Archive for the ‘Graduate Environmental Design’ Category

How we work, live and shop: Environmental Design grad students redefining the future

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Drawing on a diverse array of fields, Art Center’s Environmental Design Master of Science program — led by Department Chair David Mocarski — investigates the dynamic qualities of story-driven design, combining conceptual rigor and theoretical thinking with professional practice and a focus on technical innovation, manufacturing, fabrication and project execution. Three recent graduates are redefining the future of the environments we inhabit on a daily basis, as their visionary thesis projects demonstrate.

"Soft Working" office furniture by Hines Fischer

Hines Fischer’s family room-inspired “Soft Working” office furniture system.

Hines Fischer: “Soft Working” office furniture system

For many years the office has been designed around accommodating the desktop computer. Office furniture’s job was to support the tools of the office and their use. But as technology has become more integrated, Hines Fischer (MS 14) believes that the most important thing for office furniture to support is people. The workspace should encourage and nurture people’s interactions, collaborations and ideas.

It’s a concept Fischer calls “Soft Working,” which is the name he gave to a line of furniture he designed as a grad student in Environmental Design’s Furniture and Fixtures track. His concept began with the observation that traditional office environments are formal, emotionally sterile, even forbidding. The meeting room is one place that the office community typically comes together, but — usually centered around a giant table — it too can feel alienating.

Because today’s businesses want their employees collaborating, innovating and working together — to be less of a staff and more of a family — Fischer saw that what the “family room” is to the home, the meeting room could be to the office: a comforting space that encourages interaction, community, mental clarity and openness.

Through its innovative use of form, color and texture, including wood and natural fabrics, Soft Working reinvents the modern office, improving human connection, workflow and productivity.

The Environmental Design program provides students high-level opportunities to engage directly with industry, including the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, North America’s premier annual showcase for contemporary design, where Fischer presented his work two years in a row.

 

"Vertical Farm" by William Shin

“Vertical Farm” urban living design concept by William Shin.

William Shin: “Vertical Farm” mixed-use high-rise

Master’s candidates in the Spatial Experience track look beyond the single object, moment or place to see how collectively these make an impact in projects ranging from branded retail and theme-driven dining, to hospitality, exhibition and residential design. Issues and methodologies of sustainable design are integrated throughout the curriculum.

While a graduate student, William Shin (MS 14) noticed a 21st-century trend toward cities coexisting in greater harmony with nature and the environment. As urban populations increase around the world, the pursuit of different lifestyles in those cities is also increasing. As environment-friendly lifestyles and locovore food culture take root in cities, green spaces and gardens are becoming increasingly important. Already many city dwellers and even commercial restaurants are growing their own vegetables and fruits.

Stepping into role of “conductor,” Shin orchestrated a set of spatial ideas around these emerging realities. His thesis project boldly re-envisions the urban neighborhood in the form of a “Vertical Farm” — a space that combines residential, agricultural, business, educational and leisure activities within a single structure. Centered around organic food production, spaces also foster research and learning, the coming together of families and neighbors, and the pursuit of healthy activities.

Online and offline platforms converge in Shuning Li's "Pinporium" design concept inspired by Pinterest.

Online and offline platforms converge in Shuning Li’s “Pinporium” design concept inspired by Pinterest.

Shuning Li: “Pinporium” retail platform

What’s next? is the driving question behind much of the exploratory and experimental work underway in our studios. Our graduate students see themselves as proactive opportunity seekers in the creative process, ideating and collaborating across disciplines, platforms and cultures.

Inspired by Pinterest, the popular online visual discovery tool used to collect and share ideas, Shuning Li (MS 14) designed “Pinporium” as a dynamic retail platform. More than simply a store, the project proposes an entirely new business model for the retail industry in the digital age. Supported by advanced technology, virtual community, and a focus on interactivity and flexibility, the Pinterest-branded emporium-style retail spaces envisioned by Li in her thesis project would engage and inspire users with a customized shopping experience based on their Pinterest user data and preferences.

In Li’s concept, “pinning” becomes a more powerful act than merely bookmarking and sharing images. Online and offline platforms converge to create dynamic, adaptive spaces that promise more interactivity between shoppers and sellers and significant potential to bring new life to physical stores, with lasting social and economic impact.

To learn more about Art Center’s graduate and undergraduate programs, check out the new 2015–2016 Viewbook.

Graduate studies at Art Center: Art and design for a changing world

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Media Design Practices students Kristina Ortega and Jenny Rodenhouse's Wearable Services, created in the Intel-funded Connected Bodies course.

