Archive for the ‘Product Design’ Category

Hope is in the bag: Saeri Dobson designs handcrafted purses in support of displaced Bangladeshi girls

Monday, July 21st, 2014
Saeri Dobson designed these wallets to support Bangladeshi girls and women rescued from brothels.

Saeri Dobson designed these wallets to support Bangladeshi girls and women rescued from brothels.

The following letter pays tribute to Art Center alum Saeri Dobson’s tireless and selfless work on behalf of Bangladeshi girls who have been rescued from brothels. Dobson (MFA 00 NEWM), whose ethically-minded creative practice is embedded right in her company name: By SaeRi: Design + Humanity.

image-1“I founded By SaeRi, Inc. to tell the stories of amazing human lives through my design,” says Dobson, who produces several lines of handmade bags and wallets ranging from bright and funky to chic and understated. She donates 10% of her profits to Speak Up for the Poor, a non-profit supporting displaced Bangladeshi girls and women. “Each By SaeRi bag is one of a kind, designed and made entirely in the USA. I handpick all the materials and oversee the production process.”

This letter, by the founder of Speak Up for the Poor, offers a snapshot of social impact design in action, exemplifying the vast potential for designers to change the world by bringing their social conscience to bear on their creative practice. We salute Saeri’s commitment to her cause, not to mention the elegant leather craftsmanship she brought to the entirely covetable Project Hope line of tote bags.

 

I am writing to express my organization’s support for the work of By SaeRi, Inc., a business which has generously supported our work for several years. Speak Up for the Poor, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, serves girls in poverty in Bangladesh. We remove girls from brothels and fund a home for rescued girls; we run a large education program keeping girls-at-risk in school and out of child marriage and other forms of abuse and exploitation; and we do legal casework and advocacy for girls in poverty who have been abused.

Speak Up relies on the generous support of individuals and businesses. By SaeRi, Inc. has been a faithful financial supporter of our work for several years, giving generously since 2011 to help fund several of our projects in Bangladesh.

Starting in 2011, By SaeRi became a funder of our work at the Alingon Home, a place for girls removed from brothels. In Bangladesh many young girls who are born to mothers working in brothels are themselves destined for forced prostitution as minors, and By SaeRi’s generosity helped fund our important work to remove and rehabilitate girls at the Alingon Home.

Similarly, By SaeRi’s generous financial support towards our Girls Education Program in 2012 and 2013 helped Speak Up build four Learning Centers in impoverished villages in southwestern Bangladesh, school rooms where hundreds of girls in our program receive academic support and mentoring to rise out of poverty and avoid the pitfalls of poverty. Several of Saeri Cho’s students have also contributed generously to our general fund, further catalyzing our efforts to serve girls in poverty in Bangladesh.

Speak Up is thankful to By SaeRi, and in particular, to the founder Ms. Saeri Cho Dobson for her hard work and generosity in supporting our work. We enthusiastically support their continued business expansion. We encourage you to extend every courtesy possible to enable By SaeRi to grow in its important mission as a socially responsible business.

Please contact me with any questions.

Sincerely, Troy Anderson

Founder and International Director, Speak Up

June 2014 alumni news and notes

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

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.

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The success of Safe Agua: Students design solutions to water scarcity in Colombia

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Alumnus Isaac Oaks offers a student’s perspective on the Safe Agua Colombia project, just published in the new Designmatters book, Safe Agua Colombia (June 2014). Continuing to build on the investigations and experiences of the award-winning Safe Agua Chile and Safe Agua Peru projects, Oaks traveled as part of a student team to Altos del Pino, in Bogotá, Colombia, to co-create innovative technical design solutions with local families, seeking to overcome some of the social issues created by water poverty and to make an impact through resulting products and systems. 

The Designmatters Safe Agua project fostered my personal exploration into the area of community design co-creation. The experience began with an immersive 12-day research trip to outskirts of Bogotá, Colombia, in fall 2013, where I was among a small team embedded with families in the asentamiento of Altos del Pino. Our focus was designing for the all too common problem of extremely limited water supply. Because they are only provisionally connected to the official water grid, each household has access to a small hose of running water for just one hour every eight days. This highly restrictive schedule became the catalyst for our designs.

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Art Center Product Design students land among top 2014 IDEA winners

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
ELLE by Della Tosin

ELLE by Della Tosin

Earlier this week, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) announced the winners of the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition, which is regarded as one of the most preeminent design competitions in the nation.

IDSA revealed Art Center as one of the leading academic winners this year, continuing Art Center’s 20-plus-year winning streak. A panel of international design experts evaluated entries on aspects of industrial design excellence including innovation, benefits to the user and client, sustainability and the design’s visual appeal. Art Center students received four awards:

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Art Center Business Club launches design networking tour through San Francisco’s most innovative design studios

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 2.25.08 PMHailing Uber cabs, grabbing a cup of the Bay Area’s finest coffee, snapping photos of Fisherman’s Wharf and meeting with some of the biggest design consultancies on the West Coast—it’s all in a day’s work for the the members of Art Center Business Club.

