With the arrival of the holiday season comes a time for hot beverages and brightly-patterned sweaters; for giving and receiving, at work and at home. We’re excited kick off the next six weeks’ worth of non-stop merriment by presenting you with with an early gift in the form of the latest installment of ArtCenter alumni notes, which is teeming with impressive news and accomplishments, from book releases and public engagements to major exhibitions at the Hammer Museum and LACMA.
This Friday is ArtNight, a twice-a-year event in which Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions—including ArtCenter College of Design—swing open their doors for a free evening of art, music and entertainment.
In addition to attending a celebration for the opening night of the College’s street art exhibition OUTSIDEIN, visitors to ArtCenter’s South Campus will have a unique opportunity to see in the Wind Tunnel Gallery a preview of Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, an exhibition from ArtCenter’s Media Design Practices (MDP) program which will be installed at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture this December in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Curated by MDP’s Professor Tim Durfee and faculty Mimi Zeiger, Now, There explores “what is now and where is there” in today’s reality in which “urban and digital realms are inextricably linked” by presenting a selection of screen-based works, objects and texts that “develop, explore and visualize a city not tied to any physical locality.”
Inclusive design. People-centered design. Design for all. Universal design. Each of these practices is an attempt to articulate a design approach that puts the individual at the center of the design agenda. For me this approach takes shape a bit differently in that it also forcibly puts at its center multiple points-of-view, orientations and abilities. This practice has led me to produce some pretty unusual outcomes for a designer—graphic design for people who do not see, communication spaces for people who do not speak and technology for people who have no power. And although these projects were designed to support issues significant to others, they simultaneously afforded me a unique opportunity to question the convenient assumptions we so often default to when considering what people need.
Earlier this week at its WWDC 2015 developer’s conference, Apple announced that iOS 9–the next iteration of its operating system for its iPhone and iPad devices–will include a beefed-up “proactive” version of its voice-driven Siri software that will anticipate user’s needs and deliver relevant information in a timely manner.
Cool stuff, right? Now imagine how such a human-computer interface might evolve. And imagine it in your car.
In that studio course led by Associate Professor Ben Hooker, MDP students spent the entire 14-week term creating “video sketches”–polished visualizations intended to spark discussion–based on student research conducted during the previous term in a class also led by Hooker and his MDP colleague Professor Tim Durfee.
“We immersed ourselves in the current visions of the automotive future to find out how different industries think things are going to play out,” says Hooker, whose expertise lies in collaborations within the field of human-computer interaction, of the research that led to the video sketches. “It soon became apparent there wasn’t one clear view, and that there was space for fresh thinking in this arena.”
It’s the end of the schlep as we know it. And we feel fine.
Well, perhaps not quite yet, but thanks to rapidly evolving technology making autonomous vehicles possible, that daunting commute we face every day may soon be a thing of the past.
Tomorrow in the Wind Tunnel at South Campus, Art Center hosts Autospaces 2025, a one-day symposium that brings together designers, researchers, and government and industry leaders to explore issues of connectivity, trust and mediation with autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.
Spring has sprung for Art Center’s alumni community, which collectively bloomed with media attention and creative activity. Here we’ve gathered a bouquet sampling this group’s impressive undertakings.
Did you know that the human body contains over ten times more microbial cells than human cells? How might this important but often overlooked aspect of our bodies offer new strategies for engaging with each other and our communities? Kristina Ortega is a Media Design Practices student whose thesis research explores the relationship between microbiota and civic health. In this final episode we visited her graduation show to see her completed project and hear her thoughts on life after school. Be sure to check out our pervious episodes when she was beginning to investigate the human micro biome and deploying bacteria covered cheerleaders to a Los Angeles cul-de-sac. Continue reading
The following interview of Mariana Amatullo, Vice President of Designmatters, appeared in Impact Design Hub. Discover how her process works and what she has learned from 14 years of running Designmatters.
Allan Chochinov: Mariana, I’d like to start with two questions that I teach my students to ask: What gets you out of bed in the morning and what keeps you up at night? What are you most excited about right now, and what are you most worried about?1
Mariana Amatullo: I would say that what gets me up in the morning and motivates me deeply is living in a moment in time where there is an important call for, and recognition about, the unique value design and designers may bring to shaping and promoting processes of societal change. In this sense, I consider myself fortunate to be participating in a field or inquiry and practice—which gets referred to in a variety of ways as design for social innovation, social design, design for social impact—that is incredibly dynamic, complex and rewarding. What keeps me up at night is the other side of the coin, if you will, of the same motivation: ensuring that we do not fall short on delivering on the promise of design in this space. In other words, making certain that this emergent field not become “the design fad that failed” because we somehow did not honor that promise with the systematic rigor and boundless imagination required for success.
In our first episode with Media Design Practices student Kristina Ortega she was just beginning her investigation into the human micro biome. In this episode we learn about her recent deployment of bacteria covered cheerleaders in a Los Angeles cul-de-sac and her strategies for reimagining civic health.
What is Student/Space?
We identify three students from different disciplines who are in the process of completing an ambitious project. Over the course of the term we work with them to create three videos capturing the launch, obstacles and completion of their finished work of art and/or design. At the end of the term, each student’s trio of episodes constitutes an intimate take on the agony and ecstasy of bringing an idea to life.
Video by Grad Film student Tatyana Kim
Art Center has a reputation for putting students through their paces, challenging them to meet and exceed their wildest creative dreams. The work ethic instilled here is legendary as are the results of all that toiling, ideating, imagining and making.
But the journey from inspiration to finished creation has always been somewhat mysterious. So beginning last Fall, we set out to illuminate students’ creative process with the series of videos we’ve recently renamed Student Space. Now it’s become a bonafide ‘thing.’ Here’s how it’s done: We identify three students from different disciplines who are in the process of completing an ambitious project. Over the course of the term we work with them to create three videos capturing the launch, obstacles and completion of their finished work of art and/or design. At the end of the term, each student’s trio of episodes constitutes an intimate take on the agony and ecstasy of bringing an idea to life. The results have been fascinating, dramatic and nothing short of spectacular. Need proof? Check out this playlist on our YouTube page.
The Spring 2015 term, will feature just one student: Media Design Practices thesis candidate, Kristina Ortega. We have no doubt that the spellbinding complexity of her project, which explores the ways people currently use technology to forecast future uses for tech, will more than make up for the lack of confederates in this Student/Space cohort. She’ll investigate something she calls “the human microbiome,” and its uses for the future of medicine. There’s really no more to say about her groundbreaking research, which we’ll capture over the course of this term, except: watch and learn. Oh, and enjoy!