Alumni Wakako Takagi (BS 06) and Fridolin “Frido” Beisert (MS 08) say “If you can make it through Art Center together as a couple you are pretty much bonded for the rest of your life.” Photo by Max Wanger.
Art Center’s reputation as a creative proving ground doesn’t exactly evoke images of artistic ardor, sunset strolls or even longing looks among the library stacks. But, as the saying goes: love is stronger than hate, war…or, in this case, work-weary creative determination. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that Art Center’s bridge has also served a figurative function, fostering deep and durable connections among more than a few alumni who have tied the knot.
So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re taking a closer look at the elements unique to couples who survived three years of Art Center’s intense maker bootcamp of high-standards and brutal crits and successfully applied the iterative process to love.
Product Design alumnus Kenji Ekuan (BS 57), second from right, arrives in the United States in the 1950s.
In the latest issue of Dot magazine, we take a look at Art Center College of Design’s long history—nearly 60 years—of connections to Asia. Take a trip with us through time and across the Pacific as we look back in history and forward to the future. Today, we explore the College’s historic relationship with Japan.
In 1956, Edward A. “Tink” Adams, Art Center’s first president, traveled to Japan with Advertising alumnus George Jergenson (BFA 35)—then the director of the College’s Industrial Design (ID) Department—and ID faculty member John Coleman. They had been invited by the Japanese government to tour the country and to share their thoughts on how industrial design could provide a competitive advantage for a nation still early in its post-war recovery.
After returning to the U.S., they filed a formal report containing several recommendations for Japan, including instilling a sense of national pride in products being “Made in Japan”—they cited Nikon’s confidence in placing its name on its camera, “one of the finest cameras anywhere”—and making sure Japanese students fully grasp their country’s rich cultural history. The future designer, it stated, “will learn more…from studying Japanese masters of painting and design than he will from Western art.”
Second term Film student, Laura Holliday (right) poses at Sundance with her high school mentor, Betty Bailey
I always assumed I had no business attending large prestigious film festivals until I had a movie showing there. So, as an undergraduate film student in only my second term at Art Center, I figured it would be a long time before I ended up at one of them. However, after getting the opportunity to attend the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, I can say confidently that any film student or movie lover has a place there, and can benefit boundlessly from being immersed in a scene ripe with creative energy and opportunities to connect.
Gabriel Wartofsky with his electric bike at the Environmental Media Awards.
When entrepreneurial inspiration strikes, it’s often described as the convergence of creative and commercial instincts. An innovator perceives a void in the marketplace and conceives a product or experience to fill that space and drive demand for more. But for Gabriel Wartofsky and Bob Vander Woude, that well-worn path into the startup trenches has been less clear-cut.
The partners have spent the past two years developing Conscious Commuter, a company built around an electric bicycle with a sleek design and long-range battery. However the whole enterprise is driven by nothing short of a mission to revolutionize transportation.“We’re solution providers,” declares Vander Woude, an entrepreneur and CEO of a seed-stage investment fund, who was looking to fund an electric bike company when he happened upon a web demo of Wartofsky’s senior thesis project, now the basis for their partnership, which aims to implement e-bike sharing systems in cities around the world. “We’re multi-modal. That’s the secret sauce. Other electric bike companies are not coming from the background of solving a social problem. They’re just motivated to get to a retailer and make money.”
Invited participants in the March 7–10, 2013 conference include Dennis Keeley, chair of Photography and Imaging at Art Center and board member of SPE, who will lead the Industry and Education Forum on Sat. March 9 at 9 a.m.; and featured speaker Mona Kuhn, Art Center faculty member, presenting her work on Friday, March 8 at 10 a.m.
This year’s conference theme, “Conferring Significance: Celebrating Photography’s Continuum,” examines how concentration on a subject has allowed image, concept, criticism, teaching and learning to shape the past, present and future of photography. (more…)
Beijing Team “Ghost” Top Winner in 7th Annual Design Competition
For the first year ever, the Formula-E Race has gone global. Known as the race where the rubber meets the road, Formula-E is the annual contest of rubber band-powered miniature cars designed by teams from Art Center and Pasadena Community College. But 2012 will be remembered as the year the Department of Industrial Design at Beijing University of Technology joined the competition – and when the dust settled, the international visitors smoked the locals.
Devoted race fans endured sweltering heat at the August 9th event on Art Center’s Hillside campus to witness Beijing’s team “Ghost” take first place in two races plus Best in Show. Art Center’s team “Ahn and Ahn” took first in The Sinclair Hill Climb track and the team from Pasadena Community College won TheEckles Design, Build, and Approach Award.
A highlight of Art Center’s Graduate Industrial Design (GradID) program, the race is judged by a panel of distinguished industry leaders. This year, the panel included designers from Honda R&D, Disney, BMW Group Designworks USA, LEGO Concept Lab, Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive, Mattel Hot Wheels, Calty, and Nissan. Judging was based on a variety of criteria including quality, craftsmanship, materials, style, engineering, branding, innovation, and, of course, performance.
Sweating it out as MC for the event was the humorous Matt Gallant, host of ABC’s American Inventory and Animal Planet’s The Planet’s Funniest Animals.
The purpose of the class project is to teach lessons in strategy, product development, science, engineering, design, fabrication, branding, communications, and event planning through a fun and real world product-development experience. In the process, students learn about competition, teamwork, setting goals, and creating design plans that are then executed to varying degrees of success. (more…)
The Hollywood Reporter has included Art Center’s stellar film program in its new list of the top 25 film schools in the world.
The second annual list of outstanding film educational institutions was decided on by the editors at the entertainment trade publication and an unidentified list of industry insiders.
The Art Center entry mentions alumni Michael Bay, Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (Mirror, Mirror) and visionary director Zack Snyder who’s highly anticipated Superman reboot Man of Steel is set for a June release. In the story, alumnus Snyder recalls how his mentor, Mike Ahnemann, influenced his career.