Conjuring the magic of art and design for kids at the Boys & Girls Club

by November 25th, 2014

Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Be passionate about what you do. Be thorough and thoughtful doing it. Be a leader. Make something. Make a difference. These are core Art Center values and Environmental Design student Alvin Oei embodies all of them.

Oei’s enthusiasm about art and design drives his desire to share his knowledge and excitement for the disciplines with kids, most of whom attend schools with no art curriculum. He accomplished this in a big way for the children at Pasadena’s Boys & Girls Club when he conducted an intensive two-week workshop. The mini-Art Center boot camp challenged the youths to design different stores in Diagon Alley from the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” through storyboarding and physical model making. The project was designed around the popular book and movie series to help make it resonate. Kids “have this unabashed no-limit imagination” says Oei, who is inspired by their energy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Beyonce and beyond: Fine Art department responds to debate over “Pretty Hurts” course description

by November 24th, 2014

Beyoncé Inc. (S, M, L, XL) by April Bey Oil on maternity mannequin and board 36''X48'' 2014

Beyoncé Inc. (S, M, L, XL), by April Bey. Oil on maternity mannequin and board, 36”X48”, 2014

This guest blog post comes in response to recent digital conversation sparked by an article on MTV.com taking issue with the description for an undergraduate Fine Art course (co-taught, not incidentally, by a woman of color) entitled “Pretty Hurts.” This piece, composed by Fine Art department chair Vanalyne Green and course instructors Ariel McCleese and April Bey, was intended to contribute to this vital and momentous exchange as well as to elucidate the intentions animating the description’s provocation. We hope the dialogue will continue as we wholeheartedly embrace the values of inclusivity and gender equality that have informed this conversation as well as the work of all the artists discussed below. Please continue to weigh in with your thoughts and ideas on this dynamically shifting terrain in the comments section below. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Art Center in Asia: It Began in Japan

by November 21st, 2014

Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.

Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today, we explore the College’s historic relationship with Japan.

In 1956, Edward A. “Tink” Adams, Art Center’s first president, traveled to Japan with Advertising alumnus George Jergenson (BFA 35)—then the director of the College’s Industrial Design (ID) Department—and ID faculty member John Coleman. They had been invited by the Japanese government to tour the country and to share their thoughts on how industrial design could provide a competitive advantage for a nation still early in its post-war recovery.

After returning to the U.S., they filed a formal report containing several recommendations for Japan, including instilling a sense of national pride in products being “Made in Japan”—they cited Nikon’s confidence in placing its name on its camera, “one of the finest cameras anywhere”—and making sure Japanese students fully grasp their country’s rich cultural history. The future designer, it stated, “will learn more…from studying Japanese masters of painting and design than he will from Western art.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

View from the Bridge: The President’s attitude of gratitude for the Fall term’s vast riches

by November 19th, 2014

Incoming students during Fall 2014 Orientation Week.

Incoming students during Fall 2014 Orientation Week.

Thanksgiving, that wonderful holiday in which we as a nation give thanks for all our blessings, is just around the corner. In the spirit of that tradition, I’d like to take a moment to pause and reflect on what I have to be thankful for here at Art Center.

First of all, I’m thankful for all the newest members of the Art Center family. This Fall term we welcomed a record-breaking entering class of 432 new students, a number which reflects the continuing strength and enormous appeal of both our undergraduate and graduate programs. These students come to us from a total of 37 states across the nation and 31 countries around the globe, for a total of 47 countries represented across our truly international student body.

You may also be interested to know that the average age of the entering class is 21 and that, of our incoming undergraduates, 52% are female. As always, all of our incoming students demonstrated their considerable merit through their portfolios, academic records and personal statements, and each underwent a rigorous review to gain admission.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

And the technical Oscar went to…3-D VFX wizard and Art Center alum Peter W. Anderson

by November 17th, 2014

Peter W. Anderson (BFA 67), left, accepting his Oscar at the Academy's Technical Achievement Awards with Douglas Trumbull. (Credit: Michael Yada/©A.M.P.A.S.)

Peter W. Anderson (BFA 67), left, accepting his Oscar at the Academy’s Technical Achievement Awards with Douglas Trumbull. (Credit: Michael Yada/©A.M.P.A.S.)

Earlier this year, Photography alumnus and visual effects master Peter W. Anderson, ASC, accepted the 2013 Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an Academy Award for technological contributions that have brought credit to the film industry. “Without the sciences what would the art be?” Anderson asked as he hefted his Oscar. “Without the art, what would the sciences be?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Art Center in Asia: Create Change Design Forums at Beijing Design Week

by November 14th, 2014

Art Center's Mark Breitenberg welcomes participants to the 2014 Create Change Forums in Beijing.

Art Center’s Mark Breitenberg welcomes participants to the 2014 Create Change Forums in Beijing.

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today’s focus: the College’s growing relationship with China.

Whether it’s the impending arrival of China-made cars to the U.S. market or Film alumnus Michael Bay’s (BFA 88) Transformers: Age of Extinction breaking the $300 million barrier at the Chinese box office, these days all eyes are on the Middle Kingdom. And Art Center is no exception.

