Archive for the ‘Diversity’ Category

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?

What?

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.

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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.

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History in a box: Unpacking Art Center’s industrial design photography collections for the world

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Over 100,000 photographs, 2,000 films and videos and 500 linear feet of print materials—all documenting aspects of American design history—make the Art Center Archives a treasure trove for exploration by scholars, faculty, students and the general public. But making those materials accessible to a world beyond campus raises challenging questions: Who decides what to preserve first? Once digitized, where should a collection live online? How does one prepare for inevitable changes in technology?

To begin tackling questions like these—and to start the process of bringing the Art Center Archives to the world—the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2013 awarded the College a prestigious grant to launch a pilot project to digitize, preserve and make accessible a portion of Art Center’s industrial design collection. As the project wraps up one year later, Bob Dirig shares his thoughts about collaboration, unexpected outcomes and the future of the College as a locus of art and design scholarship.

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MDP + UNICEF partnership honored with Core 77 Design Award

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.53.51 AM

This Fall, UNICEF’s Innovation Lab in Kampala, Uganda, will embark upon its third year working with graduate students and faculty from Media Design Practices (MDP) at Art Center College of Design. The partnership is integrated into the design program’s unique curriculum, which recently received the prestigious 2014 Core 77 Design Award.

Student work with Ugandan youth was a significant factor in Core 77’s decision to recognize MDP with this honor. Students’ first-hand experience designing technology in a developing world context contributed to what the jury recognized as “…the kind of pure research in education that we believe is the future of education—through [a curriculum] that is not removed from the world because of the way that [it is] embedded in the world.”

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Bringing outside artists in: Fine Art’s diverse programming aims to challenge assumptions

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Still from Anuj Vaidya's short film Miss Piggy, Live with Diane Sawyer (2013)

Still from Anuj Vaidya’s short film Miss Piggy, Live with Diane Sawyer (2013)

A visiting artist and exhibition series sponsored by the undergraduate Fine Art department, open to the campus community and to the public, is bringing diverse voices and points of view to Art Center. (See full schedule of upcoming programs below.)

“Art students need to see a mix of people and perspectives, otherwise their assumptions about life, society and art are not questioned,” says Fine Art Chair Vanalyne Green. “And what is an art education for, if not to pose questions?”

The programming includes lectures, screenings, performances and exhibitions designed to expose students to artists whose work is thought-provoking and, in many cases, boundary-defying.

Last month, artist, educator and film curator Anuj Vaidya presented “Colour Me Queer: LGBTQ Voices From India,” an array of queer experimental shorts created by himself and others over the past decade.

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Art Center Students First: Faculty and staff come together to support scholarships

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Fine Art faculty member, Tom Knechtel

Fine Art faculty member, Tom Knechtel

When Fine Art faculty member Tom Knechtel and director of real estate and campus planning Rollin Homer were asked to sign a faculty and staff appeal for Art Center’s Annual Fund this past spring, they came up with a better idea: create a scholarship fund for Art Center students that would last forever.

Their idea become the Art Center Students First Scholarship, the College’s first-ever scholarship endowment supported entirely by College faculty and staff. The goal is to bring the fund up to the endowment level of $50,000 so that it can continue provide support for students every year—for as long as Art Center is around.

Our brief chat with Tom sheds some light on the impact that scholarships like Art Center Students First can have on young artists and designers and on the College.

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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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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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