Author Archive

Faculty member Jeff Higashi decodes the design innovations informing Superbowl XLIX

Friday, January 30th, 2015

 

X2 Biosystems' XPatch provides data for early detection of head injuries.

X2 Biosystems’ XPatch provides data for early detection of head injuries.

Product Design faculty member Jeff Higashi spent over three years inside NFL players heads. As Vice President of Product Development assigned to develop a device that would capture data to assess potential concussions, Higashi gave a lot of thought to the mechanics of the sport as well as to how the players and teams might best be served by what players wear on the field and how.

With Sunday’s Superbowl showdown between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks swiftly approaching, we asked Jeff to explain how the X2 Biosystems’ XPatch device he helped develop might help protect players from the plague of concussions afflicting the sport. And we also seized the opportunity to ask this wearable tech designer to analyze some of the messages these two formidable teams are sending via their uniforms’ color, materials and design elements.

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Has alum Chris Do helped reinvent the music video with the interactive design for the Coldplay hit, “Ink?”

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The spotlight of attention and adulation trained on the new interactive video for Coldplay’s latest hit, “Ink,” has been nothing short of, well…blinding. Appropriately enough, this ambitious and innovative multimedia project sprung from Blind, the transmedia design agency founded by Art Center alum Chris Do.

The evolution of the video is fascinatingly chronicled in the above making-of video as well as the following Fast Company blog post by Evie Nagy. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this video’s customized storytelling experience in the comments section below. Is this a novel fluke? Or have we just witnessed the future of all music videos? Discuss!

In November, pop-rock titans Coldplay released a gorgeous and engaging interactive video for “Ink,” a single from their chart-topping 2014 album Ghost Stories. The animated clip, developed by Los Angeles design agency Blind, is a choose-your-own-adventure-style story about a lost traveler given multiple opportunities to chase his elusive lover or go his own way. In all, there are more than 300 possible paths and stories a viewer can experience.

In the new behind-the-scenes video, members of Blind’s creative staff describe the two-month process of conceiving and creating the video, which uses a technology called Treehouse that was developed by New York company Interlude. Treehouse is the same technology that Bob Dylan used last year to create the interactive video for his 1965 classic “Like A Rolling Stone.” That video allowed users to click among 60 fake television shows of various genres, all dubbed with the song.

“The most challenging part of all of this was figuring out how to fully take advantage of the interactive medium,” says director Matthew Encina. “We had to create a story with inherently interesting choices to make, engaging viewers to wonder, ‘What would happen if I chose something else?’”

You can experience the “Ink” video here.

Sky-high architectural praise for Pasadena’s Sequoyah School, designed by Art Center instructor Alice Fung

Monday, January 26th, 2015
The Sequoyah School expansion, designed by Fung+Blatt and featured in Architectural Record. View full slideshow.


The Sequoyah School expansion, designed by Fung + Blatt and featured in Architectural Record, features lofty classrooms that echo the original buildings on the site. View full slideshow.

For the last 12 years, architect and visual artist Alice Fung has been teaching a materials course in Art Center’s Integrated Studies Department while working as a principal with her architecture firm, Fung + Blatt. One of Fung + Blatt’s recently completed projects, the Sequoyah School in Pasadena, is featured in the January 2015 Schools of the 21st Century special issue of Architectural Record, in an article by Sarah Amelar, excerpted below. The magazine’s annual review looks at “the world’s most architecturally significant K-12 schools…that exemplify good design as a crucial component in a school’s programmatic development.” The issue is currently on newsstands and available at Art Center’s Student Store at Hillside Campus. The project also received an Honor Award from the AIA last fall.

True to the collaborative spirit of the progressive Sequoyah School, in Pasadena, California, its students played active roles in the recent architectural changes on campus. Architects Alice Fung and Michael Blatt asked the pupils at this independent K-8 school to list their “wild dream” improvements and prioritize their needs. Their input had impact: Fung + Blatt Architects’ (F+B) initial intervention here, in 2009, was a shaded pick-up/drop-off shelter, addressing a top priority of its users. The architects also tackled small projects, gradually weaving together the eclectic campus, before transforming a long-overlooked section with new buildings.

Instead of disrupting learning, the multi-phased design work inspired it, engaging students, for example, in mapping and analyzing the existing campus. In Sequoyah’s “place-based” pedagogy, its surroundings are fodder for learning.

