Archive for the ‘Public Programs’ Category

Art Center Spring 2014 graduation is around the corner

Monday, April 14th, 2014


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).


Products become customized vehicles of personal expression in Art Center at Night’s surface design class

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
Patterns from Debra Valencia's Kyoto collection.

Patterns from Debra Valencia’s Kyoto collection.

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.


View from the Bridge: Saluting graduating students and Art Center’s social impact on healthy drinking water and food

Monday, December 16th, 2013

A Balde Movil prototype is put to the test in Altos del Pino, Bogota, Colombia.

The Fall 2013 term culminated last weekend with our Grad Show—an unqualified success attracting hundreds of industry representatives—and the arrival of our students’ families on campus for graduation. It was my great pleasure to meet many of them and share in their excitement and pride.

I began this weekend’s ceremonies by reading Everything is Waiting for You by David Whyte. An ode to the creative power of community, this poem was born surprisingly out of a moment of deep grief for the author, which makes its vibrant call to action all the more remarkable. The work begins with a warning of isolation—“Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone”—moves to an acknowledged tension of individual identity in the crowd—“Surely, even you, at times, have felt … the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice”—and concludes with an exultant celebration of discovery and the power of entering the “conversation”—“The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink” and, ultimately, “Everything is waiting for you.”

I shared this poem because I want our graduating students to find the strength to face what is calling them and recognize that they are surrounded by an astonishing depth and plethora of life. I want them to celebrate where the new edges meet and, as the poem suggests, believe they can change the world by their attentive presence.

Our students’ work offers ample evidence that this is all very much underway.


True confessions from Art Center at Night students, captured on video

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Each term, Art Center at Night holds an open house, offering current and prospective students a brief glimpse at what goes on within the walls of its open-air classrooms. It’s a fleeting, but essential, experience for career-changers and seasoned and aspiring artists preparing to make the leap into what’s arguably the city’s most high-intensity after-hours creative education. It’s also an opportunity likely missed by anyone with extended working hours or family obligations (i.e., those who need it most).

Don’t fret. We’ve got your back. At a recent open house, we asked students to get in front of the camera and share with us what Art Center’s continuing studies program has meant to them. The answers were as diverse as the individuals themselves. See for yourself in the video above.

Perhaps it’s time to contemplate what Art Center will mean to you.

Myspace takeover 2.0: New videos track students’ creative progress and problems

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Art Center invades Myspace homepage

Art Center invades Myspace homepage

Update: Our quartet of students leading our Myspace occupation has produced a new batch of posts — three videos and one written narrative. Visit our Myspace profile for the latest news on how these artists and designers are devising solutions to the roadblocks and detours they encounter en route to their destination: creating something of lasting value that didn’t exist before.

Space. Whether it comes in the form of a blank canvas, an empty sound stage, a blinking cursor on a computer screen or a room of one’s own — space itself has always been fundamental to the act of creation. Art Center has long provided that space for its community of compulsively creative forward-thinking doers and makers, united by a desire to disrupt the status quo with explosive feats of imagination and artistry.

At its most basic level, it’s an invitation to create, explore and invent. And put simply, artists need their space. This was the operative principle behind the supernova success of Myspace, the 1.0 generation social network that became a hub where music lovers connected to their favorite bands. Ten years later, Myspace has reinvented itself, beginning with its June 2013 relaunch, as a social network “purpose-built to empower an infinitely expanding creative community.” The new Myspace has been designed around 21st Century creators’ needs to “connect, make, discover, collaborate, promote and expand.”

And what better place to seed that artistic ecosystem than the hothouse of creativity that is Art Center? So, for the next week, Art Center’s unique approach to bringing audacious ideas to fruition will receive unprecedented exposure as it stages an occupation of the MySpace homepage, which has a massive global reach of 35 million users.


View from the Bridge: Art Center’s incoming class, the LEAP Symposium and bringing the Bard to Lida Street

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
President Lorne M. Buchman

President Lorne M. Buchman

Being surrounded each and every day by thought-provoking ideas and inspiring individuals is perhaps the greatest benefit of working at Art Center. As President, I’m in a unique position to see so much of the remarkable work created here.

A clear side effect—and thankfully, it’s a good one—is that at the end of the day I have a lot on my mind. Which is why I’d like to start sharing with you here, on occasion, my thoughts on what I’m seeing, hearing and experiencing around campus and in the larger community.

First things first: The Fall 2013 term is well underway. Before we reach that busy midterm crunch, I’d like to tell you a few things about our latest incoming class. After receiving the highest number of applicants across all disciplines in our 83-year history, Art Center this fall welcomed 361 undergraduates and 68 graduate students, our largest incoming class ever. The increase reflects the strength and growth of our academic programs, as well as the planned expansion envisioned in Create Change, Art Center’s 2011–2016 strategic plan.


