Tag Archives: Create Change

View from the Bridge: Art Center’s incoming class, the LEAP Symposium and bringing the Bard to Lida Street

President Lorne M. Buchman

President Lorne M. Buchman

Being surrounded each and every day by thought-provoking ideas and inspiring individuals is perhaps the greatest benefit of working at Art Center. As President, I’m in a unique position to see so much of the remarkable work created here.

A clear side effect—and thankfully, it’s a good one—is that at the end of the day I have a lot on my mind. Which is why I’d like to start sharing with you here, on occasion, my thoughts on what I’m seeing, hearing and experiencing around campus and in the larger community.

First things first: The Fall 2013 term is well underway. Before we reach that busy midterm crunch, I’d like to tell you a few things about our latest incoming class. After receiving the highest number of applicants across all disciplines in our 83-year history, Art Center this fall welcomed 361 undergraduates and 68 graduate students, our largest incoming class ever. The increase reflects the strength and growth of our academic programs, as well as the planned expansion envisioned in Create Change, Art Center’s 2011–2016 strategic plan.

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Designing Experiences, Systems and Solutions: Art Center’s New Interaction Design Program

Nikolai Cornell MDP 04 with his Infiniti Interactive Mirrors. Faculty member Phil van Allen consulted on this project.

With recent forecasts predicting that Apple will sell as many as 66 million units of their latest iteration of the iPad this year, its safe to say that what the Cupertino company dubbed as the “post-PC era” is quickly becoming a reality. But the shift from personal computers to tablets is just one aspect of a digital interactive future still being written.

This coming Fall Term, as part of the College’s Create Change initiative, Art Center will launch a new undergraduate Interaction Design degree program, in which students—whether designing a mobile app or a gestural interface for an exhibition—will learn to think deeply about the user’s experience, apply technology creatively and invent new approaches to interaction and design.

We recently sat down with Interaction Design founding faculty members Brian Boyl (Graphic Design, Integrated Studies, Product Design), Philip van Allen (Graduate Media Design) and Jeffrey Higashi (Product Design), who have been busy establishing the framework for the Department’s curriculum in anticipation of the arrival of the new department’s chair. An international search is now underway and an announcement is expected in June.

Dotted Line: Can you describe the academic interaction design landscape and how Art Center’s new program will stand out?

Art Center faculty Brian Boyl. Photo: Steven A. Heller/Art Center College of Design.

Brian Boyl: There are several graduate programs in interaction design in the United States—Illinois Institute of Technology, New York Univeristy and Carnegie Mellon to name a few—but there aren’t a lot of accredited undergraduate programs. We’d be one of the first undergraduate programs to be launched and absolutely the first to be launched in Southern California. That’s exciting. What we’re doing is looking at the core strengths of Art Center. We think the best move in creating this program is to make sure it strongly integrates with our other departments and channels their strengths.

Phil van Allen: Interaction design is by its very nature collaborative, so the idea is to build a strong program that stands on its own but that also has a kind of permeability. For example, we’ve discussed that students in Interaction Design will take Graphic Design and Product Design courses, because those two disciplines are very central to interaction design. Our students will need to have an exceptional foundation of disciplines to be exceptional interaction designers. And then there’s the core of interaction design itself, which they will have to become experts in.

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Trustee Charles F. Johnson Flies High with “Red Tails”

"Red Tails" Executive Producer and Art Center Trustee Charles Floyd Johnson.

One of Art Center’s newer Trustees, Charles Floyd Johnson has a long-standing and successful career as a producer in the entertainment industry. He first started becoming familiar with the College during August of last year, became a Trustee earlier this year, and is looking forward to assisting Art Center in a number of different capacities, from outreach to fundraising.

“I came out for a graduation and was so impressed with Art Center, its students, and its plans for the future, that I said this is the place for me,” said Johnson, who points to being particularly impressed by the College’s Strategic Plan. “It felt to me like a very forward-thinking agenda, in terms of both making the school more user-friendly for the students and also making Art Center more dominant. Art Center already has a wonderful reputation in so many of its areas, but the College is interested in becoming even stronger.”

Johnson is currently serving as executive producer of the CBS television drama NCIS, which celebrates its 200th episode on February 7. He is also one of the producers of Red Tails, the Lucasfilm feature about the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first all African-American aerial unit who both helped bring down the Nazi war machine during World War II and challenged racial stereotypes back home. Defying the odds, the film starring an all African-American cast — including Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nate Parker and David Oleyowo — debuted last weekend in second place by bringing in nearly $19 million at the box office.

