Category Archives: Uncategorized

ArtCenter Library Celebrates Zine Month


July is International Zine Month, and to celebrate, ArtCenter’s library is presenting a series of events promoting its circulating zine collection, which is very rare among libraries, and showcasing zines created by ArtCenter students and alumni. The library is hosting  pop-up zine libraries throughout the month, a zine reading party and an exhibition in the library featuring risograph zines by Never Press (a printing company run by ArtCenter alumni and featuring many alumni works). There will also be a button making workshop on Monday July 31st from 12-2pm at the South Campus Library.

Alums and faculty from Google, NASA, Fiat, Sony Share Survival Tools and Strategies for Success in Tech and Design

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For designers, who often create structure out of chaos, it is critical to establish a common language across a variety of disciplines and have a strong point of view. Leaders, many who work in male dominated fields, reinforced those points at ArtCenter’s Women in Industrial Design Forum on July 15. Women designers from Nike, Airbnb, Sony, Mattel, MIT Media Lab, Google and Snap gathered on campus to share wisdom from the trenches.

“Being opinionated and having a point of view is even more important when working in a male dominated industry because you’ll get a lot of no’s and people talking over you but you have to push past that and not be personally offended by those obstacles,” said Angie Park (BS 2011), who is a hybrid UX researcher at Sony in San Francisco.

When asked “Why do you keep redesigning our product?” by a colleague, Sara Ortloff Khoury (MFA 1992), user experience design director at Google, responded by explaining the iterative process, reflecting a core principle of design thinking particularly relevant to the tech industry: everything can be upgraded into a new and improved product, app, service or device. Khoury lead the design on Google’s recently launched Hire, a new service that helps businesses more effectively manage their internal recruiting process.

“It’s a life long endeavor,” said Angie Park. “A large part of what we do is educate coworkers and clients, champion the idea of design thinking.”

“Engineers think of you as an afterthought,” said Kristina Marrero (BS 2014), colors, materials and finish (CMF) designer at Snap Inc., who makes it a point of educating more people about her field to make products more successful.

While it’s easy to obsess over whether or not you play up your femininity or play it down and what in the room is working against you, the consensus among attendees was that working in a male dominated field, it is important to find a support system, be strong, fight for your point of view and be yourself.

“Don’t be afraid to speak loudly,” said Jenn Kuca (BS 2012), senior strategic designer, BCG Digital Ventures. “When people are talking over you, speak louder.”

When asked if there is a way to approach the design research process that is enhanced by being a woman, panelists agreed women are better collaborators, more empathetic especially in awkward situations, and more detail oriented in their observations, generally speaking, than men.

Some projects are male driven and it’s obvious based on the output, said Angie Park. “You can’t design well if the team is not diversified, it can’t be only female driven either.” Diversity among voices represented by gender and ethnicity, they agreed, is most important.

“I was inspired to pursue a leadership position at Nike when I realized there were no women in senior positions at the organization,” said Marni Gerber (BS 1985), ArtCenter faculty and senior design director at Nike. She created a group within the footwear leader to focus on constructive changes to the corporate culture and be a safe place for women with the purpose of helping senior leaders become more supportive of women. She urged audience members to have many mentors, not just one.

Khoury said while it’s hard to bear witness to gender bias, we must stop thinking about the fairness issue because effort doesn’t know gender. “At the end of the day, I’m judged by my effort.” She encouraged the audience to read Angela Lee Duckworth’s writing about the power of passion and perseverance.

Panelists encouraged women to approach job qualifications as wish lists not check lists because, they said research shows women tend to only seek jobs they’re 100 percent prepared for and men pursue positions they’re only 60 percent prepared for.

Mariana Prieto (BS 2012), a design innovation consultant, summed up the day by saying you’re never too young or too old to be a mentor or a mentee, there’s always someone on either side to learn from and when you help others, you learn a ton. Follow your intuition she urged, because once you take the first step the next will follow.

Photo student makes the most out of study abroad opportunity

Photo courtesy of Maribel Barcena, from her summer travels

Photo courtesy of Maribel Barcena, from her summer travels

Maribel Barcena is a fourth-term student who took the study away course Berlin: A City as Portrait in the Spring term. Wanting to take advantage of her time in Europe after the class ended, Barcena had asked around to see what opportunities were available.

