Forget smartwatches, Art Center students imagine a world of tech-fueled superpowers

by March 27th, 2015

Giselle Gou and Zhihan Ying's App Couture project. Photos: Juan Posada

Giselle Gou’s and Zhihan Ying’s App Couture project. Photos: Juan Posada

We have less than a month to go before the Apple Watch either launches wearables into the stratosphere or delegates the product category to the 21st-century equivalent of a Tamagotchi.

Well, okay, it’s actually not that simple. In fact, numerous signs over the past five years point to long-term interest in the field: Fitbit’s popular activity tracker, first released in 2009, continues to sell well; Pebble, which shattered Kickstarter records in 2012 to fund the creation of the first ever smartwatch, is gaining praise for its latest crowd-funded iteration; and last June, LG and Samsung released smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear operating system, and companies like Sony, Asus and Huawei have since followed suit.

But for years now, Art Center students have been looking beyond activity trackers and smartwatches and instead exploring a myriad of future possibilities for wearables.

Last week at SXSW, Media Design Practices (MDP) alumnus Sangli Li (MFA 15) took home an Interactive Innovation Award in the Student Innovation category for Expressive Wearable, his stylish and high-tech headgear that expresses its wearer’s attitude. Li created this project, which Fast Company described as “a Steampunk take on Kentucky Derby fashion” for the MDP course Wearable Ecologies co-taught by Professor Phil van Allen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Art Center Dialogues: Dede Gardner on leadership in Hollywood

by March 26th, 2015

Gardner_Dotted_V2

“Leaders in art, film, business and design practices, our speakers have changed both the questions we ask and the solutions we might find when it comes to thinking about 21st-century culture,” says Humanities and Sciences (H&S) Chair Jane McFadden, who curates the series, Art Center Dialogues.  The most recent speaker was Dede Gardner. Her long list of producing credits in film and television include award winners such as Tree of Life and 12 Years a Slave, as well as box office smashes World War Z and Eat Pray Love. As President of Plan B, (Brad Pitt’s production company), she has overseen the creation of dozens of films with some of the industry’s top talent.

The auditorium was at capacity with students eager to participate in the Q & A, followed by a screening of the Academy Award nominated Selma, her most recent project. Gardner was on campus to talk about leadership, and much to the pleasure of the crowd, a little insider gossip. When an audience member asked if she was able to speak about Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe project she said, “Yes, do you have eighteen million dollars?” Or, when a student inquired if she would do everything the same again, starting over as a 16 year-old, she quipped, “Can I start at 36, instead?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Art Center @ SXSW Interactive 2015: Malcolm Gladwell, John Maeda, immortality and mind-clones

by March 24th, 2015

John Maeda delivers the Design in Tech Report at SXSW Interactive 2015

John Maeda delivers the Design in Tech Report at SXSW Interactive 2015

Taken as a whole, the sweeping scope of topics discussed within the sessions on offer at SXSW Interactive formed an MRI-like portrait of the sub-currents coursing beneath the surface of our society. One of the dominant themes to emerge throughout the conference was the need to populate the tech, design and creative industries with makers and leaders who reflect the diversity of the audiences and users they aim to serve.

This imperative for inclusivity among the ranks of our creative and technological influencers bubbled up early and often on Day 2 of our coverage, in a variety of milieu beginning with our first session of the day: What Does an Art and Design Incubator Look Like? The panel’s lineup of NY-based artists and innovators included Art Center alum Lisa Park (Fine Art), whose performance installation pieces deploy technology in the service of illuminating our emotional lives through the use of sensors and sound, in addition to three other artist-entrepreneurs whose creative practices straddle the intersection of the entrepreneurial, technological and creative spheres.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Art Center @ SXSW Interactive 2015: Frank Lloyd Wright, Princess Reema and David Chang

by March 23rd, 2015

500x281

Let’s face it, the essential ingredients comprising daily life in the Digital Age are in a state of head-spinningly rapid change, we’re often just racing to keep up, unaware of the impact the onslaught of the new. Sometimes it’s hard not to wonder what’s been lost now that we have unlimited distractions, a highly curated set of entertainment options and no space for boredom. What are the unforeseen implications of the increasingly widespread adoption of the internet of things, artificial intelligence and the shared economy? How do we create a more inclusive and equitable environment for everyone who steps into the digital domain?

