Author Archive

Art Center-UCLA partnership explores the next frontier of healthcare design innovation

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

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This is the second in a two-part series on a joint pilot program between Art Center and the UCLA Business of Science Center focusing on the role of design in the field of health and wellness. Art Center offers special thanks to the Knapp Foundation (Betsy and Bud Knapp) for providing generous support to launch the program.

A stethoscope cover that prevents the spread of disease. A non-invasive “tuning fork” that helps improve hip implant fit by aiding surgeons with feedback during hip replacement surgery. A sensor that can detect lung cancer biomarkers in the breath of high-risk patients.

These are a few of the innovations developed by students in Jeff Higashi’s recent Advancing Bioengineering Innovations course—and prime examples of what can be accomplished when designers are included in the early stages of developing health and wellness products.

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Students stir emotion with light and shadow at Salone del Mobile 2015

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
Inspired by invisible depths of both light and shadow in urushi, the "Continuum" family of luminaires is a meditation on the seamless relationship between light and shadow. By Connie Bakshi, Kouichi Miyazaki

Inspired by invisible depths of both light and shadow in urushi, the “Continuum” family of luminaires is a meditation on the seamless relationship between light and shadow. By Connie Bakshi, Kouichi Miyazaki

Mokume lights that use wood grain to reveal the passage of time. Pendant lights that echo the ephemeral life of the raindrop. Porcelain luminaires that freeze calligraphy, revealing the beauty of the form’s imperfections. These are a few of the projects that emerged from the 9th annual Pacific Rim international collaboration between Art Center and Tama Art University in Tokyo. Hosted and lead by the Environmental Design Department, Pacific Rim challenges students from both schools each year to collaborate to envision new lighting designs by exploring the way light impacts the way we perceive our world, influences our mood and colors our experiences. This year’s collaboration encouraged students to investigate the sensorial qualities of light and shadow within the context of Japanese history, tradition and culture. (more…)

Venice Family Clinic gives Art Center designers a seat at the table for new pediatric center

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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“Design has an enormous and growing role to play in developing health and wellness products and spaces,” says Art Center Product Design faculty member Jeff Higashi.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that when the Venice Family Clinic, an affiliate of UCLA Health System, was preparing to launch its new Children’s Health and Wellness Center, organizers made sure that designers—including 12 Art Center students—had seats at the table. (more…)

Scholarship recipient strikes “Gold” with Imagine Dragons music video

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
Bryan Fugal on set

Bryan Fugal on set

Graduate Film student Bryan Fugal has already done more in the world of professional music video production than, well, many professionals his age. The Utah native and recipient of an Art Center MFA departmental scholarship recently wrapped up a video shoot for the Imagine Dragons‘ song, “Gold,” where he filled two roles: producer and first assistant director. It’s his second time working on a video for the band—and, he hopes, not his last. We asked him to tell us a little about the experience, the role of scholarships, and how Art Center did or didn’t prepare him for the gig.

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Social entrepreneur Nathan Cooke’s Fresh Life Toilets offer a fresh start to locals in developing countries

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Nathan Cooke

Nathan Cooke

When Nathan Cooke (BS 08 Product Design) was first approached by a group of entrepreneurs to help start a new venture centered on building toilets in developing countries, he wasn’t terribly taken with the idea. But seeing their determination, he decided to help them build a test toilet.

Five years later, Cooke and his colleagues are still working together.  Cooke is co-founder and creative director of Sanergy, a social enterprise based in Nairobi, Kenya, with the mission of making hygienic sanitation affordable for everyone. Through Sanergy’s local brand, Fresh Life, the company franchises its Fresh Life Toilets to entrepreneurs in informal settlements. Franchisees, called Fresh Life Operators, make a profit by charging market rates for use of the toilets.

We checked in the Cooke during his most recent visit to campus for an update on lessons learned from launching this unique venture.

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Art Center’s military veterans, supported by scholarship, transition to new careers

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
Can’t Sleep, watercolor on paper, by Joshua Moreno: "This series is a journalistic approach to PTSD in soldiers. These are a few of my brothers who allowed me to illustrate their deepest nightmares."

