Archive for the ‘Faculty’ Category

Typography Center to be Established with $2 Million Gift, Honors Beloved Professor Leah Hoffmitz Milken

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Leah_Hoffmitz_with-student-Copyright-Steven-A-Heller-Art-Center-College-of-Design

Letterform expert and Professor Leah Toby Hoffmitz Milken works with a student at Art Center where she taught for more than 20 years. © Copyright Steven A. Heller and Art Center College of Design

Typography is the hidden power player influencing the way we read, talk, write and interact with the digital world. Storytellers throughout corporate America, from soap makers to car manufacturers, articulate ideas through common visual languages. Similarly, global initiatives like the (RED) awareness campaign thrive from strong visual recognition. Armed with 21st-century visual literacy skills, artists and designers can be among the most important drivers in reaching consumers and influencers, helping business leaders communicate with each other and creating value for industry as well as nonprofits.

To that end, Art Center, this week announced a $2 million gift to the College from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation that will establish the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography. The Hoffmitz Milken Center’s aim is to advance the research, teaching and understanding of letterform design and typography. Recognizing typography as a vital component of our visual culture, the College has been developing plans to make Art Center a central influential force in this field. The Foundation’s gift helped turn those plans into reality.

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Artist Frederika Roeder explores “the shimmering luminosity of it all” with Art Center at Night

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Artist Frederika with her work Nightfog from her 2012 "Fog Series." Photo: Chuck Spangler

Artist Frederika Roeder with her work Nightfog from her 2012 “Fog Series.” Photo: Chuck Spangler

What kinds of students enroll in Art Center at Night (ACN), Art Center’s continuing studies program? Everybody from recent high school graduates to mid-career professionals to more experienced individuals pursuing new creative passions.

One student who took full advantage of ACN’s opportunities is artist Frederika Roeder, a California native whose work reflects the wide vistas, horizons and expanses of the Golden State. She uses mixed media—including acrylic, gels, resin and molding paste—to explore what she calls “the shimmering luminosity of it all.”

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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 MTV.com 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. 

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Art Center in Asia: It Began in Japan

Friday, November 21st, 2014
Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.

Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today, we explore the College’s historic relationship with Japan.

In 1956, Edward A. “Tink” Adams, Art Center’s first president, traveled to Japan with Advertising alumnus George Jergenson (BFA 35)—then the director of the College’s Industrial Design (ID) Department—and ID faculty member John Coleman. They had been invited by the Japanese government to tour the country and to share their thoughts on how industrial design could provide a competitive advantage for a nation still early in its post-war recovery.

After returning to the U.S., they filed a formal report containing several recommendations for Japan, including instilling a sense of national pride in products being “Made in Japan”—they cited Nikon’s confidence in placing its name on its camera, “one of the finest cameras anywhere”—and making sure Japanese students fully grasp their country’s rich cultural history. The future designer, it stated, “will learn more…from studying Japanese masters of painting and design than he will from Western art.”

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Art Center in Asia: Create Change Design Forums at Beijing Design Week

Friday, November 14th, 2014
Art Center's Mark Breitenberg welcomes participants to the 2014 Create Change Forums in Beijing.

Art Center’s Mark Breitenberg welcomes participants to the 2014 Create Change Forums in Beijing.

In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today’s focus: the College’s growing relationship with China.

Whether it’s the impending arrival of China-made cars to the U.S. market or Film alumnus Michael Bay’s (BFA 88) Transformers: Age of Extinction breaking the $300 million barrier at the Chinese box office, these days all eyes are on the Middle Kingdom. And Art Center is no exception.

Just ask Mark Breitenberg, special assistant to the College’s president, who led the Create Change Design Forums, a three-day series of presentations and workshops which took place in China this September during Beijing Design Week.

At the packed forums, co-organized by Graduate Industrial Design (Grad ID) alumnus Lan Yu and sponsored by her company, Art Center leaders and alumni met with employees from 70 Chinese companies to introduce them to Art Center’s methodologies and creative processes.

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Art Center’s Berlin program highlighted in Superior Magazine Q&A with Graphic Design’s Simon Johnston

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
Simon Johnston

Simon Johnston

The following interview with Graphic Design faculty member Simon Johnston originally appeared in Superior Magazine. We’re republishing it here because it’s incredibly illuminating about Art Center’s BIKINI Berlin program as well as the depth of Art Center’s iterative process. And it’s not every day that a faculty member makes the pages of a men’s fashion magazine!

We live in a world that is controlled and dominated by technology. But students from Art Center College of Design, who are currently guests in BIKINI Berlin, have carried out an experiment. Banned from any technology, they focused their creativity on the actual process of design, and worked with analog methods and tools in their creative process. The results are remarkable, and will be shown in the form of an exhibition on November 20th. This project is directed by the designer and typographer Simon Johnston.

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Die-cut with a vengeance: Student repurposing project captured in new video

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

The boxes and boxes of leftover die-cut letters that returned from the printer along with the 2015-2016 Viewbook, sparked an idea in Product Design faculty member, Frido Beisert. While others may have seen those letters as useless refuse bound for the recycling bin, Frido saw an opportunity to push the creative bounds of his students. As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s design challenge.

Frido asked his students one simple question when he presented them with these letters: How can you transform something useless into something useful?

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In Memoriam: Art Center faculty member Leah Hoffmitz Milken

Monday, October 27th, 2014
Leah Hoffmitz Milken | Copyright Steven A. Heller / Art Center College of Design.

Leah Hoffmitz Milken | Copyright Steven A. Heller / Art Center College of Design.

It is with much sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Professor Leah Hoffmitz Milken. She died on Saturday morning after an extended illness.

A renowned letterform expert, Leah taught at Art Center for more than 20 years and was a beloved member of our community. Throughout her career, she specialized in the creation of unique logotypes and typefaces for multiple industries and media. Corporate brands benefiting from her first-rate typographic eye include FedEx, Nokia, United Airlines and Disney, among many others.

As a faculty member, Leah helped shape and influence scores of graduates, many of whom have become internationally recognized experts in graphic design and typography. In 2013, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Recognition of Excellence in Teaching, Professional Accomplishment and Institutional Service. The tribute hailed her extraordinary devotion to students and to the College that she loved.

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Artworld luminaries hail Stockholm debut of Sculpture After Sculpture, curated by Grad Art’s Jack Bankowsky

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 1.21.52 PM

By all accounts, Sculpture After Sculpture, an omnibus exhibition curated by Art Center faculty member, Jack Bankowsky,  is a major event, capturing nothing short of a pivotal moment in the evolution of modern sculpture. The show opened last week at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet to great fanfare, including this piece in Artforum. For those who can’t make it to Sweden, the following catalog excerpt offers a glimpse at the compelling story this audacious show tells about sculpture’s relatively recent past and possibly its not-so-distant future.

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Worth a rewatch: Graphic Design department’s new Begin Here video

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
Still from the Graphic Design department's Begin Here video.

Still from the Graphic Design department’s Begin Here video.

Have you watched the Graphic Design department’s new Begin Here video for prospective students? If not, do so now. All finished? Okay, now watch it again. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.

Notice anything unusual? Besides department chair Nik Hafermaas posing with a hawk?

No, you’re not going crazy—several elements in the video change upon a second viewing. For example, the individual students featured during the “people like him and her” portion of the narration. Watch it again and you’ll see yet another pair.

What’s going on here? This two-minute recruitment video is not a video in the traditional sense. Rather it’s an interactive work that mixes together a series of dynamically populated video segments as well as time- and location-based information—like the user’s current location, current weather for both the user and for Art Center students, and the current week and term at the College—into a cohesive narrative.

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