Archive for the ‘General Interest’ Category

Blazing a luminous trajectory: Doug Aitken, Jen Rosenstein, Mark Ryden and Lawrence Carroll

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
Doug Aitken, Station to Station

Doug Aitken, Station to Station. Courtesy Regen Projects.

1. Since graduating from ArtCenter nearly 25 years ago, Doug Aitken (BFA 91 Illustration) has blazed a luminous trajectory. From his breakout Electric Earth video installation at the 1999 Whitney Biennial, to the nomadic Station to Station (2013), the Southern California native creates multimedia works at once monumental and ephemeral.


Tales from the art side: ArtCenter launches Untold Stories to share alumni Q&As

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA 13 Grad Film)
This short is not only something I’m proud of—the tone, the look and the story are all representative of my voice as a filmmaker and it is probably the last time I was able to create something that’s not weighed down by expectation or inundated by other voices. This is something that is truly me. More recently I’m waking up and developing a few independent feature films. Films go much slower than commercials and music videos and the projects start out seeming so far away, like a pipe dream. But in the blink of an eye everything starts to happen and it’s all on top of you.

We have created a virtual sharing space, Untold Stories: Q&As with ArtCenter Alumni, for alumni to talk about their past, present and future projects as well as the ideas and challenges that shape their careers, lives and work.

ArtCenter alumni are some of the most accomplished art and design professionals in the world. We hail their prominent successes in our various digital and print publications, including Dotted Line, Dot magazine, the Viewbook and social media channels.

We are proud to share these triumphant moments. But fame—or even outsize accomplishment—is not the only evidence of success. We believe that inspiration, innovation and authenticity are the true hallmarks of a creative and fulfilling life. So, as we celebrate our 85th anniversary we are embarking on an effort to understand meaningful achievement in all its variations and to share the many untold stories of ArtCenter alumni.

In many ways the site is an anthology of alumni work and will be used as a source for content on all of our communications channels where we will continue to share the ArtCenter story with the world. Alumni have been invited to explore and engage with Untold Stories by answering questions and submitting images to this highly visual and highly personal space. This is the place where designers and artists share their thoughts as well as their work. Here is a small sample of posts already inhabiting the space. We invite you to visit Untold Stories to peruse the rest and keep checking back for new entries.


HQ:LA Part 3 Spencer Nikosey – Creatives calling LA home

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
Alumnus Spencer Nikosey at Killspencer in Silver Lake. Photo: Stella Kalinina

Alumnus Spencer Nikosey at Killspencer in Silver Lake. Photo: Stella Kalinina

For creative professionals, the allure of Los Angeles goes far beyond ‘You can’t beat the weather.’ In this series, ‘HQ:LA,’ we invite you to meet three thriving entrepreneurs who have made the City of Angels their headquarters. Today: Alumnus Spencer Nikosey.

Drive four miles northwest from our last stop, and you’ll arrive in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood. And it’s here on a stretch of Sunset Boulevard filled with storefronts pitching everything from antique furniture to Spanish-language Pentecostal services, that you’ll find Killspencer, the burgeoning company founded by Product Design alumnus Spencer Nikosey (BS 08).

Killspencer began as a project at ArtCenter in which Nikosey, inspired by a field trip to the American Military Museum, repurposed the tarp of a Humvee into a waterproof backpack.

To say his idea caught on quickly would be an understatement. Killspencer launched as the centerpiece of Nikosey’s graduating portfolio in December 2008; in January 2009 the company began selling products internationally. So why did Nikosey choose to manufacture in L.A.? That was also inspired by a field trip of sorts.


7 inspiring and delightful nuggets of ArtCenter wisdom from the 2015 Core77 conference

Friday, October 30th, 2015
Alumna Jessie Kawata speaks at the Core77 conference.

Alumna Jessie Kawata speaks at the Core77 conference.

Core77’s second annual conference came to town last week and set up shop in downtown Los Angeles at Vibiana, the former cathedral now event space, which Core77 called “an architectural gem” and touted as a venue that once hosted a concert by Snoop Dogg (“If it’s good enough for Snoop, it’s good enough for us.”).

It was also good enough for seven members of the ArtCenter community who appeared on stage at the conference, whose theme was Designing Here/Now, and who delighted and inspired the packed audience with “thought-provoking ideas and projects that are years ahead of schedule.”

Appearing on stage were: alumni Nadine Schelbert, Matthew Manos, Jessie Kawata, and Javier Verdura, the latter appearing in conversation with Transportation Design faculty Eric Noble; Advertising and Graphic Design faculty Nicole Jacek; and former faculty Ravi Sawhney.

For your own inspiration and delight, we’ve assembled seven of our favorite ArtCentric quotes from the stage:

“Water has its own will. When you design with it you have to develop an understanding for that will. You can never truly control it, but you can entice it to behave a certain way.”

