. We will learn about a broad range of activities including product design, physical computing, interaction design, and rapid prototyping. Students will create 2D and 3D shapes using industry-standard machines, software, and materials. Lessons will impart new skills in laser cutting, CNC routing, 3D printing, and other techniques to create physical objects for artistic and practical applications. Students will engage in the design process, learn how to design physical objects, and translate their visions from computer screens into tangible reality.

Music Technology

Instructor: Teresa Nakra

Students in this Music Technology workshop will explore creative ideas in music composition and audio production. We will create our own songs, learn to make beats, and produce signature tracks that we can share afterward. We will write, edit, and produce our own original music using the excellent resources in the Art & Interactive Multimedia Building. Facilities include Logic Pro and Ableton software in a Mac computer lab equipped with advanced audio effects plug-ins and sound libraries. We will also hold recording sessions in the professional studio next door. We will revise our work and present a group concert at the end of the week.

Tentative Schedule

  • 9 am-noon Class in an AIMM computer lab with instructor and two college student counselors
  • 12-1 pm Lunch with two counselors
  • 1-3 pm Class in an AIMM computer lab with instructor and two college student counselors
  • 3-5 pm Optional lab/creative/recreation time with two college student counselors in the AIMM Building

About the Faculty

Josh Fishburn, TCNJ Faculty

Josh Fishburn is an Associate Professor of Design and Creative Technology at The College of New Jersey. He teaches game design and creative coding, and is especially passionate about introducing programming to people who think they aren’t programmers. He loves to tinker and experiment with new technologies while taking lots of notes. He holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, followed by M.A. and MFA degrees in Electronic Media Arts at the University of Denver.

Jason Alejandro, TCNJ Faculty

Jason Alejandro is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at The College of New Jersey. Jason has produced award-winning work for brands, agencies, and organizations—as well as publishers, and institutions of higher education. His professional experience includes roles in environmental graphic design, book design, and art direction. He serves on the AIGA Design Educators Community Steering Committee, and his work has been exhibited internationally. He previously taught at Rutgers, Lehigh, Kean, and the University of Pennsylvania. Jason received his MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2016. He currently maintains an independent design and research practice.

Brett Ratner, TCNJ Faculty

Brett Ratner is the Director of the Makerspace and Creative Technology Specialist in the TCNJ School for the Arts and Communication. He holds a Master of Education in Integrated STEM from TCNJ, where he also received a B.A. in Interactive Multimedia and a minor in Computer Science. Brett’s interests include 3D printing, laser cutting, and other Makerspace technologies, along with web development and physical computing.

Teresa Nakra, TCNJ Faculty

Teresa Nakra is a Professor of Music, Design, and Creative Technology at The College of New Jersey, where she coordinates the Music Technology area. She has presented her work in concerts with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestras, as well as in museums, music festivals, and concert halls across the United States, Europe, and Japan. Her students have gone on to prestigious graduate programs and careers in music technology, audio & media production, acoustics, robotics, and composition for films and video games. She earned PhD and MS degrees from the MIT Media Lab and a BA in Music (magna cum laude) from Harvard College. Her book, Constructing Music: Musical Explorations in Creative Coding (2024), is published by Oxford University Press.



School of the Arts and Communication
Art and Interactive Multimedia Building
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628