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.
Archive for the ‘Product Design’ Category
“There’s nothing more pleasant than helping someone in need and watching them achieve success,” said Product Design graduate Vladimir Almonnord, recipient of Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Spring 2013 term. “It’s the fuel that keeps me going and that motivates me at times I feel defeated.”
Each term, Art Center presents the Student Leadership Award to a deserving student from the College. The award is a distinguished honor granted to a graduating student who exemplifies leadership qualities and accomplishments that stand out above their peers.
“He has a passion for the process of designing meaningful products, is a superb visual storyteller and produces exceptional results on a grand scale,” said one faculty nominator of Almonnord, a student who forged a unique path that fused product design, illustration, entertainment design and transportation design.
“What surprised me the most about him was how he shares his time and thoughts with almost anyone and everyone that approached him,” said a student nominator.
“He reminds me of what kind of growth is possible, not just in skills, but in character, professionalism and attitude,” added another faculty nominator of Almonnord who, as a team leader for the Designmatters Change on the Streets transdisciplinary studio, helped address two critical issues facing the city of Pasadena: homelessness and panhandling.
“Perhaps his most important leadership achievement while at Art Center is how he willingly nurtured the talents of his peers,” said Dean of Students Jeffrey Hoffman when introducing Almonnord to the stage at last week’s graduation ceremony.
“Tomorrow’s world will be designed by the design students of today — by you — and while this is a great opportunity, this is also a great challenge and a great responsibility,” Dieter Rams told graduating Art Center students during the 2013 Spring Graduation Ceremony on Sat., April 20.
Accepting an honorary doctorate of arts from Art Center, the legendary designer was introduced by Product Design Chair Karen Hofmann and delivered his speech in German, translated live by an English-language interpreter. Rams thoughtfully reflected on his past, sharing lessons gleaned over a long and influential career as a product designer and university professor, while voicing concerns about the future and stressing designers’ changing responsibility in a changing world.
“Today’s main challenges are the protection of the natural environment and overcoming mindless consumption,” he said, urging students toward “a design ethos that goes way beyond complacency and arbitrariness.”
He presented five essential dimensions of design, along with his “formula for sustainable production”: Less but better! Much, much less, and much, much better. He asserted that “Design is primarily an intellectual process. It’s a procedure and an approach to create innovation and new meaning.”
Following are highlights of Rams’ speech:
Sometimes, the lessons learned in the field are the ones that stick the most. Geoff Ledford, a graduating Art Center student in Product Design, recently wrote an article for Fast Company detailing his experiences interning at Soulcake Creative in San Clemente, California.
“As a designer, I draw and work in 3D – communication via pictures and sketches,” said Ledford. “But prior to deciding to become a designer, I was a writer. My thought was that if I shared some of these lessons, they might help someone else.”
His lessons boil down to four points:
- Kill your ego. “A tinge of hubris can quickly contaminate an otherwise good relationship,” said Ledford. “And with so many capable design consultancies all ready to do the same job, it’s important to stay humble.”
- Bring passion to your presentation. While working at Soulcake, one of the partners at the studio explained, “A good presentation shouldn’t just give me information–it should evoke emotion.” Ledford realized that his work could not solely rely on analytical justification, but rather worked best when it incorporated emotional elements.
- Find your own voice. No matter what kind of work, this advice is crucial to anything creative. Ledford makes his case with jazz musician Freddie Hubbard who had to find a voice that was his own instead of being an imitation of Miles Davis. Likewise, when Ledford said he tried creating work he thought his boss would want, “the result was a bunch of concepts that lacked my voice and, consequently, weren’t authentic.”
- Work will always be there.Wanting to make a good impression, one day Ledford opted to go in the office early to work rather than surf with one of the owners. Instead of pushing Ledford into the office, the owner responded that he thought Ledford should surf: “There is always work and the waves aren’t always this good.” Like any creative endeavor, exploring opportunities outside of design (like surfing) gives fresh perspective.
Art Center alum Jason Hill, a human factors researcher and industrial designer, is part of a four-person, interdisciplinary team that won the $10,000 Grand Prize in the MIT Accelerate Contest, for a prosthetic socket designed to change its shape throughout a patient’s lifetime.
