On the eve of the highly anticipated release of Tesla’s Model X electric sports utility vehicle, ArtCenter alum Javier Verdura, director of Product Design at Tesla Motors, took a few minutes to chat with us about the many ArtCenter alums contributing to this pivotal team responsible for one of the most significant car releases in recent memory. From the top design post held by Franz von Holzhausen to the current crew of interns, ArtCenter alums were front and center in all aspects of the design process. So we seized this opportunity to explore the contours of the connection linking the hottest electric carmaker on the planet and our diverse community of sharp inventors and innovators. Continue reading
Before we gather with friends and family to celebrate the 4th of July, we want to take a moment to recognize the spirit of independence. At Art Center, we revere art and design warriors who embody this country’s pioneering spirit: the rebels, the change makers, the innovators, the futurists and the unapologetic patriots. On the eve of Independence Day, we’d like to devote some pixels to a few of our unrivaled alumni who blazed their own paths, and who embody the same spirit of sovereignty that founded this country.
The Fourth of July is an opportunity to celebrate independence, which we tend to do over a barbecue grill loaded with savory treats, or sitting at the edge of a pool. Independence Day is the pinnacle of summer. We’re often reminded of John Van Hamersveld’s (BFA 64 Advertising) poster for The Endless Summer, which evokes the dreamy colors of California. His design came to define the iconography of surf culture. According to Vanity Fair, the poster, now over 50 years old, “hasn’t aged a minute.”
Our homes, cell phones and laptop screens are filled with thoughtful and functional design. But what about art that creates social impact? Can design influence change on global issues like sustainable housing, access to clean water and empowering disadvantaged women?
Projects featuring practical solutions to these concerns designed by Product, Illustration and Environmental Design students were selected as the winners of the 2013-2014 Denhart Family Sustainability Scholarship competition. Created by a generous gift from Gun Denhart, and son, Christian Denhart (BS 10 Product), the prizes are annually awarded to students addressing environmental and social causes in their work. The scholarships are devised to increase awareness of art and design’s unique capacity to advance sustainability.
Tesla Motors’ Model S sedan might be the best thing on four wheels.
Designed by Art Center alum Franz von Holzhausen, the battery-powered sedan this week was named Motor Trend magazine’s 2013 car of the year and topped the Popular Science “Best of What’s New” list.
The family-size sedan beat out some high-power competition — BMW’s new 3-Series, Honda’s revamped Accord and Toyota’s 2013 Lexus GS — to become the first electric car to earn the Motor Trend honor.
“It is a testament not only to the luxury sedan and electric car segment, but to American engineering overall,” said Edward Loh, editor-in-chief of Motor Trend. “To be the first car in the 64-year history of the award to be powered by something other than gasoline must mean it is very special.”
Popular Science gave the Model S the grand prize ahead of on- and off-wheel innovations in the auto category – from Ferrari’s fastest car, the 730-horsepower F12 Berlinetta, to MyLink, which integrates a smartphone into the dashboard.
Yahoo! Autos tested 100 vehicles — from the amped-up Ford Shelby GT500 to the pared-down Toyota Prius C — and named the Tesla Model S their 2013 car of the year.
Art Center alum Franz von Holzhausen and a team of 11 spent eight months designing the Model S, an electric luxury sedan styled somewhere between a Jaguar XJ and an Audi A7.
Bucking the electric car stereotype, the $50,000-and-up Model S goes form zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and seats seven with room for groceries. Designers took a page from the aviation industry adding 17-inch center-console screen with connectivity to the Web, navigation and the car’s systems.
Some recent media coverage featuring Art Center, our faculty, students and alumni:
- Illustration student Jesse Tise was interviewed by Amelia’s Magazine.
- The Pasadena Star-News reports on an innovative pet carrier created by alums Melony Lee, Michael Leung and Greg Mote.
- The Designmatters and Environmental Design Department’s Safe Agua project received a SPARK! Award, and was featured in Metropolis Magazine.
- The Pasadena Star-News and the International Business Times wrote pieces on the Williamson Gallery’s ENERGY exhibition.
- The Pasadena Star-News reported on Pasadena’s shop local campaign, designed in partnership with The Agency.
- A recent post on Core77 focused on a conversation between Art Center President Lorne Buchman, Product Design Chair Karen Hofmann and frog design about the future of design education.
- Art Center once again tops the DesignIntelligence rankings for undergraduate and graduate Industrial Design programs. Also, Karen Hofmann was named a DesignIntelligence “Most Admired Educator” for the second year in a row.
- The most recent Los Angeles Times Magazine included an article on Tesla Motors, featuring alumni Franz von Holzhausen, Bernard Lee and Nadya Arnaout.