Monthly Archives: July 2012

Art Center featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Top 25 Film Schools ranking

Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Film Schools

The Hollywood Reporter has included Art Center’s stellar film program in its new list of the top 25 film schools in the world.

The second annual list of outstanding film educational institutions was decided on by the editors at the entertainment trade publication and an unidentified list of industry insiders.

The Art Center entry mentions alumni Michael Bay, Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (Mirror, Mirror) and visionary director Zack Snyder who’s highly anticipated Superman reboot Man of Steel is set for a June release.  In the story, alumnus Snyder recalls how his mentor, Mike Ahnemann, influenced his career.

Visionary Director Zack Snyder stops by Art Center

Watch the Man of Steel trailer here.

Art Center Promotes Wellness – Committed to Creatives’ Success

BEING WELL: Introducing Darshana Lele, Ph.D., Art Center’s New Director of Counseling and Wellness

Art Center's new Director of Counseling and Wellness Services, Darshana Lele, Ph.D.  photo by Chuck Spangler

Art Center's new Director of Counseling and Wellness Services, Darshana Lele, Ph.D.

You may be a brilliant artist or designer, but if your health and emotional well-being are not optimum, your short and long-term success is at risk.

That’s why the campus community recently welcomed Darshana Lele, Ph.D., as Art Center’s first Director of Counseling and Wellness.  The move reflects the College’s increased commitment to help students succeed, as part of the Create Change initiative.

“Our students are famously known for working hard to be at the top of their game, sometimes at the unacceptable cost of their own well-being,” said Jeffrey Hoffman, M.S., Dean of Students.  With Dr. Lele’s leadership, experience and dedication to improving the balance between the intense challenge and the vital level of support necessary for our students to be successful, we look forward to more on-campus and off-campus opportunities to stay well – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

Continue reading

Faculty Member Sean Adams Donates Proceeds of MOO.COM Collaboration to Art Center Scholarship Fund

Art Center faculty member Sean Adams.

Sean Adams

Art Center faculty member Sean Adams, partner and co-founder of the branding and strategic design firm AdamsMorioka, recently collaborated with MOO.COM to create their newest collection of high-end business cards for The Luxe Project.

When deciding which charity would receive 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of the business cards, Sean selected the Art Center Scholarship Fund and the purchase of any cards in Adams’ three collections—totaling 42 different designs—between now and the end of August will benefit Art Center students.

You can purchase any of Adams’ designs — Pattern and Colour, Sad Places or Ships Ahoy! — from MOO.COM.

Commenting on his choice to support the Art Center Scholarship Fund, Adams said, “As a teacher I’ve seen too many remarkable people leave school because they couldn’t afford to continue. When I see a student who is brilliant, passionate and who works like a dog, lose the resources to finish school, it is a loss not just to his or her own experience. It’s a loss of an incredible resource and voice to the world.

“None of us would have become successful without the help of the generation ahead of us. I myself wouldn’t have finished school without scholarship help,” he continued. “It feels great to know that I can give back and be a small part in making Art Center students the most incredible and successful designers graduating in the world today.”

As part of MOO’s efforts to make quality products and top-level design available for anyone to create their own unique identity, Luxe Business Cards are high-quality, super-thick, customizable cards that feature limited edition designs.

Adams said, “I was thrilled to have the opportunity to design cards for anyone to use and that MOO has given me the ability to support our future designers in this way. So thrilled that I couldn’t stop with just one collection, so I designed three.”

Images and more information about the designs follow. Continue reading

Limitless Vision: Maggie Hendrie leads Interaction Design

Maggie Hendrie, Art Center's new Chair of Interaction Design.  photo by Chuck Spangler

Maggie Hendrie, Art Center's new chair of Interaction Design.

Looking for that “Imagine If” Question: An Interview with Interaction Design Department Chair Maggie Hendrie

This coming Fall Term, as part of the College’s Create Change initiative, Art Center launches a new undergraduate Interaction Design degree program, in which students will learn to think deeply about user experience, apply technology creatively and invent new approaches to interaction and design.

We recently sat down with Interaction Design Department chair Maggie Hendrie and asked her what prospective students should know about the new program.

Dotted Line:  What is Interaction Design?

Maggie Hendrie: People interact with every object or system in their world, whether it’s human-made or natural. Interaction design is the process and craft of how people interact with artifacts, systems and services. We see this everywhere today in mobile apps, electronics, web sites, games, social networks and public spaces. Interaction design focuses on the user experience; how real people think, feel and behave when they use a product, environment or system.

Does Interaction Design go beyond working with technology?

