Author Archives: Anna Macaulay

Product Design faculty member Krystina Castella on the serious business of designing for play

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIf there is a fountain of youth, full-time faculty member Krystina Castella may have discovered it. Castella, whose youthful appearance and intense enthusiasm for everything she does belies her years of experience, has been teaching at ArtCenter 25 years, the last 12 of them full time.

A Product Design faculty member, she also leads sponsored projects and Designmatters Transdisciplinary Studios (TDS). Additionally, she teaches business classes in the Humanities and Sciences department, materials classes in the Integrated Studies department, classes about the manufacturing and licensing process for ArtCenter at Night and a t-shirt start-up class for the ArtCenter for Teens program.

A graduate of RISD’s Industrial Design program, Castella also studied cognitive developmental psychology and cultural anthropology with a focus on children’s culture at UCLA. Which leads us to the one thread that has been constant in her lengthy professional career—her work’s focus is often centered on creating and designing for kids.

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Graphic Design Jesus Jacobo’s Yo Soy ArtCenter connects Latino/a students across disciplines

Yo Soy ArtCenter, the first latino graphic design show at HMCT.

Jesus Jacobo at Yo Soy ArtCenter’s Graphic Design Group Exhibition. Photo: Juan Posada

Student leader. Graphic Designer. Latino.

Jesus Jacobo, graduating this term with honors and a degree in Graphic Design, is all of these things

As a student worker in the Alumni Relations and Career and Professional Development (CPD) office, Jacobo gained exposure to students, alumni and other professionals outside his major of study. He came to recognize the usefulness of making connections beyond his major at the College

And he noticed a lack of community for Latino/a students

Last year he co-founded Yo Soy ArtCenter, a network of Latino/a students across diverse disciplines who share a cultural heritage. The student group recently hosted and curated Yo Soy: Graphic Design Group Exhibition, the first Latino/a graphic design group exhibition at ArtCenter, organized and curated by Michael Rosales, with support from the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography.

We caught up with Jacobo during his final term at the College to find out more about Yo Soy, his favorite ArtCenter projects, and what he’d like to do after graduating.

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Ready! Set! Graduate!

HILL_121015_586cc“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything. (Sonnet XCVIII)”William Shakespeare

This Saturday, following a sometimes exhaustive, always intensive, memorably vigorous and astonishingly creative commitment to making and learning, ArtCenter is going to release a new crop of youthful graduates into the world.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:

Thursday, April 20: Graduation Show Preview, MDP Receptions and Grad Art Open Studios, Fine Art Exhibition

Thursday activities start in the morning, when students get to meet select potential employers during Recruitment Open House. In the evening, industry leaders, employers, corporate partners, donors and alumni get the first look at the Spring term’s graduating artists and designers at the invitation-only Graduation Show Preview, held from 6–9 pm.

Undergraduate candidates from Advertising, Environmental Design, Film, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Imaging, Product Design and Transportation Design will be showing at Hillside Campus. Graduate Environmental Design, Graduate Film, Graduate Industrial Design and Graduate Transportation Systems and Design master’s candidates will also have work on display at the Hillside Campus.

Graduate Media Design Practices and Graduate Art will be holding a reception and open studios at the 950 Building at South Campus and Undergraduate Fine Art students will have an exhibition at the 870 Building at South Campus. The South Campus locations will be open from 7–10 pm.

Saturday, April 22: Graduation

ArtCenter’s Spring graduation ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Following welcoming remarks by President Lorne Buchman, the baccalaureate and master’s candidates—along with faculty, staff, family and friends—will hear from this term’s Student Leadership Award recipient. The Student Leadership Award is given out each term to a student who exemplifies standout leadership qualities and accomplishments. This term, a committee of students, faculty, and staff affirmed the values of this award by selecting to Product Design major Jeff Smith. Faculty member Fridolin Beisert, in nominating Smith, said “I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing Jeff mature into a leadership role where he is guiding and inspiring student across disciplines, genders and cultural backgrounds. To me he represents the ideal candidate for this important award.”

Those assembled at the Civic Center will also hear from valedictorian Eliot Eames Saarinen, who is graduating with a degree in Fine Art. Fine Art Director Mitchell Kane noted that, “Eliot is a meticulous maker and thinker of objects with visionary tendencies tempered by real world practicalness.”

