Author Archive

Change|Maker Jon Jon Augustavo: His ‘Same Love’ video topped the charts, opened hearts

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Filmmaker, cinematographer and music video director Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA ’12 Film), recognized for his dynamic and evocative narrative style, is a three-time MTV Video Music Award-winner best known for his collaborations with rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on their Grammy Award-winning “Thrift Shop” and chart-topping hit, “Same Love.” The latter alone has generated more than 125 million views on YouTube.

In fact, of all the work he has done, Augustavo is proudest of “Same Love,” a marriage equality anthem whose groundbreaking rise on the pop charts was noted by The New York Times. “I originally thought I just needed to make a great story,” said Augustavo. “I didn’t think there were any social ramifications. But we put it out right before the vote for same-sex marriage in Washington,” a reference to his and the band’s support for Referendum 74 on their home state ballot in 2012. “And months afterward, the emails I received, the people I met who said that it was so important to them — I’ve never had that experience in my life. I could stop making anything right now and I’d be happy to at least have done that.”

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Exploring technology’s future-facing frontier: Q&A with Interaction Design student Inae Song

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
Foggy Lights, an interactive light show experience by Inae Song (work-in-progress shots).

Foggy Lights, an interactive light show experience by Inae Song (work-in-progress shots).

Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Inae Song was drawn to the multidisciplinary Interaction Design program at Art Center as a field of possibility, a place to envision the future of design even beyond existing technologies and, she says, to apply without constraint all of her far-flung interests–architecture, computer science, art and digital products. Ultimately, says the co-creator of the Art Center Orientation App, what she’s really exploring is “what an interaction designer’s role in the real world might be.”

The Dotted Line: When did you first learn about Interaction Design as a creative discipline?

Inae Song: It was really hard to decide on a major, due to my wide interests. After I checked out Art Center and its new program, Interaction Design, I researched it and realized that I could combine everything together in this field where designers are not limited by a specific context and can extend their ideas to limitless media. That’s what made me want to come to Art Center.

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Think Cadillac: Trans alum Christine Park on breaking into luxury car design

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

 

Christine Park at the Cadillac Design Studio in Michigan. (Photo courtesy of General Motors)

Christine Park at the Cadillac Design Studio in Michigan. (Photo courtesy of General Motors)

Christine Park began her career in the highly competitive field of luxury car design with an internship at the GM Advanced Concept Design Studio in Los Angeles. She has been with General Motors ever since. Now lead exterior designer at the Cadillac Design Studio in Michigan, Park’s design projects include interior themes for the 2013 and 2014 Cadillac XTS and the Cadillac CIEL convertible.

Everything, Park said, starts with the customer.

“We look for inspiration in the customer’s needs and wants. We also look for artistic inspiration: we look at internet blogs and magazines, we go to museums.” Among the many design sketches that result, a very few are chosen to be rendered by clay sculptors as 3D scale models, Park said. Some of these will be turned into full size clay models. The whole process is clay,” she explained, “because clay is easy to put on and take off and it’s very flexible.

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Alum Ariel Lee’s penetrating illustrations offer creative takes on social issues

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Ariel Lee

Award-winning Illustration alum Ariel Lee.

Ariel Lee earned her BFA in Illustration at Art Center in 2012. That same year, she beat out a field of established professionals as a winner in Design Observer’s 50 Books/50 Covers for her children’s book, Mark & the Jellybean Monster, created as a student in Designmatters’ Uncool: The Anti-Gun Violence Project. The following year, one of Lee’s illustrations was awarded the Society of Illustrators 55 Gold Medal.

Lee, whose graphite and painted works are an evocative mix of delicacy and edge, specializes in publishing and surface design. One of the first freelance jobs she landed after Art Center–her client list includes the Wall Street Journal and the New Republic–was The New York Times. “I had gone to New York right after graduation and I met with the art director just to show her my portfolio,” Lee said.

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The give and take of MDP alum Matthew Manos’ thriving social impact design practice

Monday, August 4th, 2014
Art Center students visit alum Matthew Manos' verynice design studio in Venice. (Photo by Stella Kalinina)

Art Center students visit alum Matthew Manos’ verynice design studio in Venice. (Photo by Stella Kalinina)

Professionally speaking, alumnus Matthew Manos (MFA 12) was precocious. At age 19 in 2008 he founded his own design studio, verynice, a service free to nonprofits using design as a tool for problem solving. By 2012, with a full-time staff of two, verynice was providing $300,000 in pro bono services.

Today, with offices in Los Angeles and New York and a staff of 10 and growing, Manos’ innovative studio has donated the equivalent of more than a million dollars in services to some 250 nonprofit organizations with the help of skills-based volunteers around the globe. Manos’ book, How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free, open-sources his 50% pro-bono business model. His givehalf.co platform is inspiring other companies to do the same.

