An excited crowd gathered around Ting Wu’s Kaleidoscope exhibit, spilling out into the Hillside Campus hallways during ArtCenter’s Fall 2015 recruitment open house. Inspired by the toy she loved as a child, Wu wondered what it would be like to experience the inside of a kaleidoscope. Weeks of user testing and research for the Play Studio assignment paid off: The popular interactive installation transformed the joy of the single user toy into a shareable immersive and, yes, kaleidoscopically cool experience. Visitors hastily snapped selfies of their own digitized images while others used the installation to create stunning art. Perhaps most significantly, this unqualified Grad Show hit represented an important ArtCenter milestone: Its creator would soon become a member of the first class of ArtCenter students to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Interaction Design, the College’s youngest undergraduate program.
In the first of Designmatters‘ three part Sustainable Summer School blog series, Product Design student and head of the ArtCenter EcoCouncil, Arotin Hartounian reflects on his time spent at the 7th annual summer school program in Western Germany.
At a 17th century monastery situated in a rural area of Western Germany, 28 students gathered for the 7th annual Sustainable Summer School. The summer school program is organized by a collaboration of the Ecosign Academy, Folkwang University of the Arts, and The Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy. The Designmatters Department at ArtCenter in partnership with the Provost’s office generously sponsored three students to attend this program. Most of the students were from Germany with one student each from Italy, Spain, and Austria. Janya, Daniel and I were the only students from the USA. Over the course of 7 days we lived and studied at the monastery with all the students and teachers. The students were divided into three workshops, each focusing on different ways design can initiate and support sustainable behavior in our daily life. Continue reading
In On the Road, Jack Kerouac wrote, “What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
But what does it mean when that “next crazy venture” is fueled by a set of algorithms?
As we’ve previously reported, the arrival of autonomous cars could very well usher in a new era of safer roads. But might the public be hesitant to hand over the keys of their vehicle–often seen as a bedrock American symbol of freedom–to Apple, Google or Uber?
“The promise of the automobile 100 years ago was being able to go anywhere, anytime,” says alumnus Stewart Reed (69), chair of Art Center’s transportation design programs. “This idea freed people from structuring their lives around stagecoach or train schedules and opened up a world of new experiences.”
What wasn’t the promise 100 years ago? Moving 11,700 vehicles an hour at peak times through the Sepulveda Pass. Continue reading
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.”
As a visual interaction designer with Google Creative Lab, 2012 Graphic Design alum Daniel C. Young can’t talk about the specifics of his confidential work. Rather he describes it in general terms, as “product vision, a kind of subfield within both visual design and interaction design. We design interfaces for a vision of what, for example, Google might do five years from now. It’s somewhere between a real product, real digital product design and science fiction.”
Soon after graduating and completing an additional Art Center Honors Term, Young landed his new job with remarkable speed. This self-described simplicity evangelist found his calling. “Let’s just say it this way: I feel like I’m impacting the actual direction of where everyday computing might happen and how to make technology less annoying and more kind of delightful and fun and playful.”
Summertime is traditionally set aside for leisurely activities—poolside lounging, pleasure reading and, at least through June, watching the Stanley Cup Final.
But here at Art Center, our students are as busy as ever. Many students continue their studies through the Summer term, while others, thanks to our dedicated staff in the Office of Career + Professional Development, scatter across the globe working as interns at an impressive array of organizations. It’s amazing, really, when you stop to look at where our students have landed internships:
- Illustration student Adriana Crespo is at design firm IDEO in San Francisco;
- Film student Juliana Rowlands is at director Roman Coppola’s production company The Director’s Bureau in Los Angeles;
- Transportation Design student Harrison Scott Yen is at Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology division in Michigan;
- Graphic Design student Siyun Oh is at the Museum of Modern Art in New York;
- Transportation Design student Yang Fu is at vehicle manufacturer Renault in France;
- Product Design student Benji Kurada is at Google in Switzerland; and
- Transportation Design student Sean Peterson is at Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. These are not your everyday assignments; our students are working with some of today’s most prestigious companies.
This Fall term, Art Center took another step in its evolution and launched an Interaction Design (IxD) degree program headed up by user experience pioneer Maggie Hendrie.
Now, wait a minute, you might be thinking, hasn’t the College been teaching interaction design for years? After all, Art Center has alumni working at Google, Microsoft, Samsung and virtually every company exploring the boundaries of interactivity.
The answer to that, of course, is yes, Art Center has indeed been preparing its graduates to enter the field of interaction design for the better part of two decades.
“Art Center has a long history of maintaining the dynamic between the development of a craft and the application of it, and interaction design is an applied craft,” Hendrie recently told The Dotted Line. “Also, Art Center is already outstanding in the very fields in which interaction is applied: environments, interfaces, products, automotives, social projects and systems.”
Take for example alumnus Ian Sands, the co-founder of vision and strategy firm Intentional Futures, who graduated from the College in 1995 with a degree in Product Design.
Commuters could soon be sharing the road with self-driving cars: Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that would allow the vehicles to be tested and operated on California roads.
“We are looking at science fiction becoming reality in a self-driving car,” Brown said during a ceremony at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Today, Chris Lauritzen and team launched “Map Your Valentine,” which lets you use Google Maps to share a special place with a special someone. It’s been very well received—and it’s not too late to send your special someone one of these customized valentines.
Also today, Jonathan Jarvis and team launched Adroidify, a fun Android mobile application that lets you create custom versions of the Android mascot. Jarvis served as creative lead on the project, and it’s already a huge success.
Check them out—and we’ll keep you updated on what the team is up to.
Do you remember earlier this year when Google ran an ad during the Super Bowl? Here it is below. Take a quick look—we’ll wait:
OK. What is interesting about this ad—despite the fact that it is for a company whose CEO once called advertising “the last bastion of unaccountable spending in corporate America”—is that it was created by a group of advertising and design students dubbed the “Google 5.” Recent Art Center Media Design program graduate Jonathan Jarvis was one of five chosen from a pool of 400 applications.
From AdAge: “The 5 program is an experiment launched last year by the Google Creative Lab and its executive creative director, Robert Wong. The company sent a call out to 12 schools searching for interesting talent who would work inside the Creative Lab for a year and then be sent out unto the industry. So, with the Google 5, the company gets new creative blood and the industry gets young talent that is schooled in Google, and, by extension, the post-digital/new advertising way—tech-forward, open-source, collaborative and smart.”
The 5 worked on a wide range of projects, from the Nexus phone to Hulu ads to the Google Christmas card. Their year-long tenure ended in June. But the new Google 5 have arrived—and it includes Chris Lauritzen, a designer/”wild card” from Art Center ‘s Media Design program.
We can’t wait to see what they produce. They’re already tackling projects including Google search, Google TV and the Chrome browser.
Read more in this fascinating story at AdAge: Meet the Google 5, the Team Behind ‘Parisian Love’ Super Bowl Spot