Archive for the ‘Sustainability Initiatives’ Category

Art Center’s first Myspace occupation concludes. Prepare for phase 2!

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

We came. We saw. We influenced change as we learned to create.

Beginning last October, we enlisted four Art Center students to lead the charge in a week-long homepage takeover of the recently relaunched Myspace. The first-wave social network had reinvented itself as a community and breeding ground for artists and creative types of all stripes to exchange work, feedback and inspiration in the digital sphere. In other words, Myspace had become a sandbox custom-built for Art Center students and alums. And, as is our way, we came ready to play.

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Fall 2013 Grad Show: A master class in next-level design thinking and doing

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Top companies leading the innovation economy swarmed the Hillside campus scouting new talent during Fall 2013 Grad Show. Facebook, BMW, Snapchat and Square, creator of the revolutionary cube device that instantly transforms cell phones in to credit card machines, were all seeking the next wave of their creative workforce.

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Say Goodbye to the Old Paradigm. Here Comes the Next Generation of Design-Driven Startups

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Accelerator

Art Center  and Caltech today announced the launch of The Design Accelerator, an incubator aimed at helping startups grow by merging great design, cutting-edge technology and business strategy to create innovation. The Accelerator initially will be housed within Idealab, which is well known for creating and operating pioneering companies in its own right.

“In today’s economy, artists and designers play a vital role as creative leaders and catalysts for innovation and change,” said Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman. “Integrating technology, design and business, The Design Accelerator creates an opportunity for Art Center and Caltech alumni to expand on what they learned as students and provides a stimulating space for their concepts to become viable businesses.”

The Accelerator is an integral part of Art Center’s 2011–2016 Strategic Plan. Understanding students’ concerns about employment prospects following graduation, The Accelerator fills a critical gap by giving students and alumni the opportunity to develop their concepts into sustainable and commercial ventures—a bridge between academic and professional life.

Fred Farina, Caltech’s chief innovation officer, adds, “We know that making connections across different areas fuels innovation, and that’s why we’re excited about this collaboration. The combination of our complementary but very different perspectives in a startup team promises powerful results.”

The Design Accelerator benefits from its prime location in Pasadena, Calif., which has become a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship with vibrant creative, technology and business communities, enriched by the presence of Art Center, Caltech, angel investors and venture capitalists.

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Designmatters co-founder, Mariana Amatullo, adds a voice for socially conscious design to the Executive Board of Cumulus

Monday, June 24th, 2013
Mariana Amatullo

Designmatters’ Mariana Amatullo

The intersection of art, design and social impact lies at the future-facing frontier of the design world. This rapidly evolving multidisciplinary field continues to grow in size and stature thanks in no small part to the groundbreaking work of Mariana Amatullo, Vice President of Designmatters at Art Center. Amatullo recently expanded her reach as a leader in the field after being appointed to the Executive Board of Cumulus, the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media.

“As the official Art Center liaison to Cumulus for the last six years,” said Amatullo of her motivation to serve on the Executive Board, “I’ve been able to observe firsthand how effective the organization has been in creating dynamic collaborations among an expanding global network and community of educators and researchers, but also through cooperation with leading industry and key educational and professional networks such as for example, NASAD and AIGA in the US.”

Cumulus, the only global association to serve art and design education universities, has long supported and encouraged the movement to use design principles to advance positive social change. First on the organization’s list of ambitious goals is to support academic institutions of art, design and media in enhancing their contribution to society. Cumulus also works to foster dialogue and collaboration through its academic forum: biannual conferences hosted by member organizations provide a dynamic platform for international exchange, workshops and academic publishing.

Founded in 2000 with its Secretariat headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, at Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture, Cumulus has 198 member institutions in 48 countries. Art Center, which joined Cumulus in 2006, is one of only a dozen U.S. schools granted full membership.

As a member of the Executive Board, Amatullo will help develop policies, plan activities and manage the Association’s business affairs, in addition to implementing decisions made by Cumulus’ General Assembly.

“I am deeply honored to join the Cumulus board and a very dynamic group of international colleagues who share a profound dedication to cross-cultural discourse, innovation and research,” she said.   “Through my service, I will be seeking actionable pathways to advocate for the relevance of art and design education globally.  I am energized since I believe we are at an exciting crossroads in time for our field: we have the opportunity—and responsibility–to position the expertise of our universities as a potent source for new inquiry and agency in our contemporary world.”

Art Center Students Compete in WantedDesign’s International Water Challenge

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Can designers help solve the planet’s water crisis in just three days? That’s the question WantedDesign Challenge: Water Cycle aims to answer May 17–20 during New York Design Week.

WantedDesign

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Dieter Rams Urges Graduates Toward a Responsible Design Ethos

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Dieter Rams at Art Center

Dieter Rams receives an honorary doctorate of arts from Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman. He concluded his speech by invoking Gandhi’s admonition, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.”

“Tomorrow’s world will be designed by the design students of today — by you — and while this is a great opportunity, this is also a great challenge and a great responsibility,” Dieter Rams told graduating Art Center students during the 2013 Spring Graduation Ceremony on Sat., April 20.

Accepting an honorary doctorate of arts from Art Center, the legendary designer was introduced by Product Design Chair Karen Hofmann and delivered his speech in German, translated live by an English-language interpreter. Rams thoughtfully reflected on his past, sharing lessons gleaned over a long and influential career as a product designer and university professor, while voicing concerns about the future and stressing designers’ changing responsibility in a changing world.

“Today’s main challenges are the protection of the natural environment and overcoming mindless consumption,” he said, urging students toward “a design ethos that goes way beyond complacency and arbitrariness.”

