Author Archive

Creative entrepreneurs go BOLD-ly forth, getting to the heart of the matter

Monday, September 15th, 2014
Lynda Weinman of Lynda.com and Yo Santosa of Ferroconcrete at Art Center's BOLD Symposium.

Lynda Weinman of Lynda.com and Yo Santosa of Ferroconcrete at Art Center’s BOLD Symposium.

This past weekend, Art Center College of Design presented BOLD: The Art Center Symposium for Creative Entrepreneurs, a daylong symposium of presentations, lectures and workshops at the College’s Hillside Campus in Pasadena, focused on the future of creative entrepreneurship, design-driven startups and artist-run businesses and nonprofits.

The main takeaway? You gotta have heart.

More than 350 alumni and other guests heard inspiring stories of both triumph and failure—because for entrepreneurs, the two are never mutually exclusive. Fostering community and maintaining faith in one’s ideas are essential to survival. California’s improving economy is helping too, according to Kimberly Ritter-Martinez of the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation whose optimistic data reports kicked off the proceedings.

Among the 35 artists, designers, movers and shakers who presented: Lynda Weinman, co-founder of pioneering online education company Lynda.com; Colette Brooks, founder of Big Imagination Group; and Yo Santosa, founder of Ferroconcrete.

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Brad Bartlett scattered inspiring pebbles of wisdom throughout his Great Teacher Award address

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Instructor Brad Bartlett stands inside student Ka Kit Cheong's "Plaception" installation. Photo: Chris Hatcher

Instructor Brad Bartlett stands inside student Ka Kit Cheong’s “Plaception” installation. Photo: Chris Hatcher

“I went for a long hike on Sunday morning to think about what I would say to you today,” said instructor Brad Bartlett this past Saturday at the top of his commencement address to Art Center College of Design’s graduating class of Summer 2014. “During that hike I remembered something one of my college professors, Dr. Michael Pause, once said: ‘May I always remain a pebble in your shoe.’”

Immediately prior to delivering his speech, Bartlett became a twice recipient of College’s Great Teacher Award for full-time faculty; he previously won the award in 2003. Also at Saturday’s ceremony, Humanities & Sciences instructor Rocio Carlos won this year’s part-time faculty Great Teacher Award.

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Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate extols the art of listening and being heard

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Who ya’ gonna call? Hugo Pilate, apparently.

This past Saturday, as Product Design graduate Hugo Pilate made his way to the stage to accept Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Summer 2014 term, Ray Quirolgico, the College’s Associate Provost for Student Affairs, offered the following caveat: “Hugo has asked me to affirm that he is known for run-on declamations so you may need to brace yourself,” said Quirolgico. “I was also informed to give you his number in case you get lost in what he has to say at any point.”

He then read off Pilate’s phone number not once, but twice.

Lest you think the French-born graduate was just having a laugh, Pilate gave out his number again as he capped off a speech that focused on the importance of being heard and, even more importantly, listening to others. (more…)

Not sure what type of design to study? Sample them all in Andrew Hall’s Design 360

Monday, August 11th, 2014
Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

For the past four years, artist Andrew Hall has taught Design 360 at Art Center at Night (ACN), Art Center’s continuing studies program. Design 360 gives students a whirlwind tour of many of the major disciplines offered at the College, including: advertising, graphic design, filmmaking, illustration, product design and transportation design.

In the class, he asks his students to imagine a product that “protects something” which can be “something obvious like safety goggles” or something more abstract “like a camera, which protects memories.” Then, for the next 12 weeks, students give their product the full treatment—designing everything for it from a logo to a storyboard for a 30-second commercial—and then present it to the class, complete with drawings that show their process. “The presentation teaches the importance of really owning your concept.”

Hall finds the diversity of his students particularly inspiring—some take Design 360 when they’re at a point in their career where “they’re just treading water and need to make a big decision” while others treat the course as a philosophical journey. “Some of them come up with solutions far more cerebral and spiritual than a product you can hold in your hand.” (more…)

Media Design Practices alum delivers TED talk on memes as the ‘street art of our social web’

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
An Xiao Mina examines "The Meaning of Memes" on the 2013 TEDGlobal stage.

An Xiao Mina examines “The Meaning of Memes” on the 2013 TEDGlobal stage.

Think you know your memes? If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve probably run across the likes of Grumpy Cat, Scumbag Steve or, one of our personal favorites, Art Student Owl.

Those viral images and videos that people modify and spread across the Internet are always good for a laugh, but at the TEDGlobal 2013 conference in Edinburgh, Media Design Practices alumna An Xiao Mina took the stage to deliver a talk entitled “The Meaning of Memes,” shedding light on how individuals across the globe are turning memes into “the street art of our social web.”

In her talk, Mina provided examples of how people in both democracies and censorship states have used memes to speak out on controversial issues, from the detainment of Ai Weiwei to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. “These memes are about more than humor,” Mina said on the TED blog. “They do what art and visual expression have always done—make us feel less alone.”

