Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

Gardner_Dotted_V2

“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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Has alum Chris Do helped reinvent the music video with the interactive design for the Coldplay hit, “Ink?”

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The spotlight of attention and adulation trained on the new interactive video for Coldplay’s latest hit, “Ink,” has been nothing short of, well…blinding. Appropriately enough, this ambitious and innovative multimedia project sprung from Blind, the transmedia design agency founded by Art Center alum Chris Do.

The evolution of the video is fascinatingly chronicled in the above making-of video as well as the following Fast Company blog post by Evie Nagy. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this video’s customized storytelling experience in the comments section below. Is this a novel fluke? Or have we just witnessed the future of all music videos? Discuss!

In November, pop-rock titans Coldplay released a gorgeous and engaging interactive video for “Ink,” a single from their chart-topping 2014 album Ghost Stories. The animated clip, developed by Los Angeles design agency Blind, is a choose-your-own-adventure-style story about a lost traveler given multiple opportunities to chase his elusive lover or go his own way. In all, there are more than 300 possible paths and stories a viewer can experience.

In the new behind-the-scenes video, members of Blind’s creative staff describe the two-month process of conceiving and creating the video, which uses a technology called Treehouse that was developed by New York company Interlude. Treehouse is the same technology that Bob Dylan used last year to create the interactive video for his 1965 classic “Like A Rolling Stone.” That video allowed users to click among 60 fake television shows of various genres, all dubbed with the song.

“The most challenging part of all of this was figuring out how to fully take advantage of the interactive medium,” says director Matthew Encina. “We had to create a story with inherently interesting choices to make, engaging viewers to wonder, ‘What would happen if I chose something else?’”

You can experience the “Ink” video here.

Art Center Dialogues: Catalyzing Creativity, Criticality and Community

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
Valerie Casey, head of Samsung's Innovation Accelerator, delivers the opening lecture in the Spring 2015 Art Center Dialogues series

Valerie Casey, head of the Samsung Accelerator, delivers the opening lecture in the Spring 2015 Art Center Dialogues series on February 4, 7 p.m.

Spring term brings the next exciting installment in a long-running annual lecture series endowed by the Toyota Motor Company. This year, Art Center Dialogues highlights influential leaders in creative fields and also explores what leading creatively means.

Confirmed speakers include Valerie Casey, head of the Samsung Accelerator; Helen Molesworth, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; Harriet Rubin, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and author, consultant and lecturer on leadership trends; Dede Gardner, President of Plan B Entertainment and producer of the films 12 Years A Slave, The Normal Heart and Selma; and Jessica Yellin, former Chief White House correspondent for CNN.

“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. “We have invited them to inspire thoughtful discussion and broaden perspectives by engaging with our community across a variety of educational platforms, including lectures, panel discussions, workshops and collaborative endeavors.”

The Art Center Dialogues series kicks off February 4. Schedule and location details are at the bottom of this post. Admission is free and open to the public and to our campus community, and reservations are not required.

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Holiday card video: Watch the Gift Maker box spread the seasonal joys of reciprocity

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

A collection of Art Center artists created this video to remind us all that making and giving are the gifts that keep on giving. Happy holidays and may you return from the winter break feeling fulfilled and renewed.

On fueling creativity with kindness (not Red Bull): Student Leadership Award winner Fernando Olmedo

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
Entertainment Design student Fernando Daniel Olmedo won the Fall 2014 Student Leadership Award.

Student Leadership Award winner Fernando Olmedo. Photo: Chuck Spangler

“Something I always made a point to do as I walked through the halls was to smile,” said graduating Entertainment Design student Fernando Olmedo, during his acceptance speech at this past Saturday’s graduation ceremony for Art Center’s annual Student Leadership Award. “No matter how tired I was, I made sure that I looked in people’s eyes and smiled.”

“And something pretty remarkable always happened when I smiled,” continued Olmedo, who was selected among several candidates for the Fall 2014 award by a committee of students, faculty and staff. “For this brief moment, there was this connection, this energy, this spark that came from somewhere deep inside … It worked better than coffee and Red Bull.”

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