7 inspiring and delightful nuggets of ArtCenter wisdom from the 2015 Core77 conference

by October 30th, 2015

Alumna Jessie Kawata speaks at the Core77 conference.

Alumna Jessie Kawata speaks at the Core77 conference.

Core77’s second annual conference came to town last week and set up shop in downtown Los Angeles at Vibiana, the former cathedral now event space, which Core77 called “an architectural gem” and touted as a venue that once hosted a concert by Snoop Dogg (“If it’s good enough for Snoop, it’s good enough for us.”).

It was also good enough for seven members of the ArtCenter community who appeared on stage at the conference, whose theme was Designing Here/Now, and who delighted and inspired the packed audience with “thought-provoking ideas and projects that are years ahead of schedule.”

Appearing on stage were: alumni Nadine Schelbert, Matthew Manos, Jessie Kawata, and Javier Verdura, the latter appearing in conversation with Transportation Design faculty Eric Noble; Advertising and Graphic Design faculty Nicole Jacek; and former faculty Ravi Sawhney.

For your own inspiration and delight, we’ve assembled seven of our favorite ArtCentric quotes from the stage:

“Water has its own will. When you design with it you have to develop an understanding for that will. You can never truly control it, but you can entice it to behave a certain way.”

Nadine Schelbert (BS 02 Environmental Design)
Director of Design, WET

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Capturing Car Classic 2015: Visions of the Future

by October 28th, 2015


For more than 10 years, ArtCenter’s Car Classic event has examined automotive culture and vehicle architecture through the lens of design. More than just another high-profile car show, this popular public event celebrates the very best in automotive design, showcasing the College’s strong ties to industry and honoring many of our noteworthy alumni. Car Classic 2015 provided attendees an up-close-and-personal look at a carefully curated selection of innovative vehicles, rare automobiles and stunning concept cars.

For any unfortunate souls who couldn’t attend, or for attendees who’d like to relive the magic, we dispatched two wildly talented Photography students, Christopher Stoltz and Brookes Treidler, to capture the spirit of the day. Their photos exemplify the theme for this year’s show, “Visions of the Future”, and demonstrate that whether it’s yesterday’s dream of the flying car, today’s shared driving experience or tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles, artists and designers have been depicting the future of transportation design—and bringing it to life—for generations.

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BOO! It’s another ghoulish Halloween at ArtCenter

by October 27th, 2015

We wanted to know: What are your greatest fears? Lets hope it isn’t a fear of 600 million pounds of candy, sexy halloween costumes and halloween themed blog posts from your alma mater – because all of the above are as unavoidable as death and midterms. A lot has changed since the Irish origins of “All Hallows’ Eve”, when martyrs, saints and lost relatives were celebrated in the light of turnip lanterns. We hope you enjoy your tricks and treats but remember what one of your fellow students says in the video, “Fear is just a biological process that makes us more aware of situations.”

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Food for Thought: GradID alums Anuja Joshi and Geetika Agrawal design a local solution to global wanderlust

by October 22nd, 2015

Food for Thought founders Geetika Agrawal and Anuja Joshi

Food for Thought founders Geetika Agrawal and Anuja Joshi

Impresario is not often listed among the careers available to industrial designers. Then again, neither is chef, host or community organizer. But combine all those roles under the umbrella of entrepreneurial problem solving and you have the makings for a successful startup deeply rooted in ArtCenter’s Graduate Industrial Design (GradId) curriculum.

Food for Thought, the brainchild of Anuja Joshi (MS 09 GradID) and Geetika Agrawal (MS 04 GradID), is a digital portal curating events around the globe hosted by local cooks offering a menu of their favorite recipes. The result: a local solution to lonely planet ennui in the form of dinner parties satisfying a universal desire for community, good food and the wonder of discovery unique to exotic travel—minus the cost of airfare and lodging.

Not surprisingly, Food for Thought, has found some serious traction with wanderlusty foodies and adventurous flocking to events worldwide. Case in point: At the most recent gathering in Lisbon, Portugal, Manuel Nascimiento whipped up some of his favorite African-inflected dishes from his childhood for a sold out crowd.

