Monthly Archives: September 2012

Spring appeal springs ahead: Total giving jumps 330%

Karen Hofmann, chair of the Product Design department.

The results are in from the Art Center 2012 Annual Fund spring fundraising appeal, and the numbers are impressive indeed. The Fund, which provides critical support for the College’s most immediate needs and initiatives, saw a surge in support from alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and other friends.

Total giving jumped a whopping 330 percent over last year, and overall participation was up 42 percent.

Why the sudden (and deeply appreciated) increase? Kristine Bowne, Art Center alumni relations director, and Karen Hofmann, chair of the Product Design department, offered their thoughts.

Art Center: Kristine, what are alumni telling you about their increased interest in supporting their alma mater?

Kristine Bowne: Many alumni are telling me they feel good about the direction of the College. They also feel more connected. We’ve made an effort to rebuild lines of communication between them and the president, and I think they are excited about the thoughtful way they’ve been involved in planning Art Center’s future.

Piaggio asks students to envision mobility in 2022

A Vespa LXV-150, one of the many vehicles Piaggio brought on campus for students to study. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Did you happen to notice a swarm of motorcycles earlier this term at Hillside Campus?

The reason for the two-wheeled gathering was Piaggio–the fourth largest producer of scooters, motorcylces and compact commercial vehicles in the world–is sponsoring a Transportation Design project this term titled Envisioning Personal Mobility in 2022. As part of the course they brought a variety of their current vehicles for students to study up close.

In the course, the Italian vehicle maker–whose brands include Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi–has challenged Art Center students to envision how young people, between the ages of 18 and 25, will move around 10 years from now.

Questions Piaggio has posed to the students include: In 2022 will people have the same buying power they have now? Will they be able to afford personal mobility? Will they have jobs that change more frequently?

Piaggio, which plans on opening a design center in Pasadena, hopes that the students creations both inspire its employees and provides them with insight into opportunities of important areas of growth where the company should be engaged a decade from now.

And with Car Classic ’12 right around the corner, we’re reminded of an interview we did with Art Center alumnus Miguel Galluzi TRANS ’86, Vice President of Design at the Piaggio Group, for Car Classic ’09: By Air, Land & Sea.

The full profile is included after the break.

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WATCH: Art Center President Lorne Buchman talks conscious design

Bill Gross, CEO, Idealab in conversation with Lorne Buchman, President, Art Center College of Design from Ted Habte-Gabr on Vimeo.

What defines innovation? Art Center College of Design President Lorne Buchman and Idealab CEO and Art Center Trustee Bill Gross describe it through frugal, real-world projects that make the planet a better place.

During a recent Live Talks Business Forum, Buchman and Gross discussed works-in-progress highlighting Gross’ Idealab, a Pasadena-based think tank for startups.

Through Idealab, Gross created WorldHaus, which manufactures eco-friendly, modular housing in more rural parts of India starting at $2,000.

Gross said his for-profit company has the goal of adding 200 homes in India this year and increasing that number to 1 million houses by decade’s end.

Buchman talked about Art Center’s Designmatters program, which allows students to design for communities in developing countries including India.

Just a warning: The 50-minute video has some static, but the ideas are solid.

Driverless car gets green light in California

Google's self-driving car and the technology to power it.

Commuters could soon be sharing the road with self-driving cars: Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that would allow the vehicles to be tested and operated on California roads.

“We are looking at science fiction becoming reality in a self-driving car,” Brown said during a ceremony at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Caltech, Google and other companies have been developing the cars, which use radar, video cameras and lasers to navigate freeways sans human input. (The legislation, S. 1298, requires a licensed driver to be at the wheel in case something goes wrong.)

L.A. artists turn Carmageddon into Artmageddon

With the second coming of Carmageddon set for Saturday and Sunday, a grass-roots effort has been timed to offer Angelenos a reprieve from the freeways.

More than 100 artists, arts organizations, advocacy groups and community partners have teamed up to launch Artmageddon, a two-day event featuring art and performance through 16 neighborhoods in Los Angeles County.

With the tagline “Less Car. More Art,” the group recently launched, an online database that allows users to search thousands of nearby events and offers directions by foot, bike and train.

The events — which include visual, performing and media arts — aren’t necessarily themed for Carmageddon 2, but some galleries and museums will extend hours or host special receptions.

So far, nearly 20 events will be spread out across Pasadena this weekend. Here are a few highlights from different corners of arts and culture.

