After years of all-nighters fueled by coffee, critiques, cramming for finals and collaboration, 192 Art Center students will graduate on Saturday. This ceremony includes the very first graduating class for the Graduate Environmental Design and Graduate Transportation Design Programs. In fact, we have a record number, 36, students accepting graduate level degrees on Saturday. Also notable, 25% of this graduating class attended one or more of Art Center’s Public Programs (Art Center at Night or Saturday High).
Archive for the ‘Product Design’ Category
It’s that time of month again. Time, that is, to catch up on the creative undertakings Art Center’s talented diaspora of alums have been plotting, planning, pitching, prototyping, publishing, publicizing, producing and plying. And that’s just the p’s.
Dive into the following digest of alumni accomplishments and works-in-progress. And for those alums among us, be sure to clue us in on your own news and notes for inclusion in our next dispatch. We don’t want to miss anything. This is Art Center, after all. And we’re nothing if not completists.
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.
UPDATE: Surprising many in the crowdfunding space, the Art Center alum/instructor team behind the URB-E personal mobility device today launched a campaign on Indiegogo. Since making a splash at CES, the team has secured an impressive wave of exposure about the compact e-scooter. The invention was selected as the official mobility device of the American Pavilion at the upcoming Cannes International Film Festival and will assist the crew of an ocean research vessel in a Discovery Channel doc.
The group of Art Center alums behind the URB-E electric scooter didn’t make anyone’s list of newfangled gadgets most likely to ignite a media brushfire at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Team URB-E entered the preeminent tech convention unannounced and exited the event basking in the glow of a media love fest any celebrity would envy. The upshot? Chutzpah + a great idea + a well-executed product = a perfect set-up for URB-E’s Feb. 1 Indiegogo campaign launch.
Not every act of philanthropy to Art Center involves writing a check. It should come as no surprise that friends and alumni of this artistic mecca are naturally predisposed to get creative with their giving. Sometimes gifts come in the form of goods and services. Computer software, fonts and even lighting are some of the in-kind commitments made to the College that are powerfully shaping the Art Center experience.
A recent sizeable gift of 3D design software and training services from Autodesk is providing Art Center students with hands-on experience using the same technology preferred by professionals in industry. The software is currently installed on Art Center’s 500 Macintosh and Windows personal computers and accessible to all undergraduate and graduate students. The donation benefits designers in every program, particularly those in the departments of Environmental Design, Film, Product Design and Transportation Design.
Products become customized vehicles of personal expression in Art Center at Night’s surface design classWednesday, December 18th, 2013
Can you imagine a world filled with nothing but solid colors and smooth surfaces?
If not, then thank a surface designer, those daring individuals who transform our vanilla products—everything from iPad cases and coffee mugs to tote bags and pillowcases—into personalized vehicles for individual expression.
In this spring’s upcoming Art Center at Night Introduction to Surface Design course, taught by artist and designer Debra Valencia, students will learn about the styles and techniques used in creating surface designs by exploring case studies, product categories, themes and other business basics of earning a living as a surface designer.