Doing well by doing good: ArtCenter students’ social impact innovations win big at 2015 IDEA awards

by August 26th, 2015

Though the hum of activity in the halls and classrooms of Hillside and South campuses has temporarily lulled as we await the start of the Fall term, Summer 2015 has ended on a high note with this week’s news that ArtCenter students’ innovative prototypes and projects were honored by the prestigious Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) at the organization’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in Seattle on August 22.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Going bold and going home: ArtCenter’s graphic identity, past and present

by August 25th, 2015

ArtCenter’s original 7th Street campus, 1947

ArtCenter’s original 7th Street campus, 1947

At the beginning of 2013 the Design Office began evaluating the ArtCenter identity and considering possible adjustments that could enable a stronger, more flexible presence, particularly with online communications in mind. Our intent wasn’t to rebrand ArtCenter, but rather to make stronger use of the existing graphic identity elements that have always been associated with the College. This process led to a fascinating deep dive into the history of ArtCenter’s identity. We looked into the origins of the orange dot and studied 85 years of ArtCenter promotional materials to identify the things that represent the essence of who we are. Here’s what we found:

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Q&A with Grad Art faculty member and alum Gabrielle Jennings on her new book, Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art

by August 20th, 2015

Cover image courtesy of University of California Press

Cover image courtesy of University of California Press

Gabrielle Jennings (MFA 94 Grad Art) is a multi-media artist and Associate Professor teaching in ArtCenter’s Graduate Art program. Most recently, Jennings has edited a collection of essays to be published by University of California Press: Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art (forthcoming Fall 2015). This groundbreaking volume includes a diverse set of essays centered around the question of abstraction in the moving image arts.

Jennings has been artist in residence at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin and 200 Gertrude Street Artist Spaces, Melbourne and has been honored with support from such organizations as the Art Matters Fellowship, Philip Morris Kunstforderung, and the Samsung Faculty Enrichment Grant. Among others, writers Harold Fricke, Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, and Jan Tumlir have written about her work.

Jennings received a BFA from the University of California, San Diego.  There she had the opportunity to study with artists such as Eleanor Antin and Allan Kaprow.  She then studied with Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Patti Podesta, Mike Kelley, Stephen Prina, Lita Albuquerque and Sabina Ott in the Graduate Art program at ArtCenter.

With her book due to be released next month, Jennings answered a few questions about the broad spectrum of personal, professional and creative experiences informing her writing and video creative practice as well as her journey from student to faculty member in ArtCenter’s Graduate Art program.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

m-a-u-s-e-r installation explores how nature became the digital world’s aesthetic obsession

by August 19th, 2015

Asli Serbest (left) and Mona Mahall selecting images of artificial palm trees for the Natural Wifi installation in Media Design Practices' Wind Tunnel Gallery at ArtCenter's South Campus. Photo: m-a-u-s-e-r

Asli Serbest (left) and Mona Mahall selecting images of artificial palm trees for the Natural Wifi installation in Media Design Practices’ Wind Tunnel Gallery at ArtCenter’s South Campus. Photo: m-a-u-s-e-r

You know those artificial rocks people use to hide pipes, pumps and other domestic structural elements deemed too aesthetically displeasing for a proper residential landscape? Turns out they’re not the most comfortable objects to sit on for an extended period of time.

Nevertheless, that’s how I spent 45 minutes last week—sitting atop wheel-mounted fake rocks and talking with their creators, Asli Serbest and Mona Mahall, the Stuttgart- and Istanbul-based art, design and architecture duo who go by the nom de guerre micro architecture unit star energy ray, or m-a-u-s-e-r for short.

I met with them to discuss Natural Wi-Fi, their research project that culminated in an installation in Wind Tunnel Gallery, part of ArtCenter’s Graduate Center for Critical Practice, that explored the material byproducts of the Internet as well as how Nature has become the online world’s aesthetic obsession.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Writer Seeks Same: Film faculty Douglas J. Eboch and Paul Guay discuss the pitfalls and pleasures of screenwriting partnerships

by August 18th, 2015

Spanky and Stymie form a partnership in Paul Guay's The Little Rascals (1994).

Spanky and Stymie, classic partners, pledging “No girls allowed” in Paul Guay’s The Little Rascals (1994).

History is full of partnerships. Some, like Adam and Eve, can be very productive. Others end in ruin, such as Lancelot and King Arthur, when the former’s secret love affair undid the latter’s kingdom. The same is true in Hollywood where screenwriting partners are an integral part of the machinery—and mythology—of the business. Understanding what to look for in a writing partner, and why to work with one in the first place, is crucial to making sure the drama stays on the page.