Following the student awardees, special guests Janice Feldman and Story Musgrave will be bestowed with honorary degrees (Doctorate in Fine Arts) from the College and Musgrave will present the graduation address. Feldman and Musgrave, two diverse individuals whose work is informed by their sense of “space,” spoke with President Lorne M. Buchman before a select audience as part of a Full Circle event on Thursday night.

Trained artist and interior designer Janice Feldman is the founder and CEO of JANUS et Cie, an industry leader in residential, contract and hospitality design. A visionary in the field of sustainability and material innovation, Feldman opened her first JANUS et Cie showroom in the Pacific Design Center in California in 1978, and has since transformed the company into a full-service design resource with extensive and varied collections.

Graduate Industrial Design faculty Story Musgrave, a NASA astronaut for more than 30 years, has flown on six different spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and, on his last flight, operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

Saturday, April 22: Graduation Show

After the ceremony, Graduation Show opens to the public at both Hillside and South Campuses from 1–6 p.m., where work by the newest ArtCenter graduates will be on display. The show features student projects from major fields of study at ArtCenter, including Advertising, Environmental Design, Film, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Imaging, Product Design, Transportation Design, Graduate Film, Graduate Industrial Design and Graduate Transportation Systems and Design at Hillside Campus. Work from Graduate Art and Graduate Media Design Practices graduates will be on display at the 950 Building and Fine Art graduates will be showing at the 870 Building at South Campus.

President Buchman updates the community at All Hands Meeting

buildings and facilities-3797Approximately three times a year, President Lorne Buchman holds an “All Hands” meeting to update the community on the status, plans and priorities of collegewide initiatives. The All Hands meetings are customarily scheduled shortly after Board of Trustee meetings to allow the President to announce any decisions or areas of focus for the Trustees. On March 16, President Buchman updated the group on current priorities for the Trustees and College leadership.

Space planning and facilities upgrades are always moving targets. The College is mindful of the fact that moving is stressful and disruptive and the Facilities and Campus Planning department is spending considerable time looking at alternative scenarios to achieve a planned end result with the least disruption. One of the big issues presented to the Board of Trustees was the question of whether to prioritize building out academic spaces and completing essential building upgrades over building student housing. The College and the Trustees recognize that student housing is a significant concern for the student body and entering students. On the other hand, it is critical that the College create appropriate space for each academic program, including providing necessary shops, equipment, other student services and galleries.

The College decided on the following drivers for decisions regarding sequencing and implementation of facilities updates

  • Must be education focused
  • Must include removal of the Annex
  • Make all possible efforts to move programs only once
  • Balance interim needs with permanent spaces
  • Consider available space
  • Maintain maximum classroom counts
  • Achieve long term vision of redistribution
  • Consider financing strategies and constraint

Most importantly, should the College decide to update academic spaces prior to building on-campus student housing, the Trustees intend to launch a simultaneous initiative to address housing and affordability issues for students. Preliminarily, there are discussions surrounding the option of providing housing allowances or pre-leasing buildings in the surrounding area or along the Metro Gold Line. Any initiative surrounding student housing will have affordability as its primary goal. You can see various scenarios for who will be housed and where on the walls of the break room on the fourth floor of 1111 and will be posted on the Facilities and Campus Planning section of Inside ArtCenter later this month

President Buchman also reported on the ways ArtCenter is taking action regarding issues of diversity, equity and inclusion as detailed in a recent campuswide email from the Council on Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Personnel—the College is actively recruiting for a new Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation Administrator and Title IX Coordinator; two new outside Contract Title IX/Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation investigators; and is currently drafting a job description for a new Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, that will report directly to the President.
  • Training—We are exploring training options for employees, including exploring mandatory diversity training for all staff and faculty. We are also simultaneously exploring cultural sensitivity training for all students and/or expanded intercultural co-curricular programs; and piloting a design culture immersion program during the Summer term to help international English language learners to adapts to ArtCenter and the U.S.
  • Communication & Support Systems—Art Center is committed to better communication with student, faculty and staff; streamlining existing reporting structures; exploring best practices in regards to sexual harassment, based on the work of fellow institutions; looking at issues of access and affordability; and developing new strategies with the Board of Trustees to address issues of homelessness and chronic hunger, as well as catastrophic loss of financial resources

The President also reminded the community about the upcoming WSCUC accreditation visit and reported on the results of the Shared Governance Assessment Task Force. The complete All Hands address to the community, as well as earlier All Hands meetings, can be viewed here.

