Archive for the ‘Transportation Design’ Category

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

Friday, June 19th, 2015
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. (more…)

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

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
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

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

 

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

Tuesday, May 12th, 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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What is design? asks Transportation Systems and Design grad and Student Leadership Award recipient Russell Singer

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
Russell Singer

Russell Singer

Each term, Art Center has the great honor of presenting the Student Leadership Award to a graduating student. This award fulfills Art Center’s vision of educating artists and designers who are not only leaders within their professional fields, but leaders in their communities. Based on recommendations from faculty, staff and students, this award recognizes a student who has provided leadership through participation in Art Center’s campus life, community outreach, student organizations and department initiatives.

This past Saturday, Graduate Transportation Systems Design grad Russell Singer accepted Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Spring 2015 term. He then listed his thank yous and fired off a question that appeared so seemingly simple it almost appeared to be pandering the crowd gathered in the Pasadena Civic for Art Center’s Spring 2015 Graduation ceremony.

What is design?

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Furniture designers square off on Spike TV’s “Framework,” featuring Product Design alum Nolen Niu

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
Common, Nolen Niu, Brandon Gore. Image courtesy Spike TV.

Framework judges Common, Nolen Niu, Brandon Gore. Image courtesy Spike TV.

When a casting agent called Product Design alumnus Nolen Niu (BS 99) asking if he would be interested in participating as a judge on a Spike TV show, he said “Hell yeah!” A fan of such shows as Bar Rescue and Catch a Contractor, Niu didn’t even ask what the show was about before agreeing to participate. That enthusiasm, and his well-earned reputation as a furniture designer, landed him a stint as one of three judges on the furniture design reality competition, Framework, Spike TV’s newest reality show, where contestants vie to be named best furniture maker—and win a $100,000 prize. There is still time to binge watch the entire series online before the finale, which will air March 10th.

At first it was a bit surreal for Niu to see himself on TV and to get recognized at some of the most random places. Overall though, “[this] has been one of the best experiences I’ve had during my career as a designer, says Niu. “The opportunity to judge a competition and hold a position of authority related to design was an absolute honor.”

In tune with the current maker movement, Framework offers a glimpse into the process of creating handcrafted goods. “The design and build process is very analog in nature compared to the completely digital lifestyles that we live in today. It’s important that these shows continue to be produced since it shines light on the level of complexity of the work we as designers and makers perform,” notes Niu.

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January 2015 Art Center alumni notes

Friday, February 6th, 2015
Spike TV's Framework, a furniture design reality show, features Product Design alum, Nolan Niu as a judge

Spike TV’s Framework, a furniture design reality show, features Product Design alum, Nolan Niu as a judge

From Oxygen’s Street Art Throwdown to Spike TV’s Framework to the 2015 Academy Awards to Toyota’s MIRAI—Art Center alumni were featured across the media landscape, doling out expertise on art and design-based reality shows and creating inventive animation and futuristic vehicles. See the full scope of this month’s alumni accomplishments below.

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Brace yourself for alum Winnie Cheung’s stylishly edgy Chrysler interiors

Monday, January 5th, 2015
Trans alum Winnie Cheung named among Automotive News' 40 Under 40

Trans alum Winnie Cheung named among Automotive News’ 40 Under 40. (Image courtesy of Chrysler)

Car design prodigy Winnie Cheung—so dubbed by Automotive News in its 40 Under 40 list of the industry’s current crop of early achievers—is interior design manager for Chrysler Group headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The magazine likened the young titans who made the cut to the legendary Lee Iacocca who, at 36 in 1960, was the youngest vice president in Ford Motor history.

Cheung has come a long way since first entering Art Center as a Product Design major. Back then, she admits, the thought of drawing a car made her nauseous. But after her first assignment she fell in love with the mobility art form and transferred to Transportation Design.

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Art Center’s Alumni Awards span the Nissan Cube, Airbnb and camel convoys

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Nissan's senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura (BS 81). Photo: Nissan

Nissan’s senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura (BS 81). Photo: Nissan

“As much as this recognition sits well with me, it’s also a reflection of this institution,” said Banza Ltd. founder and Product Design alumnus Patrick Kiruki (BS 05) at the Fall 2014 graduation ceremony on December 13, as he accepted Art Center’s Alumni Award in the category of Outstanding Service. “Art Center embodies the true meaning of an education by allowing each and every student to excel in what fires them up every morning.”

Each year, Art Center presents a select group of alumni with the Art Center Alumni Award in a number of categories. This year the College awarded the Lifetime Achievement award to Transportation Design alumnus Shiro Nakamura (BS 81); the Young Alumni Innovator award to Product Design alumna Katie Dill (BS 07); and the Outstanding Service award to Kiruki.

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Art Center alumni notes: November 2014

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
Jesse Hazelip launches his first solo show, "Mark of Cain" at Known Gallery in Los Angeles.

Jesse Hazlip launches his first solo show, “Mark of Cain” at Known Gallery in Los Angeles.

Art Center alums wrapped up 2014 with a flurry of media attention and creative activity. Here’s a snapshot of their impressive undertakings.

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