She got an assist from Ken Marchionno, one of our instructors and her Fine Art Photography teacher. Marchionno connected Barcena with the director of ArtMill, a non-profit near Prague, and Barcena is now starting her internship there, where she is setting up a darkroom for the mill and helping install a show about migration.

Because she had some time to kill between the Berlin class and starting at ArtMill, Barcenaasked the director if she knew of other opportunities, and as it turned out, they knew of two. The director helped Maribel land internships at ArtMap and Fotograf Gallery, a bookstore and gallery, respectively, both located in Prague. Her jobs varied from photographing books and events, to shooting some still life for the new issue of the magazine.

It looks like Barcena’s love for travel and eagerness to gain work experience have helped her land a pretty awesome summer.

Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Announces the HMCT 2017 Educator Grant Awards

blogThe Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography announced the recipients of the 2017 HMCT Educator Grants today. The HMCT Educator Grants invest in the professional and personal enrichment of ArtCenter faculty members to support research, workshops, seminars, conferences and other activities which augment their knowledge and benefit their teaching. Grant recipients are asked to investigate new opportunities and ideas in the area of language and typography, and to grow as creative artists, designers and educators. In turn, faculty members bring new and refreshed knowledge and experiences back into ArtCenter’s academic community, which enhances the quality of their teaching.

Educator Grants were awarded to the following faculty members:

  • Christina Aumann (Graphic Design): to produce letterpress printed specimen broadsides and a PDF booklet of the Archetype Press wood type collection
  • River Jukes-Hudson & Dante Carlos (Graphic Design): to produce a website and annotated digital image collection for Design Atlas, an online educational tool for teachers, students, and designers
  • Eva Forgacs (Humanities and Sciences): to present an academic research paper at the international conference on Russian Western Art at the University of Venice, Italy
  • Greg Lindy (Graphic Design): to attend the 2017 ATypI conference in Montreal, Quebec; and to develop the transitional serif family typeface, currently called “Burlington”
  • John David O’Brien (Integrated Studies): to create an artist book prototype with the poetry of Laura Mullen

Alum Antoinette Adams Gives Back to Fine Art Students and Alumni

AntoinetteAdamsforBlogAntoinette Adams is the first to admit she’s not your typical art student. Just before her 50th birthday, she made a life-changing decision to go back to school as soon as her youngest child was old enough to drive. The bold choice to enroll at ArtCenter seemed an impossible dream after a long career as an attorney.

With trepidation based on the 20-year plus age gap between her and fellow Fine Art majors, she persevered and happily established lasting bonds with a close-knit family of artists.

Forever moved by the thrill of stepping onto campus and the encouraging, yet brutally honest, community of artists she’s now firmly a part of, Adams is giving back to the college that changed her life forever. She recently donated $50,000 to fund scholarships and Study Away travel expenses for an annual art sojourn to Berlin, Germany.

“We’re grateful to Antoinette for this generous gift to help our talented current students cover their educational expenses as well as provide vital support to recent alumni with the launch of their careers as working artists,” said Tom Knechtel, chair of the undergraduate Fine Art department at ArtCenter College of Design.

The gift from Adams, who graduated with her degree in Fine Art in 2015, is set to fund two new programs that will benefit enrolled students and recent alumni of the Fine Art department. Adams is a resident of downtown Los Angeles and also has a home in Berlin.

Kicking off this fall (2017), the Antoinette Adams Alumni Award will provide a recipient with studio space in ArtCenter’s 35,000 square foot building at 870 South Raymond Avenue, a thriving collaborative nucleus for the visual arts. The alumnus, to be selected by faculty, will receive a $2,000 stipend for two 14-week terms. Additionally, the chosen individual, who will have been out of college for at least two years and no longer than 10, will curate an exhibition of student work, help seniors prepare solo shows and present a talk about their own work.

“We anticipate that when alumni with life experience come to work in our studios alongside current students, they’ll engage in useful conversations about life after ArtCenter,” said Knechtel.

The gift is also set to provide travel stipends to make a Berlin trip possible for several students and alumni through the College’s robust Study Away program. During the excursion, students and alumni will have the opportunity to experience the depth and excitement of the museums, galleries and cultural life of Berlin. Covering expenses such as airfare and museum passes will be a tremendous relief for ten artists in the Fine Arts community. Adams plans to host both “welcome” and “farewell” dinners for the group at her home in Berlin.

