Art Center’s students, faculty, staff and alumni continue to make news around the world. For those who may have missed a headline or two, we’ve curated this handy highlight reel of our recent media clips.
Archive for the ‘Product Design’ Category
By now you’ve heard of Google Glass. But what about bracelets that measure sun exposure? Headphones that double as heartbeat monitors? Or jewelry that unlocks your front door? Are you ready for the dawn of smart watches, smart earrings, smart contact lenses and smart wigs? And no, that last one isn’t a joke.
The “wearables” field is in an early yet promising stage of its evolution. But Art Center, always striving to stay ahead of industry and cultural trends, has had wearables squarely in its sights for years. Today, our students, instructors and alumni are busy imagining where this technology might head next, creating the devices that are paving the way for the future, and questioning how a wearables-saturated world will change our behavior as human beings.
Like a field of tulips bursting with color, spring has sprung at Art Center in the form of last weekend’s Grad Show. With an eye-popping array of stunning creations and innovation, works from this term’s wildly talented cohort of graduating students exploded through the hallways and galleries of Hillside and South Campus. Potential employers, curious visitors, beaming family members and excited (yet relieved) friends fawned over the fruits of many years of work and sacrifice grads invested in joining the coveted club of Art Center alumni.
Dazzled as I was by the work, I was able to meet up with a few students. And the following survey offers but a small sample of the artists and designers who stood out for various reasons.
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).
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.