Monthly Archives: September 2010

Alumnus Fridolin Beisert Talks Art Center

Product Design alum and Associate Professor Fridolin Beisert is a practicing design professional who also conducts workshops and lectures for global corporations and executive education institutions. His classes at Art Center focus on creative problem solving, design thinking methodologies, cross-disciplinary team projects and sustainable design strategies. Previously, he developed games in Tokyo for Sony, formed an international concept design consultancy, played worldwide as an underground DJ, authored a book on learning design using 3D software and studied traditional papermaking in Japan. Suffice it to say that Beisert is a pretty interesting (and busy!) guy.

In the video below, Beisert discusses his time at Art Center and some of the lessons he learned here:

The Tale of the Google 5

Do you remember earlier this year when Google ran an ad during the Super Bowl? Here it is below. Take a quick look—we’ll wait:

OK. What is interesting about this ad—despite the fact that it is for a company whose CEO once called advertising  “the last bastion of unaccountable spending in corporate America”—is that it was created by a group of advertising and design students dubbed the “Google 5.” Recent Art Center Media Design program graduate Jonathan Jarvis was one of five chosen from a pool of 400 applications.

The Google 5: Tristan Smith, J. Smith, Anthony Cafaro, Michael Chang, Johnathan Jarvis

From AdAge: “The 5 program is an experiment launched last year by the Google Creative Lab and its executive creative director, Robert Wong. The company sent a call out to 12 schools searching for interesting talent who would work inside the Creative Lab for a year and then be sent out unto the industry. So, with the Google 5, the company gets new creative blood and the industry gets young talent that is schooled in Google, and, by extension, the post-digital/new advertising way—tech-forward, open-source, collaborative and smart.”

The 5 worked on a wide range of projects, from the Nexus phone to Hulu ads to the Google Christmas card. Their year-long tenure ended in June.  But the new Google 5 have arrived—and it includes Chris Lauritzen, a designer/”wild card” from Art Center ‘s Media Design program.

We can’t wait to see what they produce. They’re already tackling projects including Google search, Google TV and the Chrome browser.

Read more in this fascinating story at AdAge: Meet the Google 5, the Team Behind ‘Parisian Love’ Super Bowl Spot

Alumnus Jorge Pardo Named MacArthur Fellow

A hearty congratulations to Fine Art alumnus and installation artist Jorge Pardo, who has been named a 2010 MacArthur fellow, and recipient of the MacArthur ‘genius’ award.

Pardo, as the other 22 recipients, recently learned through a surprise phone call from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that he will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years. MacArthur fellowships come without stipulations and reporting requirements, allowing fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create and explore.

The Los Angeles-based Pardo’s projects include his personal home and LACMA’s pre-Columbian gallery exhibition hall.

Congrats, Jorge! Read more:

Big Picture Lecture Series Kicks Off Today

It’s the start of the term and that means one thing: a new Big Picture Lecture series. The Toyota Motor Corporation Endowed Lecture Series brings visionary thinkers from around the world to campus to discuss the cultural and political currents shaping art and design.

The series kicks off today at 1 pm in the Ahmanson Auditorium at Hillside Campus. All lectures are free and open to the public. Coming up for Fall Term:

September 27: Joann Kuchera-Morin, Composing in N-Dimensions
Joann Kuchera-Morin is a composer, professor and researcher in multi-modal media systems, content and facilities design. The culmination of Kuchera-Morin’s research efforts is the one-of-a-kind Allosphere Research Facility—of which Kuchera-Morin serves as director—at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her years of experience in digital media research led to the creation of the University of California’s multi-million dollar sponsored research program, the Digital Media Innovation Program, of which Kuchera-Morin served as chief scientist from 1998 to 2003.

October 4: Hershel Parker, My 50 Years with the Confidence-Man
Hershel Parker is the author of Herman Melville, A Biography; Flawed Texts and Verbal Icons and Reading Billy Budd, among others. Professor emeritus of English at the University of Delaware, Parker co-edited the Norton Critical Edition of Moby Dick and served as editor of the Norton Critical Edition of The Confidence Man. He is associate general editor of the Northwestern-Newberry edition of The Writings of Herman Melville.

October 25: Lisa Margonelli, Designing for Cognitive Dissonance: The Weird Relationship Between Gas Pumps and US Energy Policy
Lisa Margonelli directs the energy policy initiative at the New America Foundation, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. She spent four years following the oil supply chain to write Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank , published in 2008. Recognized as one of the 25 Notable Books of 2007 by the American Library Association, Oil On the Brain also won a 2008 Northern California Book Award for general nonfiction.

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What a Great Event: The Art Center Summit

We live tweeted yesterday from the Art Center Summit —what a wonderful experience! This year’s Summit, Projects and Partnerships in Sustainable Design, highlighted our association with the Opportunity Green Business Conference, taking place September 22 through 24 at L.A. Center Studios.

Yesterday’s Summit included the workshops Beyond the Peanut: Using Life Cycle Assessment to Develop Goals and Strategies led by Art Center’s Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Associate Professor Heidrun Mumper-Drumm, and Using Cross-Pollination for Business Innovation by Associate Professor Frido Beisert. Main stage presentation Product Design in the Sustainable Era, led by Taschen editor Julius Wiedemann, featured a panel of Art Center students discussing their work that was included in the Taschen book of the same name and that were on display at the event.

A very special thank you to everyone involved in making this year’s Summit happen,including student panelists Daniel Huang, Mark Huang, Sharon Levy, Magdalena Paluch and John Phillips; student exhibit curators Jessie Kawata, Arthur Leung, Brandon Lowry, Christine Nakashiba and Magdalena Paluch; and the many Art Center students who volunteered at the exhibit.

