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.
Archive for the ‘Transportation Design’ Category
What is design? asks Transportation Systems and Design grad and Student Leadership Award recipient Russell SingerTuesday, April 21st, 2015
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?
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.
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.
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.
“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.
As we prepare to celebrate Richard Pietruska’s remarkable accomplishment of 40 years as an instructor at Art Center, we are receiving numerous notes and images from his former students expressing their appreciation for his impact on their lives and careers. I just received a particularly heartfelt and personal email from our alumnus Chris Bangle.
As you may know, Chris is one of our most notable Transportation Design alumni who has had an amazing career (still in progress) – first, as a designer for Opel, then Fiat, then a long and distinguished career leading the BMW global design team.
I greatly value Chris’ authentic and kind words about Richard, which are undoubtedly echoed by many.
– Stewart Reed, Chair of Transportation Design
Four authentic, full-scale Batmobiles will roll onto the field at Art Center’s Street to Screen: Car Classic 2014 event this Sunday. Exploring the impact transportation and entertainment design has had on Hollywood and the entertainment industry—on camera, on the road and behind the scenes—this year’s Bat-tastic concours confab will host a critical mass of the caped crusader’s legendary vehicles.
Art Center’s ties to the Dark Knight extend well beyond transportation. Entertainment Design Chair Tim Flattery designed the Batmobile Val Kilmer used in the 1994 film Batman Forever. Alumnus Harald Belker (BS Transportation Design 90) created the 1997 Batmobile George Clooney drove in Batman and Robin and Illustration Chair Ann Field worked on character design for Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy in that same movie. Alumnus Zack Snyder (BFA Film 89) has added the great detective to his latest Superman epic, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, scheduled to be released in 2016. And who owns Batman/DC Comics? None other than Warner Bros., led by Trustee Greg Silverman, who reigns as its President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production.