Tag Archives: Erik Molano

Alumni Spotlight: Erik Molano, social impact graphic designer

3 catalysts

Erik’s story originally appeared as part of Desigmatters’ Alumni Spotlight series. Find out more about Art Center’s social impact design department, Designmatters.

Throughout my education, I had always been fascinated by the power of graphic design. It’s everywhere. In books, freeway signs, software applications, automobile dashboards, cereal box packaging, architectural wayfinding, maps, and so much more. The thoughtfulness and intention that goes into the communication we consume daily is so ubiquitous we sometimes forget that it’s carefully crafted by a worldwide community of graphic designers. Since I had become a part of this community, I challenged myself to find a place within it; to discover my full potential.

I began to ask myself, ‘What’s the most impact I can have as a designer? Is there more to design than just laying out images and text in a beautiful way? How does our work impact culture?’ After a few years of soul-searching, I found my answer lying within the world of social innovation, with many thanks to the following three catalysts.

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Filling in the Blank: Students Bringing TEDx to Campus

Class shot of the TEDx Art Center College of Design Studio. Photo: June Korea.

Orange will mix with red this summer when the student-driven TEDx Art Center College of Design conference takes over the Hillside Campus on Saturday, June 9 to explore the event’s theme: “Design a ________ for Social Impact.” The “blank” in that title is a call-to-action designed to inspire conference attendees to come up with their own idea for how to effect positive change in the world.

Also on hand to inspire attendees will be an impressive lineup of speakers, including Doug Powell, national president of AIGA and the individual spearheading that association’s Design for Good initiative; and Cameron Tonkinwise, chair of Design Thinking and Sustainability at Parsons The New School School for Design, whose current research is exploring design-enabled sharing of resources. And for something completely different, Art Center Product Design alumnus and KILLSPENCER founder Spencer Nikosey has been tapped to provide the day’s musical entertainment.

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EcoCouncil Throws a Spring Food Garden Party to Introduce Art Center’s New Executive Chef

Art Center Executive Chef Chris Haydostian (center) with EcoCouncil co-presidents Jenn Kuca (left) and Erik Molano (right). Photo: Chuck Spangler

Guest blog post by EcoCouncil co-presidents Erik Molano and Jenn Kuca

This past Friday, Sodexo collaborated with EcoCouncil to unite the campus community for a cooking demonstration at our Art Center Food Garden. Sodexo has been working with us consistently over the past few years to support student-led sustainability efforts, as well as campus-wide environmental responsibility initiatives.

Now that the weather has been warming up, we thought EcoCouncil should take the opportunity to get students, faculty and administration out in the fresh, open air. The new Food Garden was the perfect choice to discuss our event’s theme: garden-fresh food and easy-to-prepare snacks.

Chef Chris Haydostian and his English Pea Pureé. Photo: Chuck Spangler.

Due to Sodexo’s commitment to global sustainability in it’s Better Tomorrow Plan, we felt more than excited to introduce Christopher Haydostian, Art Center’s new eco-conscious executive chef.

Haydostian opened his talk with an overview of Sodexo’s partnership with local food suppliers and use of sustainably-sourced seafood, which many students and staff were unaware of. He also provided a little history about his journey to Art Center, including his work in the world of gourmet food, and his alma mater Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, our neighbor here in Pasadena.

Haydostian showed EcoCouncil and our guests how to make an English Pea Pureé that was served on garlic baguette slices and topped with roasted red peppers and feta cheese. All guests were able to sample the food right after his demonstration, and the recipe is now available on the Sodexo @ Art Center Facebook page.

EcoCouncil advisor Heidrun Mumper-Drumm and other EcoCouncil members showed guests around the garden and provided a seed giveaway, so that everyone could get in on the gardening action. The Spring Food Garden Party was not only fun, but it was collaborative, informational and, most importantly, delicious.

The Spring Food Garden Party in full effect. Photo: Pei Liew

Two Days of Peace, Love and Music (Part 2 of 2)

Feeling groovy at Woodstock, a recreation of the West Canyon Concert of 1976. Photo: ACSG.

