Onward and upward: Art Center’s Spring 2015 Grad Show

by April 20th, 2015

Bruno Gallardo shows off his Zero Motorcycle prototype to alum Miguel Galluzzi of Aprilia/Piaggio. Photo by Jennie Warren

Bruno Gallardo shows off his Zero Motorcycle prototype to alum Miguel Galluzzi of Aprilia/Piaggio.
Photo by Jennie Warren

A fresh crop of creatives, 205 strong graduated from Art Center this past weekend, ready to harvest and haul their skills to the marketplace. The first pages of these grads’ yet-to-be-told professional narratives could involve launching a start-up, diving into a new position at a high-profile agency or escaping on a global adventure to see the world and collect some inspiration in the wilderness instead of the concrete jungle.

We decided to check in with a few during Spring 2015 Grad Show—our annual recruitment open house.

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Product Design’s Shirley Rodriguez gets arthritic children playing

by April 16th, 2015

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” - Charles Eames

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.34.31 AMA chronic illness diagnosis is hard for anyone and children especially. So when undergraduate Product Design student Shirley Rodriguez learned that children could suffer debilitating arthritis, she was determined to design a solution to help ease their suffering.

Following Eames’ dictum, she created an elegant product to motivate children to exercise their joints, and help push arthritis into remission. The result is Monstas. Shirley is currently seeking angel investors and studying abroad with Art Center’s INSEAD program to acquire the business skills necessary turn Monstas into a reality. The project was designed at Art Center and is currently in competition at the Dyson Foundation.

In her own words:

Monstas are interactive exercise toys for children with Juvenile Arthritis, they help strengthen the joints.

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Civic improvements: Spring 2015 Graduation claims a new location and starting time

by April 15th, 2015

Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

In February 1932, during the lowest ebb of the Great Depression, the new Pasadena Civic auditorium was dedicated “to the citizens of Pasadena, whose efforts and sacrifices have made the erection of this beautiful and useful building possible.” In the decades since its dedication, the Civic has seen millions of patrons from several generations of Southern Californians pass through its doors. As a home for ballet, symphony, popular music, musical comedy and television programs, the Civic has hosted a wide variety of special events.

On Saturday, April 18, 2014, the 2,997-seat auditorium will serve as the new venue for Art Center’s graduation ceremonies. The Spring 2015 graduating class will be the first Art Center cohort in a long time who will not face off against the elements—rain, sun, wind or cold—as they prepare to collect their diplomas. The gathering is at long last moving to a climate-controlled indoor home with permanent walls and floors. It is also conveniently centrally located between Art Center’s 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:

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The Girl Effect Studio: Nike + Designmatters team up to equip teen girls for social change leadership

by April 13th, 2015

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In the fall of 2014, Designmatters and Art Center’s Product Design Department collaborated with the Nike FoundationYale School of Management and fuseproject with the challenge of empowering and getting resources into the hands of adolescent girls living in poverty around the world. Student teams on both coasts built on existing everyday practices and developed social impact design ideas for income-generating and time-saving tools and techniques that are widely accessible, radically affordable and can be used intuitively by girls in diverse cultures all over the world.

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lynda.com acquired by LinkedIn: A billion-dollar idea, birthed at Art Center

by April 10th, 2015

Lynda Weinman's BOLD keynote, September 2014

Lynda Weinman at Art Center’s BOLD symposium for creative entrepreneurs, September 2014

As a faculty member at Art Center College of Design in the late 1980s and early ’90s, on a campus nestled in the hills above the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Lynda Weinman was trying to solve a simple problem. Her classes on digital media and motion graphics—computer design practices then in their infancy but in growing demand—were filled to overflowing. She wanted to make the popular classes accessible to more students, who at the time would literally camp out in the hallway to try and get in. And so she shifted the venue and began to teach 80 students at a time in an auditorium, rather than 15 at time in a classroom. Soon after, she and her company co-founder, Art Center alumnus and Trustee Bruce Heavin (BFA 1993 Illustration), launched lynda.com to begin offering video recordings of her lectures, distributed first on VHS tapes, then DVDs, and with the arrival of the internet, online. Together the couple evolved lynda.com from its original concept as a free web resource for Weinman’s students, to a site for her books on Web design, to a respected and ever-expanding online training library now offering thousands of courses.

In what Weinman has described as a “20-year overnight success” story, lynda.com has become an industry leader in online learning, and this week the company was acquired by social media giant LinkedIn for $1.5 billion. It’s LinkedIn’s largest deal ever, and for Weinman and Heavin, it means extending their reach to an even larger global audience of creative and business professionals.

