Media Design Practices graduating students explore the contours of invisibility, visibility and spaces in-between

by April 27th, 2015

MDP graduate Jenny Rodenhouse's thesis explores the possibilities of opening test sites to the public. Photo: Chuck Spangler

MDP graduate Jenny Rodenhouse’s thesis explores the possibilities of opening test sites to the public. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Imagine a world where scientific test sites operate like amusement parks, where robots disperse through their environment like seeds in the wind, where algorithms understand and incorporate the nuances of human language, and where the invisible data surrounding us is transformed into navigable terrain.

No, that’s not a back cover synopsis of the latest William Gibson novel, but rather thesis projects by then Media Design Practices (MDP) MFA candidates Jenny Rodenhouse, Ji Won Jun and Marcus Guttenplan, respectively, which were recently presented in the Wind Tunnel as part of that graduate program’s thesis exhibtion.

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Pasadena unveils alum Catherine Menard’s Armenian Genocide Memorial

by April 24th, 2015

CM_stands_speaks

Saturday, April 18th, 2015, was a blistering hot day in Pasadena Memorial Park. But the day’s speakers and many in the crowd wore black to the unveiling of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial, designed by alum Catherine Menard (MFA 14 Environmental Design), whose teardrop concept for the monument was chosen as the winner in 2014 competition, launched by the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee. We caught up with Menard on this momentous occasion to hear how she approached the weight of commemorating the estimated 1.5 million victims who died during a campaign against Armenians and other Christian minorities beginning in 1915, as well as how the experience has changed her.

How did you learn about the competition?

I was asked by Professor James Meraz to join a studio that he created through Designmatters for the specific purpose of designing memorials that we would then submit to the competition.

 

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Alumni video: adidas Head of Innovation Al Van Noy on the intersection of design, footwear and pop culture

by April 23rd, 2015

Product Design alum Al Van Noy has spent the past twenty-four years devising adidas gear to make us stronger, faster, better and, yes, cooler. As the iconic athletic brand’s Head of Innovation, Van Noy oversees a large team of designers, technologists and sports scientists responsible for anticipating industry trends and creating products designed to serve a wide array of consumers’ needs and wants, ranging from high-performance footwear for professional athletes to a suite of classic and contemporary must-have kicks and sports accessories for everyone else. In other words, it’s Van Noy’s job to maintain and enhance the star power of those three stripes.

As Art Center’s Product Design department prepares to send another cohort of students to kick off its annual PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy Challenge, a two-week footwear design master class in adidas’ US home-base of Portland, Oregon, we’re proud to feature the above video tracing Van Noy’s steps from Pasadena to Portland and his ongoing journey into the stratosphere of footwear innovation.

 

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What is design? asks Transportation Systems and Design grad and Student Leadership Award recipient Russell Singer

by April 21st, 2015

Russell Singer

Russell Singer

Each term, Art Center has the great honor of presenting the Student Leadership Award to a graduating student. This award fulfills Art Center’s vision of educating artists and designers who are not only leaders within their professional fields, but leaders in their communities. Based on recommendations from faculty, staff and students, this award recognizes a student who has provided leadership through participation in Art Center’s campus life, community outreach, student organizations and department initiatives.

This past Saturday, Graduate Transportation Systems Design grad Russell Singer accepted Art Center’s Student Leadership Award for the Spring 2015 term. He then listed his thank yous and fired off a question that appeared so seemingly simple it almost appeared to be pandering the crowd gathered in the Pasadena Civic for Art Center’s Spring 2015 Graduation ceremony.

What is design?

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Onward and upward: Art Center’s Spring 2015 Grad Show

by April 20th, 2015

Bruno Gallardo shows off his Zero Motorcycle prototype to alum Miguel Galluzzi of Aprilia/Piaggio. Photo by Jennie Warren

Bruno Gallardo shows off his Zero Motorcycle prototype to alum Miguel Galluzzi of Aprilia/Piaggio.
Photo by Jennie Warren

A fresh crop of creatives, 205 strong graduated from Art Center this past weekend, ready to harvest and haul their skills to the marketplace. The first pages of these grads’ yet-to-be-told professional narratives could involve launching a start-up, diving into a new position at a high-profile agency or escaping on a global adventure to see the world and collect some inspiration in the wilderness instead of the concrete jungle.

We decided to check in with a few during Spring 2015 Grad Show—our annual recruitment open house.

