Category Archives: Transportation Design

ArtCenter Alumni Notes: November 2015 through January 2016

Diana Thater, A Cast of Falcons, 2008. Four video projectors, display computer, and two spotlights. Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. ©Diana Thater, photo ©Fredrik Nilsen

Diana Thater, A Cast of Falcons, 2008. Four video projectors, display computer, and two spotlights. Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. ©Diana Thater, photo ©Fredrik Nilsen

With the holidays behind us and election season upon us for the foreseeable future, this is the perfect time to divert our attention to the edifying pursuit of creative fulfillment. And what better way to do that than with this extra bulky edition of ArtCenter Alumni Notes.

NEWS

Guy Bove (BS 96 Product Design) was recently featured in a Tatler Magazine Hong Kong article about watch design. Hong Kong Tatler

Edward Eyth (BS 85 Product Design) was on a panel discussion for his concept designer work on Back to the Future Part II as part of the Toyota Mirai premier event. Toyota Newsroom

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A Holiday haul of ArtCenter alumni notes delivered to your digital doorstep

Frances Stark, Portrait of the Artist as a Full-on Bird, 2004, Collage on casein on canvas board. 20x24 in. RSC Contemporary, London. Photo by Marcus Leith.

Frances Stark, Portrait of the Artist as a Full-on Bird, 2004, Collage on casein on canvas board. 20×24 in. RSC Contemporary, London. Photo by Marcus Leith.

With the arrival of the holiday season comes a time for hot beverages and brightly-patterned sweaters; for giving and receiving, at work and at home. We’re excited kick off the next six weeks’ worth of non-stop merriment by presenting you with with an early gift in the form of the latest installment of ArtCenter alumni notes, which is teeming with impressive news and accomplishments, from book releases and public engagements to major exhibitions at the Hammer Museum and LACMA.

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Capturing Car Classic 2015: Visions of the Future

 

For more than 10 years, ArtCenter’s Car Classic event has examined automotive culture and vehicle architecture through the lens of design. More than just another high-profile car show, this popular public event celebrates the very best in automotive design, showcasing the College’s strong ties to industry and honoring many of our noteworthy alumni. Car Classic 2015 provided attendees an up-close-and-personal look at a carefully curated selection of innovative vehicles, rare automobiles and stunning concept cars.

For any unfortunate souls who couldn’t attend, or for attendees who’d like to relive the magic, we dispatched two wildly talented Photography students, Christopher Stoltz and Brookes Treidler, to capture the spirit of the day. Their photos exemplify the theme for this year’s show, “Visions of the Future”, and demonstrate that whether it’s yesterday’s dream of the flying car, today’s shared driving experience or tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles, artists and designers have been depicting the future of transportation design—and bringing it to life—for generations.

X-factor: Inside ArtCenter’s pipeline to Tesla’s Model X design team

Model X seems ideal for a road trip from Pasadena to Mammoth for skiing with ample seating for seven adults and all of their gear. Photo courtesy of Tesla.

Model X seems ideal for a road trip from Pasadena to Mammoth for skiing with ample seating for seven adults and all of their gear. Photo courtesy of Tesla.

On the eve of the highly anticipated release of Tesla’s Model X electric sports utility vehicle, ArtCenter alum Javier Verdura, director of Product Design at Tesla Motors, took a few minutes to chat with us about the many ArtCenter alums contributing to this pivotal team responsible for one of the most significant car releases in recent memory. From the top design post held by Franz von Holzhausen to the current crew of interns, ArtCenter alums were front and center in all aspects of the design process. So we seized this opportunity to explore the contours of the connection linking the hottest electric carmaker on the planet and our diverse community of sharp inventors and innovators. Continue reading

Transportation students journey to the year 2030 to see the future of cars. No time travel machine needed.

Kids who are five years old today might be happy to know that Art Center Transportation Design students are already thinking about the future of cars and what they’ll be driving in 2030.

And the designers are drawing inspiration from an unexpected source: the wonderful world of plastics.

It’s all part of a three-month long design project and competition called Design for Alpha, sponsored by plastic manufacturer SABIC. The project challenged students to come up with forward-thinking ideas for vehicles that anticipate the future driving needs of anyone born after 2010—dubbed Generation Alpha —and then find ways of using the plastics of today and tomorrow to meet those needs.

