Archive for the ‘Graduate Media Design’ Category

Art Center in the News: December 2013 and January 2014

Sunday, January 26th, 2014
Sonari Glinton Geoff Wardle

NPR’s Sonari Glinton interviews Art Center’s Geoff Wardle. Photo: Teri Bond

Art Center students, faculty, staff and alumni have been making news while making their mark at on the art and design worlds. For those who may have missed a headline or two, we curated this handy highlight reel of our recent media clips:


Clothing that bites back and bridges the gender gap in Uganda

Monday, January 20th, 2014
MDP student Barb Natali designed these  "barbed-shorts" to provoke dialogue about gender-relations in Uganda

MDP Student Barb Natali designed these “barbed-shorts” to provoke dialogue about gender relations in Uganda

Last fall I spent six weeks in Uganda as part of the Media Design Practices program. While there, a few classmates and I attended a crowded performance and had multiple, local men inappropriately grab us as we attempted to navigate the throng. I caught one teen in the act and yelled at him. He grinned at me during the tirade, but was for the most part unfazed.

A few days later when the anger subsided, I reflected on the experience. The incident had provoked questions about the interactions and power dynamics between men and women in Uganda. In order to develop an understanding of these aspects of the society I decided to create a series of designs to facilitate conversations about Ugandan experiences, reactions, and negotiations of the dynamics between men and women, specifically in regard to sexual harassment and inequality.


Chinese immersion: Alum’s award-winning agency behind high-adrenaline campaign

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
An immersive experience that’s part of a campaign in China created for Under Armour by David Schwarz and Hush Studios. (Photo courtesy of Hush Studios)

An immersive experience that’s part of a campaign in China created for Under Armour by David Schwarz and Hush Studios. (Photo courtesy of Hush Studios)

In the United States, if you want to push yourself physically there’s a competitive infrastructure in place, from t-ball to the pros, to help you achieve your goals. That’s not so much the case in China, says David Schwarz (Graduate Media Design ’04), creative partner at Hush, the New York-based design agency: “The minute percentage of the population that are seen as having athletic ability are whisked away at a young age and put on an Olympic track.”


Fall 2013 Graduation Week: So many faces going so many places!

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

This Saturday, following years of all-nighters, critiques, finals, internships and hopefully some fun, 153 Art Center students will graduate. As that day approaches, we take time to celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world and, as is custom at our Fall Graduation, we also honor alumni who have already paved the way. Here’s the lowdown for the week.


Thursday, December 12: Graduation Show Preview
Industry leaders, employers, corporate partners, donors and alumni get the first look at the Fall term’s graduating artists and designers at the invitation-only Graduation Show Preview. This event, hosted by Alumni Relations to welcome new graduates into the community, gives our graduating students an opportunity to network with potential employers and fellow alumni. The show features student projects from major fields of study at Art Center, including Advertising, Entertainment Design, Environmental Design, Film, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Imaging, Product Design, Transportation Design, Graduate Film and Graduate Industrial Design.

Graduation Show Preview will be held at Hillside Campus from 6 to 9:30 p.m., with a private reception immediately following.

Friday, December 13: MDP Work-In-Progress Show
Media Design Practices is holding a work-in-progress show from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Wind Tunnel Gallery at South Campus (950 South Raymond). The MDP/Lab track will be presenting thesis work in progress from their Ciphertexts & Cryptoblob inquiry and the MDP/Field track with be featuring projects from Kampala, Uganda.

Saturday December 14: Graduation
Join us in the Sculpture Garden at Hillside Campus from 4 to 6 p.m. for our graduation ceremony. At the ceremony, we will honor three of our alumni who will be presented with Alumni Awards. This year, all the awardees received degrees in Product Design. Gordon Bruce will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Stan Kong will receive the award for Outstanding Achievement and Spencer Nikosey will receive the Young Alumni Innovator Award.


Step in to the shoes of homeless youth with Media Design Practices

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013


Performing their song, "The Road I Walk," at the gallery are from left, Marlon "Mr. Stranger," Kevin "Lil' Krazy aka Ghetto Boy" and Lorenzo "Mr. L.A."

Performing their song, “The Road I Walk,” at the gallery are from left, Marlon “Mr. Stranger,” Kevin “Lil’ Krazy aka Ghetto Boy” and Lorenzo “Mr. L.A.”

The road I walk every day, it’s no game,

I try to make my way.

 People see what they want to see.  

But that person is not me. 

Look at me, look at me…

I might surprise you. 

Who am I?…

Lyrics by Kevin Lil’ Krazy aka Ghetto Boy from the song The Road I Walk

The assignment for the first term Graduate Media Design Practices Field students was to use design to tell a story that reframes preconceived ideas of homelessness. One of the results was a powerful collaboration that asks viewers to “step into my shoes” to explore homelessness through stories told by youth who have been there.

In partnership with Jovenes, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services for homeless youth in Boyle Heights, three Art Center student teams got to work.


Precognition 101: Media Design Practices’ visiting researchers explore the ability to predict the future

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
"Brainwave Canon" (2011), an earlier project by visiting researcher Sitraka Rakotononiaina.

“Brainwave Canon” (2011), an earlier project by visiting researcher Sitraka Rakotononiaina.

Each summer, Art Center’s Media Design Practices (MDP) graduate program invites outside researchers to join its faculty researchers and post-graduate fellows to run design-driven investigative projects.

As part of this week’s graduation week festivities, MDP is hosting a free event tomorrow from 3–5 p.m. in the Wind Tunnel at South Campus to share with the public the result of this summer’s research.