This week at ArtCenter

flats_friday3Monday, April 10, 2017

12:00–2:00 pm: Finals Fiasco—Dog Therapy
Room 201, Hillside Campus

Come get some love from our volunteer BARK therapy dogs!
Contact the CSE with questions.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

7:00 pm: Finals Fiasco—Studio Snacks
South Campus, All Buildings

Students studying and participating in evening classes are welcome to stop by our grab and go stations (1111 6th floor, 950 2nd floor, and 870 lobby) to pick up a few snacks to get them through the late night hours!

Contact the CSE with questions.

7:30 pm: Graduate Seminar Lecture Series—Ali Subotnick presents Camille Henrot
Los Angeles Times Media Center, Hillside Campus

12:00–1:00 pm: Yoga
Sinclaire Pavilion (Room 201 if raining or excessively cold), Hillside Campus

Free and open to the entire ArtCenter community. Mats are available for checkout in the CSE office.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

8:00–11:00 pm: Finals Fiasco—Late Night Breakfast
Café, Hillside Campus
8pm: Movie Night with Sticky Buns and Coffee
10pm: Full Breakfast buffet

This ArtCenter tradition fills every seat in the house! Students studying and participating in evening classes are welcome to 1st’s and 2nd’s to get them through the late night hours!

Contact the CSE with questions.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


1:00–2:00 pm: Yoga
Building Lobby or Room 101, 870 Building, South Campus

Mats are available for checkout in the CSE at Hillside.

1:00 pm: Finals Fiasco—Pizza Party
East Bridge, Hillside Campus

Stop by for a slice (or 2) and a coke! Staying nourished is the key to giving your mind the energy it needs to create!

Contact the CSE with questions.

5:00–8:000 pm: MDP Thesis Show and Symposium
Wind Tunnel Gallery, 950 Building, South Campus

Graduate Media Design Practice’s Thesis Exhibition will feature graduating student work in the context of comments by guest critics who will also participate in a symposium discussing relevant topics in design, technology and communication

7:00 am: Finals Fiasco— Bunny Museum Trip


Friday, April 14, 2017

7:00 pm: Design Runway 2017
2nd Floor, 1111 Building, South Campus

An exhibition and multimedia runway show featuring 10 wearable products created by students at ArtCenter College of Design. Models will wear clothing and accessories for all genders, children and dogs.
Questions? Call Carolline Kim at 626 396.4355

Saturday, April 15, 2017

ArtCenter for Teens: Spring Open House
See below for times
Both Campuses

ArtCenter for Teens is the College’s year-round program offering art and design classes to teens in grades 9—12. ArtCenter for Teens gives high school students an opportunity to explore their creative, learn about art and design disciplines and career opportunities, and study with a faculty that introduces professional practices and standards. Scholarships are available.

ArtCenter for Teens holds an informal Open House the last Saturday of the Spring term. Classrooms are open for visits during the last hour of the morning session (11 a.m.—12 noon) and last hour of the afternoon session (3—4 p.m.). Pick up a map and list of “Teens” classes to visit at tables at South Campus or Hillside Campus.

For more information, call the Public Programs office at 626 396-2319.

Tips for surviving the end of term safely

buildings and facilities-6279Happy Monday ArtCenter!

As we enter the final stretch of the spring term, please review the following Environmental, Health and Safety reminders from Director, Environmental Health and Safety Cynthia Quentin. ArtCenter is committed to providing you with a healthy and safe environment along with the tools and resources necessary for a successful end of term. Faculty, please take a few minutes to review the list with your students.