Spring issue of Dot magazine available on campus

DotMag for blogThe Spring 2017 issue of Dot magazine is now available. You can find copies at various locations around campus including the Library, CSE, the DCO, the Faculty Lounge, the President’s office and the Provost’s office. Magazines are also available at the security desk of each building. Dot magazine is published by ArtCenter’s Department of Marketing and Communications. Stories are published online throughout the year, and a print edition comes out twice a year. 

ArtCenter is a community of bold imagination and innovative spirit, and the creative contributions of our alumni faculty and students inspire pride and energize our growth. As the College’s flagship publication, Dot magazine explores and celebrates their far-reaching influence within professional disciplines and on culture and society as a whole. The magazine’s wide readership includes alumni and donors; corporate and foundation supporters; industry, educational and cultural partner; and local officials.

What follows is President Lorne Buchman’s introduction to this issue.

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” That bit of dialogue from Casablanca, spoken by Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine to Claude Rains’ Captain Renault, is perhaps the most famous final line in cinematic history.

As you peruse this issue, you’ll encounter similarly recognizable works by ArtCenter alumni that have become part of our national, if not international, cultural fabric—from the silhouetted surfers of John Van Hamersveld’s Endless Summer poster, to the brightly hued world Kendal Cronkhite created for last year’s animated Trolls, to Ignacio Gomez’s striking poster for Zoot Suit, featuring El Pachuco looming large over Los Angeles.

Looking through this issue you’ll also discover work by several alums that have recently reached out to us. For example, the mesmerizing photomontage featured on the cover was sent to us by Wing Chan via Untold Stories, our website where all our alumni friends can share, in their own words, their stories and latest projects.

Additionally, much of the work highlighted in the 4 x 4 gallery—from Ranee Henderson’s highly textured painted portraits to Nora Shields’ mind-bending, site-specific sculptures—first appeared on our website’s Alumni Now page, a digital destination featuring timely updates from our graduates.

We couldn’t be happier with all the stories you’ve been sending our way, and it’s truly an honor to share them with both our community and to a wider audience.

Another collaborative project we’re proud to share with you in this issue is Create Change 2.0, ArtCenter’s strategic plan for the next five years. The plan was unanimously and enthusiastically approved by the Board of Trustees this past October and officially adopted earlier this year.

A natural extension of Create Change 1.0, the new plan focuses on how the College creates value for its students while realizing its mission. The plan was a major undertaking—assembling thoughtful input from multiple voices across ArtCenter over a period of 18 months—but the results are compelling and promise to have positive ramifications well into the future.

So sit back, enjoy this issue, and keep those submissions coming! Because, as Rick Blaine might put it, without your stories this crazy world wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans.


ArtCenter Launches Minor in Social Innovation

DesignmattersMinorBeginning this summer, students will be able to enroll in a new minor in Social Innovation, through the popular Designmatters department. The move is in response to an increased demand for the specialization among undergraduate students for mastery in skills and competencies to work in public and private sector organizations where the strategic role of design is increasingly being valued.

“It is very meaningful to satisfy the demand for this dynamic curriculum and meet the needs of our impressive students who are passionate about social innovation and dedicated to making a positive difference on society locally and globally,” said Mariana Amatullo, Ph.D., co-founder and vice president, Designmatters Department.

“Design for social innovation represents a vivid domain of human knowledge that ignites a boundless sense of possibility about a brighter future,” Amatullo continued. “By implementing a minor in the field, we provide students with a specialized toolkit of skills based on experiential learning gained by tackling real-world, real-time issues that highlight the role of art and design in catalyzing social-innovation outcomes.”

Candidates for the minor are students who crave the mastery of multidisciplinary skills and the collaborative mindset needed to propel innovation at such prestigious companies and organizations as UNICEF, IBM, Samsung and many more.

Examples of award-winning work conceived by students excelling in design for social innovation include:

· Environmental Design student Alvin Oei travels this month to Santiago, Chile to implement his concept for a children’s burn clinic to guide patients and their families through an improved treatment and healing experience. Oei’s The Healing Tree, is a result of his participation in ArtCenter’s Designmatters Safe Niños transdisciplinary studio with COANIQUEM, a world leader in the rehabilitation of pediatric burn victims.

· Safe Agua is a multi-year design and research initiative that has yielded a number of innovative products and services created by ArtCenter students to help families overcome water poverty in Chile, Peru and Colombia.

· Es Tiempo is a multi-faceted communications campaign, in partnership with the USC Keck School of Medicine and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, to raise awareness and support for the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer among Latinas living in Los Angeles.

