Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Designmatters at Sustainable Summer School – Part 1

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015


In the first of Designmatters‘ three part Sustainable Summer School blog series, Product Design student and head of the ArtCenter EcoCouncil, Arotin Hartounian reflects on his time spent at the 7th annual summer school program in Western Germany.

authorphotoAt a 17th century monastery situated in a rural area of Western Germany, 28 students gathered for the 7th annual Sustainable Summer School. The summer school program is organized by a collaboration of the Ecosign Academy, Folkwang University of the Arts, and The Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy. The Designmatters Department at ArtCenter in partnership with the Provost’s office generously sponsored three students to attend this program. Most of the students were from Germany with one student each from Italy, Spain, and Austria. Janya, Daniel and I were the only students from the USA. Over the course of 7 days we lived and studied at the monastery with all the students and teachers. The students were divided into three workshops, each focusing on different ways design can initiate and support sustainable behavior in our daily life. (more…)

From Beirut to outer space: TEDxACCD shows big things start small

Friday, October 2nd, 2015
The crowd outside the Ahmanson Theater.

The crowd outside the Ahmanson Theater.

ArtCenter College of Design has red balloons on its roof, Hot Wheels are being handed out at the entrance and throngs of students eagerly wait in the hallway. This is not a child’s birthday party; it’s ArtCenter’s TEDxACCD – a unique event where alumni and faculty speak to students and guests about their specialties.  For over 25 years, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has provided a platform for some of the most cutting edge conversations of the day. As a world-class art and design school committed to learning to create and influence change, TED offers a natural compliment to our goals. (more…)

Signature move: Alum Laura Leiman’s Creative Identity project explores the power of the pen

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Laura Leiman's students learn carving techniques

Laura Leiman’s students learn carving techniques

“The signature is a singular fingerprint, original and distinctive to each person…and it is fast becoming extinct,” says Laura Leiman (BFA 99 Graphics), a graphic artist, student mentor and recent Regional Arts & Culture Council grant recipient, who has observed that most of her students printed their signatures with few distinguishing qualities. In fact, Leiman’s students’ signatures were often so similar, it it was hard to tell them apart.

Leiman noticed students were missing something key to individuality: the ability to communicate a written signature clearly yet uniquely as their own. Leiman’s Portland public school students wanted to learn cursive and calligraphy, neither of which is consistently taught. More importantly, students were eager to create identities uniquely their own—something they could use and develop through life.


ArtCenter at Night’s creative entrepreneurs deliver the ultimate roadmap to success

Monday, August 31st, 2015
JR Curley (left) and Jonas Kulikauskas co-teach Creative Intelligence at ArtCenter at Night.

JR Curley (left) and Jonas Kulikauskas co-teach Creative Intelligence at ArtCenter at Night.

“Let’s say you’re a designer and you want to make the new logo for a company a blue flower,” says artist, designer and ArtCenter at Night instructor Jonas Kulikauskas, throwing out a hypothetical scenario to explain what students enrolled in this Fall term’s upcoming Creative Intelligence course will be learning. “Okay, but why blue? And why a flower? Those decisions need to have a business rationale.”

Kulikauskas co-teaches Creative Intelligence with JR Curley, the creative director and founder of brand and strategy firm Panagram. The two worked together at multinational professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, where Curley was the overall leader of a national creative team of more than 100 employees and Kulikauskas was a leader on said team.

Together, the two have a bevy of experience explaining the business rationale behind their decisions. “We worked in a company with 40,000 corporate types,” says Kulikauskas about their internal clients. “They didn’t know how to speak our language. We had to speak their language.”


Doing well by doing good: ArtCenter students’ social impact innovations win big at 2015 IDEA awards

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Though the hum of activity in the halls and classrooms of Hillside and South campuses has temporarily lulled as we await the start of the Fall term, Summer 2015 has ended on a high note with this week’s news that ArtCenter students’ innovative prototypes and projects were honored by the prestigious Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) at the organization’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) in Seattle on August 22.