He presented five essential dimensions of design, along with his “formula for sustainable production”: Less but better! Much, much less, and much, much better. He asserted that “Design is primarily an intellectual process. It’s a procedure and an approach to create innovation and new meaning.”

Following are highlights of Rams’ speech:

 

 

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TEDxYouth at Caltech: Brain Food

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

TEDxYouth served up generous helpings of Brain Food at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Among the cooks in the kitchen: Art Center Trustee Bill Gross; Professor and Director of Sustainability Initiatives Heidrun Mumper-Drumm; and Product Design alumna Mariana Prieto, who completed the Designmatters Concentration in Art and Design for Social Impact.

The day-long event took place January 19, 2013, and 8-minute videos of the talks were recently made available online. If you have an appetite for fresh ideas, watch!

A Perfect Storm of Opportunity: Bill Gross at TEDxYouth@Caltech

Bill Gross is a lifelong entrepreneur who has been starting companies since he was 12 years old. He has personally started more than 100 companies in the last 42 years, of which more than 40 have gone public or been acquired. Gross is the Founder and CEO of Idealab, a “company factory” based in Pasadena, which he started in 1996. Gross is credited with starting the first online business directory company with CitySearch, the first online car retailed with CarsDirect, the first paid search engine with Goto.com/Overture, and the longest-running technology incubator where he has been the creator of all these companies. A graduate of the California Institute of Technology, Gross currently serves on its Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Board of the Art Center College of Design, and more than 20 technology companies in California.

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Goodwill and Art Center embrace the upcycle lifestyle

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Art Center students, faculty and representatives from Goodwill of Orange County. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Last term, more than a dozen Art Center students in Goodwill: Upcycle Lifestyle—a transdisciplinary Designmatters studio led by the Environmental Design department—spent their summer redesigning the spatial experience for Goodwill of Orange County’s retail stores, with an eye towards social responsibility, environmental awareness and making a positive impact on the community.

The students’ challenge was two-fold:

First, they were assigned to use recycled materials—wood, computer parts, textiles and more, all of which were found in Goodwill’s stores, recycling, salvage and processing areas—to create a visual and tactile experience for shoppers that reflects Goodwill’s reuse and repurpose model. Hence, the name of the course: Upcycle Lifestyle.

Second, the students were tasked with leveraging Goodwill’s community-strengthening programs. Beyond offering guilt-free shopping opportunities (and bargains!) to consumers, the non-profit organization’s stores and donation sites also serve as training grounds to provide supportive work experience and on-the-job training.

Throughout the three-month project, the students gained experience in re-branding, upcycling, budgeting, repurposing, practical design applications and a deeper appreciation of Goodwill’s mission services.

Following multiple visits to Orange County Goodwill stores, the students split into five separate teams, developed concept drawings and materials studies, which culminated in a final in which they presented design boards, models, mock-ups and full-scale constructs to representatives from Goodwill.

How did they do? Visit the project’s page on the Designmatters website to find out.

Related:
Designmatters’ Safe Agua Peru wins Tech Award
WATCH: Art Center President Lorne Buchman talks conscious design
Designmatters Students Create Furniture for India’s Low Income Housing Residents

Innovative design in India topic at Live Talks

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

President Lorne Buchman, left, and Trustee and Idealab CEO Bill Gross at Live Talks

Art Center College of Design President Lorne Buchman and Idealab CEO and Art Center Trustee Bill Gross bonded over socially conscious design in India Thursday morning at Live Talks Business Forums, a one-hour conversation focused on innovation and design held in downtown Los Angeles.

Through WorldHaus, longtime entrepreneur Gross has ventured into creating eco-friendly, modular housing in more rural parts of India starting at $2,000. Buchman highlighted furniture created by a Designmatters student that features creative seating with storage for low-income city-dwellers in Bangalore.

“We have to go make a deal with that student and start that right away!” said Gross.

WorldHaus has the goal of adding 200 homes in India this year and increasing that number to 1 million houses by decade’s end. The for-profit company manufactures the structures for $1,800 and owners pay $200 down and $10 a month.

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Meet Product Design Graduate Jenn Kuca, Winner of the Summer 2012 Student Leadership Award

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Summer 2012 Student Leadership Award winner Jenn Kuca. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Each term, Art Center presents the Student Leadership Award to a deserving student from the College. The award is a distinguished honor granted to a graduating student who exemplifies leadership qualities and accomplishments that stand out above their peers.

“This person has been nothing short of outstanding,” said Dean of Students Jeffrey Hoffman when presenting the award to Product Design graduate Jenn Kuca at Saturday’s Summer 2012 Graduation. “From her very first term, she chose to be involved and to lead us all to a better place.”

During her first year at Art Center, Kuca became an officer of the student chapter of Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) (and later, its president), where she organized the first annual IDSA Clash, a mixer event that brought together design professionals and students from multiple Southern California colleges.

As president of EcoCouncil, she convinced the administration to formalize the College’s long-term commitment to an eco-friendly future by participating in the STARS/PALS sustainability programs. And as a student representative for the College’s Facility and Technology Committee, she helped strategize improvements to support Art Center’s long-term strategic plan and educational mission.

“And those are only the highlights,” said Hoffman, as he listed an impressive string of Kuca’s accomplishments as a student.

When Kuca took the stage, she shared with her peers some of the insight she gained about Art Center, design and life in general.

On the implicit challenge of Art Center:

“From my very first visit to Art Center, I’ve felt that the implicit challenge to do better and to rise above is what sets this school apart. When I became a student, I discovered the best part, which is that my fellow students had the same expectations of themselves and of me.”

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