“Design-driven investigations can generate new approaches to design, culture and technology,” says Anne Burdick, Chair of the department. “They can provide insights into people and their daily practices, and bring new knowledge to life.”

MDP’s summer research projects often result in works that don’t fit neatly into conventional categories, such as Curious Rituals by Nicolas Nova, which studied the gestures, postures and digital rituals that have emerged with the use of current technology, and Suspension of Disbelief (“The Promise”) by Ingrid Hora and Daniel Salomon, which explored the worship of objects through the creation of a fictional cult.

And this summer’s projects—one of which explores human precognitive abilities—promise to be just as unconventional.

This summer’s visiting researchers are Andrew Friend, associate lecturer in the Department of Spatial Practices, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, and Sitraka Rakotoniaina, co-founder of Good One, a speculative design collective with friends coming from computer science and architecture backgrounds.

Together, Friend and Rakotoniaina will discuss their project The Prophecy Program, which is part of their ongoing research into the convergence of art and science through artifacts and experiences that address people’s perception of emerging technologies.

According to the duo, the project “looks at how the power of predicting the future has often been attributed to prophets or people with super capabilities, yet on closer inspection we all have the ability to experience a premonition of future events that cannot be otherwise foreseen. The Prophecy Program proposes that through undergoing the correct, intensive training one may be able to improve their pre-cognitive ability, in turn gaining an ability to project into, and (to a degree) take control of a future.”

Also on hand to discuss their research will be MDP faculty researchers Ben Hooker and Shona Kitchen, whose project Neighborhood Watch Files imagines a world in which drones are as ubiquitous as pets, as well as Art Center Fellow Tanner Teale and MDP Post-Graduate Fellow Jeremy Eichenbaum.

Immediately afterwards, there will be a reception and exhibition featuring work by MDP’s Field track students.

Research Review: 3–5 p.m.; Reception and Exhibition: 5–10 p.m.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Art Center College of Design, South Campus, The Wind Tunnel
950 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105

“Design for UNICEF” Showcase in New York

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Media Design Practices Grad Students present Uganda projects March 28



Art Center Media Design Practices graduate students, in collaboration with the College’s Designmatters social impact department, are in New York this week, showcasing groundbreaking projects that feature insights from design research and prototypes created at the UNICEF Innovation Lab in Kampala, Uganda. The event is part of “Design for UNICEF” on Thurs., March 28, 2013 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the UNICEF House, located in the Danny Kaye Visitors Centre at the United Nations.

The seven students’ projects, aimed at addressing issues of sustainability, access and equity, grew out of a partnership between Art Center’s MDP/Field track graduate program and the UNICEF Innovation Lab. Faculty members Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Sean Donahue and anthropologist Elizabeth Chin head up the team. The student cohort — Jeff Hall, Maria Lamadrid, Judy Toretti, Betsy Kalven, Elizabeth Gin, Jacob Brancsi and An Mina — made multiple visits to Uganda and immersed itself in a broad range of issues challenging the country’s youth.


Art Center gets interactive at SXSW

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Art Center tech-heads will have a chance to talk design at the 20th annual SXSW Interactive festival, held March 8 to 12 in Austin, Texas.

The College will host an alumni event March 7 with panelists – including Anne Burdick, Chair of Graduate Media Design Practices, and Maggie Hendrie, Chair of Interaction Design – discussing challenges facing designers in a networked global future.

Additionally, a trio of alumni from the Media Design Practices program will sit on panels: Jayne Vidheecharoen (Shaping the Future of Play Is Serious Work), Carina Ngai (Design for Aging, Your Future-Self) and Jennifer Darmour (The Next Frontier of Interactive: Smart Fashion).


For Media Design Practices, two tracks better than one

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

From high-tech research to creating social change, the Media Design Practices program’s two new tracks foster a hotbed of ideas. Department Chair Anne Burdick explains how.

Dotted Line: Why did you recently introduce two tracks?

Anne Burdick: Bringing new practices to design and media is a key aim of our program. So when we see an emerging direction that offers our graduates opportunity and adventure, we go for it.

We saw our alumni generally heading in one of two very different directions: future-oriented research and experimental media or on-the-ground social engagement. We felt if we created a curricular experience tailored to these orientations, we could create a vibrant dialogue and an environment that becomes a hotbed for new ideas.

DL: Talk about the two tracks.

AB: The two tracks are Field and Lab. The curriculum for each is built on a project-based model in which students approach complex situations from multiple perspectives. But the time frame and context that structures their work differs substantially.

Lab track prepares students for work in high-tech, future-focused settings. Before working on a thesis project, Lab students work on five “inquiries”— three-week intensives in which they investigate recent advances in culture, science and technology. Each inquiry is team-taught with researchers, experts, and industry leaders.


Designers give for a living at L.A.-based VeryNice

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Matthew Manos, the philanthropic founder of VeryNice

It seems nice guys can finish first — even in the competitive world of design. Founded by Art Center alum Matthew Manos, VeryNice has a unique (and successful) business model rooted in social responsibility instead of profit margins.

The design consultancy, which was recently featured in Forbes, donates half of its time for free to nonprofits so volunteering is part of the job instead of an after-hours pursuit.

“Cleaning up a beach is great … but creative people especially want to contribute with the skills they have,” said Manos. “This is a way to do that.”

Manos started the business at the age of 19 with the goal of doing only pro-bono work. But as the startup and bills grew, he found a way for the company to make money while still giving back.

“It’s sort of a joke, but if we take on twice the amount of projects a regular design studio would, we have more bandwidth,” said Manos, who graduated from Art Center’s Media Design Practices program in 2012.