As mentioned last week, Art Center Student Government (ACSG) recently organized a half-day music festival that recreated the West Canyon Concert, a Woodstock-inspired event that took place on Art Center’s Hillside Campus 35 years ago.

For the recreation, dubbed “Woodstock,” students in the Sculpture Garden grooved to tunes by six musical acts, all featuring at least one Art Center student per lineup. Performers included: bossa nova headliner Sister Rogers, featuring Environmental Design student Carlos Vides on keyboard; The Big Bidnis Experience, aka Advertising student Andrew Kapamajian; Baba Ghanoush, featuring Graphic Design students Michelle Cho and Danny Park; EJ and the Fooldogs, featuring Advertising students Agustin Sanchez and Sean Thomas; and Marmamen, featuring students Alex Nassour (Advertising), Jom Rivers (Fine Art), Graphic Design alumnus and faculty member Ryan D’Orazi and one of the event’s main organizers, ACSG President Erik Molano (Graphic Design).

“This year Student Government really wanted to bring new experiences to campus,” said Molano, who pointed out that busy Art Center students might not always have the time or resources to go to a music festival. “Bringing a festival on campus was both a good way to utilize a space that often goes unused and a great opportunity to bring the community together.”

Given the success of the event, can students expect another concert? Before 2046?

“Well, I’m graduating next term, so I’ll be gone,” said Molano. “But it would be nice if they did a music festival once a year. Maybe based around different themes. I’m hoping the legacy continues.”

Additional pictures after the jump.

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Two Days of Peace, Love and Music (Part 1 of 2)

Art Center's West Canyon Concert, December 1976.

Next week is the last week of the Fall 2011 term, which means the current stress level on campus is higher than usual. But if you’re “freaking out,” just remember, man, to take it easy. You know, like The Beatles said, ”turn off your mind, relax and float downstream?”

Okay, perhaps that’s not the best academic advice, but a similar thought did fuel two Art Center student-led events held nearly 35 years apart.

Earlier this term, Art Center Student Government (ACSG) organized a Woodstock-inspired concert featuring musical performances by Art Center students. During the event, students lounged in the Sculpture Garden atop orange blankets, enjoyed cotton candy and grooved to music by bands like Sister Rogers. But what they may have not realized is that they were also participating in a recreation.

In December of 1976, Art Center students organized the West Canyon Concert, a Woodstock-inspired event that allowed students to take a break from their rigorous studies. When Fine Art student John Dewey saw a photo from that event in the Art Center Archives, he shared the idea with ACSG President Erik Molano and the seed to bring back the spirit of that collaborative event was planted.

“We have a lot of musical creative talent here at school,” said Erik Molano on why recreating the West Canyon Concert made sense. “And ‘mellowing out’ is definitely something that Art Center students are looking for.”

We’ll share some more thoughts and pictures on the 2011 event next week, but for now, enjoy a selection of images from the original West Canyon Concert.

Additional images, courtesy of Robert Dirig in the Art Center Archives, after the jump.

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Emerging Ambitions: Scholarships Support Tomorrow’s Artists and Designers

A bulletproof lemonade stand, a tender childhood moment captured in the Southern California sun, a futuristic car that stores energy in chemical bonds, and a sneak peek at the future of the written word—all of these were made possible due to the generosity of Art Center scholarship donors.

This past February, Art Center President Lorne Buchman and Student Government President Erik Molano addressed the student body at an event titled “Meet the Presidents.” There, Buchman offered a preview of the College’s new strategic plan and discussed one of its most important elements: easing the financial burden to students.

While pointing out that Art Center delivers an expensive form of education—equipment, labor and team teaching all add to a per-student cost that actually exceeds tuition—Buchman said easing students’ financial commitment is critical to maintaining a diverse student body and a robust learning environment.

“A huge part of my job is to find the philanthropy and scholarships that are going to help,” said Buchman. “I think about this every day.”