Absolutely. What’s important is that you care about people and their experiences. You need to be able to ask, “What’s valuable and meaningful for people?” And then you need to be able to blueprint, wireframe, sketch or model what a solution to a problem might look like. Continue reading

Emmy Fever: Alum Talents Featured on Top Nominee “Mad Men”

Congratulations to all the talented professionals who worked on Emmy-nominated shows including Alumna Ellen Freund for her work on “Mad Men”

Art Center Alumna Ellen Freund FILM 79 is prop master on the hit AMC show “Mad Men.”  The show tied with “American Horror Story” for the most Emmy nominations with 17 each.  Among the many accolades, the steamy period drama series about Madison Avenue was honored for outstanding art direction.

Freund’s credits include “Twilight,” “Night at the Museum” and “Vanilla Sky.” To learn more about her career, check out this profile that recently ran on Huffington Post.

In the story, she says “Mad Men” is definitely the biggest challenge of her career. “It is my first time on a television series and the combination of a compressed time frame, limited budget and relentless schedules are very demanding. ‘Mad Men’ requires massive amounts of research to attain the level of accuracy that creator Matthew Weiner seeks and the entire crew strives for every day. The period is fascinating and visually stimulating, making it a real pleasure to work on.”

Art Center Students Rack Up Core77 Design Awards

Core77 Award RibbonFollowing a week of rolling announcements, Art Center is happy to congratulate the teams behind six noteworthy projects selected as Student Winners in the 2012 Core77 Design Awards, which celebrate the richness of the design profession and the brilliance of its practitioners. Among the award winners, our Product Design students’ solutions for medical devices and uniforms are valued in the Equipment and Soft Goods categories, Designmatters’ Safe Agua projects were recognized for their Social Impact, and a collaboration between Grad ID and the Drucker School is noted in the area of Strategy & Research.

CATEGORY: Equipment
PROJECT: Pal IV Pump System
JURY COMMENTS: Not only does this design pay attention to people’s physical need, but also their psychological needs in their most painful period.

CATEGORY: Equipment
PROJECT: Syncro – Post-surgical knee rehabilitation device
JURY COMMENTS: Unlike many professional medical devices with a cold, mechanical form, this design is very user friendly with its organic form and inviting user interface, which encourage patients to use it with joy.


Core77 award winner "Syncro," a post-surgical knee rehabilitation device, was designed by Art Center student James Cha.

CATEGORY: Social Impact
DESIGNER/TEAM NAME: Kimberly Chow and Carlos Vides
PROJECT: Safe Agua: Balde a Balde
CLIENT: Innovation Center, Un Techo Para Mi Pais
JURY COMMENTS: This product shows that even relatively humble designs can make a big difference to people’s lives.

CATEGORY: Social Impact
DESIGNER/TEAM NAME: Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You
PROJECT: Safe Agua: GiraDora
CLIENT: Innovation Center, Un Techo Para Mi Pais
JURY COMMENTS: So much going for it – a great concept that works on all the required levels to be a success.

CATEGORY: Soft Goods
PROJECT: Allayant – A shirt with built-in back support for paramedics
JURY COMMENTS: We really loved how [far] the Allayant reached. This was a big undertaking. It is rare to see such an innovative solution that is so well aesthetically resolved in a student project.

CATEGORY: Strategy & Research
DESIGNER/TEAM NAME: Art Center College of Design Grad ID and the Drucker Graduate School of Management
CLIENT: Southern California Public Radio
JURY COMMENTS: The KPCC+ strategy is notable because of the breadth of analysis that was done to increase listenership. They did a good job of targeting, understanding and designing for a complex and changing market and technology. Excellent process and project!

In addition to winning an award for KPCC+, the video testimonial submitted to Core77 as part of the entry process was showcased on the award site for being particularly informative.

The winners of each category will receive the C77DA trophy, and all honorees will be published in the Awards Gallery, on Core77 and in the awards publication. The recognition will culminate with a special event in New York City this fall.

Launched in 1995, Core77 publishes articles, discussion forums, resources, book reviews and event calendars in service to a global audience of design professionals, corporations, students, enthusiasts and fans. They host hundreds of thousands of online portfolios, provide job listings through a distinguished network of leading design site partners and maintain a database of thousands of design firms, schools, vendors and services. And offline, Core77 produces myriad design competitions, lecture series, parties, portfolio reviews and exhibitions.

Visionary director Zack Snyder stops by Art Center

Zack Snyder at Art Center. Photo by Chuck Spangler.

"Man of Steel" director, Zack Snyder.

Director and Art Center alumnus Zack Snyder FILM ’89 visited an overflowing Los Angeles Times Auditorium yesterday afternoon for a discussion and Q&A with Film instructor Dan Perri. Snyder, who came directly from an editing suite where he and a crew are preparing a trailer of his next film, the Superman reboot Man of Steel, for this weekend’s Comic-Con, shared with Art Center students his experiences both as a student and as a director of Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Watchmen, among others.

