Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Product Design’s Shirley Rodriguez gets arthritic children playing

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” - Charles Eames

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.34.31 AMA chronic illness diagnosis is hard for anyone and children especially. So when undergraduate Product Design student Shirley Rodriguez learned that children could suffer debilitating arthritis, she was determined to design a solution to help ease their suffering.

Following Eames’ dictum, she created an elegant product to motivate children to exercise their joints, and help push arthritis into remission. The result is Monstas. Shirley is currently seeking angel investors and studying abroad with Art Center’s INSEAD program to acquire the business skills necessary turn Monstas into a reality. The project was designed at Art Center and is currently in competition at the Dyson Foundation.

In her own words:

Monstas are interactive exercise toys for children with Juvenile Arthritis, they help strengthen the joints.

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The Girl Effect Studio: Nike + Designmatters team up to equip teen girls for social change leadership

Monday, April 13th, 2015

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In the fall of 2014, Designmatters and Art Center’s Product Design Department collaborated with the Nike FoundationYale School of Management and fuseproject with the challenge of empowering and getting resources into the hands of adolescent girls living in poverty around the world. Student teams on both coasts built on existing everyday practices and developed social impact design ideas for income-generating and time-saving tools and techniques that are widely accessible, radically affordable and can be used intuitively by girls in diverse cultures all over the world.

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Andrea Santizo: Pulling the Strand on view

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

PortraitThis Friday, April 10th, from 7pm – 9pm, an opening reception will be held for Andrea Santizo’s senior show, Pulling the Strand.

The work ranges in scale and media, from large wooden and wool wall pieces that encompass the viewer, to small copper and salt sculptures that could fit in a child’s hand. Her hybrid objects blend artistic and craft traditions with personal and art historical references. The result is a generous and inviting array of objects that want to shift when you grasp at them but linger in your mind long after the encounter.

In her own words:

As far back as I can remember, there has been a clash between my cultural background and the transplanted American culture in which I was raised. I find myself pushing together what is considered valuable art histories of: frames, prescribed minimalist shapes, drawing and painting, up to traditional textile, fiber, and domestic objects that lack validity within the same art worlds structure in which the formerly mentioned genres reside. In order to form a dynamic exhibition that allows for a critical viewing of such histories, traditions, and acceptable forms of high art, and in doing so directly confronting the polarized art histories and blatant appropriation of traditionally “female” shapes and practices, and questioning the exclusion of craft into the realm of “fine art.”

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Alumni from across the country gather to celebrate the life of graphic designer Doug “Big Dog” Oliver

Friday, April 3rd, 2015
Graphic Design Doug "Big Dog" Oliver passed away in December 2014.

Graphic Design Doug “Big Dog” Oliver passed away in December 2014. Photo courtesy of Kyle Oliver.

Ask anybody who knew Graphic Design alumnus Doug Oliver (BFA 78) to describe the late designer’s personality and you’re likely to hear “larger than life.”

That reputation rang true last month when approximately 60 individuals—friends, family, colleagues and Art Center alumni—gathered on March 19 at Lithographix in Hawthorne, California for an informal celebration of the man’s life.

The Kansas-born Oliver, who passed away last December at the age of 63, left an indelible mark in the graphic design world. The annual reports he designed for institutions like the W.M. Keck Foundation and Northrop Grumman transformed potentially laborious information into exquisite works that captured the reader’s imagination.

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Forget smartwatches, Art Center students imagine a world of tech-fueled superpowers

Friday, March 27th, 2015
Giselle Guo and Zhihan Ying's App Couture project. Photos: Juan Posada

Giselle Guo’s and Zhihan Ying’s App Couture project. Photos: Juan Posada

We have less than a month to go before the Apple Watch either launches wearables into the stratosphere or delegates the product category to the 21st-century equivalent of a Tamagotchi.

Well, okay, it’s actually not that simple. In fact, numerous signs over the past five years point to long-term interest in the field: Fitbit’s popular activity tracker, first released in 2009, continues to sell well; Pebble, which shattered Kickstarter records in 2012 to fund the creation of the first ever smartwatch, is gaining praise for its latest crowd-funded iteration; and last June, LG and Samsung released smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear operating system, and companies like Sony, Asus and Huawei have since followed suit.