He’s done more than think about it. In the last year, thanks to targeted budgetary reallocations and fundraising projects like the “80 for 80” initiative, Art Center made an additional $3 million available for student scholarships. And with a full 80 percent of current Art Center students receiving financial aid, you can be sure that every additional dollar counts.

Annually, Art Center allocates $9.6 million for scholarships; of that amount, 18 percent comes from donors. And for many students who come to Art Center seeking a bachelor’s degree, but who already have a prior degree—as is true for three of the students profiled here—those scholarships are fundamental, as they’re ineligible for either federal or California state grants.

Increasing scholarship support is a key priority for Art Center, as laid out in Create Change, the College’s new strategic plan. Here are three current students and one recent alumnus whose visions we can all delight in thanks to Art Center scholarships.

Read more in Dot magazine.

Art Center Garden Makes Its Debut

Erik Molano, Heidrun Mumper-Drumm and Linda Estrada at the ribbon cutting

There was plenty of goodwill sown at the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Art Center Food Garden.

Speaking to the assembled crowd, instructor Heidrun Mumper-Drumm said student group EcoCouncil first approached her a year ago with the idea of creating a garden for the College. She was enthusiastic about the project, but acknowledged there were some setbacks initially.

“We tried and we tried, but we just couldn’t get it going,” she said. “But then, we found out that collaboration was the secret ingredient that had been missing.”

That collaboration meant EcoCouncil teamed up with Art Center Student Government, the Facilities department and individuals from the Technical Skills Center to move the project forward.

Art Center’s Vice President of Real Estate and Operations George Falardeau was on hand to do the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon. Falardeau, along with Mumper-Drumm, thanked many individuals who helped make the garden a reality, including Art Center President Lorne Buchman (“He was a big proponent of the garden”), Art Center Student Government President Erik Molano (“Erik has taken this garden on as his own personal mission”) and Environmental Design student Carlos Vides (“He came up with the original sketches for the garden”).

“Art Center as a whole is very proud of this garden,” Falardeau said before cutting the ribbon.

For more information and to reserve a plot within the Art Center Food Garden, visit the garden’s Facebook page.

A New Face for Hillside Campus

The following is a guest post by Art Center Student Government President Erik Molano.

Photo by Katy Rose Malone

Over the past week, you may have noticed that there’s now a new, refined Art Center marquee marking the entrance to Hillside Campus. This beautiful new marquee fulfills a small dream I’ve had since starting at Art Center in 2009.

The marquee debuted when the Hillside Campus opened in 1976, along with the construction of the building by Craig Ellwood Associates. It’s been repainted a few times over the years, but the counters, or “negative spaces,” in the Helvetica Medium letterforms have shifted over time, creating a visual nuisance to Art Center’s community of designers.

I remember speaking with the late Doyald Young about the marquee, and I can still hear the frustration in his voice. He referred to it as “Art Center’s business card” and wished it refined as soon as possible.

Thanks to Senior Vice President, Real Estate and Operations George Falardeau, Jess Rivas and the Facilities crew, the marquee has been completely resurfaced! Last week they were hard at work sanding, priming, painting—and refining the letterforms, a task I was honored to oversee.

Take a quick glance when you drive onto campus, and I’m sure you’ll be satisfied with the new look. Check out the process in the photos below:

More From Meet the Presidents

Molano and Buchman

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

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 a sneak preview of Art Center’s new strategic plan, which will be presented to the College’s Board of Trustees later today.

Today: Origins of the strategic plan, the Sinclaire Pavilion, and staying in touch with ACSG.

Lorne Buchman on the origins of the strategic plan:

“I came to Art Center 18 months ago and brought a central question to the community: What does a great art and design school of the 21st century need to be to serve its students, and provide the best education possible? Great institutions ask these kinds of questions. They ask them regularly, and they ask them rigorously.

“Asking this kind of question is how you stay responsive to a world that is changing and evolving. That applies to institutions as much as it applies to artists, designers and teachers. And that was the question that we went forward with.”

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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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