Archive for the ‘General Interest’ Category

Designing for net-positive water: SoCal students take on turf, not surf

Monday, February 23rd, 2015
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Environmental Design student Katie Healey’s design proposal for removing turf and expanding outdoor spaces for dining and recreation on the east side of the Ellwood Building.

 

Turf removal.

Not exactly a siren call to emerging designers regularly invited to put their brilliant minds to work developing sports cars, wearable tech and high-end furniture.

Or so one might assume.

A handful of Art Center students defied that assumption, and many others, as they enthusiastically explored possibilities for transforming Hillside Campus into an Eden of eco-innovation during last Fall’s Sustainability Studio.

Linda Estrada, an administrator who manages Art Center’s programs fostering alternative transportation options for campus commuters and other sustainability initiatives, got the ball rolling when she saw an opportunity to participate in a City of Pasadena program offering cash incentives—two dollars per square foot—to replace thirsty green lawns with drought-resistant plants and hardscape.

“And up here,” says Estrada, at Art Center over 17 years, “we have nothing but grass.”

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Social entrepreneur Nathan Cooke’s Fresh Life Toilets offer a fresh start to locals in developing countries

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Nathan Cooke

Nathan Cooke

When Nathan Cooke (BS 08 Product Design) was first approached by a group of entrepreneurs to help start a new venture centered on building toilets in developing countries, he wasn’t terribly taken with the idea. But seeing their determination, he decided to help them build a test toilet.

Five years later, Cooke and his colleagues are still working together.  Cooke is co-founder and creative director of Sanergy, a social enterprise based in Nairobi, Kenya, with the mission of making hygienic sanitation affordable for everyone. Through Sanergy’s local brand, Fresh Life, the company franchises its Fresh Life Toilets to entrepreneurs in informal settlements. Franchisees, called Fresh Life Operators, make a profit by charging market rates for use of the toilets.

We checked in the Cooke during his most recent visit to campus for an update on lessons learned from launching this unique venture.

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Connecting the dots between illustration, Linkin Park and a feature adaptation of Eric Bogosian’s Mall

Monday, February 16th, 2015

On the occasion of his recent feature filmmaking debut, we invited Illustration alumnus and Linkin Park turntablist Joe Hahn to share his thoughts on the creative process and his Art Center experience.

I attended Art Center in the fall of ’95. Having a love for comics, illustration and films,  I knew that I wanted to pursue a life where I could create things. Attending Art Center for 2 semesters was the beginning of the journey I’m still on. For me, it was an institution of talented instructors and a mixed bag of talented students that were on a journey of their own. Although, my focus at the time was Illustration, my mind didn’t settle on the fact that I would settle on that as a career. It was more of a feeling than an intellectual acknowledgement that I would realize years later. However, many of the principals in the foundation of art and illustration are principals that I apply to all of my creative endeavors that anchor much of my intentions.  These endeavors include art, music, film and communication.

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Alum Travis Asada’s P.O.T.U.S. series of paintings casts Presidents’ Day in a whole new light

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how and what to celebrate on Presidents’ Day. Sure it’s nice to have a long weekend. But the occasion of our forefathers’ birthdays doesn’t quite resonate with the force of, say, Independence Day or even Memorial Day.

However, alum Travis Asada’s viscerally impactful series of P.O.T.U.S. paintings may remedy that Presidents’ Day malaise by offering an unusually intimate take on the presidency. A wildly ambitious project, the Illustration alum set out to capture each president, first as a drawing and then later in paint. Asada illuminates the above curated selection of images from his P.O.T.U.S series with an artist’s statement as well as a Q&A about his creative practice below. The combination of the two just might offer an opportunity for a deeper connection to our nation’s Commanders in Chief and their namesake holiday.

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January 2015 Art Center alumni notes

Friday, February 6th, 2015
Spike TV's Framework, a furniture design reality show, features Product Design alum, Nolan Niu as a judge

Spike TV’s Framework, a furniture design reality show, features Product Design alum, Nolan Niu as a judge

From Oxygen’s Street Art Throwdown to Spike TV’s Framework to the 2015 Academy Awards to Toyota’s MIRAI—Art Center alumni were featured across the media landscape, doling out expertise on art and design-based reality shows and creating inventive animation and futuristic vehicles. See the full scope of this month’s alumni accomplishments below.