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Alumni video: Monster motorcycle mastermind Miguel Galluzzi on the future of two-wheeled transportation

Riding a motorcycle can be a near mystical experience. Under the right circumstances, a road warrior awakening can possess the potential to turn a wanderlust-y freedom seeker into a hardcore biker evangelist. For pioneering motorcycle designer Miguel Galluzzi (BFA 86 Transportation), that zeal took hold early on, when he received his first motorbike for his eighth birthday. Once overcame some initial disappointment—he was expecting a drum set—Galluzzi saddled up, hit the road and never looked back.

Galluzzi’s outsize passion for biking fueled his journey from his native Argentina to Art Center’s Transportation Design program and on to an illustrious career designing iconic motorcycles, including the Ducati Monster, the original “naked bike” which became a landmark of minimalist automotive design and defined the performance-based aesthetic of bike design for the decades that followed.

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Art Center students pave the road into the future of autonomous cars

First cars to travel The Arroyo Seco Parkway in 1940. Photo (detail): Los Angeles Public Library

First cars to travel The Arroyo Seco Parkway in 1940. Photo (detail): Los Angeles Public Library

In On the Road, Jack Kerouac wrote, “What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

But what does it mean when that “next crazy venture” is fueled by a set of algorithms?

As we’ve previously reported, the arrival of autonomous cars could very well usher in a new era of safer roads. But might the public be hesitant to hand over the keys of their vehicle–often seen as a bedrock American symbol of freedom–to Apple, Google or Uber?

“The promise of the automobile 100 years ago was being able to go anywhere, anytime,” says alumnus Stewart Reed (69), chair of Art Center’s transportation design programs. “This idea freed people from structuring their lives around stagecoach or train schedules and opened up a world of new experiences.”

What wasn’t the promise 100 years ago? Moving 11,700 vehicles an hour at peak times through the Sepulveda Pass. Continue reading

Move over, Siri, and let Nan Wang’s Cartner do the driving

Still from graduate Media Design Practices student Nan Wang's Cartner project.

Still from graduate Media Design Practices student Nan Wang’s Cartner project.

Earlier this week at its WWDC 2015 developer’s conference, Apple announced that iOS 9–the next iteration of its operating system for its iPhone and iPad devices–will include a beefed-up “proactive” version of its voice-driven Siri software that will anticipate user’s needs and deliver relevant information in a timely manner.

Cool stuff, right? Now imagine how such a human-computer interface might evolve. And imagine it in your car.

That’s precisely what graduate Media Design Practices (MDP) student Nan Wang envisioned last fall in a course entitled New Car Experiences.

In that studio course led by Associate Professor Ben Hooker, MDP students spent the entire 14-week term creating “video sketches”–polished visualizations intended to spark discussion–based on student research conducted during the previous term in a class also led by Hooker and his MDP colleague Professor Tim Durfee.

“We immersed ourselves in the current visions of the automotive future to find out how different industries think things are going to play out,” says Hooker, whose expertise lies in collaborations within the field of human-computer interaction, of the research that led to the video sketches. “It soon became apparent there wasn’t one clear view, and that there was space for fresh thinking in this arena.”

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Autonomous for the people: cars of the future will need to balance new features with safety

 

Still from Media Design Practices students Elaine Cheung’s Connected Mobility “video sketch.”

Still from Media Design Practices students Elaine Cheung’s and Shan Shen’s Connected Mobility.

Last week, Chevrolet announced that more than a dozen of its 2016 cars and trucks would be compatible with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, the tech giants’ competing in-dash interfaces for vehicles that connect to the driver’s smartphone.

Considering both CarPlay and Android Auto were only publicly announced last year, the speed of Chevrolet’s adoption of these interfaces could signal a sea change in how quickly automakers respond to consumers’ demands.

Geoff Wardle, executive director of Art Center’s graduate Transportation Systems and Design program, says Silicon Valley’s forays into the transportation arena have lit the proverbial fire under Detroit.

“Traditionally the car industry has designed vehicles over a three- to four-year time period,” says Wardle. “But people want the same features in their cars that they have on their smartphones, which change every few months.”

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Art Center alumni notes: Spring 2015

Alum Catherine Taft assistant curated America is Hard to See at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a show which features the work of alum Bill Wheelock

Alum Catherine Taft assistant curated America is Hard to See at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a show which features the work of alum Bill Wheelock

Spring has sprung for Art Center’s alumni community, which collectively bloomed with media attention and creative activity. Here we’ve gathered a bouquet sampling this group’s impressive undertakings.

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