This past May, 14 members of the Art Center Business Club (ACBC) packed up for a week of exciting studio tours in San Francisco– ten in all. The agenda included meetings with such consultancies as IDEO, frog design, inc., and NewDealDesign, as well as print and media companies like Chronicle Books and WIRED.

In a time of unprecedented competition for art and design jobs, students actively seek out studios and companies they can join to jumpstart their careers. Students participate in internships offering a deeper understanding of a particular company’s creative ethos and workflow without the commitment of a full-time job. However, internships are seasonal and require a significant time commitment in order to determine whether that particular organization is a good fit. This is where studio visits come in. They deliver valuable insights into working culture, company culture, company structures—all the things you don’t learn as a student searching a firm’s website. With this knowledge, applicants emerge more informed and prepared to face the professional world.

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Designmatters and Aspen Institute examine the social, creative and economic impact of the new culture of ‘intrapreneurs’

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Mariana Amatullo speaking at Desigmnatters' Leap Symposium on the New Professional Frontier in Design For Social Innovation." Photo by Alex Aristei

Designmatters’ Mariana Amatullo opening the Leap Symposium: The New Professional Frontier in Design for Social Innovation. Photo ©2013 Alex Aristei for LEAP

This week the Aspen Institute launched a new series of essays on the growing importance of social intrapreneurs — change-agents within organizations large and small who are fusing business success with positive social and environmental impacts — and the value they are adding to their organizations and society. To kick off the series, the Institute, in collaboration with The Huffington Post, published the following piece by Mariana Amatullo, co-founder and vice president of Designmatters at Art Center College of Design.

Safir BellaliThe Institute also named 2001 Art Center alumnus Safir Bellali, Design Innovation director for Vans, to its incoming class of 2014 First Movers Fellows. Each fellow will tackle a project that will have a positive financial, social and environmental impact on both their company and society. Bellali, who maintains close ties with the College though his participation in critiques and hiring student interns, will explore how new manufacturing technologies will allow Vans to work toward bringing production back to the United States. In Fall 2014, Vans will sponsor a Designmatters/Product Design studio at Art Center.

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New series of alumni video profiles launches with this profile of tech design visionary Yves Behar

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Yves Behar has spent much of the past two decades inhabiting the rarefied air at the peak of design innovation. After graduating from Art Center College of Design in 1991 with a degree in Product Design, Behar became an early adopter in bringing a design ethos into the tech space, conceiving product identities for the likes of Apple and Hewlett-Packard. And in the years since founding his own forward-thinking industrial design and branding firm, Fuseproject, Behar has become something of an iconic brand in and of himself.

The above video represents the first in an ongoing series of video profiles of Art Center’s vanguard of mold-breaking, creatively audacious alumni. Behar welcomed Art Center’s video team into the hive of creative activity that is Fuseproject’s warehouse-like studio in San Francisco’s Mission District. The cavernous space was designed to promote collaboration and co-creation, with its long communal lunch table covered with bountiful fruit bowls full of healthy snacks, ripe for the picking. SodaStreams are stationed throughout the facility. And broad worktables are covered with mockup designs for top secret products that will most certainly one day make many lives easier, if not better. We hope you’ll come away as inspired as we were by Behar’s reflections on his own creative trajectory and the ways in which he’s continuing the Art Center tradition of learning to create and influencing change.

Want to come to Art Center? Get to know Stan Kong

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Nearly every current student and graduate passing through Art Center’s doors has encountered the mentorship and teaching of Stan Kong. While that may be a slight exaggeration, Stan (his chosen moniker over ‘Mr. Kong’) has been responsible for shepherding more students to Art Center than any other. He is a living embodiment of Art Center as both an alumnus (BS 83 Product) and long-time faculty member. Wednesday night over 150 alumni, parents and children of former students, current students, friends and past and present colleagues came together with raised glasses and warm embraces to celebrate Stan’s lasting impact on the institution. The reception included attendees both young and old, as well as legendary (Syd Mead, BS 59 Transportation) and influential (Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard). The student dining room filled with laughter, shouts of, ‘I love you Stan,’ and even a few tear-filled moments. Speeches were given, which included an announcement from Provost Fred Fehlau (MFA 88 Art) awarding Stan the well deserved title of Adjunct Professor.

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Fashion forward meets emotional rescue: Art Center students imagine the future of wearables

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Sangli Li's Expressive Wearable.

Sangli Li’s Expressive Wearables shields its user from intrusive sights and sounds.

With Apple and Google both adding fashion professionals to its regiments, it appears that the next consumer electronics war will be waged not over the smartphone in your pocket, but over the devices worn around your wrists and over your eyes.

Always ahead of the curve, Art Center students, instructors and alumni are currently imagining where wearables might head next. And while wearables will undoubtedly translate to big business, how might this technology change our behavior as human beings?

This question, and many more, were explored in a recent Intel Corporation-sponsored Wearables Ecologies course taught by Media Design Practices (MDP) Professor Phil van Allen and Associate Professor Ben Hooker.

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Art Center arrives in force at New York Design Week 2014

Thursday, May 15th, 2014


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.

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