WATCH: Should art be profitable? Shepard Fairey says yes

Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey recently visited Art Center to discuss the art of profiting off his pieces — something critics have accused him of doing too well.

Fairey narrated a 22-minute show focused mostly on his personal rather than commercial works, including his first “Obey” sticker of Andre the Giant, as part of the Graphic Design Department’s 3×3 lecture series featuring Creative Entrepreneurs.

The stencil with Andre’s weight and height Fairey created after his freshman year of college is a far cry from the Obey propaganda-style street art (and fashion line) that was to come.

“I was making posters of things I cared about, criticizing capitalism while selling stuff to people,” he said. “Scrutizing capitalism is the less hypocritical way of putting it.”

Fairey, who says he’s a proponent of socially conscious capitalism, shared his career low points, including a screen printing business that went belly up and his much publicized and legally contested “Hope” poster of Barack Obama.

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Art Center gears up for Car Classic ’12

Top transportation designers, car collectors and auto enthusiasts merge minds Sunday, Oct. 21 at the annual Art Center Car Classic.

Held at the Hillside campus, this year’s theme “Inspired Design” will showcase a highly curated field of rare automobiles, surprising classics and innovative vehicles from the 1930s to present that served as inspirations for Art Center alums around the world.

Special guests include Ron Hill, Art Center alum and former Chair of the Transportation Design Department, who counts Corvettes, Camaros and Cadillacs among his designs.

Auto aficionados Dave Kunz, KABC automotive reporter; Barry Meguiar, host of Speed Channel’s Motor Trend; and Ed Justice Jr., co-host of Motor Trend radio, will serve as emcees.

Impromptu interviews with transportation designers and car collectors called “Stories Behind the Design” will be broadcast during the event. Patrons can also tour Art Center’s design studios, rapid prototyping facilities and galleries.

The event is free for students, faculty, staff; $35 for their guests; and $35 for alumni. General admission is $55 online, $65 at the door.

Art Center Car Classic
When: Sunday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Graphic Design Students Ready for Their Closeups

Still from student Sang Chung's video profile of student Bo Yeoung Han.

Graphic Design students in last summer’s Advanced Graphics Studio course were given an unusual assignment. Each of the students, none of whom had prior experience shooting live action video, were asked by instructor Petrula Vrontikis to collaborate with one of their classmates to create two- to four-minute promotional videos of one another.

The students were given approximately six weeks to research, storyboard, interview and to learn the basics of contemporary digital shooting and editing. Motion Graphics instructor Rob Garrot provided the students with support and insight from a video editors perspective, and a number of professionals came to class to provide critical feedback, including product designer Spencer Nikosey PROD ’08 of KILLSPENCER, whose video profile for Behind the Hustle was a partial inspiration for the course.

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Bringing It All Back Home: Designmatters Students Create Furniture for India’s Low-Income Housing Residents

"Living Home: India" Designmatters students, faculty and staff in Bangalore, India last summer.

"Living Home: India" Designmatters students, faculty and staff in Bangalore, India last summer.

Last term, students in Living Home: India—a transdisciplinary Designmatters studio led by the Environmental Design department—spent their summer investigating the living needs of low-income housing dwellers in India, and then building furniture prototypes for use in the type of high quality, low-cost housing championed by Ashoka, a social entrepreneurship nonprofit and partner for the studio.

Due to the reduced scale and high occupancy rate of the housing units, the students were tasked with creating reduced scale and transformable prototypes. They also needed to make sure the furniture they designed was environmentally responsible and could be developed in collaboration with community stakeholders and local craftspeople in India.

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Fine arts photographer Pedro Guerrero dies at 95

Self portrait, Manhattan studio, 1950. (c) Pedro E. Guerrero

Pedro E. Guerrero, a former Art Center student who photographed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, died Thursday at his home in Florence, Ariz. He was 95.

Guerrero had battled cancer for several years.

Upon hearing the news of his passing, Dennis Keeley, Chair of Art Center’s Photography department, said, “He was a remarkably kind and generous man who represented the highest qualities of professional excellence that we hope for all our students.”

Guerrero photographed Wright and his buildings from 1939 until Wright’s death in 1950. Guerrero’s 1994 book, “Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer,” features 150 photographs captured during the artist’s 20-year relationship with the famed architect.

Guerrero also turned his lens on other artists, including sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson; architects Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen and  Edward Durrell Stone; and shot interiors for Vogue, House & Garden and Harper’s Bazaar.

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