Film faculty Douglas J. Eboch interviewed fellow Film faculty Paul Guay on his fruitful writing career in, and out of, partnerships.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Student designers incorporate quantified self metrics into mind-bogglingly innovative devices for people with disabilities

by August 13th, 2015

Panoramic shot of students in the Exploring the Quantified Self class

Panoramic shot of students in the Envisioning the Quantified Self class

Graphic Design student Leah Demeter found herself in the unique position of acting as both designer and potential consumer in one of her recent product design classes at Art Center. That’s because her team had chosen a challenge particularly relevant to her: develop a better captioning device for the hearing impaired.

“As someone with profound hearing loss,” Demeter says, “I face communications challenges on a daily basis. Captioning is one of the tools I use to help me follow conversations I would otherwise miss, but there are problems with the current design.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

You go, grads: Let the Summer Graduation festivities begin!

by August 12th, 2015

Graduating students with friends and family following Spring 2015 commencement. Photo: John Dlugolecki

Graduating students with friends and family following Spring 2015 commencement. Photo: John Dlugolecki

“Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet.” Bob Marley

This Saturday, following a sometimes exhaustive, always intensive, memorably vigorous and astonishingly creative commitment to making and learning, 91 ArtCenter students will receive their diplomas. This will be the second graduation ceremony to be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, a thankfully climate-controlled venue conveniently located between Hillside and South campuses.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

View from the Bridge: Reflecting on #ADA25, inclusive design and Ed Roberts’ pivotal role as a pioneer for independent living

by August 10th, 2015

Ed Roberts being sworn in by California Governor Jerry Brown as the State Director of Rehabilitation in 1975. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Committee

Ed Roberts in 1976 being sworn in by California Governor Jerry Brown as the State Director of Rehabilitation. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Committee

Last month marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a groundbreaking piece of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and guarantees that those individuals are afforded the same opportunities as everyone else. Or, as the Justice Department puts it, the Act guarantees that people with disabilities can “participate in the mainstream of American life.”

This anniversary means a great deal to me. Prior to coming to ArtCenter, I spent five years deeply involved in the development and building of the Ed Roberts Campus. This stunning and groundbreaking facility, situated atop the Ashby BART Station in Berkeley, was created by a number of disability organizations to serve as the global resource for the disability community.

The man whose name graces the campus, Ed Roberts, inspired the independent living movement and is widely considered the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act. His story is both thought provoking and exhilarating.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Influencing the influencers: Your essential guide to succeeding as an intrapreneur

by August 5th, 2015

Errol Gerson courtesy of Laurel Johnson Photography

Errol Gerson courtesy of Laurel Johnson Photography

Not a day that goes by without an article on some great entrepreneurial success story. These pieces point to thriving digital giants like Airbnb, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, GoPro, DropBox, Uber. But in point of fact there are literally hundreds and hundreds of  entrepreneurial successes who might not have gone public for $X Billion, but are nonetheless responsible for creating jobs, revenue and spin-off opportunities and look-a-likes. But seldom do we hear of these. And they are virtually never interviewed on CNBC or anywhere else for that matter. Are these bright, energetic, hard-working companies any less successful than their mega counterparts?  My answer to that rhetorical question is a resounding no.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

All you need to know about the value of mixing business and design from Airbnb’s Katie Dill

by August 4th, 2015

Doreen Lorenzo: What do you think influenced your career path and becoming a designer?
Katie Dill: Growing up my sister and I were chopping wood, helping to build the extension on the house, taking down trees, driving cars when we were nine years old, and just playing outside in the Adirondacks, making things, like forts and whatever would come to us. And so it was very hands-on—if you see a problem, fix it. I think that kind of approach took me onto the design route, which is all about problem solving and making things.

I’d never even heard of the profession of design, outside of interior design. I studied history in college, because I wanted to know why things are the way they are, and graduated looking to try to understand my next step. While I was studying abroad in Florence I fell in love with architecture, so I started to explore that as a career, speaking to several different architects, trying to learn how they got into it and what they did. That’s when I realized it probably would not be a good profession for someone as impatient as me.

My roommate recommended I talk to industrial designers, and when I did, I realized it sounded like a dream job come true. I applied to school and was accepted at Art Center College of Design. I studied industrial design and did a study abroad at a business school, INSEAD in Singapore, and then did several internships that took me further into the business world.

I saw how MBA students would tackle problems a designer could tackle, but in a different way. And I saw their way of thinking versus our way of thinking, and how together we could do something really great. That energized me to unite the fields. Because it’s not enough to just imagine a beautiful thing. It’s all about: how does that thing fit in the larger ecosystem? What’s the impact going to be on the community? What’s the impact going to be on the business?

Later when I went to work at frog design, I came in as what they called a design analyst. And I started doing more interaction work, and more design strategy, leading design projects. And then from there, after five years at frog, I was leading teams and building teams. Now my design project at Airbnb in many ways is helping to design the team that creates all of our digital products.

To read more about Katie’s experiences transitioning from agency to corporate design work, managing change at Airbnb and her ever expanding definition of what it means to be a designer in today’s world, visit FastCoDesign.

 

Bookmark and Share