Can’t Sleep, watercolor on paper, by Joshua Moreno: “This series is a journalistic approach to PTSD in soldiers. These are a few of my brothers who allowed me to illustrate their deepest nightmares.”

Military veterans who come to Art Center to begin new careers in art and design are, by nearly every account, among the College’s most dedicated, disciplined and tenacious students. In honor of Veterans Day, we reached out to three recent recipients of the Ahmanson Veterans Scholarship Initiative, a program which aims to help students restart their education at private colleges and universities in California and assimilate back to their civilian lives. We asked each of them to describe the transition from the military to Art Center and to offer advice to other veterans thinking of doing the same.

Here’s what they had to say.

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History in a box: Unpacking Art Center’s industrial design photography collections for the world

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Over 100,000 photographs, 2,000 films and videos and 500 linear feet of print materials—all documenting aspects of American design history—make the Art Center Archives a treasure trove for exploration by scholars, faculty, students and the general public. But making those materials accessible to a world beyond campus raises challenging questions: Who decides what to preserve first? Once digitized, where should a collection live online? How does one prepare for inevitable changes in technology?

To begin tackling questions like these—and to start the process of bringing the Art Center Archives to the world—the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2013 awarded the College a prestigious grant to launch a pilot project to digitize, preserve and make accessible a portion of Art Center’s industrial design collection. As the project wraps up one year later, Bob Dirig shares his thoughts about collaboration, unexpected outcomes and the future of the College as a locus of art and design scholarship.

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Art Center Students First: Faculty and staff come together to support scholarships

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Fine Art faculty member, Tom Knechtel

Fine Art faculty member, Tom Knechtel

When Fine Art faculty member Tom Knechtel and director of real estate and campus planning Rollin Homer were asked to sign a faculty and staff appeal for Art Center’s Annual Fund this past spring, they came up with a better idea: create a scholarship fund for Art Center students that would last forever.

Their idea become the Art Center Students First Scholarship, the College’s first-ever scholarship endowment supported entirely by College faculty and staff. The goal is to bring the fund up to the endowment level of $50,000 so that it can continue provide support for students every year—for as long as Art Center is around.

Our brief chat with Tom sheds some light on the impact that scholarships like Art Center Students First can have on young artists and designers and on the College.

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Donghia scholarship winners draw inspiration from nature, food, and love

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Austin Yang's Grace chair won the Editor's Award for seating at ICFF 2014

Austin Yang’s Grace chair won the Editor’s Award for seating at ICFF 2014

Good design has its rewards. In the case of Environmental Design students Haidy Gong and Austin Yang, reward comes in the form of $30,000 in scholarship support from the Angelo Donghia Foundation. Gong and Yang are among only 12 winners of the 2014 Student Scholarship Program in Interior Design, which gives awards to rising college seniors pursuing bachelor degrees. We checked in with the winners to get their reaction to the scholarship and to find out what makes for an award-winning design.

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Illustration alumnus creates scholarship to give students foundational skills

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Watercolor by Illustration alumnus, Frank Lanza

Watercolor by Illustration alumnus, Frank Lanza

Frank L. Lanza (BFA ’57 Illustration) has had his finger on the pulse of advertising illustration for nearly 60 years. Working almost exclusively as a freelancer, he survived the new dominance of photography in print in the 1960s, experienced the pungent impact of the Magic Marker on storyboarding, and witnessed the revolutionary impact of computers on layout and design. His wide-ranging career has included packaging design for Crown Zellerbach and book illustration for Sunset Magazine and the first Del Monte Kitchens Cook Book. He also storyboarded for commercials and TV shows.

Frank Lanza

Frank Lanza

Lanza credits the solid fundamental toolkit he acquired at Art Center with laying the groundwork for his creative versatility and professional durability. “I was able to last as a freelancer thanks to the strong foundation of drawing skills I received at Art Center,” he says. He now hopes to return the favor to future artists with a gift of $1 million to the College to establish the Frank L. Lanza Scholarship Endowment, providing them the same lifelong artistic foundation. The endowment supports students of exceptional talent in the Illustration and Fine Art departments.

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