Archive for the ‘Alumni Relations’ Category

Ayzenberg Group embeds its social media sharp shooters within Art Center’s Advertising classes

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

 ayzenberg-art-center-rThe following post, originally featured on InnovatePasadena.org, offers a window into the process and results of the creative partnerships Art Center fosters with the corporate community. These alliances have always been fundamental to the College’s educational philosophy, grounded in an empirical hands-on to empowering students to transform their ideas into professional quality works of creative ingenuity.

The Art Center alumni community has been instrumental in sustaining this tradition. In this case, Eric Ayzenberg (Adv), founder of Pasadena’s Ayzenberg Group, lead that charge, enabling current Advertising students to experience the inner workings of a full-service agency’s approach to a social media campaign.

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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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Hope is in the bag: Saeri Dobson designs handcrafted purses in support of displaced Bangladeshi girls

Monday, July 21st, 2014
Saeri Dobson designed these wallets to support Bangladeshi girls and women rescued from brothels.

Saeri Dobson designed these wallets to support Bangladeshi girls and women rescued from brothels.

The following letter pays tribute to Art Center alum Saeri Dobson’s tireless and selfless work on behalf of Bangladeshi girls who have been rescued from brothels. Dobson (MFA 00 NEWM), whose ethically-minded creative practice is embedded right in her company name: By SaeRi: Design + Humanity.

image-1“I founded By SaeRi, Inc. to tell the stories of amazing human lives through my design,” says Dobson, who produces several lines of handmade bags and wallets ranging from bright and funky to chic and understated. She donates 10% of her profits to Speak Up for the Poor, a non-profit supporting displaced Bangladeshi girls and women. “Each By SaeRi bag is one of a kind, designed and made entirely in the USA. I handpick all the materials and oversee the production process.”

This letter, by the founder of Speak Up for the Poor, offers a snapshot of social impact design in action, exemplifying the vast potential for designers to change the world by bringing their social conscience to bear on their creative practice. We salute Saeri’s commitment to her cause, not to mention the elegant leather craftsmanship she brought to the entirely covetable Project Hope line of tote bags.

 

I am writing to express my organization’s support for the work of By SaeRi, Inc., a business which has generously supported our work for several years. Speak Up for the Poor, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, serves girls in poverty in Bangladesh. We remove girls from brothels and fund a home for rescued girls; we run a large education program keeping girls-at-risk in school and out of child marriage and other forms of abuse and exploitation; and we do legal casework and advocacy for girls in poverty who have been abused.

Speak Up relies on the generous support of individuals and businesses. By SaeRi, Inc. has been a faithful financial supporter of our work for several years, giving generously since 2011 to help fund several of our projects in Bangladesh.

Starting in 2011, By SaeRi became a funder of our work at the Alingon Home, a place for girls removed from brothels. In Bangladesh many young girls who are born to mothers working in brothels are themselves destined for forced prostitution as minors, and By SaeRi’s generosity helped fund our important work to remove and rehabilitate girls at the Alingon Home.

Similarly, By SaeRi’s generous financial support towards our Girls Education Program in 2012 and 2013 helped Speak Up build four Learning Centers in impoverished villages in southwestern Bangladesh, school rooms where hundreds of girls in our program receive academic support and mentoring to rise out of poverty and avoid the pitfalls of poverty. Several of Saeri Cho’s students have also contributed generously to our general fund, further catalyzing our efforts to serve girls in poverty in Bangladesh.

Speak Up is thankful to By SaeRi, and in particular, to the founder Ms. Saeri Cho Dobson for her hard work and generosity in supporting our work. We enthusiastically support their continued business expansion. We encourage you to extend every courtesy possible to enable By SaeRi to grow in its important mission as a socially responsible business.

Please contact me with any questions.

Sincerely, Troy Anderson

Founder and International Director, Speak Up

Big in France…and beyond: Two-time Cannes Lions award winner Sebastian Leda conquers the Hispanic commercial market

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Still from "Robocop"

Still from “Robocop”

To be embraced by the notoriously finicky French is a badge of distinction for any artist. Just ask Jerry Lewis. Or Mickey Rourke. Or Charles Bukowski. Or for that matter, Sebastian Leda (00 Film), who won his second award at Cannes Lions this past May for a commercial entitled “Robocop.”

