Tag Archives: Apple

Autonomous for the people: cars of the future will need to balance new features with safety


Still from Media Design Practices students Elaine Cheung’s Connected Mobility “video sketch.”

Still from Media Design Practices students Elaine Cheung’s and Shan Shen’s Connected Mobility.

Last week, Chevrolet announced that more than a dozen of its 2016 cars and trucks would be compatible with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, the tech giants’ competing in-dash interfaces for vehicles that connect to the driver’s smartphone.

Considering both CarPlay and Android Auto were only publicly announced last year, the speed of Chevrolet’s adoption of these interfaces could signal a sea change in how quickly automakers respond to consumers’ demands.

Geoff Wardle, executive director of Art Center’s graduate Transportation Systems and Design program, says Silicon Valley’s forays into the transportation arena have lit the proverbial fire under Detroit.

“Traditionally the car industry has designed vehicles over a three- to four-year time period,” says Wardle. “But people want the same features in their cars that they have on their smartphones, which change every few months.”

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Advertising adds to its deep bench of heavy hitting faculty

Jason Nitti

Jason Nitti

Let’s start the fall by congratulating all of our 2014 award winners. We had a stated mission to win in the major award shows this year, and we did.  Most importantly, we’re beginning to do better work overall. And that, in the long run, will only lead to more awards, better internships, first jobs and more successful careers.

Below is a link to a full list of all of our winners and the awards they’ve won. And again congratulations. It’s a great start. But I’m a greedy guy. And I won’t be happy until we run the table.  That will require more and better entries in more shows, which will lead to more finalists and, ultimately, more hardware.

Here’s to next year.

To that end, we’re adding even more new instructors. They have not only been there and done that; but they’re still doing it every day. They’ve all done plenty of award-winning work at great agencies, and for the clients we admire most: Apple, Nike, Converse, Pepsi, Lexus, Target, Levi’s and more.

Combined with the strong group of teachers we already have, I think it’s safe to say that we have the finest staff the department has ever had, and one that is unmatched at the schools with which we compete.

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Close encounters of the Mac Pro kind

Mac Pros at 870

Like a fleet of alien spacecraft, over 50 new Mac Pros have landed at 870, melded with the network and firmly attached to new Wacom Cintiq touchscreen monitors. To the delight of Illustration and Fine Art students, these strange new digital organisms have taken root and are ready to start turning out some serious teraflops (1 Trillion floating-point operations per second)!

The new Mac Pro has been eagerly anticipated since its announcement last year at The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC); and it represents the next wave in desktop computing, boasting dual GPUs, PCIe flash storage, high-performance Thunderbolt 2 peripheral connectivity, new-generation Xeon processors, ultrafast memory, and support for up to three (count ‘em, 3) 4K monitors (That’s… ehem… over 24 million pixels at up to 60 frames per second = over 1 Billion pixels per second).

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Dieter Rams Urges Graduates Toward a Responsible Design Ethos

Dieter Rams at Art Center

Dieter Rams receives an honorary doctorate of arts from Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman. He concluded his speech by invoking Gandhi’s admonition, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.”

“Tomorrow’s world will be designed by the design students of today — by you — and while this is a great opportunity, this is also a great challenge and a great responsibility,” Dieter Rams told graduating Art Center students during the 2013 Spring Graduation Ceremony on Sat., April 20.

Accepting an honorary doctorate of arts from Art Center, the legendary designer was introduced by Product Design Chair Karen Hofmann and delivered his speech in German, translated live by an English-language interpreter. Rams thoughtfully reflected on his past, sharing lessons gleaned over a long and influential career as a product designer and university professor, while voicing concerns about the future and stressing designers’ changing responsibility in a changing world.

“Today’s main challenges are the protection of the natural environment and overcoming mindless consumption,” he said, urging students toward “a design ethos that goes way beyond complacency and arbitrariness.”

He presented five essential dimensions of design, along with his “formula for sustainable production”: Less but better! Much, much less, and much, much better. He asserted that “Design is primarily an intellectual process. It’s a procedure and an approach to create innovation and new meaning.”

