Archive for the ‘Diversity’ Category

Nothing to lose: A conversation with OutNetwork president and graphic design student Gianfranco Ocampo

Monday, September 21st, 2015
Gianfranco Ocampo at ArtCenter College of Design

Gianfranco Ocampo this summer at ArtCenter College of Design’s South Campus. Photo by Chuck Spangler

Before Gianfranco Ocampo embarked on his first trip to Europe this fall as a participant in the Berlin Studio study away program, we sat down for a conversation with the upper-term Graphic Design major. Ocampo loves to travel, and over the years his family in Los Angeles has hosted many exchange students, one of whom in turn hosted Ocampo when he visited Japan for his 18th birthday. Already bilingual (English and Spanish), Ocampo learned to speak Japanese and to cook Japanese food. Confident and outgoing, he’s a people-centric person at home in the role of ambassador. As a peer mentor with the Center for the Student Experience (CSE), he welcomes incoming students to ArtCenter and this year was named president of OutNetwork, ArtCenter’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Intersex and Allies (GLBTQIA) student club. The group is dedicated to fostering a multidisciplinary, multigenerational community that shares an interest in the intersection between GLBTQIA identity and the creative arts; members include current students and faculty as well as alumni. For Ocampo, advocating for important causes is integral to his calling as a designer.


Celebrating the ADA’s 25th birthday with a primer of inclusive design at Art Center

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Kira Song's floatation vest for brain-injured athletes with limited motion.

Kira Song’s floatation vest for brain-injured athletes with limited motion.

As the nation prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, the community of makers at Art Center College of Design continues to innovate products and experiences that help improve the world for people who have essential life function limitations.

Since its founding 85 years ago, students, faculty and alumni have been making a difference through inclusive design by applying a human-centered theory to assistive products and experiences for populations challenged by issues of aging, race, gender, ability, chronic disease, psychological or developmental disorders, and more.

“We have a community of students who want to leverage their creativity to impact people’s lives,” said Product Design Chair Karen Hofmann (BS 97 Product) who has guided designers making significant contributions through rethinking how products can improve people’s lives for more than a decade. “That’s the most meaningful work designers can do.”


Beyonce and beyond: Pretty Hurts students explore the intersection of art, feminism and pop culture

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
Laura Solomon

Laura Solomon

Pretty Hurts (Art 257) started out as a class that stirred debate and outright defiance both within Art Center’s student community and online publications. As the instructors of Pretty Hurts we would like to highlight the outcomes of the course as well as the projects that originated as a result of the class and how the ideas discussed fractured away from the class to influence Art Center College of Design’s student and faculty community. (more…)

Art Center Dialogues: Dede Gardner on leadership in Hollywood

Thursday, March 26th, 2015


“Leaders in art, film, business and design practices, our speakers have changed both the questions we ask and the solutions we might find when it comes to thinking about 21st-century culture,” says Humanities and Sciences (H&S) Chair Jane McFadden, who curates the series, Art Center Dialogues.  The most recent speaker was Dede Gardner. Her long list of producing credits in film and television include award winners such as Tree of Life and 12 Years a Slave, as well as box office smashes World War Z and Eat Pray Love. As President of Plan B, (Brad Pitt’s production company), she has overseen the creation of dozens of films with some of the industry’s top talent.

The auditorium was at capacity with students eager to participate in the Q & A, followed by a screening of the Academy Award nominated Selma, her most recent project. Gardner was on campus to talk about leadership, and much to the pleasure of the crowd, a little insider gossip. When an audience member asked if she was able to speak about Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe project she said, “Yes, do you have eighteen million dollars?” Or, when a student inquired if she would do everything the same again, starting over as a 16 year-old, she quipped, “Can I start at 36, instead?”


Art Center @ SXSW Interactive 2015: Malcolm Gladwell, John Maeda, immortality and mind-clones

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
John Maeda delivers the Design in Tech Report at SXSW Interactive 2015

John Maeda delivers the Design in Tech Report at SXSW Interactive 2015

Taken as a whole, the sweeping scope of topics discussed within the sessions on offer at SXSW Interactive formed an MRI-like portrait of the sub-currents coursing beneath the surface of our society. One of the dominant themes to emerge throughout the conference was the need to populate the tech, design and creative industries with makers and leaders who reflect the diversity of the audiences and users they aim to serve.

This imperative for inclusivity among the ranks of our creative and technological influencers bubbled up early and often on Day 2 of our coverage, in a variety of milieu beginning with our first session of the day: What Does an Art and Design Incubator Look Like? The panel’s lineup of NY-based artists and innovators included Art Center alum Lisa Park (Fine Art), whose performance installation pieces deploy technology in the service of illuminating our emotional lives through the use of sensors and sound, in addition to three other artist-entrepreneurs whose creative practices straddle the intersection of the entrepreneurial, technological and creative spheres.


Designmatters student Adriana Crespo hones her human-centered design skills in Nigeria

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Designmatters student Adriana Crespo

Designmatters student Adriana Crespo

This past summer, I was fortunate enough to be part of an incredible team of creative people with backgrounds in business design, interaction design, industrial design, engineering and writing, to mention a few. This multidisciplinary group of people make up, a non-profit born from design consultancy (IDEO). saw the power and success of design thinking and human-centered design, and decided to apply these methodologies to solve pressing issues of poverty around the world.