Influencing the influencers: Your essential guide to succeeding as an intrapreneur

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Errol Gerson courtesy of Laurel Johnson Photography

Errol Gerson courtesy of Laurel Johnson Photography

Not a day that goes by without an article on some great entrepreneurial success story. These pieces point to thriving digital giants like Airbnb, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, GoPro, DropBox, Uber. But in point of fact there are literally hundreds and hundreds of  entrepreneurial successes who might not have gone public for $X Billion, but are nonetheless responsible for creating jobs, revenue and spin-off opportunities and look-a-likes. But seldom do we hear of these. And they are virtually never interviewed on CNBC or anywhere else for that matter. Are these bright, energetic, hard-working companies any less successful than their mega counterparts?  My answer to that rhetorical question is a resounding no.


Fashion Forward: Photo student Daria Kobayashi Ritch scores professional shoots for Urban Outfitters and i-D

Friday, July 31st, 2015
Photography by Daria Kobayashi Ritch for Urban Outfitters

Photography by Daria Kobayashi Ritch.

Have you ever spent time at a retail job daydreaming about ascending to a role that calls upon your creative voice instead of those perky customer service pleasantries you’ve been trained to dole out?  Well, Daria Kobyashi Ritch is living that dream, going from a  sales associate job at Urban Outfitters to freelance gigs shooting fashion for their blog—while pursuing her Photography degree at ArtCenter. In the time since, the enterprising student has continued to create content for hipster clothing chain as well as shooting professionally for Nylon.

Ritch, whose mother also attended ArtCenter, discovered her passion for photography as a UCLA undergraduate student and transferred to ArtCenter to hone her craft. In the following Q&A, Ritch speaks about the role fashion plays in her photography and how her ArtCenter mentors have fueled her passion for her chosen field. As she gears up for her Fall 2015 graduation, Ritch reflects on her myriad influences —from magazines to cameras to up and coming photographers—as well as her ambitions to continue her work with major brands and fashion luminaries.


From punk rock cabaret to Cindy Sherman: Dahlia Schweitzer’s compelling narrative extends well beyond the page

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Alumna Dahlia Schweitzer, with her new book, Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer: Another Kind of Monster (Intellect, 2014). Photo by Ana J.

Alumna Dahlia Schweitzer, with her new book, Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer: Another Kind of Monster (Intellect, 2014). Photo by Ana J.

Peripatetic is one sure way to describe Dahlia Schweitzer. The Baton Rouge-born novelist, chanteuse and performance artist studied at Wesleyan University, lived and worked in New York and Berlin, and landed in Los Angeles some eight years ago to begin her studies at Art Center. “I was traveling around Europe doing a Dietrich-inspired punk rock cabaret show, but decided I wanted to focus more on my writing,” she recalls. “I was having a very tough time finding a graduate program that felt like a good fit. But Art Center faculty definitely understood and appreciated my interdisciplinary approach.”


Art Center’s Bob Kato traces the evolution of The Drawing Club, LA’s bastion of communal creativity

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
Alum and faculty member Bob Kato's new book explores The Drawing Club's role as a hotbed of communal creative expression

Alum and faculty member Bob Kato’s new book explores The Drawing Club’s role as a hotbed of communal creative expression

You may not have heard of The Drawing Club, but for anyone who is serious about the art and craft of character drawing, this enduring Los Angeles institution is both a hands-on weekly workshop and a creative community hub.


Design polymath Michael Sans immerses Bikini Berlin in a high-intensity trans-disciplinary experience

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
Michael Sans with Art Center students in Berlin

Michael Sans with Art Center students in Berlin

“Inspiring and helping each other goes both ways,” says Product Design alumnus Michael Sans of his engagement with students at Art Center Bikini Berlin, the College’s satellite studio where he is managing director.

Sans’ own education began at the workbench of his woodworker grandfather in a small German town on the Rhine. He apprenticed as a cabinetmaker, briefly studied architecture in Florence, and turned to product design when he entered the program at Art Center Europe in Switzerland—emerging forever shaped by its “professional approach, intense schedule, small classes and perfect facilities.”