What separates Leda from the legions of directors and producers who have exited the festival with statuettes in hand is that Leda and his longtime creative collaborator, Francisco D’Amorim, are the only winners to have received prizes for spots targeted at the Hispanic market. Both “Robocop,” which took home this year’s Silver Lion award, and “Crying,” which garnered the Gold Lion at the 2010 festival, represent the kind of high production value commercials tailored to Latino audiences defining all the work produced by Dos Ex Maquina, the company Leda formed with D’Amorim shortly after graduating from Art Center.

Cannes Film Festival voters are far from alone in recognizing the value and vast reach built into Leda and D’Amorim’s business plan. The duo has been thriving both critically and commercially ever since they made the fortuitous (or prescient) decision to distinguish themselves from LA’s mob of young, hungry directors by catering to an under-served and rapidly growing viewership.

In the Q&A below, Leda gamely agreed share a few ingredients in the special sauce that’s given him a competitive advantage in the world’s most competitive (and lucrative) industry.

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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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Graphics alum Rafael Esquer sees New York City as both canvas and muse

Monday, July 14th, 2014

When the New York City Department of Design and Construction approached Rafael Esquer’s Alfalfa Studio about creating a mural to improve the cafeteria of the LIFE Family Shelter in Lower Manhattan, Esquer embraced the opportunity to direct a project with social impact. Alfalfa invited the shelter’s clients to workshop their ideas and shape the conceptual and graphic direction of the piece. “The rewards of doing something that actually touches people’s lives is what makes the hundreds of hours of volunteer work worth it,” says Esquer, who has taught at Art Center, New York University and the School of Visual Arts.

Incorporating vibrant drawings of seasonal foods and children’s statements about their favorite activities and fantasy characters, the project has triggered new commissions for murals in the U.S. and abroad. But what is Esquer most excited about as his firm celebrates its 10th anniversary this year? “Having my own studio has allowed me to launch my own brand, Alfalfa New York,” he says. “It’s a project where I’m both client and designer.” Deeply in love with Manhattan, the Mexico native has created ICONYC, a graphic representation of the city researched and rendered over the course of more than two years, featuring 173 landmarks as diverse as the Chrysler Building and the Chelsea Hotel.

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

June 2014 alumni news and notes

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

From The New York Times to Esquire, from Cannes to the Venice Biennale — Art Center alums have been busy making, making headlines and making their talents known within some of the world’s most prestigious events, platforms and publications. In addition to this primer on their accomplishments, we’re also inviting the Art Center alumni community to nominate candidates for this year’s Art Center Alumni Awards. Read on to learn more.

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Graduate Industrial Design alumna snags Rolex Young Laureate Award for newborn hearing screening device

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Neeti Kailas, 2014 Rolex Young Laureate. India, 2014. ©Rolex Awards/Ambroise Tézenas

Neeti Kailas, 2014 Rolex Young Laureate. India, 2014. ©Rolex Awards/Ambroise Tézenas

Neeti Kailas (MS 13 Industrial Design) heard the news just in time to book a flight to the press conference at The Royal Society, London. Rolex had named her one of five Young Laureates for her work developing a hearing screening device for newborns in India. “I was very happy and excited [to be selected],” said Kailas. “The award will help the project advance, and the visibility is great for a start-up like mine. It is an honor to be selected as part of the community of laureates. They are all visionaries and change-makers.”

She and her husband, Nitin Sisodia, who was named one of the 2013 ‘35 Innovators Under 35’ by MIT Technology Review, identified hearing screening as a critical yet ignored aspect of healthcare across developing countries. Together they launched the Sohum innovation lab and created a functioning prototype that has been tested on adults. They are preparing for clinical trials in 2015.

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From Apple Stores to apples for the teacher: Eight Inc. donates design educational nonprofit DonorsChoose.org

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
DoonorsChoose.org offices after Eight Inc. redesign

DoonorsChoose.org offices after Eight Inc. redesign

Eight Inc. is a leading-edge branding and design firm owned and run by Art Center alums Tim Kobe (BS 82 Environmental), who is also a college Trustee, and Wilhelm Oehl (BS 94 Product). In the fifteen years since its inception, Eight Inc. has flourished by generating iconic designs across a broad spectrum of projects and disciplines from conjuring innovative retail experiences for the Apple Store to the architectural award-winning residential developments in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Eight Inc. (which now employs more than a few Art Center alums) has recently tackled another design solution for the greater good. In April, the firm announced it would donate design services to DonorsChoose.org to renovate its new headquarters in New York City. DonorsChoose.org is a national nonprofit that has channeled over $237 million in books, art supplies, field trips and resources to more than a million students in low-income public schools.

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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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