Media Design Practices students Kristina Ortega and Jenny Rodenhouse’s Wearable Services, created by the Intel-funded Connected Bodies course. Photo by Stella Kalinina

From business ventures to social justice, cultural research to experimental mediums, transportation systems to spatial experiences, Art Center’s renowned graduate programs offer designers and artists exceptional opportunities to create unique and personal career and life paths.

For the recently released 2015–16 Viewbook, Art Center Provost Fred Fehlau invited leaders from the College’s six graduate programs—Art, Environmental Design, Film, Industrial Design, Media Design Practices, and Transportation Systems and Design—to offer their perspectives on the current state of their fields, and what it means for prospective graduate students.

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Grad Show Preview: Diving into the Summer 2014 talent pool

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Perhaps more than graduation itself, Graduation Show Preview marks the culmination of a student’s years of hard work at Art Center. Each term, on the Thursday before Saturday’s commencement ceremony, the College’s classroom studios, hallways and exhibition spaces come alive with 2D, 3D, digital and other work renowned for both its conceptual rigor and its professional finish. It’s like one giant gallery opening — the Summer 2014 edition brimming with more than 450 invited guests — showcasing some of today’s most innovative and most driven emerging artists and designers.

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Summer 2014: Countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
0811GSP1

Getting ready for Grad Show. Photo: Lucia Loiso

The computer labs are packed. The shops are humming at all hours. Visitors from sponsoring companies and organizations are streaming through campus to attend final presentations. And the Student Gallery is full of projects in and out of the coveted space. These telltale sights and sounds can only mean one thing at Art Center: Week 14 has arrived.

The state of the campus is a visual reminder of the frenetic energy generated by Art Center students sprinting toward finals. The end of the term is here; and for 111 students, this week marks their last. Saturday evening, after countless all-nighters, critiques, finals, internships and hopefully some fun, 100 undergraduate and 11 graduate students will be awarded their degrees. As we count down to commencement, we celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world and honor the great teachers who have guided the way. Here’s the lowdown for the week.

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August 2014 Alumni Notes

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Jennifer Steinkamp's Murmurfication

Jennifer Steinkamp’s Murmuration

Summer 2014 has yielded a bounty of freshly produced works, events and ideas by Art Center alumni. And look for future editions of this dispatch to be equally flush, given July’s bumper crop of kickstarter campaigns. Read on to learn more…and get in on the fun(ding).

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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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Art Center Product Design students land among top 2014 IDEA winners

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
ELLE by Della Tosin

ELLE by Della Tosin

Earlier this week, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) announced the winners of the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition, which is regarded as one of the most preeminent design competitions in the nation.

IDSA revealed Art Center as one of the leading academic winners this year, continuing Art Center’s 20-plus-year winning streak. A panel of international design experts evaluated entries on aspects of industrial design excellence including innovation, benefits to the user and client, sustainability and the design’s visual appeal. Art Center students received four awards:

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Art Center Business Club launches design networking tour through San Francisco’s most innovative design studios

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 2.25.08 PMHailing Uber cabs, grabbing a cup of the Bay Area’s finest coffee, snapping photos of Fisherman’s Wharf and meeting with some of the biggest design consultancies on the West Coast—it’s all in a day’s work for the the members of Art Center Business Club.

This past May, 14 members of the Art Center Business Club (ACBC) packed up for a week of exciting studio tours in San Francisco– ten in all. The agenda included meetings with such consultancies as IDEO, frog design, inc., and NewDealDesign, as well as print and media companies like Chronicle Books and WIRED.

In a time of unprecedented competition for art and design jobs, students actively seek out studios and companies they can join to jumpstart their careers. Students participate in internships offering a deeper understanding of a particular company’s creative ethos and workflow without the commitment of a full-time job. However, internships are seasonal and require a significant time commitment in order to determine whether that particular organization is a good fit. This is where studio visits come in. They deliver valuable insights into working culture, company culture, company structures—all the things you don’t learn as a student searching a firm’s website. With this knowledge, applicants emerge more informed and prepared to face the professional world.

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Art Center arrives in force at New York Design Week 2014

Thursday, May 15th, 2014


With New York Design Week in full swing, the city is teeming with design lovers and luminaries seeking a competitive edge on leading talent and trends. Art Center is featured at two major events: the high-profile International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and WantedDesign. Attracting nearly 30,000 tastemakers in the worlds of interior design, architecture, retail, manufacturing, distribution and developers, ICFF is considered North America’s premiere showcase for contemporary design.

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Art Center in the news | April 2014

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
Sterling Ruby, MFA 05 Art, courtesy KCET

Sterling Ruby, MFA 05, Art, courtesy KCET

Art Center’s students, faculty, staff and alumni continue to make news around the world. For those who may have missed a headline or two, we’ve curated this handy highlight reel of our recent media clips.

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