  • First Aid:  contact Campus Security to report all first aid or medical concerns/issues.
  • Environmental Concerns:  Please contact Campus Security (  or Cynthia Quentin (  to report any environmental or air quality issues.
  • Fire and Emergency Equipment:  Do Not remove, cover, hang items from,  modify or relocate any fire or emergency response equipment such as strobes, alarms, extinguishers, maps, exit signage, first aid kits, fire pulls, etc. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • No Smoking:  Please be mindful of ongoing hazardous and flammable chemical application.  NO Smoking in the proximity of flammable fumes, high hazard areas, or outdoor dry brush areas.  Please stay in designated smoking areas and be mindful of cigarette butt disposal.
  • Emergency Exits and aisles:  Keep a 36” clearance in front of or exiting from all doors.  Maintain 48” clean and clutter free aisle ways throughout all buildings.  Trash and debris will be removed and disposed of daily.
  • Chemical Handling:  Please read all labels and warning language prior to using any chemical.  Focus on precautionary language (i.e.: highly flammable, corrosive, apply in well ventilated area, etc.) and recommended personal protective equipment (i.e.: respiratory protection, gloves, eye protection, etc.)
  • Chemical Application:  Please use the designated shop spaces for mixing and/or application of hazardous chemicals.  Always wear the recommended personal protective equipment appropriate to the chemical being applied.
  • Chemical Disposal:  Please dispose of chemical saturated rags, napkins, paper or empty chemical containers in the red hazardous waste containers located in the shop areas.  If you need assistance or guidance, please speak to your instructor or shop representative.
  • Respiratory Protection:  please wear your ½ mask respirator with cartridges when spraying or mixing chemicals; when applying chemicals or while sanding your projects. Keep your respirator clean and stored in a sealed bag when not in use.
  • Shared Shop Spaces:  Drying Room, Composite Room, Spray Booths, 3D Labs, Laser Labs – please be respectful and mindful of your fellow students by keeping the rooms clean, free of trash, clutter, debris and stored materials.
  • Cutting Safety: Practice caution when using cutting tools, use appropriate table or desk location for cutting, dispose of all used or broken blades in appropriate receptacles located in the shop.
  • Stay Focused: Stay alert, focused and calm during these last two weeks of the term.

If you have any questions or are in need of additional guidance or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact Cynthia Quentin, Director of Environmental, Health and Safety at , mobile: 626-485-3207 or send an email to .

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.

ArtCenter Launches Minor in Social Innovation

DesignmattersMinorBeginning this summer, students will be able to enroll in a new minor in Social Innovation, through the popular Designmatters department. The move is in response to an increased demand for the specialization among undergraduate students for mastery in skills and competencies to work in public and private sector organizations where the strategic role of design is increasingly being valued.

“It is very meaningful to satisfy the demand for this dynamic curriculum and meet the needs of our impressive students who are passionate about social innovation and dedicated to making a positive difference on society locally and globally,” said Mariana Amatullo, Ph.D., co-founder and vice president, Designmatters Department.

“Design for social innovation represents a vivid domain of human knowledge that ignites a boundless sense of possibility about a brighter future,” Amatullo continued. “By implementing a minor in the field, we provide students with a specialized toolkit of skills based on experiential learning gained by tackling real-world, real-time issues that highlight the role of art and design in catalyzing social-innovation outcomes.”

Candidates for the minor are students who crave the mastery of multidisciplinary skills and the collaborative mindset needed to propel innovation at such prestigious companies and organizations as UNICEF, IBM, Samsung and many more.

Examples of award-winning work conceived by students excelling in design for social innovation include:

· Environmental Design student Alvin Oei travels this month to Santiago, Chile to implement his concept for a children’s burn clinic to guide patients and their families through an improved treatment and healing experience. Oei’s The Healing Tree, is a result of his participation in ArtCenter’s Designmatters Safe Niños transdisciplinary studio with COANIQUEM, a world leader in the rehabilitation of pediatric burn victims.

· Safe Agua is a multi-year design and research initiative that has yielded a number of innovative products and services created by ArtCenter students to help families overcome water poverty in Chile, Peru and Colombia.

· Es Tiempo is a multi-faceted communications campaign, in partnership with the USC Keck School of Medicine and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, to raise awareness and support for the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer among Latinas living in Los Angeles.

· Flo developed for young girls in third world countries dealing with the challenges of menstruation without proper sanitary products, is the result of the ArtCenter Designmatters’ Girl Effect studio. The collaboration with Yale School of Management was based on field research from Fuseproject and Nike Foundation.

· Where’s Daryl is a violence and gun prevention teacher-toolkit created in collaboration the Los Angeles Unified School District and designed to serve a diverse population of at-risk youth.

Initially, the minor will be offered in six departments that have a significant population of students with interest in the specialization. Those departments are Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Product Design, Environmental Design, Illustration and Fine Art. Students from other majors will be able to apply on a case-by-case basis.

