Author Archive

Art Center’s Alumni Awards span the Nissan Cube, Airbnb and camel convoys

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Nissan's senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura (BS 81). Photo: Nissan

Nissan’s senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura (BS 81). Photo: Nissan

“As much as this recognition sits well with me, it’s also a reflection of this institution,” said Banza Ltd. founder and Product Design alumnus Patrick Kiruki (BS 05) at the Fall 2014 graduation ceremony on December 13, as he accepted Art Center’s Alumni Award in the category of Outstanding Service. “Art Center embodies the true meaning of an education by allowing each and every student to excel in what fires them up every morning.”

Each year, Art Center presents a select group of alumni with the Art Center Alumni Award in a number of categories. This year the College awarded the Lifetime Achievement award to Transportation Design alumnus Shiro Nakamura (BS 81); the Young Alumni Innovator award to Product Design alumna Katie Dill (BS 07); and the Outstanding Service award to Kiruki.

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On fueling creativity with kindness (not Red Bull): Student Leadership Award winner Fernando Olmedo

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Entertainment Design student Fernando Daniel Olmedo won the Fall 2014 Student Leadership Award.

Student Leadership Award winner Fernando Olmedo. Photo: Chuck Spangler

“Something I always made a point to do as I walked through the halls was to smile,” said graduating Entertainment Design student Fernando Olmedo, during his acceptance speech at this past Saturday’s graduation ceremony for Art Center’s annual Student Leadership Award. “No matter how tired I was, I made sure that I looked in people’s eyes and smiled.”

“And something pretty remarkable always happened when I smiled,” continued Olmedo, who was selected among several candidates for the Fall 2014 award by a committee of students, faculty and staff. “For this brief moment, there was this connection, this energy, this spark that came from somewhere deep inside … It worked better than coffee and Red Bull.”

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Art Center in Asia: Onward Singapore

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Shimano Cycling World, located at the Singapore Sports Hub, was designed by alumnus and Trustee Tim Kobe's (BS 82) Eight Inc., and just won two SPARK awards. Photo: Aarond Pocock

Shimano Cycling World, located at the Singapore Sports Hub, was designed by alumnus and Trustee Tim Kobe’s (BS 82) Eight Inc., and just won two SPARK awards. Photo: Aaron Pocock

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we explore Art Center’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Today, we look at the College’s presence in Singapore and its decade-long relationship with INSEAD.

From Beijing, take a six-hour flight south and you’ll find yourself in Singapore, a geographically tiny city-state where tropical rains meet Blade Runner-esque skylines.

Singapore is not only a central hub for Southeast Asian business, but it is also a country banking big on the innovation economy and bending over backwards to lure creative and entrepreneurial talent to its borders.

Just ask Environmental Design alumnus and Art Center Trustee Tim Kobe (BS 82), the founder of Eight Inc., a design firm whose clients include Apple, Citibank and Nokia and which has offices around the world, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

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Art Center in Asia: Seoul Power

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

In this photo from the mid-90s, Product Design alumnus Gordon Bruce (BS 72), standing, teaches a creativity course at the Innovative Design lab of Samsung (IDS).

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we explore Art Center’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Today, we look at the College’s now 20-year relationship with Samsung.

When it comes to Art Center in Asia, one man whose influence stretches far and wide is Product Design alumnus Gordon Bruce (BS 72), who this past Spring delivered the College’s commencement address and received the Art Center Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award.

At that event, Bruce told an entertaining story—complete with props—about teaching in Seoul, South Korea and the time he used a banana to illustrate to a group of Samsung designers why “mother nature is the best designer.”

Beyond drawing laughter and a big round of applause, his tale offered a unique glimpse into an era when Samsung was far from the technology powerhouse it is today and a time when the company and Art Center were just beginning what is today a 20-year relationship.

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Artist Frederika Roeder explores “the shimmering luminosity of it all” with Art Center at Night

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Artist Frederika with her work Nightfog from her 2012 "Fog Series." Photo: Chuck Spangler

Artist Frederika Roeder with her work Nightfog from her 2012 “Fog Series.” Photo: Chuck Spangler

What kinds of students enroll in Art Center at Night (ACN), Art Center’s continuing studies program? Everybody from recent high school graduates to mid-career professionals to more experienced individuals pursuing new creative passions.