Hill and his team have formed The BETH Project (Benevolent Technologies for Health), dedicated to developing high-impact, low-cost healthcare solutions for underserved populations. Their February 19 win over seven other teams qualifies The BETH Project for a spot in the series’ final round, the MIT Launch Contest, whose top prize is $100,000. The results of the Launch Contest will be announced May 15, 2013.
Designer Showcase spotlights alumnus and trustee Kit Hinrichs and packaging projects by Art Center studentsFriday, March 1st, 2013
This month Designer Showcase, a packaging forum sponsored by Avery Dennison, is profiling Art Center alumnus and trustee Kit Hinrichs’ ADVT 63 firm Studio Hinrichs as well as work by several former and current Art Center students.
Recent rebranding projects—by Vinh Pho PROD 11, Nadia Tzuo GRPH 11, Mike Kim PROD 12, Jim Bogenrief GRPH 11, Simon Davey PROD 11 and current Product Design student Alex Cabunoc—are highlighted on the site’s “Seen at the School” section.
For each project, Hinrichs provides feedback on why he finds the work successful. Of Davey’s Dulce Mexico packaging that integrates ancient Mexican iconography, he says, “The tactile quality of the surface, plus a robust color palette, makes the product very memorable.”
Visual Effects Supervisor and alum Leslie Ekker recently earned a Visual Effects Society award nomination for “Mockingbird Lane,” NBC’s reboot of the 1960s classic “The Munsters.”
The pilot, which earned a nom for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program, starred Jerry O’Connell as family patriarch Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi as his wife Lily, and Eddie Izzard as Grandpa. We caught up with Ekker to learn how he helped design modern-day Munsters.
Describe the visual effects your team is being recognized for on “Mockingbird Lane.”
There were 75 visual effects shots for a 40-minute pilot. For example, specially designed particle animations were created to show the appearance and special powers of matriarch Lily Munster (Portia De Rossi), who first arrives in a wooden crate. A languid vapor begins to flow from the chinks in the crate and then flow together to form a nude Lily. (more…)
Creative engines were revving as Art Center’s Spring 2013 Educational Partnerships kicked off Jan. 17–24.
Corporate partners are sponsoring five different projects this term, focused on retail packaging, consumer market analysis, architectural design and, from a transportation perspective, the future of car buying and the future of “reward.”
Projects are a win-win for students and sponsors alike. Undergraduate and graduate students gain valuable experience tackling real-world challenges with business and design professionals at the top of their fields; meanwhile sponsors have an opportunity to step out of the corporate environment and take in fresh perspectives.
Cloud 9, an award-winning Barcelona-based firm known for its dynamic, cutting-edge architecture, is collaborating with students from multiple disciplines — Environmental Design, Product Design, Grad Industrial Design and Graphics — led by Environmental Design faculty members James Meraz, Jason Pilarski and Kenneth Cameron.
A prosthetic socket designed to be adjustable, robust and affordable designed by Benevolent Technologies for Health (BETH) was named one of two international runner-ups for the prestigious James Dyson Award.
Product Design alumnus Jason Hill is part of the BETH Project team, which also includes Elizabeth Tsai, an MIT student pursuing her master of science degree, Ramin Abrishamian, an MIT alumnus and businessman, and Asa Hammond, who is earning a degree in physiological science at UCLA.
The BETH Project’s website says its launch product “will bring significant cost savings to the multi-million dollar prosthetic care industry that struggles to meet the needs of low income patients especially in developing countries.”
The team also says that by being made from an infinitely re-moldable material, its mass-producible socket device will cut prosthetic care costs by reducing or eliminating labor intensive procedures like fitting, fabrication, adjustment and re-fabrication.
Art Center students have turned fallen trees into art as part of the “Forces of Nature” project on display through Sunday at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.
The exhibit features woodworks from 130 artists that will be sold during a silent auction to raise funds for the Arboretum and replant trees. Each piece was crafted from a piece of fallen wood from last December’s windstorm that toppled 235 trees at the Arboretum.
Sixteen students in Fridolin Beisert’s Creative Strategies class were given a 6-inch slice of wood and two weeks to craft a piece.
“The challenge was to create something in a short amount of time that would sell for the highest amount,” said Beisert, a professor in the Product Design department.