Joshi and Agrawal’s traveling dinner party may not make it Pasadena for quite some time. So we tracked them down to answer a few questions about the origins of their intimate gatherings and their unorthodox approach to industrial design.

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In the zone at Yosemite: A photography class hits the road

by October 20th, 2015

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El Capitan on left. Oliver at the Eureka Valley Sand Dunes on right.

Ansel Adams famously taught at ArtCenter in the 1940’s and invented Zone Theory with Fred Archer while at the school. Peter Suszynski is still teaching their timeless concept, and offering students the unique opportunity to visit and photograph Yosemite National Park – a favorite haunt of Adams and the ideal place to put his theory to the test. The assignment for the class is to create six unique but cohesive images. It is a difficult project but Pete’s guidance and the Zone Theory system make it possible. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pop-Up sensor salon co-creator Kristina Ortega nails wearables job at Intel

by October 15th, 2015



Kristina Ortega and Jenny Rodenhouse offer a new twist on functional nail art using digital sensors which enable users to interact with their environment in new ways.

A few days after celebrating the completion of earning her graduate degree in Media Design Practices, Kristina L. Ortega (MFA 15), swiftly packed up her life in Southern California and moved to Portland to begin a new career chapter with Intel’s New Devices group as a wearables user experience designer.

“Our goal is to launch designers who will question the world or view the world differently, imagine needs and products which may not exist for another 10 or 20 years into the future,” said Anne Burdick, chair of Art Center’s Graduate Media Design Practices (MDP) Department.

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Totally MAX’d Out: Adobe debuts showstopping digital design tools, Fujifilm partnership amid pyrotechnic razzle-dazzle

by October 13th, 2015

Like conventioneers to the swag table, over 7,000 creative professionals from the four corners of the globe descended on the Los Angeles Convention Center last week for Adobe MAX 2015, Abobe’s annual celebration of creativity and their amazing tools that help designers turn imagination into reality.

This year’s theme “Changing the World Through Digital Experiences” resonates well with Art Center’ ethos of changing the world through design—design made possible in large part by Adobe’s ever-widening, ever-more-powerful line up of creative software.  Indeed, many of the greatest changes that design will enable in the coming years will likely involve Adobe’s Creative Cloud at some point in the creative process.

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CHANGE/MAKERS video: Alum Kimberly Marte’s colors shine at Tesla Motors

by October 9th, 2015

Environmental Design alum Kimberly Marte has worked on quiet a few impressive cars since graduating from ArtCenter. As the Senior Lead Designer for Color and Materials at Tesla Motors she worked as a member of the team that researched and designed the feel and color the iconic Model S. It is a car, and a company, known for its attention to detail. She contributes to the color options, both interior and exterior, anything you touch, such as the plastics, metals, resins, fibers, fabrics, leathers and grains. Her insight into consumers preferences comes from staying ahead of trends and researching what is happening in multiple disciplines from fashion, to interior design. She talked with us about the unique working environment at Tesla and the difficulties and rewards of being a female in the automotive business.

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Where urban and digital realms merge, the post-geographic city emerges

by October 7th, 2015

Everything, On Time (2015) by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker (with Jenny Rodenhouse), "a testing ground for what the city is, and perhaps will be."

Everything, On Time (2015) by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker is “a testing ground for what the city is, and perhaps will be.” Image courtesy Tim Dufee and Ben Hooker

This Friday is ArtNight, a twice-a-year event in which Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions—including ArtCenter College of Design—swing open their doors for a free evening of art, music and entertainment.

In addition to attending a celebration for the opening night of the College’s street art exhibition OUTSIDEIN, visitors to ArtCenter’s South Campus will have a unique opportunity to see in the Wind Tunnel Gallery a preview of Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, an exhibition from ArtCenter’s Media Design Practices (MDP) program which will be installed at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture this December in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Curated by MDP’s Professor Tim Durfee and faculty Mimi ZeigerNow, There explores “what is now and where is there” in today’s reality in which “urban and digital realms are inextricably linked” by presenting a selection of screen-based works, objects and texts that “develop, explore and visualize a city not tied to any physical locality.”

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Designmatters at Sustainable Summer School – Part 1

by 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. Read the rest of this entry »

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