The sacred and the mundane: Lynn Aldrich’s witty spin on consumerism

Friday, October 11th, 2013

In her quest to transform the known into something curious and unexpected, Los Angeles-based artist Lynn Aldrich makes a habit of scouring hardware stores such as Home Depot for materials she re-fabricates into colorful new constructions reflecting playfully on domestic architecture.

“By making these sorts of archaic physical objects that one has to walk around in reality and be near to experience,” says Aldrich, “I’m attempting to call attention to your physicality in a world that is more and more in a cloud of information.” Out of Ink, In the Dark might at first glance be mistaken for an assemblage of pads of the digital era, instruments of that very cloud. Instead, it’s a classic Aldrich “object,” as sly as it is seductive. Made of old-school ink pads, the piece sold the same day we caught up with the artist while she was installing a two-decade retrospective exhibition of her work, Lynn Aldrich: Un/Common Objects, on view through January 2014 at the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery. The San Francisco gallery where Out of Ink was on display called to tell her that an East Coast collector had just purchased it.

The exhibition opens Friday, October 11 in celebration of ArtNight Pasadena. The opening night reception on Thursday, October 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., is free and open to the public. RSVP by sending a note to

Guest co-curators of Un/Common Objects are Christina Valentine, faculty member at Art Center College of Design and G. James Daichendt, Ed.D. associate dean and professor of art history at Azusa Pacific University.


LEAP Day 3: Tools and takeaways to activate social innovation career tracks

Monday, October 7th, 2013
by Wendy McNaughton

by Wendy McNaughton

This is the third in our three-part Dotted Line series covering “The New Professional Frontier in Design for Social Innovation: LEAP Symposium,” hosted by Art Center College of Design Sept. 19–21, 2013.

Overheard (Random quotes from the day)

  • “Fire it up.”
  • “This has been like a wonderful summer camp.”
  • “I can’t tell you how in awe I am of the amazing, creative people I have met.”
  • “You fired every synapse in my brain, especially those that have been dormant for the last three or four years.”
  • “The conversation has really progressed since I joined this field in 2009 and it’s been like amazing to be a part of this.”
  • “I love the word designer.  It’s sexy, it’s powerful and it’s dynamic just like me and that’s what’s important.”
Mind-blowing Ideation session at LEAP. Photograph by Terry Bond

Mind-blowing Ideation session at LEAP. Photograph by Teri Bond

Practical tools, next steps and taking action were the focus of the third and final day of the LEAP Symposium presented by Designmatters, the College’s social impact department. A key aim expressed by many attendees was to bring the valuable new tools they gained during the confab back to their home base organizations to help establish solid career pathways for young design talent and clarify the direct link between great design and success.

The last day was choreographed in three parts. First, working groups who had self-organized in to small thematic clusters, spent a few hours finalizing proposals that were later displayed on giant poster boards all around the student dining room, taking a page from grade school science fairs. Then, a spokesperson for each project pitched it to the larger group.


LEAP Symposium kicks off with a line-up of pioneers in design and social innovation

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


One hundred thought leaders and educators in design and innovation will converge at Art Center College of Design September 19–21 for the LEAP Symposium, a convening comprised of a series of focused conversations exploring new career pathways for designers in the emerging field of social innovation. For more information about LEAP, including participant photos and bios, please visit the newly launched website.

The weekend-long symposium was conceived and hosted by Mariana Amatullo, Vice President, Designmatters Department with a national braintrust that includes: Allan Chochinov, Chair Products of Design, School of Visual Arts and Partner, Core 77; Lee Davis, Scholar-in-Residence, Center for Social Design, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA); William Drenttel, Director, Winterhouse Institute and Edirorial Director, Design Observer and LEAP Symposium Editorial Director; Robert Fabricant, Vice President of Creative, frog; Jocelyn Wyatt, Co-Lead and Executive Director,

Portions of the event are open to students, faculty, staff and members of the public. Check out the schedule below. And if you can’t attend in person, you can also tune into the livestream of LEAP’s opening session and LunchTime Talks here.


Video toolbox: Branding = storytelling + what people want

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Moving Brands comes to Art Center (short cut) from Art Center College of Design on Vimeo.

Jim Bull reflects with some pride on the terror and exhilaration he felt taking a flying leap into the competitive creative marketplace, equipped with little more than a newly minted design degree, towering student loans and an audacious desire to reinvent the way thoughtful design can turn brands into cultural icons. Parachute definitely not included.

In the years since, Bull and his partners have turned Moving Brands into a global creative juggernaut at the leading edge of design innovation. Moving brands has built its reputation on combining a tech-savvy early adoption mindset with a very analogue approach to “designing and producing emotive experience” for a broad array of clients, including Nokia, Stella McCartney and HP.

Bull visited Art Center earlier this summer to shed some light on the most current best practices in the world of branding. The resulting lecture became an intensive clinic in concise storytelling, design thinking and developing a professional foothold in today’s rapidly evolving creative economy. Because Bull’s talk was jam-packed with vital information for anyone who makes regular stops at the crossroads of imagination and innovation, we created the above highlight reel to clue you in on the tricks of the branding trade.