Archive for the ‘Industrial Design’ Category

Ray Eames at Art Center: An alum remembers the Modernist pioneer’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of designers

Thursday, 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.


Speed making: Art Center students make a clean sweep in Dyson’s rapid prototyping workshops

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

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.


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.


ACCD reciprocity: Corporate partnerships seed design innovation and design careers

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Meet the Clump-o-Lumps, designed by Max Knecht

Meet the Clump-O-Lumps, designed by Max Knecht

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.


Inside the extended-play version of the Microsoft Surface DesignStorm video

Friday, October 11th, 2013


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.


Art Center in the news, August – September 2013

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Mego Lin and Jon Jon Augustavo on the set of "Same Love." Photo by Craig Nisperos.

Art Center students, faculty, alumni and staff have been busy racking up awards, giving interviews and making news. Here is a selection of some recent coverage., “Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Smash Hip-Hop Competition With VMA Knockout”
Two music videos directed by Art Center alum Jon Jon Agustavo with cinematography by Grad Film student Mego Lin earned some shiny Moonmen awards at the 2013 Video Music Awards.

SciArt in America
October issue featuring ACCD faculty Lita Albuquerque's Stellar Suspension (from OBSERVE, Williamson Gallery, 2008) on the cover and a 4-page interview with Williamson Gallery director Stephen Nowlin.


Fall 2013 Orientation: Student tips for surviving and thriving at Art Center

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013


Student orientation

Student orientation

Ah, the first day of school. It’s an initiation fraught with the anxiety of the unknown and flashbacks to the horrors of entering the grade school cafeteria for the first time. Fortunately, here at Art Center, strategies have been put in place to help ease the pain of crossing that threshold. Of course this process has been systematized. What else would you expect from a design mecca?

Orientation week has been tailored to meet the needs of incoming freshman and their families, with a full agenda ranging from social mixers to in-depth information sessions on everything from campus sustainability to the infamous Art Center critique. Most critically, students are also matched with peer mentors who act as guides, companions and all-purpose resources for inside information on navigating the academic and social twists and turns inherent to any Art Center journey.

In the spirit of optimizing the orientation week experience for the incoming class of 2013, we’ve gathered the following tips and advice from an authoritative source — current students — on how to make the most of this transformative educational opportunity.


Dyson Foundation Grant: Less Time Paying Bills, More Time in the Studio

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

The Dyson Foundation was particularly impressed by this prosthetic socket, designed for BETH by Industrial Design alum, Jason Hill,

When James Dyson Foundation was looking for ways to inspire the next generation of design engineers, Art Center Industrial Design students kept appearing on the Foundation’s radar.

“We’ve consistently received strong entries to the James Dyson Award from Art Center,” says Erin Webb, Foundation manager, referring to the Foundation’s annual international design competition. “It was clear to us that the College has a very iterative approach to the design process and that Art Center students are challenged not just to come up with ideas but also to create prototypes.”


Bright IDEA Awards: Art Center students collect a trio of medals

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
IDEA Award-winning designs by Nina Viggi, Marc Dubui and Shingo Mamiya

IDEA Award-winning designs by Nina Viggi, Marc Dubui and Shingo Mamiya

Art Center continued its legacy of award-winning leading-edge design with yesterday’s announcement of the 2013 IDEA Awards, which included three medal-winning student projects and eight finalists among the honorees of the Industrial Designers Society of America’s prestigious annual awards program.

“The IDEA awards program continues to be an effective witness to the state of industrial design and design education today,” explained Katherine Bennett, faculty member in the Graduate and Undergraduate Industrial Design Departments. “The process of articulating their designs for the IDEAs’ worldwide audience gives practitioners and students a forum for important causes we want to address, and to tell the story of design’s value to our clients, our customers and society as a whole.”

Each of this year’s trifecta of winning projects illustrates Art Center’s trademark focus on innovative design with real world social impact, informed by a meticulous, research-based approach. Graduate Industrial Design student, Nina Viggi’s One Degree High Performance Dinghy Shoe, durable footwear designed for sailors, received a gold medal. Product Design student, Marc Dubui, took home a silver prize for his hard hat suspension system, titled Oblikk, designed to protect the wearer from lateral and rotational impact. Finally, Product Design undergrad, Shingo Mamiya, was awarded the bronze for A Better Working Environment for Certified Nursing Assistants, a waste disposal system for the elderly.

Art Center students have long been a formidable force at the IDEA Awards, collecting a total of 70 medals over 22 years, with a wide array of inventive designs, ranging from the UnBathroom to the U-Haul Emergency Response Conversion Kit for the American Red Cross. This year’s winners were selected from a field of 687 finalists, to be announced live on August 21 at its 2013 International Conference in Chicago.

Art Center Students Compete in WantedDesign’s International Water Challenge

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Can designers help solve the planet’s water crisis in just three days? That’s the question WantedDesign Challenge: Water Cycle aims to answer May 17–20 during New York Design Week.