Check out our tweets from the event, and enjoy this slideshow below. Stay tuned to The Dotted Line—we’ll bring you more photos and a recap soon.

Just Add Water

The following post was written by 5th Term Transportation Design student Tom Harezlak for the Designmatters blog.

Who needs an alarm clock when you can wake to the sound of a choir of monks?

NikolausKloster, a 600 year-old monastery in Germany, has an atmosphere that I would describe as a charming castle mixed with frat house. This special place was home to me and 23 others for a week as we learned about key issues of sustainability and attempted to tackle some of them. This was the second Sustainable Summer School, and I was grateful to be sponsored as attendee by Designmatters, the social impact design department at my school, Art Center College of Design.

“Summer” is a loose term, however, because September in Duesseldorf can get quite cold as I discovered. The warmth of my company was tremendous; a point that illustrated the value of bio-diversity. Our culturally diverse group hailed from nine different countries and this added richness to the experience. All the workshop participants were either design students or practicing designers, but we were in the company of a philosopher, sociologist, artists, a CEO and ecological researchers. The program was born out of collaboration between faculty from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and Ecosign, an ecologically focused design academy.

For the week we stayed in this sanctuary with little internet and poor cell reception; it was great. The brothers of the order made our food and much of it was grown on site. We left the countryside for one day to visit Cologne and hear expert speakers at Ecosign.

Biologists and a sociologist presented two points of view on swarms and swarm intelligence. Their research was fascinating and their debate heated. Experiments illustrated the dynamic probability of humans to behave like a swarm. All this while psychological factors would indicate that this behavior would never be predictable when applied to humans.

Another point communicated was that a group may be able to solve a problem that no one individual in the group is able to. Then it was up to our teams of designers to present the relevance we believed it had to design. Throughout the week I was elected to present as a native English speaker and because I was “the easiest to understand,” though there was a proper Brit on call. I suppose I have Hollywood to thank for that.

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The Summit is Here!

It’s not too late to attend the fourth Art Center Summit, Projects and Partnerships in Sustainable Design. This year’s event will highlight our association with the Opportunity Green Business Conference at L.A. Center Studios, today through Friday.

Tomorrow will feature breakout sessions Beyond the Peanut: Using Life Cycle Assessment to Develop Goals and Strategies and Creative Strategies: Sustainability by Design and the main stage presentation, Product Design in the Sustainable Era, will be held tomorrow afternoon. There will also be an exhibit of student work, featuring art and design addressing environmental, social and economic sustainability, on view throughout the conference.

Learn more at the Summit website. See you there!

The Mystery of the Ford Capri

It’s been one of the greatest mysteries of the transportation industry: Just who designed the Ford Capri?

It’s taken four decades, but we finally know the answer. And interestingly enough—and probably not surprisingly—he was an Art Center alum. Phil Clark, an Iowa native who graduated from Art Center in 1958 and went to work for Ford in 1962, was the designer of Mustang’s galloping horse logo. Thanks to his daughter Holly, Clark has been identified as the designer of the Capri as well.

Holly was just a toddler when her father died of kidney failure at age 32. As an adult, she began an extensive investigation, piecing together his surviving art folios.

From Hemmings Blog: “‘Code-named GBX, his drawings and clay models for Project Colt, the name given to Capri preproduction planning within Ford, range from 1964 through 1966,’ said Norm Murdock, executive of the Ford Capri Hall of Fame, which inducted Clark earlier this month when the news came to light. Early Clark renderings show nearly all the classical Capri hallmarks: Long hood, short rear deck, fastback pillars with notchback rear window, squared-off rear quarter, upswept front valence, dramatic side crease, etc.’”

Read more at Hemmings Blog and at Holly’s fascinating site about her father.

Now Showing: Art Center Alumni, Faculty and Students

Danger, Set Free, by Rob and Christian Clayton (2008)

A few current exhibits featuring work of Art Center students, alumni and faculty:

  • Clayton Brothers: Inside Out, a new major exhibition at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, presents paintings and mixed-media installations created collaboratively by Illustration alums Rob and Christian Clayton. The exhibit will be on view through January 2, 2011. Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Graduate Art faculty member Taft Green’s new show, Settings, opens at Praterstrasse48 Berlin on Sept. 30.   Praterstrasse48
  • Graduate Art faculty member Skip Arnold, Graduate Art alums Jennifer Moon and Jeff Ostergren, and Fine Art alumnus Jorge Pardo are in a group show opening Sept. 25 and curated by Grad Art faculty member Jan Tumlir, Jerry/Jury Rigged, at the Glendale College Art Gallery.  Glendale College Art Gallery
  • Fine Art alum Devin Strother currently has a solo show at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica. Richard Heller Gallery
  • The Blab! Show features work by Illustration alums Marc Burckhardt, Owen Smith and Lou Beach. Through Oct. 2 at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica. The Blab! Show
  • Grad Art alumna Emilie Halpern’s latest show, Eclipse, on display at Pepin Moore through Oct. 23. Pepin Moore
  • Painting faculty member Kent Williams has a solo show at Evoke in New Mexico through Sept. 30. Evoke Contemporary
  • Alumna Korin Faught has an opening September 25 at Corey Helford Gallery. Corey Helford Gallery
  • MDP student An Xiao Mina participating in a poetry reading this Saturday at the Pacific Asia Museum. Southern California Haiku Study Group Anthology

What did we miss? If you know of any student, alumni or faculty shows, let us know.