Here are a few highlights from the event:

Snyder on his initial “path:” When I first got to Art Center, I was pretty sure I’d make a short film and Steven Spielberg would see it and hire me to direct a feature film. That was the path I envisioned for myself. About half way through my Art Center career, I became super scared that I wasn’t going to get a job, so I put my head down and started making commercials.

On being loyal to his key collaborators: When I went in to commercials, a lot of the guys I worked with were my friends from Art Center. There’s a very pervasive culture in Hollywood of Okay, get rid of that guy and get another guy. Because maybe it’ll change, or if you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s a good thing to do. But I felt that the guys that I came up with were all super talented and I didn’t see any reason [to do that.]

On camaraderie at Art Center and beyond: When I was here in school, everyone banded together to make each other’s movies. That just seemed like the best way to do it. And that has certainly stayed with me into my career. In a more personal way, I just like having people that are close to me being involved in production. The partnership when you make a movie is so intense and Hollywood is full of people that you don’t know exactly what their agenda is. So the closer people can be to you, the more trust you have in them. Continue reading

Art Center Welcomes Cathy Karry as New Director of Career & Professional Development

Art Center College of Design has named Cathy Karry as the new Director of its Office of Career & Professional Development, it was officially announced today by Art Center Provost Fred Fehlau.

“Having worked in recruitment for art and design professionals for many years, Cathy has a deep knowledge of our student’s talents and aspirations, our alumni and our disciplines,” Fehlau said. “Career and professional development is an important aspect of our students’ education, I am confidant that Cathy will bring new ideas and opportunities to the College.”

Cathy Karry“It is an exciting time to be in career development as our role has become increasingly more vital in relation to recruiting, retention, student services, alumni relations, corporate partnerships and curriculum development,” said Karry. “I have always respected Art Center’s reputation as a progressive institution, so the opportunity to grow this department is a challenge I welcome.”

Karry previously held the position of Director of Career Services and Educational Partnerships at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI, where she lead a team focused on global recruiting, strategic relationships with industry leaders for student employment and sponsorship opportunities, as well as student internships.  She oversaw professional development events including portfolio reviews, roundtable discussions and industry panels.  She brings a wealth of knowledge about our students’ specific career trajectories, and is acquainted with many Art Center alumni who recruit and hire graduates. Her arrival coincides with an increased commitment by Art Center to better serve all of our undergraduate and graduate students with a more expansive program of career counseling, industry outreach, and networking strategies.

Karry is a member of AIGA, IDSA and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. She has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI.

Art Center Top Winner of Awards from Industrial Designers Society of America

Art Center College of Design won the most awards of any college in the prestigious 2012 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®). Design teams are celebrating across campus today as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) unveiled the winners of the program—a celebration of design excellence in products, sustainability, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts.

Balde e Balde

IDSA will reveal the Best in Show, Curator’s Choice, People’s Choice and the Sustainability Award at the IDEA ceremony on Aug. 18 at its 2012 International Conference in Boston.


Students won three Gold, two Silver, and three Bronze awards in the annual competition. Congratulations to all the students, faculty, staff, and administrators who were involved in these projects.


Gold Winners

  • Mike Kim, Product, DIGIFI: Audionauts project
  • Kim Chow, Designmatters, Product, Environmental Design, Balde a Balde: Safe Agua project
  • Alex Cabunoc & Ji A You, Designmatters, Product, Environmental Design, GiraDora: Safe Agua Washer and Spin Dryer

Silver Winners

  • Geoff Ledford, Product, Traverse Ski Patrol Rescue Toboggan
  • Leonardo Ochoa, Product, ALLAYANT – A shirt with built-in back support for paramedics

Bronze Winners

  • Derrick Tan, Product, Link Collapsible Recurve Archery Bow and Prosthetic
  • Siddharth Vanchinathan, Hugo Giralt Echevarria, Philip Keller, Jan Lienhard, John Badalamenti, Nicholas Fusso and Heather Hoopes, Grad ID, KPCC Growth Strategy
  • Andrew Kim, Product, Pal IV Pump System


  • James Cha, Product, Syncro – Post-surgical knee rehabilitation device
  • Lindsay Nevard, Product, Nutriflex Flexible Infant Nutrition System
  • Chelsea Ji Hong Park, Product, Blind Spot laundry kit for the visually impaired
  • Joel McDavitt, Product, Airia Rescue Backboard
  • Jonas Crister Kristiansson, Grad ID, A Place For My Stuff
  • Seth Weissman & Viirj Kan, Designmatters, Product, Environmental Design, Caja Del Tesoro: Safe Agua
  • Kim Chow & Carlos Vides, Designmatters, Product, Environmental Design, Soap Buddy: Safe Agua
  • Mariana Prieto & Alexandra Yee, Designmatters, Product, Environmental Design, Clean & Smart.