Archive for the ‘General Interest’ Category

Product Design’s Shirley Rodriguez gets arthritic children playing

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” - Charles Eames

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.34.31 AMA chronic illness diagnosis is hard for anyone and children especially. So when undergraduate Product Design student Shirley Rodriguez learned that children could suffer debilitating arthritis, she was determined to design a solution to help ease their suffering.

Following Eames’ dictum, she created an elegant product to motivate children to exercise their joints, and help push arthritis into remission. The result is Monstas. Shirley is currently seeking angel investors and studying abroad with Art Center’s INSEAD program to acquire the business skills necessary turn Monstas into a reality. The project was designed at Art Center and is currently in competition at the Dyson Foundation.

In her own words:

Monstas are interactive exercise toys for children with Juvenile Arthritis, they help strengthen the joints.

 

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The Inspiration

I’ve been exposed to arthritis since I was very young due to my father being a physical therapist at an adult daycare facility. My time after school was spent amongst the elderly playing checkers, painting grannies nails or listening to stories of their younger days. I must have been around 11 when I asked why my new friends weren’t able to pick up objects and were always dropping things. (more…)

Civic improvements: Spring 2015 Graduation claims a new location and starting time

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

In February 1932, during the lowest ebb of the Great Depression, the new Pasadena Civic auditorium was dedicated “to the citizens of Pasadena, whose efforts and sacrifices have made the erection of this beautiful and useful building possible.” In the decades since its dedication, the Civic has seen millions of patrons from several generations of Southern Californians pass through its doors. As a home for ballet, symphony, popular music, musical comedy and television programs, the Civic has hosted a wide variety of special events.

On Saturday, April 18, 2014, the 2,997-seat auditorium will serve as the new venue for Art Center’s graduation ceremonies. The Spring 2015 graduating class will be the first Art Center cohort in a long time who will not face off against the elements—rain, sun, wind or cold—as they prepare to collect their diplomas. The gathering is at long last moving to a climate-controlled indoor home with permanent walls and floors. It is also conveniently centrally located between Art Center’s Hillside and South campuses.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:

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Found footage: Archivist recovers lost video of Keith Haring at Art Center

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

KEITH HARING on Super 8mm by Hadi Salehi from Hadi Salehi on Vimeo.

For the past several years we have been searching for footage of Keith Haring painting the mural at the Hillside Campus in 1989. Thank you to everyone who contacted us with their interest in the project and leads to the footage and photography.

In late 2014, we received a tip that 1991 Photography alumnus and former faculty member, Hadi Salehi may have captured footage of the mural’s creation. We contacted his studio and were excited to discover that Salehi shot Super8 footage of Haring as he painted that he recently digitized, along with a number of photographs of various phases of the process.

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Art Center Dialogues: Dede Gardner on leadership in Hollywood

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

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“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?”

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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.

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Art Center @ SXSW Interactive 2015: Frank Lloyd Wright, Princess Reema and David Chang

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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Let’s face it, the essential ingredients comprising daily life in the Digital Age are in a state of head-spinningly rapid change, we’re often just racing to keep up, unaware of the impact the onslaught of the new. Sometimes it’s hard not to wonder what’s been lost now that we have unlimited distractions, a highly curated set of entertainment options and no space for boredom. What are the unforeseen implications of the increasingly widespread adoption of the internet of things, artificial intelligence and the shared economy? How do we create a more inclusive and equitable environment for everyone who steps into the digital domain?

These were just a few of the thorny and thought-provoking questions addressed within the vast offerings of the 2015 SXSW Interactive program. In fact, this year’s lineup was so densely packed with timely, topical and totally useful panels, workshops and mentoring meet-ups, navigating the offerings was an exercise in content curation, information architecture and design thinking. Because so much of the subject matter covered within the festival’s many panels and lectures is so indisputably germane to the Art Center community, we attended the festival targeting the events most Art Center-relevant events, which we’ll recap to you in the form of key takeaways parceled out within a series of blog posts over the next three days.

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Grad Film alum Elran Ofir conjures a slot in Cannes Short Film Corner

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

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Spring brings the arrival of many things. Swans pursue the thawing lakes in the north. Leaves return to barren trees. And film moguls descend on the white beaches of Cannes for premiers and deal making. This year, alum Elran Ofir (Grad Film 14), will be one of the fortunate few whose film will be included in the Cannes Short Film Corner, a special section for filmmakers to gain access to industry meetings, workshops and conferences on strategic issues.

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Stuart Fingerhut reinvents the future of retail through experiential design

Friday, March 13th, 2015
Stuart Fingerhut designs Scion's presence at major international auto shows.

Stuart Fingerhut designs Scion’s presence at major international auto shows.

The following profile of Environmental Design alumnus Stuart Fingerhut appeared in the January 2015 issue of VSMD Magazine. Read how Fingerhut’s leading-edge thinking about reconceiving the retail experience to be more about connection than commerce informs the success of his experiential marketing work for Toyota’s Scion brand as well as his personal design practice creating functional art.

Stuart Fingerhut seems to have this experiential design thing all figured out. As creative director for Toyota’s Scion brand at the George P. Johnson Experience Marketing Agency in Los Angeles, Fingerhut is responsible for creating Scion’s presence at major international automobile shows.

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February 2015 Art Center alumni notes

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Illustration by Kim Ryu for the February 2, 2015 edition of the New York Times Sunday Book Review

Illustration by Kim Ryu for the February 2, 2015 edition of the New York Times Sunday Book Review

It’s been a fruitful awards season—and not just for the creative team behind Birdman. Art Center alums have amassed an impressive array of accolades, from the Caldecott Medal (the Oscars of children’s literature) to the Oscars themselves. So in lieu of glitzy after party, we’ve done the next (or perhaps next, next) best thing and compiled highlights from our alumni community’s recent accomplishments below. Enjoy!

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Giving design the business: The ROI on Art Center’s longstanding partnership with INSEAD

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

What at first felt like a total culture clash just a decade ago is now standard practice in most top-earning companies. The idea of blending design innovation with business strategy has quickly evolved from a seedling, to a trend and now to a “must have.”

Art Center alumni and friends reunited in San Francisco on February 28 to celebrate the 10-year partnership of the College and INSEAD, one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools. Close to 150 industry leaders gathered at the posh play-inducing headquarters of Airbnb on Brannan Street to toast the success of a concept early adopters admitted seemed wacky.

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