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.
Archive for the ‘Graduate Transportation Design’ Category
“Mmm, pan dulce,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. Around the Green Room table behind the Los Angeles City Council Chambers, diverse leaders gathered around cafecito and conchas de vainilla o chocolate. It was 8:30 a.m. on a cool Saturday morning. Our disciplines ranged from transportation and interactive design to Smart Grid technologies, and from electric vehicle infrastructure and urban planning to community economic development.
We came together at the invitation of Mayor Eric Garcetti and Peter Marx (Chief Innovation and Technology Officer) to galvanize the technology track of #techLA– the city’s inaugural Technology and Innovation Conference held in City Hall.
Tasked by Marx with facilitating a panel on the future of mobility, I seized the opportunity to spark an interdisciplinary conversation on the topic. Representing Art Center with me were two respected innovators: Geoff Wardle (Executive Director of the Graduate Transportation Design program) and Maggie Hendrie (Chair of the Interaction Design undergraduate program). Later that day, Art Center Graduate Transportation student, Retro Poblano, also presented his research on automated shuttles to the public.
This past spring, three students working in different disciplines (Photography, Graduate Transportation Design and Interaction Design) bravely chose to accept the challenge/opportunity (those last two words may as well be permanently fused—no slash necessary— when it comes to artistic endeavors) to reveal the agony and the ecstasy, the challenges and the epic fails that go into conceiving and creating a project over the course of a term. They had enlisted in Art Center’s ongoing collaboration with Myspace to highlight Art Center’s unique approach to creativity and diligently, digitally tracked his/her progress with a trio of videos shot at the beginning, middle and end of the creative journey.
“Right across the Arroyo, we’re making plans for a real close encounter,” says Dave Doody, whose Art Center At Night seminar, “Basics of Interplanetary Flight,” is currently recruiting participants for a class that’s literally out of this world. “My team has been piloting the gangly robot Cassini in wide orbits around Saturn since 2010. But in coming years we’re going to drop in for some up-close-and-personal visits. We’ll plunge the spacecraft between the rings and the planet 22 times before letting go of the spent machine so it can burn up in the gas giant’s atmosphere like a meteor.”
This 2016-2017 segment of Cassini’s 20 year mission has been temporarily dubbed the “Proximal Orbits” by mission planners at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where Doody works as a senior engineer, currently leading the Saturn-bound spacecraft’s flight operations controllers. But after acknowledging that some creative person somewhere could almost certainly conjure a more mission-worthy name, NASA launched the Cassini Name Game, hoping for some better ideas.
“One thing about these orbits will be their huge roller coaster speed,” says Doody. “The camera-laden craft will reach more than 120,000 kilometers an hour as it screams past the innermost ring particles just above the hazy atmosphere. Next, it’ll slow down for three and a quarter days, coasting ‘up’ to the top of its 1.2 million kilometer-high peak, before starting to drop back in again for its next pass. Wild.”
Like a field of tulips bursting with color, spring has sprung at Art Center in the form of last weekend’s Grad Show. With an eye-popping array of stunning creations and innovation, works from this term’s wildly talented cohort of graduating students exploded through the hallways and galleries of Hillside and South Campus. Potential employers, curious visitors, beaming family members and excited (yet relieved) friends fawned over the fruits of many years of work and sacrifice grads invested in joining the coveted club of Art Center alumni.
Dazzled as I was by the work, I was able to meet up with a few students. And the following survey offers but a small sample of the artists and designers who stood out for various reasons.
Update: Shortly after the Spring 2014 term passed its half-way point, our participating students (Myspacers?) produced a new set of videos tracking their progress on the path toward creative completion.
Starting a project is never easy. And finishing it is, arguably, even harder. But let’s not underestimate the challenges involved in persisting through the obstacle course of road-blocks artists often face once they’re deep enough into a project that starting over isn’t an option and the finish line isn’t yet in sight.
This extraordinary set of videos (featured on our Myspace page) offers a snapshot of the breathtaking range of creative activity happening at Art Center on any given day.
Photography student Roman Alexander Vargas takes us deeper into his sources of inspiration (Nan Goldin, primarily) for the very personal photo essay he’s creating as he chronicles his initiation into drag queen culture.
Interaction Design student, Inae Song, delivers a dynamic illustration of the iterative process involved in redesigning an interactive digital destination for AIGA, the American professional association for design professionals. For a young designer proving her mettle, it’s hard to think of tougher crowd to please than the members of AIGA. But Song remained undaunted and produced some incredibly compelling work that plays like a tutorial in website design.
Graduate Transportation Design Student, Nish Kamath, bowed out of this step in the process and will rejoin us with a final video revealing the finished product he creates based on his research into traffic patterns in the developing world.
Each of these students defies and exceeds any and all expectations they set forth in their initial videos, leaving us rapt in anticipation of their final installations. Stay tuned.
Last October, Art Center formed an alliance with the newly relaunched Myspace platform, which had reinvented itself as a social network for creative types. Myspace’s elegant interface seemed custom designed for the Art Center community, with each user profile centered around a portfolio of images and videos that comprise the user’s identity by showcasing the evolution of imagination and innovation. In other words, if Mark Zuckerberg had been a student at Art Center, not Harvard, Facebook might have looked a lot like the current iteration of Myspace.
Because Art Center is known for its students’ enterprise and productivity, that creative rigor became the focal point for this partnership. To illustrate this dedication, we recruited four students from four different disciplines (Product Design, Graphic Design, Illustration and Film) and asked them to document their creative process over the course of the term as they complete a project. The results were as inspiring as they were fascinating, providing a panoramic view of the geyser of creativity that is Art Center.