Archive for the ‘Product Design’ Category

NASA and DC enlist alum Justin Chambers to design the world’s coolest robot shoes

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

In the DARPA Robotics Challenge, teams of software designers and robotics engineers compete to develop robots capable of assisting human recovery efforts in man-made and natural disasters. NASA’S Team Valkyrie approached Justin Chambers (BFA, Product, ’14), and 3D designer Chad Knight and asked if they would “design a cool shoe for our robot.” Chambers’ and Knight’s answer: Affirmative!

The above slide show illustrates the team’s iterative process that yielded a pair of shoes that quite possibly redefined the meaning of a cool pair of kicks. Chambers and Knight’s design comes complete with rover-style treads designed to facilitate the literal version of moon walking—no Michael Jackson moves necessary. 

For anyone interested in how a designer comes to land a dream gig designing branded footwear for iconic organizations like DC and NASA, Chambers traces the unlikely journey that lead him to the launchpad for his rocket-ride career in the essay below:

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Alumni Spotlight: Mariana Prieto, social impact product designer and IDEO.org Fellow

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Mariana’s story originally appeared as part of Desigmatters’ Alumni Spotlight series. Find out more about Art Center’s social impact design department, Designmatters.

“How was the IDEO.org Fellowship?” many people ask. Although extraordinary, intriguing, surprising, challenging, and rewarding all are words that immediately come to mind, I don’t want to oversimplify my answer and leave it at that. I am still digesting the wonderful learnings and lessons that I have gathered in the last year. For now, let me start by focusing on my time doing research and prototyping out in the field. Over the course of the past year, I’ve spent a cumulative five and a half months traveling and visiting the communities where we work. This is where the magic happens. This is where our work intersects with the people we are designing for and why so many of us choose to follow the path of social design.

During this year I have taken on five design challenges ranging from agriculture development in Indiafamily planning in Zambiafinancial stability in the Philippines, and the health and life of informal workers in South Africa, Kenya, Thailand, and the Philippines. Chapter 1 is about the 10 lessons I have learned from fieldwork as an IDEO.org Fellow (who knows, maybe I decide to give writing ‘Chapter 2: Lessons from the studio’ a try, so I’m calling this one Chapter 1).

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Donghia scholarship winners draw inspiration from nature, food, and love

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Austin Yang's Green Chair won the Editor's Award for seating at ICFF 2014

Austin Yang’s Green Chair won the Editor’s Award for seating at ICFF 2014

Good design has its rewards. In the case of Environmental Design students Haidy Gong and Austin Yang, reward comes in the form of $30,000 in scholarship support from the Angelo Donghia Foundation. Gong and Yang are among only 12 winners of the 2014 Student Scholarship Program in Interior Design, which gives awards to rising college seniors pursuing bachelor degrees. We checked in with the winners to get their reaction to the scholarship and to find out what makes for an award-winning design.

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Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate extols the art of listening and being heard

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Student Leadership Award winner Hugo Pilate. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Who ya’ gonna call? Hugo Pilate, apparently.

This past Saturday, as Product Design graduate Hugo Pilate made his way to the stage to accept Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Summer 2014 term, Ray Quirolgico, the College’s Associate Provost for Student Affairs, offered the following caveat: “Hugo has asked me to affirm that he is known for run-on declamations so you may need to brace yourself,” said Quirolgico. “I was also informed to give you his number in case you get lost in what he has to say at any point.”

He then read off Pilate’s phone number not once, but twice.

Lest you think the French-born graduate was just having a laugh, Pilate gave out his number again as he capped off a speech that focused on the importance of being heard and, even more importantly, listening to others. (more…)

Grad Show Preview: Diving into the Summer 2014 talent pool

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Perhaps more than graduation itself, Graduation Show Preview marks the culmination of a student’s years of hard work at Art Center. Each term, on the Thursday before Saturday’s commencement ceremony, the College’s classroom studios, hallways and exhibition spaces come alive with 2D, 3D, digital and other work renowned for both its conceptual rigor and its professional finish. It’s like one giant gallery opening — the Summer 2014 edition brimming with more than 450 invited guests — showcasing some of today’s most innovative and most driven emerging artists and designers.

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Summer 2014: Countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
0811GSP1

Getting ready for Grad Show. Photo: Lucia Loiso

The computer labs are packed. The shops are humming at all hours. Visitors from sponsoring companies and organizations are streaming through campus to attend final presentations. And the Student Gallery is full of projects in and out of the coveted space. These telltale sights and sounds can only mean one thing at Art Center: Week 14 has arrived.

The state of the campus is a visual reminder of the frenetic energy generated by Art Center students sprinting toward finals. The end of the term is here; and for 111 students, this week marks their last. Saturday evening, after countless all-nighters, critiques, finals, internships and hopefully some fun, 100 undergraduate and 11 graduate students will be awarded their degrees. As we count down to commencement, we celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world and honor the great teachers who have guided the way. Here’s the lowdown for the week.

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Not sure what type of design to study? Sample them all in Andrew Hall’s Design 360

Monday, August 11th, 2014
Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist and ACN instructor Andrew Hall in his studio. Courtesy of the artist.

For the past four years, artist Andrew Hall has taught Design 360 at Art Center at Night (ACN), Art Center’s continuing studies program. Design 360 gives students a whirlwind tour of many of the major disciplines offered at the College, including: advertising, graphic design, filmmaking, illustration, product design and transportation design.

In the class, he asks his students to imagine a product that “protects something” which can be “something obvious like safety goggles” or something more abstract “like a camera, which protects memories.” Then, for the next 12 weeks, students give their product the full treatment—designing everything for it from a logo to a storyboard for a 30-second commercial—and then present it to the class, complete with drawings that show their process. “The presentation teaches the importance of really owning your concept.”

Hall finds the diversity of his students particularly inspiring—some take Design 360 when they’re at a point in their career where “they’re just treading water and need to make a big decision” while others treat the course as a philosophical journey. “Some of them come up with solutions far more cerebral and spiritual than a product you can hold in your hand.” (more…)

August 2014 Alumni Notes

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Jennifer Steinkamp's Murmurfication

Jennifer Steinkamp’s Murmuration

Summer 2014 has yielded a bounty of freshly produced works, events and ideas by Art Center alumni. And look for future editions of this dispatch to be equally flush, given July’s bumper crop of kickstarter campaigns. Read on to learn more…and get in on the fun(ding).

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Art Center in the News | July 2014

Friday, August 1st, 2014

 

National Geographic featured Art Center alumna xxx  and her award-winning device to detect hearing loss being tested on a baby at Vaani Vilas Hospital, Bangalore. Photo: ©Rolex Awards/ Ambroise Tézenasphoto

National Geographic featured Art Center alumna Neeti Kailas’s award-winning device to detect hearing loss being tested on a baby at Vaani Vilas Hospital, Bangalore. Photo: ©Rolex Awards/ Ambroise Tézenas

From National Geographic to The Huffington Post; from stylish sensors for your fingernails to a design to detect deafness in newborns, Art Center’s students, faculty, staff and alumni are media headliners. Click a few of the links below to get a taste of recent coverage about diverse subjects including a mobile home tour through Detroit, origami art on speed, smart growth for future generations of artists and designers, the benefits of naps and much more.

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