Figuring out how to build and power a race car using a 16-foot long rubber band is not your typical corporate team building exercise. But, it turns out, that’s exactly the kind of creative boost the business world needs. For the first time, the international Formula-E race at Art Center included a “Pro Class” category with teams participating from Mattel in El Segundo and Axial, a remote control car company based in Irvine. Competition was fierce and teams were gunning for the gold in the 9th annual “day at the races” showcasing talented students, businesses and even a junior race car design set.
Los Angeles Times praises Art Center’s “smart growth” to meet increased demand for fresh design talentTuesday, July 15th, 2014
We’ve been talking with Los Angeles Times’ higher education reporter Larry Gordon for a few weeks about businesses aiming to sharpen their competitive edge by hiring top design talent. Gordon was intrigued by the notion that corporate leaders have realized market domination in the new innovation economy requires a brain trust of superior design thinkers. Savvy consumers have become more and more discriminating in their choices when purchasing everything from smart phones to urban mobility devices.
Art Center’s record enrollment growth since 2009 is a clear signal of the global increase in demand for innovative design education. The booming interest in design also illustrates corporations’ recognition of the expanding importance of the creative professions to a healthy global business climate. And this increasingly design-centric paradigm is exemplified by Art Center’s continued physical expansion, with the completion of the new HQ for the Fine Art and Illustration Departments at 870 Raymond and the announcement of the purchase of the Mullin Building at 1111 Arroyo Parkway.
Read on to see what Gordon discovered in his conversations with Art Center students and faculty about how the recently opened “Post Office Building” is meeting their needs for light-filled visual art making spaces, and what President Lorne Buchman had to say about the College’s latest acquisition along Pasadena’s “Innovation Corridor.”
With New York Design Week in full swing, the city is teeming with design lovers and luminaries seeking a competitive edge on leading talent and trends. Art Center is featured at two major events: the high-profile International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and WantedDesign. Attracting nearly 30,000 tastemakers in the worlds of interior design, architecture, retail, manufacturing, distribution and developers, ICFF is considered North America’s premiere showcase for contemporary design.
Jake Viramontez was busy making documentaries until a contest announcement, sponsored by Chevrolet, calling for spec commercials tying family cars to Mother’s Day inspired him to expand his portfolio into a genre best described as doc-style promotion (aka the heartwarming, triple-hanky TV spot).
He quickly settled on a concept — a dad takes his crying baby out for a joyride in the family Chevy to give mom a moment to rest — derived from his sister’s bout with new-parent fatigue. He then submitted the idea and was picked as a finalist among nearly 300 entries from 34 countries. Now Viramontez’s spot, ‘The Extra Mile,’ will air on Mother’s Day during The Today Show and Good Morning America. “We chose ‘The Extra Mile’ because it’s a beautiful tribute to what Mother’s Day is all about: a day to honor mothers and show appreciation for all of the special things they do every day,” said Paul Edwards, vice president, Chevrolet Marketing at General Motors.
As a first-generation library user (and son of immigrant parents from El Salvador) Mario Ascencio possesses an evangelical zeal for his work. A native Angeleno who grew up in South L.A.’s Huntington Park, Ascencio has become a fierce advocate for the equity of information for all. And as of Monday, May 12, 2014, the dedicated, nationally recognized leader will apply his passion for information science to Art Center’s James Lemont Fogg Memorial Library, where he was recently named librarian and managing director.
“I’m excited to return to my native city of Los Angeles,” he said, adding that he always insisted that he would only return to his hometown if the ideal position was offered by the ideal organization. “After almost 15 years living in D.C., I’m thrilled to join Art Center because of its mission, ‘Learn to Create, Influence Change.’ It’s at the core of my personal beliefs that the library and the staff have the power to help students explore and discover themselves as artists and designers, and to ultimately create a positive impact on their learning.”
Ascencio is keenly aware of the important big-picture issues faced by institutions and the role of the library in supporting overall goals and objectives. Looking ahead as the College continues its South Campus expansion close to downtown Pasadena, Ascencio envisions engaging with his colleagues to discover new opportunities to better serve the Art Center community.
Like a field of tulips bursting with color, spring has sprung at Art Center in the form of last weekend’s Grad Show. With an eye-popping array of stunning creations and innovation, works from this term’s wildly talented cohort of graduating students exploded through the hallways and galleries of Hillside and South Campus. Potential employers, curious visitors, beaming family members and excited (yet relieved) friends fawned over the fruits of many years of work and sacrifice grads invested in joining the coveted club of Art Center alumni.
Dazzled as I was by the work, I was able to meet up with a few students. And the following survey offers but a small sample of the artists and designers who stood out for various reasons.
Captain America soars at the box office, thanks in part to Tim Flattery’s Helicarrier and Quinjet designsMonday, April 7th, 2014
Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier flexed and flaunted its superpowers at the box office during its opening weekend, earning more than $300 million worldwide. With those kind of numbers, it clearly wasn’t just fanboys (and girls) vying for an early glimpse at Hollywood’s latest super-sized comic book adaptation.
This widespread embrace was particularly gratifying to Art Center Entertainment Design Chair (and resident alpha fan), Tim Flattery, who collaborated with production designer Peter Wenham on designs for the movie’s spectacular Helicarrier (yes, an airborne aircraft carrier) and the Quinjet. “I love working on comic book movies,” Flattery said. “I’ve always been a fan and read comics as a kid.” (more…)