Author Archive

Gee whiz! Graphic Design alum Earl Gee named AIGA 2015 San Francisco Fellow

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
Design by Earl Gee

Design by Earl Gee

Earl Gee (Graphic Design, 1983), has been selected as an AIGA San Francisco Fellow for 2015. AIGA, founded in 1914, is the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, with 69 chapters and over 25,000 members. AIGA San Francisco, founded in 1983, is one of the largest AIGA chapters in the nation with over 1600 members. The AIGA Fellow program recognizes mature designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within the design community and their AIGA chapter. Fellows are honored for their design practice and other contributions in a range of areas, including education, writing, and leadership.

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Change/Makers alumni profile video: Entertainment Designer James Paick on designing a life of play

Monday, March 30th, 2015

With its bookcases full of toys, games, models and monstrous action figures, the lobby of Scribble Pad Studios could double as a Comic-Con booth or a teenager’s fantasy boy-cave. Not far off is a large room full of people mouse-clicking in front of monitors containing the dark landscapes of video games. While this kind of activity might get a person in trouble at most other jobs, the work is all about play at this entertainment design firm, founded by Art Center Alum James Paick (Illustration, ’04),  specializing in character, creature and concept design for video games, TV and film.

Paick, who founded Scribble Pad in 2008, didn’t attend Art Center with the intention of becoming an entertainment designer. In fact, the Entertainment Design department didn’t yet exist back then. But in the years since, it has become one of Art Center’s most sought-after degrees, which has inspired the launch of the new Character Animation track in Entertainment Design, now accepting applications for Fall 2015.

Ultimately, it was Paick’s passion for popular culture and science fiction informed his illustration work, which he leveraged to land work in various video game design firms before he set out on his own and launched his own business. There’s a lot to admire about James Paick (the subject of our newest Change/Makers alumni video profile) who now spends his days creating fantasmagorical alternate realities and conjuring the creepy creatures who inhabit them. Check out the above video and the Q&A below to learn more about his creative inspirations and the wisdom behind making work out of the booming business of play.

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Art Center @ SXSW Interactive 2015: Malcolm Gladwell, John Maeda, immortality and mind-clones

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
John Maeda delivers the Design in Tech Report at SXSW Interactive 2015

John Maeda delivers the Design in Tech Report at SXSW Interactive 2015

Taken as a whole, the sweeping scope of topics discussed within the sessions on offer at SXSW Interactive formed an MRI-like portrait of the sub-currents coursing beneath the surface of our society. One of the dominant themes to emerge throughout the conference was the need to populate the tech, design and creative industries with makers and leaders who reflect the diversity of the audiences and users they aim to serve.

This imperative for inclusivity among the ranks of our creative and technological influencers bubbled up early and often on Day 2 of our coverage, in a variety of milieu beginning with our first session of the day: What Does an Art and Design Incubator Look Like? The panel’s lineup of NY-based artists and innovators included Art Center alum Lisa Park (Fine Art), whose performance installation pieces deploy technology in the service of illuminating our emotional lives through the use of sensors and sound, in addition to three other artist-entrepreneurs whose creative practices straddle the intersection of the entrepreneurial, technological and creative spheres.

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Art Center @ SXSW Interactive 2015: Frank Lloyd Wright, Princess Reema and David Chang

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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Let’s face it, the essential ingredients comprising daily life in the Digital Age are in a state of head-spinningly rapid change, we’re often just racing to keep up, unaware of the impact the onslaught of the new. Sometimes it’s hard not to wonder what’s been lost now that we have unlimited distractions, a highly curated set of entertainment options and no space for boredom. What are the unforeseen implications of the increasingly widespread adoption of the internet of things, artificial intelligence and the shared economy? How do we create a more inclusive and equitable environment for everyone who steps into the digital domain?

These were just a few of the thorny and thought-provoking questions addressed within the vast offerings of the 2015 SXSW Interactive program. In fact, this year’s lineup was so densely packed with timely, topical and totally useful panels, workshops and mentoring meet-ups, navigating the offerings was an exercise in content curation, information architecture and design thinking. Because so much of the subject matter covered within the festival’s many panels and lectures is so indisputably germane to the Art Center community, we attended the festival targeting the events most Art Center-relevant events, which we’ll recap to you in the form of key takeaways parceled out within a series of blog posts over the next three days.

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Remembering Norm Schureman: A video tribute to the larger-than-life legacy of an Art Center icon

Friday, March 20th, 2015

This week we are remembering and celebrating the life of Norman Schureman, our beloved teacher, mentor and friend.  It’s been 5 years since we had to say goodbye to one of the most passionate designers and significant instructors in our Art Center community.   The ripples of his influence are still felt as we continue to uphold his ideals in the Product Design department, as well as through the Norman Schureman Memorial Endowed Scholarship fund.  On the special week, let’s raise our glasses with pinkies out and remember our friend Norm.

Stuart Fingerhut reinvents the future of retail through experiential design

Friday, March 13th, 2015
Stuart Fingerhut designs Scion's presence at major international auto shows.

Stuart Fingerhut designs Scion’s presence at major international auto shows.

The following profile of Environmental Design alumnus Stuart Fingerhut appeared in the January 2015 issue of VSMD Magazine. Read how Fingerhut’s leading-edge thinking about reconceiving the retail experience to be more about connection than commerce informs the success of his experiential marketing work for Toyota’s Scion brand as well as his personal design practice creating functional art.

