Archive for the ‘Alumni Relations’ Category

Selling jellyfish on the internet, and other true tales from today’s creative entrepreneurs

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Medusae Collection by alumna Roxy Russell.

Medusae Collection by alumna Roxy Russell.

To be bold is to be confident and courageous, willing to take risks. It’s an essential trait shared by a powerhouse group of speakers assembled for BOLD: The Art Center Symposium for Creative Entrepreneurs, a one-day confab and networking event at the College’s Hillside Campus in Pasadena.

At once motivational and practical, the September 6th program offered personal testimonials from successful entrepreneurs, along with concrete skills and strategies that participants—multidisciplinary and multigenerational—could apply to their own creative endeavors.

The question on President Lorne M. Buchman’s mind as he greeted the full house: “What does it take to create a pertinent and relevant design education today? It used to be that the education was set up to get you a job. In 2014, you realize the student body is different, millennials are different. Something has shifted—and it has everything to do with entrepreneurship. There is a power, an insight, an energy, a compulsion even, to create innovation.”

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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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NASA and DC enlist alum Justin Chambers to design the world’s coolest robot shoes

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

In the DARPA Robotics Challenge, teams of software designers and robotics engineers compete to develop robots capable of assisting human recovery efforts in man-made and natural disasters. NASA’S Team Valkyrie approached Justin Chambers (BFA, Product, ’14), and 3D designer Chad Knight and asked if they would “design a cool shoe for our robot.” Chambers’ and Knight’s answer: Affirmative!

The above slide show illustrates the team’s iterative process that yielded a pair of shoes that quite possibly redefined the meaning of a cool pair of kicks. Chambers and Knight’s design comes complete with rover-style treads designed to facilitate the literal version of moon walking—no Michael Jackson moves necessary. 

For anyone interested in how a designer comes to land a dream gig designing branded footwear for iconic organizations like DC and NASA, Chambers traces the unlikely journey that lead him to the launchpad for his rocket-ride career in the essay below:

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Alumni Spotlight: Mariana Prieto, social impact product designer and IDEO.org Fellow

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Mariana’s story originally appeared as part of Desigmatters’ Alumni Spotlight series. Find out more about Art Center’s social impact design department, Designmatters.

“How was the IDEO.org Fellowship?” many people ask. Although extraordinary, intriguing, surprising, challenging, and rewarding all are words that immediately come to mind, I don’t want to oversimplify my answer and leave it at that. I am still digesting the wonderful learnings and lessons that I have gathered in the last year. For now, let me start by focusing on my time doing research and prototyping out in the field. Over the course of the past year, I’ve spent a cumulative five and a half months traveling and visiting the communities where we work. This is where the magic happens. This is where our work intersects with the people we are designing for and why so many of us choose to follow the path of social design.

During this year I have taken on five design challenges ranging from agriculture development in Indiafamily planning in Zambiafinancial stability in the Philippines, and the health and life of informal workers in South Africa, Kenya, Thailand, and the Philippines. Chapter 1 is about the 10 lessons I have learned from fieldwork as an IDEO.org Fellow (who knows, maybe I decide to give writing ‘Chapter 2: Lessons from the studio’ a try, so I’m calling this one Chapter 1).

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Art Center challenges career changing creatives to ponder: Why work?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
Ad for Art Center's Why Work campaign

Ad for Art Center’s Why Work campaign

Why work?

It’s a compelling question; but one most of us are too busy working to contemplate. Beyond the practical necessities of gainful employment, however, lies a whole set of considerations that have more to do with personal fulfillment and authentic creative expression. It may seem like a luxury  to factor these qualitative variables into one’s employment equation. But in today’s growing creative economy, there’s a strong argument to be made for cultivating a career that leverages those right brain talents.

Art Center has long been a training ground for those seeking to land a day job that also happens to be a creative calling. It’s a defining characteristic of both the College itself and its students, faculty and alumni. It also happens to be the driving force behind the College’s new “Why Work” campaign developed by award-winning advertising firm WONGDOODY, which hinges on one question:  “Why work for a living?” Because the corollary to that question is that when you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Compelling, isn’t it?

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Change|Maker Jon Jon Augustavo: His ‘Same Love’ video topped the charts, opened hearts

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Filmmaker, cinematographer and music video director Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA ’12 Film), recognized for his dynamic and evocative narrative style, is a three-time MTV Video Music Award-winner best known for his collaborations with rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on their Grammy Award-winning “Thrift Shop” and chart-topping hit, “Same Love.” The latter alone has generated more than 125 million views on YouTube.