Just ask Mark Breitenberg, special assistant to the College’s president, who led the Create Change Design Forums, a three-day series of presentations and workshops which took place in China this September during Beijing Design Week.

At the packed forums, co-organized by Graduate Industrial Design (Grad ID) alumnus Lan Yu and sponsored by her company, Art Center leaders and alumni met with employees from 70 Chinese companies to introduce them to Art Center’s methodologies and creative processes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Your iPad or mine? Tablet design skills boost business

by November 13th, 2014

Terry Scott's iPad design

An immersive and provocative IPad experience designed by Pacific Life Insurance Senior Designer Terry Scott

Successful business owners know that the only way to reach target customers is to find them where they live. Digitally that is. Above all, this means speaking to consumers with content tailored to the platform of their choice. Just ask Pacific Life Insurance in Newport Beach. After the firm’s Senior Designer Terry Scott completed an iPad class through Art Center at Night, he convinced Pacific Life’s leadership to enroll the entire design team in the same class the next term so they are equipped with the latest developments in iPad design in preparation for the the company’s upcoming migration from print to tablet-based promotional materials.

Businesses and organizations are increasingly relying on iPad friendly formats to produce magazines, brochures and other key business tools. With 200 million iPads in circulation, the switch is vital to stay relevant to our evolving culture of visual learners.

Carla Barr has been Art Center’s expert faculty member on all things iPad since the introduction of the popular device in 2010. Barr’s Art Center at Night class is geared towards designers with established careers who are either interested in learning new technology or need to boost their skill set for their current gig. Her course covers three complex steps: concept, design and interactive build.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Art Center’s Berlin program highlighted in Superior Magazine Q&A with Graphic Design’s Simon Johnston

by November 12th, 2014

Simon Johnston

Simon Johnston

The following interview with Graphic Design faculty member Simon Johnston originally appeared in Superior Magazine. We’re republishing it here because it’s incredibly illuminating about Art Center’s BIKINI Berlin program as well as the depth of Art Center’s iterative process. And it’s not every day that a faculty member makes the pages of a men’s fashion magazine!

We live in a world that is controlled and dominated by technology. But students from Art Center College of Design, who are currently guests in BIKINI Berlin, have carried out an experiment. Banned from any technology, they focused their creativity on the actual process of design, and worked with analog methods and tools in their creative process. The results are remarkable, and will be shown in the form of an exhibition on November 20th. This project is directed by the designer and typographer Simon Johnston.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

And the Gold Award goes to…Safe Agua Colombia Team Calientamigos at IDSA International Conference

by November 10th, 2014

Team Calientamigos™ had a very busy summer. The Designmatters team members Mariana Somma, Della Tosin and Safe Agua Assistant Instructor Stella Hernandez returned to Bogotá, Colombia, for another informative field research trip. Around the same time, Tianyi Sun and Kevin Chang visited Austin, Texas, to attend The Exchange, IDSA International Conference, and to accept a Gold Award for Calientamigos™. Commenting on the students’ winning project, IDSA jury member Oscar Peña, global creative director for Philips Design Lighting, described it thus: “Authentic, inventive and playful solution to an everyday need. Good understanding of the value of doing daily rituals together.”

The following three-part post was written by Mariana Somma (Grad ID student), Stella Hernandez (Environmental Design BS 11) and Kevin Chang (Product Design student), on behalf of the entire Safe Agua Colombia Calientamigos™ team.

MARIANA SOMMA

mariana_headshot-300x300I recently had the privilege of joining the Calientamigos™ Team, which began through the Designmatters Safe Agua Colombia project. Through very tenacious last-minute efforts, I flew to Bogotá, Colombia, with teammate Della Tosin, with efforts to take with us five new Calientamigos BOMBA™ heater prototypes to the families living in the settlement of Altos del Pino (ADP), as well as check in on the first two rounds of prototypes left with the families over six months ago.  The experience was incredible, and meeting the families of ADP is one I will never forget. It was amazing to see the families using the Calientamigos™ system to heat water for bathing, cooking, cleaning, and even washing their family pets! For example, a family of 10 uses the BOMBA™ heater on a daily basis to heat bath water, saving them hours of time heating on a conventional stove, and with significant reduction in their gas bills.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Is Art Center the creative equivalent to bootcamp?

by November 7th, 2014

Graphic Design alumnus Michael Noh's (BFA 14) SYNC project. Photo: Alex Aristei

Graphic Design alumnus Michael Noh’s (BFA 14) SYNC project. Photo: Alex Aristei

Studying at Art Center is like going through boot camp. You’ve probably heard students and alumni from the College compare those two experiences. But how realistic is that analogy?

Graphic Design alumnus Michael Noh (BFA 14), who graduated this past summer, has an answer. Prior to studying at Art Center, Noh served in the Army Reserves for four years, during which time he designed multimedia communications and also served on a tour in Iraq as part of a Psychological Operation (PsyOp) unit.

Which means, yes, he went through boot camp. So I put the question directly to this military veteran and working designer: Is graduating from Art Center really akin to surviving basic training?

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share