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 ‘Industrial Design’ Category
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.
By now you’ve heard of Google Glass. But what about bracelets that measure sun exposure? Headphones that double as heartbeat monitors? Or jewelry that unlocks your front door? Are you ready for the dawn of smart watches, smart earrings, smart contact lenses and smart wigs? And no, that last one isn’t a joke.
The “wearables” field is in an early yet promising stage of its evolution. But Art Center, always striving to stay ahead of industry and cultural trends, has had wearables squarely in its sights for years. Today, our students, instructors and alumni are busy imagining where this technology might head next, creating the devices that are paving the way for the future, and questioning how a wearables-saturated world will change our behavior as human beings.
Ray Eames at Art Center: An alum remembers the Modernist pioneer’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of designersThursday, February 27th, 2014
Ray Eames and I first met in Chicago while judging the 1980 Society of Typographic Arts 100 Show. I was the Communication Department Chairman at the time and President of the Art Center Alumni Association. We would often meet for lunch near her studio offices on Washington Boulevard in Venice during the 80s, and she attended several alumni functions at Art Center during those years.
Visiting her studio was always special. Everything was still in place, as it had been when Charles was still alive. Ray had been assembling and archiving, with assistance, the Eames design history, and delegating the items being sorted and donated to the library of congress. There were work tables full of documents and models. And at one time she considered donating the facility to Art Center for student research facilities to be shared with UCLA, as I recall. Art Center’s leadership at the time declined the offer.
Before James Dyson first mesmerized TV viewers with his early demonstrations of his sleekly designed and innovatively engineered vacuum cleaner, capable of coaxing the dirt from off any surface, home cleaning devices were many things but sexy wasn’t one of them. But after Dyson’s invention captured the popular imagination (not to mention a landfill’s worth of grit and grime) and became the industry standard for home suction, consumers’ perceptions (and expectations) of vacuums were forever altered, in terms of both performance and prettiness.
Though such paradigm shifting innovations are dependent upon a mysterious combination of luck, timing, research and inspiration. The Dyson company has continued to expand upon its success by upholding its high standards for innovative design and engineering. Cultivating the next generation of design innovators is another vital part of the company’s forward-thinking ethos. To that end, the James Dyson Foundation has been rewarding ground-breaking feats of creative engineering with the James Dyson Award, created in 2002, which offers a $45,000 prize to a design that “solves a problem.”
The foundation has recently started seeding the field by conducting design engineering workshops with K-12 students in Chicago. Last week that strategy graduated to the college level, when a team of Dyson engineers lead Art Center students from three departments — Transportation, Product Design and Graduate Industrial Design — in an exercise testing their teamwork, problem-solving, creativity and craftsmanship.
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.
The day Max Knecht pulled a squid, a walrus, a deer and a bunny out of a bright green vintage suitcase is the day he landed his first big deal as a designer.
“It was a formal meeting in [Knock Knock company founder and CEO] Jen Bilik’s office,” recalls Knecht PROD 11, who was still a student at the time. “But bringing all those animal body parts in a suitcase broke the seriousness.”
These were no ordinary plush toys. An imaginative take on swapping identities, Knecht’s bright-colored animals had a clever postmodern flair. Each one separated into three segments, and he demonstrated for Bilik how these “lumps” could be zipped together in any combination. She loved the crisscross-creature concept and offered Knecht a buyout on the spot. Today six different Clump-O-Lumps are available on Knock Knock’s website.
It’s tempting to call moments like this magic, the proverbial rabbit pulled out of a hat. Or a lucky break, all about who you know.
But it was none of these.
Earlier this month, we posted a teaser trailer capturing highlights from a DesignStorm in which students conceived innovative uses for click-on attachments (code name: Blades) to Microsoft’s Surface tablet. The three-day session consisted of a group of students from the College’s various design departments facilitated by Graphic Design faculty member Gerardo Herrera along with Product Design instructor, Todd Masilko and Jeff Higashi, who teaches both Graphic and Product Design.
DesignStorms are Art Center’s trademarked immersive workshops which pair expert faculty with select upper-term design students with sponsors to form multidisciplinary teams. Over the course of the collaboration, the teams apply an intensive design methodology to identify opportunities for deeper exploration and innovation.