Monthly Archives: May 2012

Art Center College of Design’s “Designmatters” Vice President Honored with Dell Social Innovation Education Award

Mariana Amatullo

Designmatters' Mariana Amatullo

Mariana Amatullo, vice president at Art Center College of Design and co-founder of Designmatters, the College’s social impact initiative, has won the inaugural Dell Social Innovation Education Award.  The honor recognizes outstanding leadership in teaching and supporting student social innovators.

Designmatters engages students, faculty and alumni from across disciplines in an ongoing exploration of the role of art and design in effecting large-scale sustainable change through innovative partnerships locally and around the world.  It is through the impressive outcomes generated by Designmatters that the College became the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status.

“Art Center aspires to redefine and expand the role of the artist and designer into one who is a catalyst for social change and innovation, ” said Lorne M. Buchman, president, Art Center College of Design.  “Designmatters allows us to harness the power of creative imagination to effect that change.

“I’m very proud of what Mariana has created over the last decade and we congratulate her, “ Buchman continued. “We consider this award an endorsement as renewed encouragement to continue our commitment to contribute to, and learn from, our engagement in the social innovation space.”

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the inaugural recipient of this award,” said Amatullo. It has been my personal privilege and joy to be in a position of mobilizing the collective energy and creative talent of the Art Center community with an educational agenda for social impact through Designmatters.

“This award serves as a wonderful tribute to the body of work by our students, faculty, and staff during the last decade, and more broadly speaks of the growing recognition of the value of art and design in effecting consequential societal change,” she explained.

“We had many outstanding nominees for the Social Innovation Education Award,” said Dell  Challenge Executive Director Suzi Sosa, “however, Mariana stood out because of her ability to inspire institutional support for applying design solutions to social problems.”

Amatullo was chosen for her exemplary leadership and holistic approach in building new modes of engagement for art and design education with social impact, promoting broad collaboration through cross-sector partnerships with non-profit organizations, development agencies and industry. The award-winning and social innovation outcomes of Designmatters during the past decade are providing a key foundation for the framework of Media Design Matters, a new course of study in the Graduate Media Design Program at Art Center. Amatullo is co-leading Media Design Matters, which focuses on communication design at the intersection of new technology and social engagement.

She will be honored during the global awards ceremony on June 12th in Austin, Texas.

As part of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, several Art Center student projects from the award-winning Safe Agua initiative, a Designmatters partnership with the Innovation Center of Un Techo Para Mi Pais, were named semi-finalists.  The projects focused on innovative design products and systems to overcome water poverty with families of slum-dwellers in Lima, Peru.

About Art Center College of Design

Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, Art Center College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. Art Center offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines, as well as public programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for its ties to industry and professional rigor, Art Center is recognized as a United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), providing students with opportunities to create design-based solutions for humanitarian and nonprofit agencies around the world. During the College’s 80-year history, Art Center’s alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live, and important issues in our society.

To learn more

Environmental Design and Product Design Students Showcase at New York Design Week

A short nap in Melissa Lee's "Lulla" provides an experience akin to being rocked in your parents arms.

Art Center was in full force at New York City’s 24th annual New York Design Week.

Students and alumni from the College were featured at both the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and the WantedDesignNYC Design Challenge.

Seven Environmental Design students—Sue Chung, Steve Oh, Melissa Lee, Minh Nguyen, Evan Liao, Brandon Kim and Me Young Kim—had their furniture and lighting projects on exhibition at this year’s ICFF.

Brandon Kim's "Harbor" outdoor poolside chaise is fabricated from polyepoxide powder-coated 5052 aluminum.

The exhibit of student work illustrated the “total spatial experience” philosophy of environmental design at Art Center—a philosophy in which the designer takes into consideration every detail from the first moment of encounter to the last moment of interaction. Each piece was designed based on the power of the story content and context that it defines, the interaction it creates and the emotional interface that it accomplishes.

Sunlight filtering through Me Young Kim's "Aureole" creates shadows of endless patterns and shapes.

Making a seamless transition from the classroom into the marketplace, these pieces immediately translate into the type of professional, marketable furniture that Art Center students are well-known for creating. By studying with working professionals, Art Center designers learn to create dynamic pieces as well as how to showcase their designs.

Art Center was also represented at ICFF by six alumni who were selected for ICFF Studio.

Both pieces of Sue Chung's "Ease" are made of wood. The top piece is spray painted; the bottom is left as raw finish.

Also, as part of New York Design Week, four students representing both Environmental Design—Jonathan Kim and Ji A You and Product Design—Ryan Oenning and Jacques Perrault—participated in the WantedDesignNYC Design Challenge.

Students were asked to use one material, one conceptual tool (e.g. computer software) and one fabrication tool (e.g. a laser cutting machine) to design and construct a lighting design of their own invention.

The Dotted Line tweetted live from ICFF using Art Center’s @art_center Twitter account and the #ICFF hashtag.

Additional information on Art Center students and alumni participating in New York Design Week events can be found here.

And if you know of any other New York Design Week events that the Art Center community should know about, please leave us a note in the comments below.

Meet Art Center at Night Student Arotin Hartounian

ACN student Arotin Hartounian.

Sometimes pursuing your passion isn’t the easiest decision to make.

Just ask Art Center at Night (ACN) student Arotin Hartounian, who last term completed Illustration Techniques with Robert Pastrana.