Following are highlights of Rams’ speech:



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Dieter Rams to Receive Art Center Honorary Doctorate Degree

Art Center will award legendary designer Dieter Rams an Honorary Doctorate Degree on Sat., April 20 at 4pm at its Spring Term 2013 Graduation. The event is free and open to the public. As chief of design at Braun from 1961 until retiring in 1997, Rams was responsible for innovative design in radios, watches, record players, coffee makers, shavers and other objects that continue to influence functionality and aesthetic in today’s products.

Dieter Rams

Legendary designer Dieter Rams, Braun Chief of Design.

Generations of designers have been inspired by Rams’ work. Apple design chief Jonathan Ive said Apple products could be seen as homage to Rams, who created “surfaces that were without apology, bold, pure, perfectly proportioned, coherent and effortless.”

Art Center student Andrew Kim, who is graduating this year and has been hired to work at Microsoft, said in an article about Art Center and Rams in the March/April issue of Pasadena Magazine that “every child needs a superhero to look up to, and he has been mine.”

In 1980 Rams asked himself: “Is my design good design?” His famous list of “10 principles for good design” values design that is simple, harmonious and timeless. On his tenth principle, Rams said, “Good design is as little design as possible: less, but better, because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials.”

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When Apple Talks iPhone, the World Listens

Recent Graphic Design graduate Megan Potter presents her iPad magazine "Abyss."

Whether they’re augmenting reality, designing interactive magazines and newspapers, or creating apps that blur the distinction between games and art, many of Art Center’s students and alumni will be paying close attention to Apple’s iPhone announcement this morning.

What changes are in store for the ubiquitous smartphone? Rumors swirling around the Internet suggest Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook will unveil everything from a larger screen size to voice control software to compatibility with the latest LTE networks.

Regardless of what surprises emerge from Cupertino during today’s event, one things for certain: people will notice.

What are you hoping to see from Apple today?

And for those of you who can’t wait for today’s announcement, there’s a video after the break to keep you busy until 10 a.m. rolls around.

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Stop the Presses: Students Dive Head First into Editorial for the iPad

It’s hard to believe the iPad has only been with us for a little over a year. The now ubiquitous device debuted last April and sold three million units in 80 days, making it the then-fastest selling device of all time. The publishing world quickly took notice and recently began publishing iPad-specific publications. Virgin CEO Richard Branson’s magazine Project was the first such publication out of the gate last December, and this February Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation launched its iPad-only newspaper The Daily.

Sensing a shift in the industry, Nik Hafermaas, Chair of Art Center’s Graphic Design Department, sat down with instructor Carla Barr to discuss the possibility of creating an iPad design class. Barr, who has taught Editorial Design extensively, saw an opportunity to bring her area of expertise and this new technology together and suggested creating an iPad Editorial class.

“Students a few years ago had very mixed feelings towards interactive media,” says Nik Hafermaas, who thinks this class, along with classes like MediaTecture and this coming term’s augmented reality studio—sponsored by LAYAR and co-taught by writer Bruce Sterling—fall into the burgeoning arena of transmedia design and are important steps for where Art Center students needs to be headed conceptually. “Now students are aware of the ubiquitous nature of these tools,” he says. “They’re starting to enjoy using them, and see that somebody needs to design the content.”

The experimental class—whose test run took place last term and which is being offered again Summer Term—attracted the attention of two education specialists from Apple, one who visited the class and another, according to Barr, who said there was no other class he knew of focusing on editorial for the iPad.

We recently chatted with iPad Editorial instructor Barr and two students who took the class, Graphic Design majors Megan Potter (who graduated last month) and Jinsub Shin about their experience and digital publications.

Carla Barr, Instructor

Dotted Line: Who took this class?
Carla Barr: Surprisingly, everybody in the class was part of the graphics print area of emphasis. They were sixth, seventh and eighth term students whose last interactive class had been early in their Art Center education.

Dotted Line: What kind of work did they do in class?
They created their own magazines and newspapers. I wanted them to come up with the content, rather than give them an assignment. So they came back with concepts and I had them cover the walls during the second week with their ideas.

Dotted Line: Each student created a magazine?
A sample of a magazine. They had to create a minimum of three articles, a table of contents, a cover and two covers for future issues. And there had to be interactivity and motion in each story. This was also an editorial class, so I taught them the structure of a publication, use of typography, imagery and sequencing.

Although the content would end up on an iPad, I still had to make sure they understood the fundamentals and everything my editorial students from the past would have to learn.

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