Art Center president (and theater director) offers expert advice to creatives upping their presentation skills

by January 12th, 2015

In her autobiographical presentation, Alex Mon de la Guardia included an X-ray and a photograph of her back.

It’s a chilly Wednesday morning in late November, and it’s showtime for a dozen students in Petrula VrontikisCreative Presentations and Critiques class. Gathered in semi-darkness in the nearly empty Ahmanson Auditorium, they are joined by a few invited guests, among them Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman.

For their end-of-term critique, the 12 students will present 15 images for 15 seconds each—an abbreviated PechaKucha. Standing alone on stage and narrating their slideshows without a script, the students have all been given the same assignment, to trace their own individual journeys as artists and designers. For six of them, today is a rehearsal; for the rest, this presentation will be their final. Some are more nervous than others.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Designmatters student Adriana Crespo hones her human-centered design skills in Nigeria

by January 7th, 2015

Designmatters student Adriana Crespo

Designmatters student Adriana Crespo

This past summer, I was fortunate enough to be part of an incredible team of creative people with backgrounds in business design, interaction design, industrial design, engineering and writing, to mention a few. This multidisciplinary group of people make up IDEO.org, a non-profit born from design consultancy (IDEO).   IDEO.org saw the power and success of design thinking and human-centered design, and decided to apply these methodologies to solve pressing issues of poverty around the world.

Being a Designmatters Concentration student, I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to start exercising my design skills in the social impact field. My title of “graphic design intern” only partially describes all the tasks and challenges I was asked to take on.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Stave off back-to-school angst with the latest episodes of our Student/Space videos

by January 6th, 2015

Spring 2015 Orientation begins today. And while an Art Center initiation holds the potential to overwhelm and intimidate with its alphabet soup of acronyms (extra credit to any new student who can define ACCD, CSE,  JFK and LAT). Then there are those daunting tales of Art Center’s punishing workloads and cringe-inducing crits.

Of course, it’s worth noting that any challenges encountered here will not be experienced in vain. There is a method behind the madness. An Art Center education, above all else, instills a process-driven approach to the audacious act of bringing innovative and imaginative ideas to life.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Brace yourself for alum Winnie Cheung’s stylishly edgy Chrysler interiors

by January 5th, 2015

Trans alum Winnie Cheung named among Automotive News' 40 Under 40

Trans alum Winnie Cheung named among Automotive News’ 40 Under 40. (Image courtesy of Chrysler)

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

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

by 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.

Bookmark and Share

Art Center’s Alumni Awards span the Nissan Cube, Airbnb and camel convoys

by December 17th, 2014

Nissan's senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura (BS 81). Photo: Nissan

Nissan’s senior vice president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura (BS 81). Photo: Nissan

“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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

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

by 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.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

The redeeming power of Unlovable, a graphic novel by alumna Esther Pearl Watson

by December 15th, 2014

Behold the cover of Esther Pearl Watson's teen angst graphic novel

Behold the cover of Esther Pearl Watson’s teen angst graphic novel

“This is going to be the best summer ever…I know my hot guy is sitting on a couch or mat and wondering if some fine lady is dreaming about him,” muses Tammy Pierce, the unlucky underdog of Unlovable, a graphic novel series by Illustration alumna Esther Pearl Watson.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

The Ahh-inspiring evolution of Art Center’s Advertising program

by December 12th, 2014

It was a David and Goliath story. For real. At the El Segundo creative agency named for the ancient adversaries—with heavyweight clients including Kia, Vizio and the California Lottery—interns Abe Chuang and Sef Chang found out how fierce a deadline can be. After the two Art Center Advertising majors presented the chief creative officer (CCO) with what they thought were their best ideas for a 30-second TV spot for a new client, he sent them back to the drawing board. What they didn’t realize until later was that the CCO expected the team’s improved, round-two ideas before their next meeting that same day—giving them just 45 minutes’ notice.

It may have been by the seat of their pants, but Chuang and Chang managed to generate a proposal that David&Goliath chose to present to its client. “Nothing motivates like last-minute panic,” says Chuang. “Nowhere is that truer than in advertising.” He has no doubt his Art Center training is what prepared him to succeed in this impatient industry.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share