Nobody walks in L.A.?
Don’t tell that to Roberto Galicia.
After taking Introduction to Product and Transportation Design at Art Center at Night (ACN), Galicia decided to pursue design as a career.
The only problem? He lived in Ontario, the courses he needed were in Pasadena and he had no car.
We sat down recently with Galicia to get his full story; here’s what he told us:
“Where I went to high school in Rancho Cucamonga, everybody seemed to get a brand new car as soon as they turned 16. But not me. Ever since I was a little boy I loved cars and dreamed of one day designing cars. But I never had the means to own a car, so I took the bus everywhere.
“After high school and some community college classes, I signed up for Art Center at Night’s Introduction to Product and Transportation Design with Rimon Ghobrial. Rimon was a great instructor, and when he learned what I wanted to do with my life, he suggested I also enroll at Pasadena City College (PCC) to take classes with Stan Kong and Albert Yu, both Art Center alumni. I knew I had to take those classes, but I was worried about transportation. I didn’t have a car, so how was I going to get there? I enrolled at PCC and eventually figured it out, but the solution was ridiculous.
“In order to make it to my 8 a.m. classes, my mom would pick me up from my grandparents’ house in Ontario at 4 a.m. and drive me to the nearest Metrolink station in Rancho Cucamonga. The train would leave Rancho Cucamonga at 4:30 and arrive in downtown L.A.’s Union Station an hour later. From that point, I’d wait 45 minutes to transfer to the Metro Gold Line, which would then take me to the Allen Station, about a mile from PCC. I’d arrive at campus at 7:15 a.m. with 45 minutes of downtime before classes began.
“Experiencing that crazy journey made me completely rethink transportation design. Every morning, I was surrounded by so many people waiting to take that same 4 a.m. train. And at each stop along the way there were just as many people waiting to get on. And I was just a student; these people were going to work! So that made me think, wow, I really need to consider these people in my designs.
“Now that I’m enrolled in my second Art Center at Night class (Intermediate Transportation Design), I know I’m not just interested in car design, but in transportation and mobility design. We don’t live in New York; we live in L.A., a super car-centric place. And people living here can’t get around easily. I’ve experienced that first hand. I want to learn to integrate new forms of mobility into the infrastructure we have right now.”
Registration for ACN’s Spring 2012 term is open now and classes begin January 17.
Interested in learning more about Art Center at Night?
Come to Experience Art Center at Night next week, December 12–14, 7–9 p.m., a three-evening event where you can visit select ACN classes during the last week of the current term, sit in on critiques and student presentations, ask questions and register for Spring classes. Visit the ACN website for a list of participating classes.