This story originally appeared in Art Center’s Spring 2014 Dot magazine, where you can read more about alumni and faculty achievements.

Fashion forward meets emotional rescue: Art Center students imagine the future of wearables

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Sangli Li's Expressive Wearable.

Sangli Li’s Expressive Wearables shields its user from intrusive sights and sounds.

With Apple and Google both adding fashion professionals to its regiments, it appears that the next consumer electronics war will be waged not over the smartphone in your pocket, but over the devices worn around your wrists and over your eyes.

Always ahead of the curve, Art Center students, instructors and alumni are currently imagining where wearables might head next. And while wearables will undoubtedly translate to big business, how might this technology change our behavior as human beings?

This question, and many more, were explored in a recent Intel Corporation-sponsored Wearables Ecologies course taught by Media Design Practices (MDP) Professor Phil van Allen and Associate Professor Ben Hooker.

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Wearing your heart rate on your sleeve: Inside the wearable tech revolution

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

wearables_main

By now you’ve heard of Google Glass. But what about bracelets that measure sun exposure? Headphones that double as heartbeat monitors? Or jewelry that unlocks your front door? Are you ready for the dawn of smart watches, smart earrings, smart contact lenses and smart wigs? And no, that last one isn’t a joke.

The “wearables” field is in an early yet promising stage of its evolution. But Art Center, always striving to stay ahead of industry and cultural trends, has had wearables squarely in its sights for years. Today, our students, instructors and alumni are busy imagining where this technology might head next, creating the devices that are paving the way for the future, and questioning how a wearables-saturated world will change our behavior as human beings.

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Graham Moore delivers a dose of DIY ingenuity in Saturday High classes and album cover art mosaics

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Saturday High and Art Center at Night instructor Graham Moore in his studio. Photo: Gregory Firlotte

Saturday High and Art Center at Night instructor Graham Moore. Photo: Gregory Firlotte

If you’ve been to the vinyl section of Amoeba Music in Hollywood lately, you’ve no doubt noticed a window display featuring cut up and reconfigured album covers by artists like The B-52s, Martin Denny and David Bowie.

That display was created by Saturday High and Art Center at Night instructor Graham Moore, a U.K.-born artist and graphic designer who studied at Wimbledon School of Art and East Ham College of Technology and came to the City of Angels via London. 

In addition to Amoeba Music, his other clients have included The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Mazda and JCPenney. His work has been shown at several venues, including Modern Way in Palm Springs, Barnsdall Art Center in Hollywood, and La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Feliz, which included three of his latest works in its annual group show, Laluzapalooza.

Moore’s Inner Circle, featured on the cover of the latest Saturday High catalog, is a prime example of his ongoing “Redux” series, 12”x12” works in which he cuts up vintage album covers (mostly from the ‘60s) and reconfigures them into vibrant, often abstract arrangements.

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‘Mother nature is the best designer:’ Highlights from Gordon Bruce’s spring 2014 graduation speech

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Industrial Design alumnus Gordon Bruce (BS 72) goes bananas at Art Center's Spring 2014 graduation

Industrial Design alumnus Gordon Bruce (BS 72) goes bananas at Art Center’s Spring 2014 graduation. Photo: John Dlugolecki

“Maintain truth to your core and you will be beautiful and create beautiful things in your future,” Industrial Design alumnus Gordon Bruce (BS 72) told graduating students during Art Center’s Spring 2014 Graduation Ceremony on Sat., April 19, where he received a Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award.

Saying that the award meant “more to me than you’ll ever know,” Bruce delivered  a lively speech in which he recounted: another college’s admissions counselor telling his dad that his son “didn’t have the right stuff” to design; sharpening pencils as a part-time office boy at the studio of architect and designer Eliot Noyes; meeting the “gods of design” through the College’s lecture series, including Charles Eames, Paolo Soleri and Niels Diffrient, the latter with whom he became best friends.

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Agents of boom: Advertising alumni Melissa Thomas and Jack-Anthony Collier

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Creative duo Jack-Anthony Collier and Melissa Thomas star in their zine "Birdscouts"

Creative duo Jack-Anthony Collier and Melissa Thomas as featured in their zine Birdscouts.

She’s a copywriter at Deutsch. He’s a copywriter for Mullen. Together, they’ve worked on campaigns for companies like Taco Bell, AT&T, Carls Jr., Kia and JetBlue.

But Art Center Advertising alumni Melissa Thomas (BFA 12) and Jack-Anthony Collier recently put their professional interests aside to tackle one of today’s most pressing issues: the dreaded boom mic mistake. Their solution? CATBOOM.

Okay, on a more serious note, today these creative partners are preparing to channel their creative energy in a different direction. This summer, they’ll be teaching at Art Center’s continuing education program, Art Center at Night, helping students get their advertising portfolios in shape in Advertising Portfolio Workshop.

“We’ll be going through the students’ books, and offering suggestions on how to improve and tighten them up,” says Collier. “We’ll be reviewing their work from an agency’s perspective before they head out into the big wide world.”

And of course, there will be fun.

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