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Alum Jessie Kawata merges design thinking and rocket science as NASA JPL’s visual strategist

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
Jessie Kawata is a visual strategist at NASA + JPL

Jessie Kawata applies design thinking to scientific quandries at NASA + JPL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessie Kawata (BFA, Product ’11) is a Visual Strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she gets to stare into space for a living. This term she is teaching a Saturday High class at Art Center as well as mentoring students in Product Design’s Design for Sustainability 2 Studio class, which includes a NASA JPL theme using JPL’s Earth Mission and Climate Sciences data. Below she describes how she helps pave the way for design to exist in space exploration.

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Carol Johnson’s WWII illustrations on view at Art Center’s Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Drawing-FireThe following Pasadena Now article adds a concise bit of context to Art Center’s new show of work by illustrator Carol Johnson. The exhibit opens today in the College’s newest gallery space, the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall, located within South Campus’ Illustration and Fine Art hub at 870 South Raymond Avenue. This show offers a rare glimpse at both Johnson’s uniquely evocative illustrated narrative about WWII and, ultimately, our evolving relationship with war and how its atrocities and triumphs are conveyed and covered. And for those who have yet to visit Art Center’s newest building, this ongoing exhibition also represents the perfect opportunity to pay a visit to the meticulously renovated former US Post Office warehouse. 

Art Center College of Design presents Drawing Fire, an exhibition curated by alumnus Brody Albert, bringing attention to the work of his grandfather, illustrator Carol Johnson. As a World War II correspondent, Johnson helped translate the immediate experience of war into raw observational sketches for nationally syndicated newspapers, conveying a first hand experience of the war into the households of thousands of Americans.

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Art Center president (and theater director) offers expert advice to creatives upping their presentation skills

Monday, January 12th, 2015

In her autobiographical presentation, Alex Mon de la Guardia included an X-ray and a photograph of her back.

It’s a chilly Wednesday morning in late November, and it’s showtime for a dozen students in Petrula VrontikisCreative Presentations and Critiques class. Gathered in semi-darkness in the nearly empty Ahmanson Auditorium, they are joined by a few invited guests, among them Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman.

For their end-of-term critique, the 12 students will present 15 images for 15 seconds each—an abbreviated PechaKucha. Standing alone on stage and narrating their slideshows without a script, the students have all been given the same assignment, to trace their own individual journeys as artists and designers. For six of them, today is a rehearsal; for the rest, this presentation will be their final. Some are more nervous than others.

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Stave off back-to-school angst with the latest episodes of our Student/Space videos

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Spring 2015 Orientation begins today. And while an Art Center initiation holds the potential to overwhelm and intimidate with its alphabet soup of acronyms (extra credit to any new student who can define ACCD, CSE,  JFK and LAT). Then there are those daunting tales of Art Center’s punishing workloads and cringe-inducing crits.

Of course, it’s worth noting that any challenges encountered here will not be experienced in vain. There is a method behind the madness. An Art Center education, above all else, instills a process-driven approach to the audacious act of bringing innovative and imaginative ideas to life.

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Conjuring the magic of art and design for kids at the Boys & Girls Club

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Be passionate about what you do. Be thorough and thoughtful doing it. Be a leader. Make something. Make a difference. These are core Art Center values and Environmental Design student Alvin Oei embodies all of them.

Oei’s enthusiasm about art and design drives his desire to share his knowledge and excitement for the disciplines with kids, most of whom attend schools with no art curriculum. He accomplished this in a big way for the children at Pasadena’s Boys & Girls Club when he conducted an intensive two-week workshop. The mini-Art Center boot camp challenged the youths to design different stores in Diagon Alley from the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” through storyboarding and physical model making. The project was designed around the popular book and movie series to help make it resonate. Kids “have this unabashed no-limit imagination” says Oei, who is inspired by their energy.

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