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Alumna Marisa Howenstine’s “film in a frame” images nab prestigious Graphis honors

by April 9th, 2015

Girl with Curious Hair. Photo: Marisa Howenstine.

Girl with Curious Hair. Photo: Marisa Howenstine.

Marisa Howenstine (BFA 10 Photography) has had a great run the past two years with three images selected by Graphis for its prestigious Photography Annual, this year grabbing a Gold for “Ecce Homo: Behold the Man” and a Silver for “Modern Nature” and last year earning a Silver for “Murder of Crows.” The Dotted Line took this opportunity to catch up with her and find out a little more about this artist and her work.

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Gee whiz! Graphic Design alum Earl Gee named AIGA 2015 San Francisco Fellow

by April 8th, 2015

Design by Earl Gee

Design by Earl Gee

Earl Gee (Graphic Design, 1983), has been selected as an AIGA San Francisco Fellow for 2015. AIGA, founded in 1914, is the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, with 69 chapters and over 25,000 members. AIGA San Francisco, founded in 1983, is one of the largest AIGA chapters in the nation with over 1600 members. The AIGA Fellow program recognizes mature designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within the design community and their AIGA chapter. Fellows are honored for their design practice and other contributions in a range of areas, including education, writing, and leadership.

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Andrea Santizo: Pulling the Strand on view

by April 7th, 2015

PortraitThis Friday, April 10th, from 7pm – 9pm, an opening reception will be held for Andrea Santizo’s senior show, Pulling the Strand.

The work ranges in scale and media, from large wooden and wool wall pieces that encompass the viewer, to small copper and salt sculptures that could fit in a child’s hand. Her hybrid objects blend artistic and craft traditions with personal and art historical references. The result is a generous and inviting array of objects that want to shift when you grasp at them but linger in your mind long after the encounter.

In her own words:

As far back as I can remember, there has been a clash between my cultural background and the transplanted American culture in which I was raised. I find myself pushing together what is considered valuable art histories of: frames, prescribed minimalist shapes, drawing and painting, up to traditional textile, fiber, and domestic objects that lack validity within the same art worlds structure in which the formerly mentioned genres reside. In order to form a dynamic exhibition that allows for a critical viewing of such histories, traditions, and acceptable forms of high art, and in doing so directly confronting the polarized art histories and blatant appropriation of traditionally “female” shapes and practices, and questioning the exclusion of craft into the realm of “fine art.”

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Alumni from across the country gather to celebrate the life of graphic designer Doug “Big Dog” Oliver

by April 3rd, 2015

Graphic Design Doug "Big Dog" Oliver passed away in December 2014.

Graphic Design Doug “Big Dog” Oliver passed away in December 2014. Photo courtesy of Kyle Oliver.

Ask anybody who knew Graphic Design alumnus Doug Oliver (BFA 78) to describe the late designer’s personality and you’re likely to hear “larger than life.”

That reputation rang true last month when approximately 60 individuals—friends, family, colleagues and Art Center alumni—gathered on March 19 at Lithographix in Hawthorne, California for an informal celebration of the man’s life.

The Kansas-born Oliver, who passed away last December at the age of 63, left an indelible mark in the graphic design world. The annual reports he designed for institutions like the W.M. Keck Foundation and Northrop Grumman transformed potentially laborious information into exquisite works that captured the reader’s imagination.

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The Sky is the Limit: An Interview with Mariana Amatullo, Designmatters Vice President

by April 2nd, 2015

The following interview of Mariana Amatullo, Vice President of  Designmatters, appeared in Impact Design Hub. Discover how her process works and what she has learned from 14 years of running Designmatters.

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Allan Chochinov: Mariana, I’d like to start with two questions that I teach my students to ask: What gets you out of bed in the morning and what keeps you up at night? What are you most excited about right now, and what are you most worried about?1

Mariana Amatullo: I would say that what gets me up in the morning and motivates me deeply is living in a moment in time where there is an important call for, and recognition about, the unique value design and designers may bring to shaping and promoting processes of societal change. In this sense, I consider myself fortunate to be participating in a field or inquiry and practice—which gets referred to in a variety of ways as design for social innovation, social design, design for social impact—that is incredibly dynamic, complex and rewarding. What keeps me up at night is the other side of the coin, if you will, of the same motivation: ensuring that we do not fall short on delivering on the promise of design in this space. In other words, making certain that this emergent field not become “the design fad that failed” because we somehow did not honor that promise with the systematic rigor and boundless imagination required for success.

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