Tag Archives: 80th Anniversary

From a Block to a Tablet

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

It’s so exciting to see the new iPad editorial class break ground in Art Center’s Graphic Design Department. Take a look back to see how far have we come in 25 years with us, won’t you?

Art Center offered computer graphics courses beginning in the early 1980s, and a department was established in 1990.

In this photograph from 1986, students are seen in a computer graphics class.

Do you recognize the instructor or any of the students in the photograph? What was it like studying computer graphics in the 1980s?

To visit the Archives, or if you recognize anyone in the photo, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

The Limits of Control

Ask Art Center faculty and alumni what changes they think the next 80 years of art and design will bring, and you’ll get no shortage of compelling answers.

Autonomous cars! Augmented reality! Networked schools of fish! (No, I’m not making that last one up.)

David Erven, Dihedral Tile, detail (2008)

All topics worthy of in-depth exploration, but there’s one emerging trend that keeps kicking at the door. It’s a trend that appears across many disciplines and fulfills deep-seated human needs, ensuring it won’t be going away anytime soon.

This trend doesn’t have a name per se. It goes by many names: DIY (“Do it yourself”), hacking and open-source are just a few of its monikers. Whatever you call it, this trend represents a paradigm-shift for the creators of intellectual property.

It’s a trend where end-users are increasingly expecting more control over their products and experiences, and where creators are shifting from designing finished products to designing spaces where user-driven expression can occur.

And it’s a trend, which—although it has numerous historical antecedents—is about to explode thanks to both current technology and technology just around the bend.

Read more of this story at the DOT magazine website.

Reflecting Back at 80: A Department is Born

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

The year was 1931. Nevada legalized gambling. The Empire State building was completed. And Art Center created its Photography (now called Photography and Imaging) Department.

Pictured: Advanced Photography students shooting dancers outside, 1949 (photographer unknown)

Initially led by Will Connell, the department offered coursework in amateur and professional photography.

By 1935, there were 12 faculty members and in addition to the core classes, there were specialized courses in portraiture, color photography, 16mm cinematography, and composition and lighting.

Ansel Adams joined the growing program’s faculty in the early 1940s, joining such faculty members as Fred Archer, Otto Halmer, Edward Kaminski, Albert King and Charlie Potts.

In this photograph from 1949, advanced photography students are shooting dancers outside. Do you recognize anyone in the photo?

What are your memories of our Photography Department? To visit the Archives, or if you recognize anyone in the photo, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

Students Spend Presidents Day with the Presidents

ACSG President Erik Molano, left, and College president Lorne Buchman

Yesterday, Art Center Student Government (ACSG) hosted a “Meet the Presidents” event in the College’s cafeteria.

The event provided students an opportunity to hear directly from Art Center President Lorne Buchman and ACSG President Erik Molano on changes they could expect to see in the immediate future, and also offered them a sneak preview of Art Center’s new strategic plan, which will be presented to the College’s board of trustees later this week.

Over the next few days, we’ll provide highlights from the conversation.

Today: Lorne Buchman on changes at Art Center.

On funding scholarships and technology:

“Art Center delivers an education that is very expensive to deliver. It’s high in equipment, high in labor and there’s a lot of team teaching. The cost of educating each of you is actually greater than the tuition that is paid.

“A huge part of my job is to find the philanthropy and scholarships that are going to help with this, not only to cover the gap, but to be sensitive to the enormous financial commitment that you are making as students. I think about this all day. Sometimes I think about it all night.”

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Reflecting Back at 80: The Art Center Wives Club

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

Long before the Real Housewives invaded our televisions, there were the Art Center Wives.

Founded in 1956, the Art Center Wives Club was sponsored by the College to serve as a social and support group for the wives of the College’s male students.

Unidentified club members setting up the stage for skit about new students, circa 1966

Meeting monthly, the group had guest speakers, sponsored dances, picnics, talent shows and volunteered time to a variety of community organizations.

For most of the organization’s approximate 20-year history, it printed a monthly newsletter, The Breadwinners’ Review.

Shown are two images from the Art Center Wives Club collection from the Art Center Archives. Be sure to view the entire collection of photographs on the Archives Facebook page.

Do you recognize anyone in the photos? If you can help us identify anyone, or if you’d like to view the document collection in person, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

For more information about the Art Center College of Design Archives, including how you can donate or access materials, visit artcenter.edu/archives.

Unidentified members of the Art Center Wives club at a garden buffet dinner at the home of Elizabeth Franklin, 1963

Reflecting Back at 80: Alumni Faculty Look Back on 80 Years

Eighty years ago, Edward “Tink” Adams had a revolutionary idea for a school that would teach real-world skills to artists and designers. Even more radical: classes would be taught by working professionals, at the top of their respective fields.

Third Street campus, 1950

In 1930 the Art Center School opened its doors at West Seventh Street in Los Angeles, with just 12 instructors and eight students. Adams, a former advertising executive from Chicago, served as director. Since then, Art Center has changed its name, moved twice (to Third Street in 1947 and to Pasadena in 1976), maintained a satellite campus in Switzerland for 10 years and opened a second campus in downtown Pasadena in 2004. Today, the College boasts a student body of 1,500 and nearly 600 full- and part-time faculty members.

Over the decades, Art Center has been home to world-renown faculty including automotive designer Strother MacMinn TRAN ’35, illustrator Phil Hays ILLU ’55, lettering and logo designer Doyald Young ADVT ’55 and illustrator Barron Storey ILLU ’61.

As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, who better to ask about Art Center’s history than our faculty—in particular those who were students here before becoming instructors? What are their favorite memories of the College?

Read more: Looking Back on 80 Years

A Festive Look Back at Our Past

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

As we put the finishing touches on our 2010 holiday greeting—a beautiful motion design piece designed by Art Center students—we turn to our College archives to remember holiday cards from yesteryear.

Not surprisingly, Art Center’s holiday cards have always been quite unique and creative. The designs range from posters to origami to traditional cards to others that fold out in unusual dimensions.

The earliest Art Center card we have found was sent out in 1955. Some were made by students, others by alumni, and still others by faculty members. Product Design alumnus and former faculty member Kohei Eguchi designed many of cards from the 1980s that pop out like origami when opened.

Grab some eggnog and take a little trip through time with us, won’t you?

See the entire collection by appointment at the College Archives. Contact College Archivist Robert Dirig at robert.dirig@artcenter.edu or 626.396.2208 for more information.