Not sure what type of design to study? Sample them all in Andrew Hall’s Design 360

by August 11th, 2014

Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

For the past four years, artist Andrew Hall has taught Design 360 at Art Center at Night (ACN), Art Center’s continuing studies program. Design 360 gives students a whirlwind tour of many of the major disciplines offered at the College, including: advertising, graphic design, filmmaking, illustration, product design and transportation design.

In the class, he asks his students to imagine a product that “protects something” which can be “something obvious like safety goggles” or something more abstract “like a camera, which protects memories.” Then, for the next 12 weeks, students give their product the full treatment—designing everything for it from a logo to a storyboard for a 30-second commercial—and then present it to the class, complete with drawings that show their process. “The presentation teaches the importance of really owning your concept.”

Hall finds the diversity of his students particularly inspiring—some take Design 360 when they’re at a point in their career where “they’re just treading water and need to make a big decision” while others treat the course as a philosophical journey. “Some of them come up with solutions far more cerebral and spiritual than a product you can hold in your hand.”

Andrew Hall's "Altostratus" (2006). Courtesy of the artist.

Andrew Hall’s “Altostratus” (2006). Courtesy of the artist.

Hall’s work is a philosophical journey in its own right. Take a look at Altostratus (above), which graces the cover of the current ACN catalog. The 2006 work is part of a photographic series in which he drops paint into a tank of water lit by a 1/8000 second strobe.

“When you take away the sense of scale, your mind tries to turn it into the nearest thing it knows,” says Hall of one of his work’s overriding themes. “Some people say the paint looks like a deep sea creature or a sea shell.”

Showtime obviously saw something in Hall’s work that they liked, as four of his pieces will feature prominently in the current season of Ray Donovan, the cable network’s hard-hitting show about a Hollywood “fixer” starring Liev Schreiber.

“The set my works are going into is this phenomenal house in Beverly Hills,” says Hall. “I don’t know which character the house belongs to, but I’m looking forward to watching and finding out.”

A scene from Showtime's hard-hitting drama "Ray Donovan."

A scene from Showtime’s hard-hitting drama “Ray Donovan.”

And speaking of houses, this Wednesday, August 13, 7–9 p.m. is ACN Open House, a special end-of-term one-night event in which visitors can sit in on classes, meet instructors, register for the Fall, enter a raffle to win a free course and more. More than a dozen classes will be open their doors to the public, including Interaction + Design for iPads/Tablets, Printmaking Studio and Writing, Pitching and Packaging Your Story.

Instructors will also be on-hand to give demonstrations and to present student work from a number of classes: Leslie Prussia from Letterpress Printing; Graham Moore from DIY; Rob Sherrill from Basics of Painting: Still Life; and Gabor Kalman from Documentary Filmmaking.

For more information on Open House, visit the the ACN website.

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2 Responses to “Not sure what type of design to study? Sample them all in Andrew Hall’s Design 360”

  1. “while others treat the course as a philosophical journey” – This reminds me of when I was a Philosophy student. We had a course very similar to this one, we studied Aesthetics and the philosophical tradition of aesthetics.

    For our final we had to design our own dream house and there were some very unusual ideas, certainly worth seeing though. What I took away from this course was that beauty doesn’t only lie in the tangible.

    I’m glad to see that there are some compelling others to think uniquely, to embrace the weirdness of their mind and use it as an inspiration.

  2. Ariel says:

    How much is the exspense that the student enrolling has to pay for each year? Is there any way of taking a tour in the summer of 205. The school looks nice does it involve cullinary and compuet arts?