But for years now, Art Center students have been looking beyond activity trackers and smartwatches and instead exploring a myriad of future possibilities for wearables.

Last week at SXSW, Media Design Practices (MDP) alumnus Sangli Li (MFA 15) took home an Interactive Innovation Award in the Student Innovation category for Expressive Wearable, his stylish and high-tech headgear that expresses its wearer’s attitude. Li created this project, which Fast Company described as “a Steampunk take on Kentucky Derby fashion” for the MDP course Wearable Ecologies co-taught by Professor Phil van Allen.

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Art Center Dialogues: Dede Gardner on leadership in Hollywood

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

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“Leaders in art, film, business and design practices, our speakers have changed both the questions we ask and the solutions we might find when it comes to thinking about 21st-century culture,” says Humanities and Sciences (H&S) Chair Jane McFadden, who curates the series, Art Center Dialogues.  The most recent speaker was Dede Gardner. Her long list of producing credits in film and television include award winners such as Tree of Life and 12 Years a Slave, as well as box office smashes World War Z and Eat Pray Love. As President of Plan B, (Brad Pitt’s production company), she has overseen the creation of dozens of films with some of the industry’s top talent.

The auditorium was at capacity with students eager to participate in the Q & A, followed by a screening of the Academy Award nominated Selma, her most recent project. Gardner was on campus to talk about leadership, and much to the pleasure of the crowd, a little insider gossip. When an audience member asked if she was able to speak about Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe project she said, “Yes, do you have eighteen million dollars?” Or, when a student inquired if she would do everything the same again, starting over as a 16 year-old, she quipped, “Can I start at 36, instead?”

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Student/Space: Kristina Ortega—Media Design Practices, Episode 2

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

In our first episode with Media Design Practices student Kristina Ortega she was just beginning her investigation into the human micro biome. In this episode we learn about her recent deployment of bacteria covered cheerleaders in a Los Angeles cul-de-sac and her strategies for reimagining civic health.

What is Student/Space?

We identify three students from different disciplines who are in the process of completing an ambitious project. Over the course of the term we work with them to create three videos capturing the launch, obstacles and completion of their finished work of art and/or design. At the end of the term, each student’s trio of episodes constitutes an intimate take on the agony and ecstasy of bringing an idea to life.

Video by Grad Film student Tatyana Kim

Grad Film alum Elran Ofir conjures a slot in Cannes Short Film Corner

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

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Spring brings the arrival of many things. Swans pursue the thawing lakes in the north. Leaves return to barren trees. And film moguls descend on the white beaches of Cannes for premiers and deal making. This year, alum Elran Ofir (Grad Film 14), will be one of the fortunate few whose film will be included in the Cannes Short Film Corner, a special section for filmmakers to gain access to industry meetings, workshops and conferences on strategic issues.

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Saturday High “Comic Book Illustration” students develop their voice, one panel at a time

Monday, March 16th, 2015
Student work from Saturday High's "Comic Book Illustration" class.

Student work from Saturday High’s Comic Book Illustration class.

It may be fashionable these days to take shots at movies based on comic books—Hello, Mr. Eastwood!—but contrary to popular belief, comic books are not a single genre. Rather, they are a visual storytelling medium that has evolved over hundreds of years.

Today, comics are used to tell all kinds of stories—everything from coming-of-age dramas like Craig Thompson’s Blankets to the wartime journalism of Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde.

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Dispatches from the future of design thinking: MDP’s Faculty Work-in-Progress show

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

MDP Faculty Work-in-Progress Show. Video by Nick Meehan from MediaDesignPractices on Vimeo.

“Being part of a community that provides support and critique is important,” said Media Design Practices (MDP) Chair Anne Burdick as she kicked off the department’s first ever Faculty Work-in-Progress show on a recent Thursday evening in Art Center’s Wind Tunnel gallery space. “It’s really a super amazing gift.”

As the MFA program’s twelve faculty members’ presentations unfolded over the next two hours, it quickly became clear that Burdick was not overstating the rewards of her department’s commitment to open dialogue. The event, which Burdick hopes will become a regular piece of programming, was organized around the following theme: a piece of something bigger. Faculty responded to that imperative with a series short presentations of unfinished projects they’re cultivating in their private creative practices.

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