One student who took full advantage of ACN’s opportunities is artist Frederika Roeder, a California native whose work reflects the wide vistas, horizons and expanses of the Golden State. She uses mixed media—including acrylic, gels, resin and molding paste—to explore what she calls “the shimmering luminosity of it all.”

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Art Center in Asia: It Began in Japan

Friday, November 21st, 2014
Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.

Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today, we explore the College’s historic relationship with Japan.

In 1956, Edward A. “Tink” Adams, Art Center’s first president, traveled to Japan with Advertising alumnus George Jergenson (BFA 35)—then the director of the College’s Industrial Design (ID) Department—and ID faculty member John Coleman. They had been invited by the Japanese government to tour the country and to share their thoughts on how industrial design could provide a competitive advantage for a nation still early in its post-war recovery.

After returning to the U.S., they filed a formal report containing several recommendations for Japan, including instilling a sense of national pride in products being “Made in Japan”—they cited Nikon’s confidence in placing its name on its camera, “one of the finest cameras anywhere”—and making sure Japanese students fully grasp their country’s rich cultural history. The future designer, it stated, “will learn more…from studying Japanese masters of painting and design than he will from Western art.”

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Art Center in Asia: Create Change Design Forums at Beijing Design Week

Friday, November 14th, 2014
Art Center's Mark Breitenberg welcomes participants to the 2014 Create Change Forums in Beijing.

Art Center’s Mark Breitenberg welcomes participants to the 2014 Create Change Forums in Beijing.

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today’s focus: the College’s growing relationship with China.

Whether it’s the impending arrival of China-made cars to the U.S. market or Film alumnus Michael Bay’s (BFA 88) Transformers: Age of Extinction breaking the $300 million barrier at the Chinese box office, these days all eyes are on the Middle Kingdom. And Art Center is no exception.

Just ask Mark Breitenberg, special assistant to the College’s president, who led the Create Change Design Forums, a three-day series of presentations and workshops which took place in China this September during Beijing Design Week.

At the packed forums, co-organized by Graduate Industrial Design (Grad ID) alumnus Lan Yu and sponsored by her company, Art Center leaders and alumni met with employees from 70 Chinese companies to introduce them to Art Center’s methodologies and creative processes.

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Is Art Center the creative equivalent to bootcamp?

Friday, November 7th, 2014
Graphic Design alumnus Michael Noh's (BFA 14) SYNC project. Photo: Alex Aristei

Graphic Design alumnus Michael Noh’s (BFA 14) SYNC project. Photo: Alex Aristei

Studying at Art Center is like going through boot camp. You’ve probably heard students and alumni from the College compare those two experiences. But how realistic is that analogy?

Graphic Design alumnus Michael Noh (BFA 14), who graduated this past summer, has an answer. Prior to studying at Art Center, Noh served in the Army Reserves for four years, during which time he designed multimedia communications and also served on a tour in Iraq as part of a Psychological Operation (PsyOp) unit.

Which means, yes, he went through boot camp. So I put the question directly to this military veteran and working designer: Is graduating from Art Center really akin to surviving basic training?

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From Teen Midol to Macklemore: Storytelling by Graduate Film students takes many forms

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Still from Matthew Ward's Damned.

Still from Matthew Ward’s Damned, the story of a woman who escapes a research facility and discovers the city around her devastated by a virus.

Art Center’s graduate Film program offers developing filmmakers an immersive opportunity to refine and expand their visual storytelling abilities. For the new 2015-16 Graduate Studies Viewbook, we profiled three members of that community: Lizbeth Chappell, Mego Lin and Matthew Ward. Here are their stories.

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Worth a rewatch: Graphic Design department’s new Begin Here video

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
Still from the Graphic Design department's Begin Here video.

Still from the Graphic Design department’s Begin Here video.

Have you watched the Graphic Design department’s new Begin Here video for prospective students? If not, do so now. All finished? Okay, now watch it again. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.

Notice anything unusual? Besides department chair Nik Hafermaas posing with a hawk?

No, you’re not going crazy—several elements in the video change upon a second viewing. For example, the individual students featured during the “people like him and her” portion of the narration. Watch it again and you’ll see yet another pair.

What’s going on here? This two-minute recruitment video is not a video in the traditional sense. Rather it’s an interactive work that mixes together a series of dynamically populated video segments as well as time- and location-based information—like the user’s current location, current weather for both the user and for Art Center students, and the current week and term at the College—into a cohesive narrative.

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