“It’s a story that has resonance with a lot of people,” said Johnson of the film which he and fellow Red Tails producer George Lucas had been trying to get off the ground for 23 years. “These young men were not encouraged to fly for their country. They were not expected to succeed. But they triumphed over adversity. These were men who fought racism at home and fascism abroad. They did it successfully and they were heroes, not victims.”

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Looking Back on a Year of Change

Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman.

Earlier this year, Art Center College of Design launched Create Change, our strategic plan for becoming the preeminent college of art and design in the 21st century.

With Fall graduation events set for tomorrow and the winter break nearly upon us, we felt it was the perfect time to sit down with Art Center College of Design President Lorne M. Buchman to hear his thoughts on the past year, get an update on the strategic plan and find out what’s in store for the coming year.

Dotted Line: Looking back at the past year, what are your first thoughts?

Lorne M. Buchman: I’d like to begin by expressing how deeply gratified I am by all that we’ve accomplished. This has been a banner year for Art Center. We’ve seen record enrollment of talented and gifted students, we launched our strategic plan and we are set to begin new degree programs in Fall 2012. We’re closing in on the purchase of the post office property adjacent to South Campus, a facility for which we’ve raised significant funds to purchase. We’ve built the Board and we’ve recruited some dynamic new faculty. We are connecting with alumni the world over. We’ve offered some fabulous new courses and we’ve made significant strides in acquiring new technology and equipment for our students. I could go on and on. It’s been remarkable. And all of this doesn’t happen by accident. The driving force of our success is the focused and diligent work of our trustees, faculty and staff. We should recognize with much gratitude the quality of this extraordinary community.

More questions with President Lorne M. Buchman after the jump.

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Hot Off the Press: DOT 19

The latest issue of DOT is online, and print versions are hitting mailboxes now!

This issue focuses on Art Center’s new strategic plan, Create Change and includes President Lorne Buchman’s reflections on the strategic plan, essays by faculty and planning committee members on the plan’s different aspects, and profiles on students who’ve realized their creative visions thanks to scholarships.

In October, we’ll debut a reimagined print magazine and online presence, so stay tuned. To be notified via email when the next issue is published, sign up for our mailing list.

Read DOT 19.

You Can Create Change

Last year, the Art Center community came together to envision the College’s future and to design a plan to achieve it. Create Change, Art Center’s five-year strategic plan, came out of that process.

Create Change contains a bold educational agenda for the next five years built on three major themes:

The Conservatory Spirit reflects the intense, specialized and practical career preparation that is the hallmark of an Art Center education.

Convening Diverse Communities & Disciplines centers on broad access and the growth of intercultural and cross-disciplinary dialogues and programs.

New Spaces for Learning calls for providing our students with a superior educational environment by renovating and expanding our physical facilities and developing online learning opportunities.

We are already starting to implement the plan, and we invite you to join us. Your support—for scholarship, the Art Center Fund or seed funding for initiatives—strengthens our programs, creates opportunities for our students and ensures the College’s continuing leadership.

Together we created this plan, and together we’ll make it a reality. Help us create change today.

New Standing Committee Created

Guest post by Art Center President Lorne Buchman

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Last fall, I launched an important conversation regarding diversity through a forum with Dr. Daryl Smith, a leading national scholar in higher education diversity theory and research. The intention was to bring College leadership together to explore the values of diversity and inclusion as central to academic excellence and institutional mission.

Synchronized to align with the development of our new strategic plan, the forum was an important beginning in developing a common understanding of institutional diversity and inclusion. In the final plan itself, these values have been anchored at the center of our educational mission—precisely where they belong. Create Change recognizes the critical responsibility of developing professionals, leaders, and citizens able to thrive in and contribute to a changing and pluralistic society.

To implement and monitor relevant aspects of the strategic plan, I am pleased to announce that I have established a new standing committee for the College—the Council on Diversity and Inclusion. Parallel to Art Center’s Budget Committee, and Facilities & Technology Committee, the council will be a standing shared governance committee of the College. The responsibility of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion is to realize the strategies outlined in our new plan through ongoing oversight in measuring progress toward achieving our objectives.

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