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Fine Art alumni Evelena Ruether and William Kaminski on curating, creating and releasing Control Room

Monday, July 28th, 2014
Fine Art alumni William Kaminski and Evelena Ruether, founders of Control Room gallery in downtown L.A

Fine Art alumni William Kaminski and Evelena Ruether, founders of Control Room gallery in downtown L.A. (Photo by Jennie Warren for Art Center)

A mutual interest in installation art brought photographer Evelena Ruether and painter William Kaminski together as friends and sometime collaborators in Art Center’s Fine Art program. After graduating in 2009, and sharing a desire to maintain the strong community of fellow artists they had bonded with at Art Center, the pair co-founded Control Room, an independent artist-run space that facilitated artist projects and group exhibitions in industrial downtown Los Angeles. Ruether and Kaminski went on to graduate school while pursuing their own work and curating Control Room shows. The space was active for four years, attracting mid-career artists and ushering in a nascent arts district in the area.

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Google designer Daniel C. Young cracks the code to less annoying, more delightful tech

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
harvest Harvest is Daniel C. Young's augmented reality mobile app for selective eaters

Harvest is Daniel C. Young’s augmented reality mobile app for selective eaters

As a visual interaction designer with Google Creative Lab, 2012 Graphic Design alum Daniel C. Young can’t talk about the specifics of his confidential work. Rather he describes it in general terms, as “product vision, a kind of subfield within both visual design and interaction design. We design interfaces for a vision of what, for example, Google might do five years from now. It’s somewhere between a real product, real digital product design and science fiction.”

Soon after graduating and completing an additional Art Center Honors Term, Young landed his new job with remarkable speed. This self-described simplicity evangelist found his calling. “Let’s just say it this way: I feel like I’m impacting the actual direction of where everyday computing might happen and how to make technology less annoying and more kind of delightful and fun and playful.”

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Inside Job: Industrial Design alum Kevin Bethune helps companies innovate and disrupt from within

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Kevin Bethune designed Ethereal, a fitness app and device, as a Grad ID student.

Kevin Bethune designed Ethereal, a fitness app and device, as a Grad ID student.

As soon as Kevin Bethune earned his master’s degree in Art Center’s Industrial Design program in 2012, he joined colleagues in establishing a digital innovation boutique to help Fortune 500 clients in health care, retail, consumer products and other industries “figure out how to incubate new ventures within their large corporations,” Bethune said. In early 2014, Bethune and his team relaunched as BCG Digital Ventures inside The Boston Consulting Group.

The new company’s stated mission: to establish “strategic partnerships with the world’s leading companies to create disruptive digital platforms” through “digital innovation, product development and commercialization.”

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Entertainment Design alum Edmund Liang is shaping the future one video game at a time

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Edmund Liang

Entertainment Design alum Edmund Liang

Edmund Liang is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in transmedia narratives and multi-sensory spatial experiences. Last fall, Liang was named one of Complex Art+Design’s 25 People Shaping the Future of Design and his projects—video games, interactive media, film and animation, motion graphics, photography—are as eclectic as his client list, which includes the Famous Group, Jim Henson Company, Dreamworks, Psyop, Imaginary Forces and Logan.tv.

A self-described “provocateur” in his field, Liang was once an “art kid” in high school who had no idea that there was a world of design. “I didn’t know that the keyboard in front of me was designed,” he recalled. “I didn’t know that the video games I was playing had people behind them.”

By the time it came time to consider colleges, Liang was first attracted to Art Center’s Illustration program and touring the campus prior to enrolling, he said, “I got the impression that it was a very rigorous and serious school. That’s what I wanted.”

edmund_liang_006

Artwork by Edmund Liang

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Change Makers: Alumni Q&A with Ad Man Sean Ohlenkamp on thinking differently and defying definition

Friday, June 27th, 2014

tv2

As a teenager, Sean Ohlenkamp had already set his sights on a career in advertising.

“I was watching the Super Bowl with some friends and laughing my butt off that people actually get to make these commercials for a living,” recalls Ohlenkamp (BFA 03), Digital Creative Director at Leo Burnett Toronto. “I thought it sounded amazing, a kind of mix of comedy, art and creativity. So I pretty much knew from the age of 16 or so that it was something I wanted to pursue.”

Today, Ohlenkamp works across digital, film, photography, print, illustration, design and product design platforms. His independent viral stop motion video The Joy of Books for Type Books has drawn upwards of 4 million views on YouTube, and his interactive online ads for the ALS Society of Canada and print ads for Nissan have earned high praise for their arresting originality.

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