Fall 2013 Grad Show: A master class in next-level design thinking and doing

Top companies leading the innovation economy swarmed the Hillside campus scouting new talent during Fall 2013 Grad Show. Facebook, BMW, Snapchat and Square, creator of the revolutionary cube device that instantly transforms cell phones in to credit card machines, were all seeking the next wave of their creative workforce.

Design entrepreneur Youmna Chamcham has already made a big splash in the world, rebranding her native Beirut from a place of chaos and terror to a country filled with beauty and wonder. Through crowd-sourced images posted on Instagram gathered under the hashtag, #livelovebeirut, the Graphic Design graduate has helped shift minds about her beloved homeland. The campaign went viral reaching nearly a million users, generated a lot of media attention and was featured as Instagram’s official ‘popular’ page. The project is meant to galvanize a kind of media-fueled patriotism aimed at youth who want the world to see Lebanon through their eyes.  The plan is to apply the model to other developing cities.


At the $1,000 Legacy Circle award presentation are (L to R) instructors Gloria Kondrup and Ramone Muñoz, alumnus Richard Holbrook, Best of Show winner Daisy Tao and special guest industry judge Kim Baer of KBDA. Photo by Rachel Young.

The stellar work of Daisy Tao was recognized as Best in Show with a $1,000 Legacy Circle award from the College’s generous support group. Graphic Design instructors Gloria Kondrup and Ramone Muñoz joined Transportation Design alumnus Richard Holbrook in presenting the check to Tao with special guest industry judge Kim Baer of KBDA. The award, presented each term to a graphic design student, is funded by the Lowell Milken Family Foundation that aims to strengthen communities through innovation and education.

It was a dream come true when Joel McDavitt arrived to start his internship at Giro, the Santa Cruz-based snowboard and cycling company. He told us he had identified the company as an ideal match for his career goals and active lifestyle years before ever applying to Art Center as a product design major.  As an intern, he applied the human centered design approach to a new line of goggles he developed for the business, one of several owned by Easton-Bell Sports. He interviewed professional athletes about images that represent their unique style. One response was based on the in-your-face muscle car aesthetic, which inspired McDavitt, who was hired by Giro before Grad Show and is over the moon about the opportunity.

In addition to an elegant rebrand of the Swedish airline SAS that allows for a customizable flight experience, industrial designer Eliana Feigelstock displayed her idea for an at-home breast exam toolkit using emerging technology. The system enables women to consistently examine their breasts for abnormalities.

Environmental design grad Melanie Hung showed off No More Space, a flexible experiential exhibition unit created for Eternal Reefs, the green burial alternative.  The rib-caged design incorporates a kinetic aspect offering users a cause and effect motion as they walk through the structure. An important tie in to the cause and affect focus of the brand which combines a loved one’s ashes with a material that sinks to the ocean floor simulating a coral reef. The sunken object not only provides new sturdy homes for sea creatures but also serves as a sustainable solution for our planet’s shrinking land mass issues. The unusual memorials are GPS ready so family members can pay their respects while on a scuba dive.

Advertising Department Chair Gary Goldsmith requires his grads to come up with provocative personal slogans to reveal something personal or a core philosophy to visitors.

Tracey Chan’s motto is “There’s nothing that soothes the soul more than food, sleep and Bieber.” Maria Meehan enticed with “I don’t think, I dream.” And Perry Morton’s conversation starter is “Catholic school and bad weather brought me here.”


“Girls Club” illustration by Min Heo.

A powerful illustration of mean girls surrounding their “victim” curled up in a fetal position in the center of the cruel circle was one of the emotion-packed images from the mind of Min Heo on display during the show.

“Much of my work comes from childhood memories,” Heo says. “While I enjoy using bright and saturated colors, the people in my illustrations tell a different story. My girls often suffer from feelings of insecurity and isolation. They go through the bewilderment of change and the stress of fitting in that so often accompanies childhood.”

“I love both illustration and graphic design and I hope that post-graduation I’ll be able to work in book publishing, where I can combine my two loves,” she continued.

Transportation Design major Chris Maestas offered attendees his futuristic take on a vehicle that brings a club-like atmosphere to darkened streets by spraying temporary light streams that affix to building walls. The graffiti artist turned car designer explained that by morning, the light fades away and there is no trace of the magical transformation in the Blade Runner-like city.

A rare full-size prototype of a next-generation Mazda concept vehicle designed by Fredrick Naaman was parked on the main buildings front steps throughout the show. The sleek car features a unique hybrid powertrain that automatically chooses front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive; a load-bearing structure based on innovative sheet-folding technology patented by Industrial Origami®; and groundbreaking 3+3 seating configuration in sports car architecture.

If you are now totally bummed because you missed your big chance to experience the fall show, act now and plan to catch the Spring graduating class big reveal on Saturday, April 19, 2014.



Print Friendly
Share this:Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Tumblr