These were just a few of the thorny and thought-provoking questions addressed within the vast offerings of the 2015 SXSW Interactive program. In fact, this year’s lineup was so densely packed with timely, topical and totally useful panels, workshops and mentoring meet-ups, navigating the offerings was an exercise in content curation, information architecture and design thinking. Because so much of the subject matter covered within the festival’s many panels and lectures is so indisputably germane to the Art Center community, we attended the festival targeting the events most Art Center-relevant events, which we’ll recap to you in the form of key takeaways parceled out within a series of blog posts over the next three days.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Remembering Norm Schureman: A video tribute to the larger-than-life legacy of an Art Center icon

by March 20th, 2015

This week we are remembering and celebrating the life of Norman Schureman, our beloved teacher, mentor and friend.  It’s been 5 years since we had to say goodbye to one of the most passionate designers and significant instructors in our Art Center community.   The ripples of his influence are still felt as we continue to uphold his ideals in the Product Design department, as well as through the Norman Schureman Memorial Endowed Scholarship fund.  On the special week, let’s raise our glasses with pinkies out and remember our friend Norm.

Bookmark and Share

Student/Space: Kristina Ortega—Media Design Practices, Episode 2

by March 19th, 2015

In our first episode with Media Design Practices student Kristina Ortega she was just beginning her investigation into the human micro biome. In this episode we learn about her recent deployment of bacteria covered cheerleaders in a Los Angeles cul-de-sac and her strategies for reimagining civic health.

What is Student/Space?

We identify three students from different disciplines who are in the process of completing an ambitious project. Over the course of the term we work with them to create three videos capturing the launch, obstacles and completion of their finished work of art and/or design. At the end of the term, each student’s trio of episodes constitutes an intimate take on the agony and ecstasy of bringing an idea to life.

Video by Grad Film student Tatyana Kim

Bookmark and Share

Grad Film alum Elran Ofir conjures a slot in Cannes Short Film Corner

by March 18th, 2015

ReSized_EO

Spring brings the arrival of many things. Swans pursue the thawing lakes in the north. Leaves return to barren trees. And film moguls descend on the white beaches of Cannes for premiers and deal making. This year, alum Elran Ofir (Grad Film 14), will be one of the fortunate few whose film will be included in the Cannes Short Film Corner, a special section for filmmakers to gain access to industry meetings, workshops and conferences on strategic issues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Kickstarter powers epic journey across Argentina for artist Antrese Wood

by March 17th, 2015

The Dotted Line caught up with Alumna Antrese Wood (BFA 94 Illustration) at the opening of her show, “A Portrait of Argentina” at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona.

Perito Moreno glacier. Antrese Wood.

Perito Moreno glacier. Antrese Wood.

Dotted Line: What have you been doing personally since you left Art Center?

Antrese Wood: I’ve had a windy path.

I left Art Center and worked for Disney for about 12 years. I got that job by being extraordinarily persistent, possibly stalker-ish. Sometimes, I wondered if they hired me so I’d finally leave them alone.

Working at Disney allowed me to mature and continue to develop skills I learned at Art Center. The real lesson in all the class critiques is not so much about the details of the work itself; it’s about being able to objectively talk about the work. To listen to other people’s opinions about your ‘baby’ without taking it personally or getting defensive. Part of my job at Disney was providing art direction for video games. I can tell you the people who did not pick up that skill were not happy and did not make it very far.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Saturday High “Comic Book Illustration” students develop their voice, one panel at a time

by March 16th, 2015

Student work from Saturday High's "Comic Book Illustration" class.

Student work from Saturday High’s Comic Book Illustration class.

It may be fashionable these days to take shots at movies based on comic books—Hello, Mr. Eastwood!—but contrary to popular belief, comic books are not a single genre. Rather, they are a visual storytelling medium that has evolved over hundreds of years.

Today, comics are used to tell all kinds of stories—everything from coming-of-age dramas like Craig Thompson’s Blankets to the wartime journalism of Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Stuart Fingerhut reinvents the future of retail through experiential design

by March 13th, 2015

Stuart Fingerhut designs Scion's presence at major international auto shows.

Stuart Fingerhut designs Scion’s presence at major international auto shows.

The following profile of Environmental Design alumnus Stuart Fingerhut appeared in the January 2015 issue of VSMD Magazine. Read how Fingerhut’s leading-edge thinking about reconceiving the retail experience to be more about connection than commerce informs the success of his experiential marketing work for Toyota’s Scion brand as well as his personal design practice creating functional art.

Stuart Fingerhut seems to have this experiential design thing all figured out. As creative director for Toyota’s Scion brand at the George P. Johnson Experience Marketing Agency in Los Angeles, Fingerhut is responsible for creating Scion’s presence at major international automobile shows.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share