Stuart Fingerhut seems to have this experiential design thing all figured out. As creative director for Toyota’s Scion brand at the George P. Johnson Experience Marketing Agency in Los Angeles, Fingerhut is responsible for creating Scion’s presence at major international automobile shows.

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Prominent theorist Ezio Manzini to discuss new book connecting design culture to social change

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

 

Ezio Manzini

Ezio Manzini

Ezio Manzini, a leading force in social impact design and founder of the DESIS (Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability) network of university-based design labs (including Art Center’s Designmatters department), will present a lecture based on ideas addressed within his new book, Design, When Everybody Designs, published by MIT Press. The event, which begins at 7pm in Art Center’s LA Times Media Center, will include an hour-long talk about design culture’s role in driving the future of social change and a book signing at 8pm.

The following excerpt from Manzini’s book, which was originally published as part of Mapping Social Design‘s Expert Workshop, offers an enticing preview of the innovative and deeply-considered ideas Manzini will address in his presentation at Art Center next week:

In the 21st century social innovation will be interwoven with design as both stimulus and objective, indeed it will stimulate design as much as technical innovation did in the 20th century. At the same time, it will be what a growing proportion of design activities will be seeking to achieve. In principle, design has all the potentialities to play a major role in triggering and supporting social change and therefore becoming design for social innovation. Today we are at the beginning of this journey and we still need a better understanding of the possibilities, the limits and the implications of this emerging design mode, but what is already clear is that design for social innovation is not a new discipline: it is simply one of the ways in which contemporary design is appearing. Therefore, what it requires is not so much a specific set of skills and methods, but a new culture, a new way of looking at the world and at what design can do with and for people living in it.

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Advertising alum Anthony Cardenas’ Penn and Teller Mazda spot lands Super Bowl slot

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Mazda CX-5 : Penn and Teller 30 second spot from Anthony Cardenas on Vimeo.

Anthony Cardenas came to Art Center’s Advertising program equipped with equal quantities of talent and doubt. He doubted whether it was wise to spend several years pursuing his second undergraduate degree. (He had recently received his B.A. in Marketing from CSU Northridge). He had questions about how he’d finance his degree. He also wondered whether it made any sense for him to focus on copywriting at an art and design college.

But eventually his anxieties lifted once he discovered that his unconventional choices — aka his differentiating qualities — were fueling his success. “Everyone I was in school with wanted to be an art director, so why not be a copywriter?” Cardenas remembers wondering. “I enjoyed it, my peers seemed to enjoy my writing and found it funny (or they were really good at pretending to laugh), and I thoroughly enjoyed doing that more than sitting on a computer comping all day. So, I made it known to all of my friends and teachers that I wanted to become a copywriter, and I was the only one at that time really.”

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Art Center’s Film department joins Birdman’s Emmanuel Lubezki in embracing ARRI Pro Camera Accessories

Friday, February 27th, 2015

ARRI PCA Gear for the C300 from Chase Hagen on Vimeo.

This video is more than it seems. It’s not just a polished promotional piece for ARRI Pro Camera Accessories, targeting young filmmakers. It’s actually a multi-layered (and slightly meta) example of Art Center’s core values—collaboration, industry-minded creativity, polished production values. Look closely at the video’s ingredient list (aka credits) and you’ll find that it’s been fortified with Art Center talent at every level. Film student Chase Hagen produced the above behind-the-scenes look at the production of a music video, directed by Art Center Film alumnus, Steve Dabal.

The piece, which was shot in the soundstage at Art Center’s Hillside campus, was commissioned by ARRI Pro Camera Accessories as a result of a relationship fostered by Undergrad & Grad Film chair Ross LaManna and Advanced Cinematography instructor Affonso Beato, ASC. Then again, Art Center filmmakers are in good company: Here’s an interview with Birdman‘s Oscar-winning cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, in which he credits ARRI equipment with facilitating some of the film’s most innovative camera-work and creative flourishes.

 

New Student/Space video features MDP student Kristina Ortega on the future of medicine and technology

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Art Center has a reputation for putting students through their paces, challenging them to meet and exceed their wildest creative dreams. The work ethic instilled here is legendary as are the results of all that toiling, ideating, imagining and making.

But the journey from inspiration to finished creation has always been somewhat mysterious. So beginning last Fall, we set out to illuminate students’ creative process with the series of videos we’ve recently renamed Student Space. Now it’s become a bonafide ‘thing.’ Here’s how it’s done: We identify three students from different disciplines who are in the process of completing an ambitious project. Over the course of the term we work with them to create three videos capturing the launch, obstacles and completion of their finished work of art and/or design. At the end of the term, each student’s trio of episodes constitutes an intimate take on the agony and ecstasy of bringing an idea to life. The results have been fascinating, dramatic and nothing short of spectacular. Need proof? Check out this playlist on our YouTube page.

The Spring 2015 term, will feature just one student: Media Design Practices thesis candidate, Kristina Ortega. We have no doubt that the spellbinding complexity of her project, which explores the ways people currently use technology to forecast future uses for tech, will more than make up for the lack of confederates in this Student/Space cohort. She’ll investigate something she calls “the human microbiome,” and its uses for the future of medicine. There’s really no more to say about her groundbreaking research, which we’ll capture over the course of this term, except: watch and learn. Oh, and enjoy!