Being a Designmatters Concentration student, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to start exercising my design skills in the social impact field. My title of “graphic design intern” only partially describes all the tasks and challenges I was asked to take on.


Thanks + Giving: A Next Level dose of brotherly love for Art Center donors

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Thank You! from Art Center College of Design on Vimeo.

The following post was written by Martel McCornell & D’Angelo McCornell  ( The Next Level Brothers ), who are biological brothers and film directors from Cleveland, OH. They both are currently attending Art Center College of Design for undergraduate and graduate Film studies. They were truly born Next Level—inspired and determined to continue to become greater together, providing value through great game changing film, design and community innovation.

When we were first approached to create this donor Thank You video, we were very excited and honored to represent Art Center by doing what we love.  Projects that are about value is our niche and purpose.  We knew it was an opportunity to write history and create a positive legacy by expressing our gratitude to those who helped us get where we are today.


Beyonce and beyond: Fine Art department responds to debate over “Pretty Hurts” course description

Monday, November 24th, 2014
Beyoncé Inc. (S, M, L, XL) by April Bey Oil on maternity mannequin and board 36''X48'' 2014

Beyoncé Inc. (S, M, L, XL), by April Bey. Oil on maternity mannequin and board, 36”X48”, 2014

This guest blog post comes in response to recent digital conversation sparked by an article on taking issue with the description for an undergraduate Fine Art course (co-taught, not incidentally, by a woman of color) entitled “Pretty Hurts.” This piece, composed by Fine Art department chair Vanalyne Green and course instructors Ariel McCleese and April Bey, was intended to contribute to this vital and momentous exchange as well as to elucidate the intentions animating the description’s provocation. We hope the dialogue will continue as we wholeheartedly embrace the values of inclusivity and gender equality that have informed this conversation as well as the work of all the artists discussed below. Please continue to weigh in with your thoughts and ideas on this dynamically shifting terrain in the comments section below. 


MDP + UNICEF: make AND break designs empower Ugandan youth

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Peer-to-Peer Mentoring: VJs Shafic, Venas, and Bashir learn basic circuitry in a workshop facilitated by a peer mentor. Photo credit: Tina L. Zeng / 2014.

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring: VJs Shafic, Venas, and Bashir learn basic circuitry in a workshop facilitated by a peer mentor. Photo credit: Tina L. Zeng / 2014.

The following story, by Media Design Practices post-grad fellow, Tina L. Zeng, was originally published on UNICEF’S Stories of Innovation blog. The inspiring innovations reflected below are the result of the independent graduate work she began conducting in Kampala, Uganda in September 2013, supported by the UNICEF Innovation Lab.

What if technology was made to break?


I recently wrote a post about a project that disrupts the current product-oriented mentality for designing technology for development. This project, weDub, is a set of platforms for youths in a slum area named Kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda to make, instead of consume, technology. weDub is a locally developed audio mixer and preamplifier that youths make to perform live improvisations of media content they reinterpret to an audience; this is locally known as VJing. I talk about the three key outcomes of the project here.


The Toyota Lecture Series presents Anne Elizabeth Moore on labor, gender and culture with The Ladydrawers Comics Collective

Monday, September 29th, 2014
Anne Elizabeth Moore

Anne Elizabeth Moore

Art Center’s 2014 Toyota Lecture Series kicks off on Tuesday, September 30, with a talk by Anne Elizabeth Moore entitled: Our Fashion Year: Labor, Gender and culture with The Ladydrawers Comics Collective. The event will begin at 6pm in The Wind Tunnel Graduate Center for Critical Practice at 950 South Raymond Avenue. For anyone even contemplating missing this enlightening and entertaining evening, the following self-penned primer on Moore’s life and work should provide more than enough incentive to make room for, um, Moore in tomorrow night’s calendar.

Anne Elizabeth Moore is an internationally renowned cultural critic, Fulbright scholar, UN Press Fellow, USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow and part of the team behind The Ladydrawers. She has written and edited several award-winning books: Cambodian Grrrl (Cantankerous Titles, 2011) received a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for best book from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation in 2012. Hey Kidz, Buy This Book (Soft Skull, 2004) made Yes! Magazine‘s list of “Media That Set Us Free” and Reclaim the Media’s 2004 Media and Democracy Summer Reading List. The first Best American Comics made both Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” and Publishers Weekly’s Bestsellers List. Unmarketable (The New Press, 2007) made Reclaim the Media’s 2007 Media and Democracy Summer Reading list and was named a Best Book of the Year by Mother Jones. Her recent book, New Girl Law (Cantankerous Titles, 2013), the follow-up to Cambodian Grrrl, was called “a post-empirical proto-fourth-wave feminist memoir” by Bust. Moore herself was recently called a “general phenom” by the Chicago Reader and “one of the sharpest thinkers and cultural critics bouncing around the globe today” by Razorcake.