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Product Design’s Shirley Rodriguez gets arthritic children playing

by April 16th, 2015

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” - Charles Eames

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 9.34.31 AMA chronic illness diagnosis is hard for anyone and children especially. So when undergraduate Product Design student Shirley Rodriguez learned that children could suffer debilitating arthritis, she was determined to design a solution to help ease their suffering.

Following Eames’ dictum, she created an elegant product to motivate children to exercise their joints, and help push arthritis into remission. The result is Monstas. Shirley is currently seeking angel investors and studying abroad with Art Center’s INSEAD program to acquire the business skills necessary turn Monstas into a reality. The project was designed at Art Center and is currently in competition at the James Dyson Foundation.

In her own words:

Monstas are interactive exercise toys for children with Juvenile Arthritis, they help strengthen the joints.

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Civic improvements: Spring 2015 Graduation claims a new location and starting time

by April 15th, 2015

Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

In February 1932, during the lowest ebb of the Great Depression, the new Pasadena Civic auditorium was dedicated “to the citizens of Pasadena, whose efforts and sacrifices have made the erection of this beautiful and useful building possible.” In the decades since its dedication, the Civic has seen millions of patrons from several generations of Southern Californians pass through its doors. As a home for ballet, symphony, popular music, musical comedy and television programs, the Civic has hosted a wide variety of special events.

On Saturday, April 18, 2014, the 2,997-seat auditorium will serve as the new venue for Art Center’s graduation ceremonies. The Spring 2015 graduating class will be the first Art Center cohort in a long time who will not face off against the elements—rain, sun, wind or cold—as they prepare to collect their diplomas. The gathering is at long last moving to a climate-controlled indoor home with permanent walls and floors. It is also conveniently centrally located between Art Center’s Hillside and South campuses.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:

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The Girl Effect Studio: Nike + Designmatters team up to equip teen girls for social change leadership

by April 13th, 2015

girl-effect_background

In the fall of 2014, Designmatters and Art Center’s Product Design Department collaborated with the Nike FoundationYale School of Management and fuseproject with the challenge of empowering and getting resources into the hands of adolescent girls living in poverty around the world. Student teams on both coasts built on existing everyday practices and developed social impact design ideas for income-generating and time-saving tools and techniques that are widely accessible, radically affordable and can be used intuitively by girls in diverse cultures all over the world.

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lynda.com acquired by LinkedIn: A billion-dollar idea, birthed at Art Center

by April 10th, 2015

Lynda Weinman's BOLD keynote, September 2014

Lynda Weinman at Art Center’s BOLD symposium for creative entrepreneurs, September 2014

As a faculty member at Art Center College of Design in the late 1980s and early ’90s, on a campus nestled in the hills above the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Lynda Weinman was trying to solve a simple problem. Her classes on digital media and motion graphics—computer design practices then in their infancy but in growing demand—were filled to overflowing. She wanted to make the popular classes accessible to more students, who at the time would literally camp out in the hallway to try and get in. And so she shifted the venue and began to teach 80 students at a time in an auditorium, rather than 15 at a time in a classroom. Soon after, she and her company co-founder, Art Center alumnus and Trustee Bruce Heavin (BFA 1993 Illustration), launched lynda.com to begin offering video recordings of her lectures, distributed first on VHS tapes, then DVDs, and with the arrival of the internet, online. Together the couple evolved lynda.com from its original concept as a free web resource for Weinman’s students, to a site for her books on Web design, to a respected and ever-expanding online training library now offering thousands of courses.

In what Weinman has described as a “20-year overnight success” story, lynda.com has become an industry leader in online learning, and this week the company was acquired by social media giant LinkedIn for $1.5 billion. It’s LinkedIn’s largest deal ever, and for Weinman and Heavin, it means extending their reach to an even larger global audience of creative and business professionals.

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Alumna Marisa Howenstine’s “film in a frame” images nab prestigious Graphis honors

by April 9th, 2015

Girl with Curious Hair. Photo: Marisa Howenstine.

Girl with Curious Hair. Photo: Marisa Howenstine.

Marisa Howenstine (BFA 10 Photography) has had a great run the past two years with three images selected by Graphis for its prestigious Photography Annual, this year grabbing a Gold for “Ecce Homo: Behold the Man” and a Silver for “Modern Nature” and last year earning a Silver for “Murder of Crows.” The Dotted Line took this opportunity to catch up with her and find out a little more about this artist and her work.

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