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

by 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.

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All you need to know about the value of mixing business and design from Airbnb’s Katie Dill

by August 4th, 2015

Doreen Lorenzo: What do you think influenced your career path and becoming a designer?
Katie Dill: Growing up my sister and I were chopping wood, helping to build the extension on the house, taking down trees, driving cars when we were nine years old, and just playing outside in the Adirondacks, making things, like forts and whatever would come to us. And so it was very hands-on—if you see a problem, fix it. I think that kind of approach took me onto the design route, which is all about problem solving and making things.

I’d never even heard of the profession of design, outside of interior design. I studied history in college, because I wanted to know why things are the way they are, and graduated looking to try to understand my next step. While I was studying abroad in Florence I fell in love with architecture, so I started to explore that as a career, speaking to several different architects, trying to learn how they got into it and what they did. That’s when I realized it probably would not be a good profession for someone as impatient as me.

My roommate recommended I talk to industrial designers, and when I did, I realized it sounded like a dream job come true. I applied to school and was accepted at Art Center College of Design. I studied industrial design and did a study abroad at a business school, INSEAD in Singapore, and then did several internships that took me further into the business world.

I saw how MBA students would tackle problems a designer could tackle, but in a different way. And I saw their way of thinking versus our way of thinking, and how together we could do something really great. That energized me to unite the fields. Because it’s not enough to just imagine a beautiful thing. It’s all about: how does that thing fit in the larger ecosystem? What’s the impact going to be on the community? What’s the impact going to be on the business?

Later when I went to work at frog design, I came in as what they called a design analyst. And I started doing more interaction work, and more design strategy, leading design projects. And then from there, after five years at frog, I was leading teams and building teams. Now my design project at Airbnb in many ways is helping to design the team that creates all of our digital products.

To read more about Katie’s experiences transitioning from agency to corporate design work, managing change at Airbnb and her ever expanding definition of what it means to be a designer in today’s world, visit FastCoDesign.

 

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

by 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.

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Making experience is make-or-break for designers, says Art Center at Night instructor Jesse Ellico

by July 28th, 2015

Aerospace engineer Jesse Ellico teaches industrial design modeling at Art Center at Night.

“I get to fly airplanes and blow things up,” says Jesse Ellico, an aerospace engineer for Orbital ATK, when asked to describe his job. “It’s a little boy’s dream.”

The first thing Ellico tells students enrolled in his seven-week Introduction to Industrial Design Modeling workshop at Art Center at Night (ACN) is that they’re “going to make stuff and have fun.”

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Transportation students journey to the year 2030 to see the future of cars. No time travel machine needed.

by July 24th, 2015

Kids who are five years old today might be happy to know that Art Center Transportation Design students are already thinking about the future of cars and what they’ll be driving in 2030.

And the designers are drawing inspiration from an unexpected source: the wonderful world of plastics.

It’s all part of a three-month long design project and competition called Design for Alpha, sponsored by plastic manufacturer SABIC. The project challenged students to come up with forward-thinking ideas for vehicles that anticipate the future driving needs of anyone born after 2010—dubbed Generation Alpha —and then find ways of using the plastics of today and tomorrow to meet those needs.

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Extra! Extra! May-June Art Center alumni notes are hot off the press

by July 22nd, 2015

Laura Leiman's RAAC project

Laura Leiman’s RAAC project

Here’s your early summer bounty of Art Center alumni notes, news and happenings, best enjoyed with a cool beverage, under a shady tree on a breezy afternoon.

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Celebrating the ADA’s 25th birthday with a primer of inclusive design at Art Center

by July 21st, 2015

Kira Song's floatation vest for brain-injured athletes with limited motion.

Kira Song’s floatation vest for brain-injured athletes with limited motion.

As the nation prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, the community of makers at Art Center College of Design continues to innovate products and experiences that help improve the world for people who have essential life function limitations.

Since its founding 85 years ago, students, faculty and alumni have been making a difference through inclusive design by applying a human-centered theory to assistive products and experiences for populations challenged by issues of aging, race, gender, ability, chronic disease, psychological or developmental disorders, and more.

“We have a community of students who want to leverage their creativity to impact people’s lives,” said Product Design Chair Karen Hofmann (BS 97 Product) who has guided designers making significant contributions through rethinking how products can improve people’s lives for more than a decade. “That’s the most meaningful work designers can do.”

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Alumni video: Monster motorcycle mastermind Miguel Galluzzi on the future of two-wheeled transportation

by July 16th, 2015

Riding a motorcycle can be a near mystical experience. Under the right circumstances, a road warrior awakening can possess the potential to turn a wanderlust-y freedom seeker into a hardcore biker evangelist. For pioneering motorcycle designer Miguel Galluzzi (BFA 86 Transportation), that zeal took hold early on, when he received his first motorbike for his eighth birthday. Once overcame some initial disappointment—he was expecting a drum set—Galluzzi saddled up, hit the road and never looked back.

Galluzzi’s outsize passion for biking fueled his journey from his native Argentina to Art Center’s Transportation Design program and on to an illustrious career designing iconic motorcycles, including the Ducati Monster, the original “naked bike” which became a landmark of minimalist automotive design and defined the performance-based aesthetic of bike design for the decades that followed.

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Destination Ghana! Art Center students raise funds for ambitious documentary project.

by July 15th, 2015

We are The Next Level Brothers, D’Angelo and Martel McCornell, writer/director filmmakers from Cleveland, Ohio, currently studying Film at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. We will travel to Ghana to direct and film a documentary about the grand opening of the first international Gloria Pointer Teen Movement Education Center. We have known Yvonne Pointer, of Cleveland, since childhood. Ms. Pointer became a community activist after her daughter, Gloria, was raped and murdered in December 1984.

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Best summer job ever? American Apparel hires Film student Zak Marx to direct a slate of commercials

by July 14th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 2.59.35 PM

Current Film student, Zak Marx, between summer jobs for Nike and American Apparel. Photo by Photography and Imaging student, Christopher Stoltz.

Relevance is a loaded topic for anyone with creative aspirations. That goes double for members of the Instagram Generation seeking to forge a directing career on screens big or small. And multiply that to the power of three for anyone and everyone working in advertising.

The relevance of relevance certainly is not lost on Zak Marx, a current student in Art Center’s undergraduate Film Department who happens to qualify in all three of the above categories after scoring a coveted gig with American Apparel directing 12—count ‘em, 12!—commercial spots central to the brand’s image overhaul under its new CEO, Paula Schneider.

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