The minor formalizes and expands upon an existing Designmatters concentration launched in 2010. The new specialization offers students a curriculum comprised of 21 units designed to be completed within the time typically required to obtain a degree.

Students seeking the minor will enroll in a mix of studio courses, transdisciplinary studio requirements and courses in the Humanities and Sciences.

Designmatters recently published the collective wisdom of 84 game changers in the field of social innovation in a new book. LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways for Designers in Social Innovation is the first publication of its kind to present a comprehensive overview of new professional pathways to successful and meaningful careers as experienced first-hand by a who’s who of respected thought leaders (practitioners, researchers and educators) who are making seminal contributions to the field.

This week at ArtCenter

DroneTuesday, March 28, 2017

11:30 am: DJI Drone Demo featuring Claudio Miranda, ASC (LIFE OF PI)
Los Angeles Times Media Center, Hillside Campus

Join esteemed cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC as he demos the latest in drone and gimbal technology from DJI. Mr.

DJI will hold a flying demo featuring an assortment of their drones in the sculpture garden at 12:15pm, immediately after Mr. Miranda’s talk.

This event is open to the entire ArtCenter community!

7:30 pm: Graduate Seminar Lecture Series: Jan Tumlir presents Mathias Poledna
Los Angeles Times Media Center, Hillside Campus

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

12:00–1:00 pm: Yoga
Sinclaire Pavilion (Room 201 if raining or excessively cold), Hillside Campus

Free and open to the entire ArtCenter community. Mats are available for checkout in the CSE office.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

1:00–2:00 pm: Yoga
Building Lobby or Room 101, 870 Building, South Campus

Mats are available for checkout in the CSE at Hillside.

Friday, March 31, 2017

4:00–­­6:00 pm: ArtCenter Student Government Meeting
Room 201, Hillside Campus

Faculty Council announces Spring Teaching Advancement Awards


On Friday, March 17, the Faculty Council announced the 2017 Spring Teaching Advancement Award recipients. Teaching Advancement Awards offer faculty the opportunity to receive up to $1,000 to support a range of activities that enhance their knowledge as an educator and benefit students in classrooms and studios. A total of $3,000 is available to be disbursed each term to successful applicants for research, conferences, workshops, exhibitions and related travel expenses that are not covered by departmental classroom support.

The Spring 2017 recipients are:

Faculty Council will be accepting applications for Summer 2017 TAA grants early in the Summer Term. All faculty are encouraged to apply. Please contact for more information.

Human Resources (HR) Delivers on Training Programs in 2016: Seeking Input for 2017 Programming

artcenter campus life-3735

Employers recognize that a well-trained workforce is key to customer satisfaction, organizational success and building effective teams. ArtCenter is committed to developing and implementing training and development programs for its employees.

When Vice President of Human Resources Lisa M. Sanchez took over the chief HR role in 2015, one of her first priorities was to provide professional development training for employees. “A change in our Employee Assistance Program provider created a wonderful benefit and opportunity to implement training at ArtCenter. And under the direction of our new Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Tracy Kerr, she was able to effectively roll out a training series for staff and management,” said Sanchez.

From August 2016 to January 2017, HR offered topic-specific programs for staff and management on subjects such as financial management, customer service, leadership, interpersonal communication and managing conflict. ArtCenter-specific workshops on completing performance reviews and job description questionnaires were also offered. Still to come is a very important management training program on the basics of managing people. This program will include responsibilities of a manager, supervising staff time and attendance, overtime, performance management, protected leaves, diversity and Title IX issues and strategic thinking.

“HR is pleased to have partnered with the campus community to bring these training programs to our staff and that they have been well received. We look forward to working with the campus on future programs and are currently seeking feedback from the community on what they would like to see offered. We invite everyone to complete a brief survey regarding future training topics,” remarked Kerr.

The training sessions were well attended by both staff and managers. Many employees were pleased not only with the opportunity to learn from the workshops but also for the opportunity to talk with others across the campus.

Here is what people are saying about attending the trainings:

  • “[I liked] being able to interact and share experiences with peers and the facilitator in a safe, guided environment.”—Staff Participant
  •  “I’ve worked as a supervisor at ArtCenter for five years now and have always wanted more formal and frequent training on best practices in supervising/management. I’m happy to see HR increasing its role as a trainer.” —Supervisor Participant

Questions or suggestions? Please complete the survey and feel free to contact Kerr at