7 inspiring and delightful nuggets of ArtCenter wisdom from the 2015 Core77 conference

Alumna Jessie Kawata speaks at the Core77 conference.

Alumna Jessie Kawata speaks at the Core77 conference.

Core77’s second annual conference came to town last week and set up shop in downtown Los Angeles at Vibiana, the former cathedral now event space, which Core77 called “an architectural gem” and touted as a venue that once hosted a concert by Snoop Dogg (“If it’s good enough for Snoop, it’s good enough for us.”).

It was also good enough for seven members of the ArtCenter community who appeared on stage at the conference, whose theme was Designing Here/Now, and who delighted and inspired the packed audience with “thought-provoking ideas and projects that are years ahead of schedule.”

Appearing on stage were: alumni Nadine Schelbert, Matthew Manos, Jessie Kawata, and Javier Verdura, the latter appearing in conversation with Transportation Design faculty Eric Noble; Advertising and Graphic Design faculty Nicole Jacek; and former faculty Ravi Sawhney.

For your own inspiration and delight, we’ve assembled seven of our favorite ArtCentric quotes from the stage:

“Water has its own will. When you design with it you have to develop an understanding for that will. You can never truly control it, but you can entice it to behave a certain way.”

Nadine Schelbert (BS 02 Environmental Design)
Director of Design, WET

Alumnus Matthew Manos speaks at the Core77 conference.

Alumnus Matthew Manos speaks at the Core77 conference.

“Pro bono is actually pretty useful from a business perspective. A lot of our pro bono clients are so small that their entire staff is made up of volunteers. That means their staff have day jobs elsewhere, and those day jobs become paid referrals for us. Our larger pro bono clients have boards of directors with CEOs or hot shots at major corporations. That’s how we got our foot in the door with Disney.”

Matthew Manos (MFA 12 Media Design Practices)
Founder, verynice

“The first call I got when I started my studio was from Nike. And the only reason they called was because my website was flashing and they thought, ‘You guys must be on acid. You might be great for us.’ And that’s how I started working with them.”

Nicole Jacek
Founder, NJ(L.A.)

“I grew up in Mexico City. The first time I went to the United States was for college at ArtCenter. I knew I loved to draw cars and take things apart but I didn’t know that industrial design even existed. My parents took me to a modern art museum in Mexico for an exhibition on Italian design from 1946 to 1986, and they had lamps, furniture, appliances, the Ferrari Testarossa and I’m like, ‘This is industrial design? Are you kidding me? This is like heaven. Where do I sign up for school?’”

Javier Verdura (BS 91 Product Design),
Director of Product Design, Tesla Motors

Alumnus Javier Verdura (left) speaks with faculty Eric Noble at the Core77 conference.

Alumnus Javier Verdura (left) speaks with faculty Eric Noble at the Core77 conference.

“As designers it’s intuitive for us to ask ‘what’ or ‘why’ and at first I was a little apprehensive to ask a rocket scientist, ‘So, why is your mission important?’ But they actually realized that it helped them. It became a new way for them to connect the dots. Connecting ideas together, connecting an opportunity to a need, connecting the science to the ‘why.’ They were baby steps for me, but they were huge steps in a new direction for NASA mission formulation.”

Jessie Kawata (BFA 11 Illustration)
Creative Strategist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

“The notion that good design as being empathetic makes sense. I’ve always done design empathetically. In Tesla’s case, we’re designing based on a vision that people don’t yet know. You’re designing for something down the road, for the future. It’s a very difficult concept to grasp and to execute.”

Javier Verdura (BS 91 Product Design),
Director of Product Design, Tesla Motors

“I can go to a great restaurant and taste some incredible food. I get it, I love it, I enjoy it. But by no means am I going to pop my head in the kitchen and tell them to change the ingredients. I think the healthiest place for designers today is where people value design enough that they let the professionals do what they have to do.”

Ravi Sawhney
Founder, RKS

For more on the conference, including a visit by attendees to ArtCenter the next day, see Core77’s summary of the event.

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