We sat down recently with Hartounian, and here’s what he told us:

“I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, but I moved to Glendale when I was 10 years old. It’s been a real blessing. As a kid, I was always drawing and experimenting with images, but the thought of pursuing art as a career never crossed my mind. That would have been unimaginable. Those opportunities just don’t exist in Iran.

“I began to see things differently once I entered high school. I started taking more art classes and, with the guidance of my art teachers, I began to realize that there were real opportunities out here to be an artist. When I first told my parents that I wanted to be an artist they didn’t take it seriously because they weren’t aware of the possibilities either. Over the years, I’ve had to prove to myself and them that I’m serious and that there are a lot of well-paid, well-respected fields out there for creative individuals.

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Space Stories Attracts Full House of Final Frontier Fans

Local Scientists Reveal Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of the Universe

At Art Center, being sandwiched geographically between the experimental and exploratory resources of innovative places like Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory has its advantages – particularly for an ongoing series of exhibitions superimposing the domains of art and science at the college’s Williamson Gallery.

On Tuesday evening, May 1, one of those exhibitions, the Williamson’s landmark The History of Space Photography, took advantage of Art Center’s strong relationship with its nearby neighbors.  Lured from their star-studded light year calculations, exoplanet forays, and search for life-out-there, five space mission veterans interacted with an enthusiastic sold-out audience for SPACE STORIES, an informal meandering walk-around laced with spontaneous anecdotes, hidden facts, behind-the-scenes observations, and insider secrets on the history and future of the Final Frontier.

Introduced to the audience by Art Center Vice President and Williamson Gallery director Stephen Nowlin, were exhibition curator Jay Belloli; Dr. Randall Friedl, Deputy Director for Research, Engineering and Science Directorate, JPL; Dr. Robert Hurt, Spitzer Space Telescope Visualization Specialist, JPL/Caltech; David Doody, Realtime Flight Operations Lead Engineer, Cassini Mission, JPL; Jurrie van der Woude, Image Coordinator, Public Affairs Office, JPL (retired); and Dr. Randii Wessen, Science Systems Engineer and Deputy Manager, Project Formulation, JPL.

From the scientists’ outer-space to the gallery’s 4,600 square-foot inner-space where 150 spectacular photographs are on display, the spirit of exploration and discovery was present throughout as an abundance of tidbits and insights consumed the five roaming islands of rapt questioners and story-tellers.  It was a truly memorable evening, just what one might expect at the intersection of these three renowned art/science institutions in Pasadena.

The History of Space Photography’s premiere engagement began at the Williamson Gallery continues through May 6.  The exhibition is presently scheduled to travel to Florida, New York, and India.

User Experience Pioneer Maggie Hendrie Joins Art Center as Inaugural Chair of New Interaction Design Program

Provost Fred Fehlau announced the selection of user experience pioneer Maggie Hendrie to lead Art Center’s new Interaction Design program. Formally launching in Fall 2012, Art Center will be the first school in Southern California to offer an undergraduate degree in Interaction Design.

(c) Art Center College of Design/Four Eyes Photography

“Both as a teacher and founder of multiple User Experience and Interaction Design departments in industry, Maggie has a proven track record for weaving cross-departmental, multidisciplinary programs that leverage human-centered design,” Mr. Fehlau said. “We’re confident in her ability to drive the complex institutional, technical and design factors needed to deliver those skills and vision to our students.”

Ms. Hendrie said, “Interaction Designers must be prepared not only for multidisciplinary projects and work environments but for a medium that can range from gestural sensor driven networks to gameplay and wired cities. As new platforms supporting interactive mediums emerge, others become obsolete. What would the world look like without the screen? We need to develop core, transferrable skills, processes and a creative vision at the undergraduate level. I am thrilled at the opportunity to join a world leader like Art Center to educate the next generation of visionaries in this new field.”

She is the Principal of Maggie Hendrie Design, a cross-channel business and service solution firm providing iPhoneapps, social media campaigns, and consumer-facing online tools and marketingfor such Fortune 500 companies as Allstate, PepsiCo, Sears, Mattel and Toyota Motor Company.

In 2004, Ms. Hendrie founded Sony Pictures Entertainment’s User Experience Competency Center and as Director was responsible for working with Sony divisions worldwide to integrate usability, information architecture and interaction into all Sony-produced devices and cross-platform projects. Prior to that she was Creative Director for User Experience at WhittmanHart/MarchFIRST, Inc., Director for User Experience at Caresoft, and Senior User Interface Designer at Cybermedia.

As a Senior Lecturer at Loyola Marymount University and Otis College of Art and Design, she played an integral role coordinating and teaching curriculum in Strategic Design and Entrepreneurial Studies between the Graphic Design department at Otis and the Business Studies department at Loyola Marymount.

She received her MA in Liberal Artsfrom Edinburgh University, her MS in Communication+Information Sciences fromthe Nouvelle Sorbonne University, and her Diplôme D’Etudes Approfondies (DEA) from the Paris VII University in Multimedia Design and Communication.

Ms. Hendrie comes to Art Center as a result of an extensive international search conducted this year by a committee of faculty, alumni, students and staff.

Interaction Design is one of several innovative new programs being launched by Art Center in response to the College’s strategic plan, Create Change, which lays the groundwork for Art Center not only to retain its competitive edge, but also to become the foremost art and design college of the 21st century.

Hendrie’s appointment was covered by a number of media outlets including the Wall Street JournalVariety, and the Chicago Tribune.