But the site—a 2.25-acre parcel between a freeway off-ramp and a major artery—is not an obvious spot for a school. Sequoyah leases its campus from Caltrans, the state highway agency, yet the school has flourished here for decades, striking a balance among seemingly irreconcilable conditions. (more…)

The future is spectacularly now in Product alum Edward Eyth’s concept art for “Back to the Future Part II”

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 11.21.58 AM

Today, Buzzfeed published the following photo essay, featuring Product Design alum Edward Eyth’s “Back to the Future Part II” concept art. The piece offers a prescient glimpse at the 1988 sketches of the futuristic world of 2015. What better way to kick off the weekend than by looking back at an Art Center alum’s vision for the future that is now.

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Carol Johnson’s WWII illustrations on view at Art Center’s Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Drawing-FireThe following Pasadena Now article adds a concise bit of context to Art Center’s new show of work by illustrator Carol Johnson. The exhibit opens today in the College’s newest gallery space, the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall, located within South Campus’ Illustration and Fine Art hub at 870 South Raymond Avenue. This show offers a rare glimpse at both Johnson’s uniquely evocative illustrated narrative about WWII and, ultimately, our evolving relationship with war and how its atrocities and triumphs are conveyed and covered. And for those who have yet to visit Art Center’s newest building, this ongoing exhibition also represents the perfect opportunity to pay a visit to the meticulously renovated former US Post Office warehouse. 

Art Center College of Design presents Drawing Fire, an exhibition curated by alumnus Brody Albert, bringing attention to the work of his grandfather, illustrator Carol Johnson. As a World War II correspondent, Johnson helped translate the immediate experience of war into raw observational sketches for nationally syndicated newspapers, conveying a first hand experience of the war into the households of thousands of Americans.

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Stave off back-to-school angst with the latest episodes of our Student/Space videos

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Spring 2015 Orientation begins today. And while an Art Center initiation holds the potential to overwhelm and intimidate with its alphabet soup of acronyms (extra credit to any new student who can define ACCD, CSE,  JFK and LAT). Then there are those daunting tales of Art Center’s punishing workloads and cringe-inducing crits.

Of course, it’s worth noting that any challenges encountered here will not be experienced in vain. There is a method behind the madness. An Art Center education, above all else, instills a process-driven approach to the audacious act of bringing innovative and imaginative ideas to life.

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Holiday card video: Watch the Gift Maker box spread the seasonal joys of reciprocity

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

A collection of Art Center artists created this video to remind us all that making and giving are the gifts that keep on giving. Happy holidays and may you return from the winter break feeling fulfilled and renewed.

Change/Makers video: Matt Sheridan’s paintings-in-motion redefine spirituality in the age of the algorithm

Monday, December 8th, 2014


When asked to recall the most enduring take-away from his Art Center education, Matt Sheridan (MFA, Grad Art) had this to say: “Fight for what you believe in and prove your haters wrong every moment of every day — quietly — so the work can speak for itself.”

And while the arresting images in Sheridan’s large-scale paintings-in-motion, often displayed in public locations around the globe, are anything but quiet, they speak volumes about the artist who created them. Sheridan’s ideas about connection and communication at the crossroads of traditional and digital culture informing his work are complex and compelling. With that in mind, we set out to illuminate Sheridan’s life and work as a Los Angeles-based artist working on a global canvas, with the above Change/Makers video profile and his riveting answers to the questions below.

Most recently, Sheridan has been awarded a fully-funded residency at Matsudo PARADISE AIR (funded by the Japanese Ministry of Culture), that will take him to Japan from December 15, 2014 to February 13, 2015. He is also currently under consideration for a Fulbright grant to return to Brazil in fall 2015. And his exhibition of prints and video opened at TW Fine Art in Brisbane, Australia on December 1.

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Remake, revise, refine, rethink: Check out episode 2 of our Student/Space video series

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Creativity begins with a leap of faith. It’s a belief in one’s ability to transform the spark of inspiration into a work of art or design that exists in some form within the physical or digital world. And as with any risky endeavor, sometimes serendipity occurs and the work takes on a life of its own. Other times, things don’t work out as planned. Unexpected challenges rear up. Obstacles stubbornly resist removal. Life happens.

And while the iterative process of gear-grinding experimentation often adds depth and complexity to the final creation. Sometimes there are hurdles that simply can’t be cleared. Unfortunately, that was the case this term for one of our Student/Space participants, Rosie Geozalian, an Advertising student who had to shelve her promising project (creating a spot for the language learning system, Rosetta Stone) due to personal reasons.

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