· Flo developed for young girls in third world countries dealing with the challenges of menstruation without proper sanitary products, is the result of the ArtCenter Designmatters’ Girl Effect studio. The collaboration with Yale School of Management was based on field research from Fuseproject and Nike Foundation.

· Where’s Daryl is a violence and gun prevention teacher-toolkit created in collaboration the Los Angeles Unified School District and designed to serve a diverse population of at-risk youth.

Initially, the minor will be offered in six departments that have a significant population of students with interest in the specialization. Those departments are Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Product Design, Environmental Design, Illustration and Fine Art. Students from other majors will be able to apply on a case-by-case basis.

The minor formalizes and expands upon an existing Designmatters concentration launched in 2010. The new specialization offers students a curriculum comprised of 21 units designed to be completed within the time typically required to obtain a degree.

Students seeking the minor will enroll in a mix of studio courses, transdisciplinary studio requirements and courses in the Humanities and Sciences.

Designmatters recently published the collective wisdom of 84 game changers in the field of social innovation in a new book. LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways for Designers in Social Innovation is the first publication of its kind to present a comprehensive overview of new professional pathways to successful and meaningful careers as experienced first-hand by a who’s who of respected thought leaders (practitioners, researchers and educators) who are making seminal contributions to the field.

This week at ArtCenter

DroneTuesday, March 28, 2017

11:30 am: DJI Drone Demo featuring Claudio Miranda, ASC (LIFE OF PI)
Los Angeles Times Media Center, Hillside Campus

Join esteemed cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC as he demos the latest in drone and gimbal technology from DJI. Mr.

DJI will hold a flying demo featuring an assortment of their drones in the sculpture garden at 12:15pm, immediately after Mr. Miranda’s talk.

This event is open to the entire ArtCenter community!

7:30 pm: Graduate Seminar Lecture Series: Jan Tumlir presents Mathias Poledna
Los Angeles Times Media Center, Hillside Campus

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

12:00–1:00 pm: Yoga
Sinclaire Pavilion (Room 201 if raining or excessively cold), Hillside Campus

Free and open to the entire ArtCenter community. Mats are available for checkout in the CSE office.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

1:00–2:00 pm: Yoga
Building Lobby or Room 101, 870 Building, South Campus

Mats are available for checkout in the CSE at Hillside.

Friday, March 31, 2017

4:00–­­6:00 pm: ArtCenter Student Government Meeting
Room 201, Hillside Campus

Knowledge is power: A Transportation Design student’s journey from Zimbabwe to ArtCenter


This story first appeared in Dot magazine.

One day, when then 6-year-old future Transportation Design student Thokozani Mabena was playing with friends in the shanty town where he grew up, in authoritarian-ruled Zimbabwe, he was drawn to a magazine he spotted near some trash bins.

Poring through the magazine, Mabena saw an article showcasing a Japanese designer who conceptualized the Nissan Z sports car. The article also featured a big, round, bright orange dot. Mabena didn’t know, during that pivotal moment of curiosity, that the dot represented ArtCenter, but he instinctively liked the article’s gorgeously vivid car design sketches.

“I’ve been sketching since I was 3. I was like, ‘Wow, maybe this is something I could do one day!’ and I just stored the thought in my memory bank,” said Mabena. “I didn’t know what a classic car was. I knew public transportation. I rode in carriages, pulled by a donkey. One time I rode an actual bull. Sometimes we had to walk long distances. Sometimes we took a truck with an open bed, and stood for hours. We rode bicycles, and in trains, buses, and then cars.”

Three decades after first seeing that ArtCenter dot, Mabena—who came to the United States in 2006 as a refugee—is now set to graduate this term, and will debut his ArtCenter Grad Show thesis project Airbnb-GO on April 20.

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Faculty Council announces Spring Teaching Advancement Awards


On Friday, March 17, the Faculty Council announced the 2017 Spring Teaching Advancement Award recipients. Teaching Advancement Awards offer faculty the opportunity to receive up to $1,000 to support a range of activities that enhance their knowledge as an educator and benefit students in classrooms and studios. A total of $3,000 is available to be disbursed each term to successful applicants for research, conferences, workshops, exhibitions and related travel expenses that are not covered by departmental classroom support.

The Spring 2017 recipients are:

Faculty Council will be accepting applications for Summer 2017 TAA grants early in the Summer Term. All faculty are encouraged to apply. Please contact for more information.