Nadine Schelbert (BS 02 Environmental Design)
Director of Design, WET


In the zone at Yosemite: A photography class hits the road

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
Captain_DogV2 copy

El Capitan on left. Oliver at the Eureka Valley Sand Dunes on right.

Ansel Adams famously taught at ArtCenter in the 1940’s and invented Zone Theory with Fred Archer while at the school. Peter Suszynski is still teaching their timeless concept, and offering students the unique opportunity to visit and photograph Yosemite National Park – a favorite haunt of Adams and the ideal place to put his theory to the test. The assignment for the class is to create six unique but cohesive images. It is a difficult project but Pete’s guidance and the Zone Theory system make it possible. (more…)

Totally MAX’d Out: Adobe debuts showstopping digital design tools, Fujifilm partnership amid pyrotechnic razzle-dazzle

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Like conventioneers to the swag table, over 7,000 creative professionals from the four corners of the globe descended on the Los Angeles Convention Center last week for Adobe MAX 2015, Abobe’s annual celebration of creativity and their amazing tools that help designers turn imagination into reality.

This year’s theme “Changing the World Through Digital Experiences” resonates well with Art Center’ ethos of changing the world through design—design made possible in large part by Adobe’s ever-widening, ever-more-powerful line up of creative software.  Indeed, many of the greatest changes that design will enable in the coming years will likely involve Adobe’s Creative Cloud at some point in the creative process.


Where urban and digital realms merge, the post-geographic city emerges

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Everything, On Time (2015) by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker (with Jenny Rodenhouse), "a testing ground for what the city is, and perhaps will be."

Everything, On Time (2015) by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker is “a testing ground for what the city is, and perhaps will be.” Image courtesy Tim Dufee and Ben Hooker

This Friday is ArtNight, a twice-a-year event in which Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions—including ArtCenter College of Design—swing open their doors for a free evening of art, music and entertainment.

In addition to attending a celebration for the opening night of the College’s street art exhibition OUTSIDEIN, visitors to ArtCenter’s South Campus will have a unique opportunity to see in the Wind Tunnel Gallery a preview of Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, an exhibition from ArtCenter’s Media Design Practices (MDP) program which will be installed at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture this December in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Curated by MDP’s Professor Tim Durfee and faculty Mimi ZeigerNow, There explores “what is now and where is there” in today’s reality in which “urban and digital realms are inextricably linked” by presenting a selection of screen-based works, objects and texts that “develop, explore and visualize a city not tied to any physical locality.”


Designmatters at Sustainable Summer School – Part 1

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015


In the first of Designmatters‘ three part Sustainable Summer School blog series, Product Design student and head of the ArtCenter EcoCouncil, Arotin Hartounian reflects on his time spent at the 7th annual summer school program in Western Germany.

authorphotoAt a 17th century monastery situated in a rural area of Western Germany, 28 students gathered for the 7th annual Sustainable Summer School. The summer school program is organized by a collaboration of the Ecosign Academy, Folkwang University of the Arts, and The Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy. The Designmatters Department at ArtCenter in partnership with the Provost’s office generously sponsored three students to attend this program. Most of the students were from Germany with one student each from Italy, Spain, and Austria. Janya, Daniel and I were the only students from the USA. Over the course of 7 days we lived and studied at the monastery with all the students and teachers. The students were divided into three workshops, each focusing on different ways design can initiate and support sustainable behavior in our daily life. (more…)

From Beirut to outer space: TEDxACCD shows big things start small

Friday, October 2nd, 2015
The crowd outside the Ahmanson Theater.

The crowd outside the Ahmanson Theater.

ArtCenter College of Design has red balloons on its roof, Hot Wheels are being handed out at the entrance and throngs of students eagerly wait in the hallway. This is not a child’s birthday party; it’s ArtCenter’s TEDxACCD – a unique event where alumni and faculty speak to students and guests about their specialties.  For over 25 years, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has provided a platform for some of the most cutting edge conversations of the day. As a world-class art and design school committed to learning to create and influence change, TED offers a natural compliment to our goals. (more…)

X-factor: Inside ArtCenter’s pipeline to Tesla’s Model X design team

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
Model X seems ideal for a road trip from Pasadena to Mammoth for skiing with ample seating for seven adults and all of their gear. Photo courtesy of Tesla.

Model X seems ideal for a road trip from Pasadena to Mammoth for skiing with ample seating for seven adults and all of their gear. Photo courtesy of Tesla.

On the eve of the highly anticipated release of Tesla’s Model X electric sports utility vehicle, ArtCenter alum Javier Verdura, director of Product Design at Tesla Motors, took a few minutes to chat with us about the many ArtCenter alums contributing to this pivotal team responsible for one of the most significant car releases in recent memory. From the top design post held by Franz von Holzhausen to the current crew of interns, ArtCenter alums were front and center in all aspects of the design process. So we seized this opportunity to explore the contours of the connection linking the hottest electric carmaker on the planet and our diverse community of sharp inventors and innovators. (more…)