In fact, of all the work he has done, Augustavo is proudest of “Same Love,” a marriage equality anthem whose groundbreaking rise on the pop charts was noted by The New York Times. “I originally thought I just needed to make a great story,” said Augustavo. “I didn’t think there were any social ramifications. But we put it out right before the vote for same-sex marriage in Washington,” a reference to his and the band’s support for Referendum 74 on their home state ballot in 2012. “And months afterward, the emails I received, the people I met who said that it was so important to them — I’ve never had that experience in my life. I could stop making anything right now and I’d be happy to at least have done that.”

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Of fellowships and new (adjunct) faculty: Checking in with Grad Art chair Diana Thater

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Thater applied for the CCF fellowship with this work entitled Chernobyl, 2011

Thater applied for the CCF fellowship with this work entitled Chernobyl, 2011

For over two decades, Grad Art chair Diana Thater’s groundbreaking film, video and installation work exploring the tension between humans and the natural world has been widely discussed and admired. But the spotlight on Thater’s role as a leader in the global art world seems to have gotten even brighter over the past few months. In April, she named chair of the Art Center department from which she graduated in 1990 and where she’s taught for many years. In June, Thater was honored in a major gala by the Orange County Museum of Art. And earlier this month, she was awarded a 2014 California Community Foundation Fellowship.

Additionally, Thater has already begun placing her creative stamp on Grad Art by making some exciting additions to its adjunct faculty roster. She announced an impressive lineup of new fall adjunct faculty, including Philippe Vergne, director of MOCA, and Bennett Simpson, senior curator at MOCA and artist Harry Dodge. Her adjunct faculty additions for the spring are equally exciting: Getty Scholar and curator for the National Gallery in Washington Lynne Cooke, artist and Getty Scholar Tacita Dean and curator Charlotte Cotton.

To honor Thater’s accomplishments and better understand the ideas informing her creative practice, we’ve included the artist’s statement that compelled the foundation to grant her the award. Consider this a behind-the-scenes snapshot of what it takes to be a successful working artist.

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Money magazine ranks Art Center grads among the most employable in the nation

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

 

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Alumnus Dan Goods, Visual Strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, stands with “Refraction,” an artwork he created with fellow alum David Delgado.

An Art Center education doesn’t come cheaply. It requires a high-deposit, high-return investment of resources, tapping reserves of creativity and cash. But Art Center students know these initial sacrifices will pay off down the road when they emerge with an education custom designed to equip them for creatively and financially fulfilling careers. Money magazine reinforced the College’s reputation for boosting its grads’ professional prospects this week when it ranked Art Center third on its list of 25 of the best college values.

In response to millions of parents seeking colleges that strike a balance between affordability and professional prestige  and training, Money devised a new tool to measure a college’s ROI.  The new ranking places Art Center at number three on its “Value All-Star” list since, according to the editors’ careful calculations, Art Center alumni exceed expectations when it comes to earning. Money found that our grads take home an extra $12,000 per year early in their careers, using criteria based on three equally weighted categories: quality, affordability and career outcomes. The magazine defines outcomes almost entirely in terms of how much students earn after graduation.

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Grad Show Preview: Diving into the Summer 2014 talent pool

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Perhaps more than graduation itself, Graduation Show Preview marks the culmination of a student’s years of hard work at Art Center. Each term, on the Thursday before Saturday’s commencement ceremony, the College’s classroom studios, hallways and exhibition spaces come alive with 2D, 3D, digital and other work renowned for both its conceptual rigor and its professional finish. It’s like one giant gallery opening — the Summer 2014 edition brimming with more than 450 invited guests — showcasing some of today’s most innovative and most driven emerging artists and designers.

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Summer 2014: Countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
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Getting ready for Grad Show. Photo: Lucia Loiso

The computer labs are packed. The shops are humming at all hours. Visitors from sponsoring companies and organizations are streaming through campus to attend final presentations. And the Student Gallery is full of projects in and out of the coveted space. These telltale sights and sounds can only mean one thing at Art Center: Week 14 has arrived.

The state of the campus is a visual reminder of the frenetic energy generated by Art Center students sprinting toward finals. The end of the term is here; and for 111 students, this week marks their last. Saturday evening, after countless all-nighters, critiques, finals, internships and hopefully some fun, 100 undergraduate and 11 graduate students will be awarded their degrees. As we count down to commencement, we celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world and honor the great teachers who have guided the way. Here’s the lowdown for the week.

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