Posts Tagged ‘MDP’

m-a-u-s-e-r installation explores how nature became the digital world’s aesthetic obsession

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
Asli Serbest (left) and Mona Mahall selecting images of artificial palm trees for the Natural Wifi installation in Media Design Practices' Wind Tunnel Gallery at ArtCenter's South Campus. Photo: m-a-u-s-e-r

Asli Serbest (left) and Mona Mahall selecting images of artificial palm trees for the Natural Wifi installation in Media Design Practices’ Wind Tunnel Gallery at ArtCenter’s South Campus. Photo: m-a-u-s-e-r

You know those artificial rocks people use to hide pipes, pumps and other domestic structural elements deemed too aesthetically displeasing for a proper residential landscape? Turns out they’re not the most comfortable objects to sit on for an extended period of time.

Nevertheless, that’s how I spent 45 minutes last week—sitting atop wheel-mounted fake rocks and talking with their creators, Asli Serbest and Mona Mahall, the Stuttgart- and Istanbul-based art, design and architecture duo who go by the nom de guerre micro architecture unit star energy ray, or m-a-u-s-e-r for short.

I met with them to discuss Natural Wi-Fi, their research project that culminated in an installation in Wind Tunnel Gallery, part of ArtCenter’s Graduate Center for Critical Practice, that explored the material byproducts of the Internet as well as how Nature has become the online world’s aesthetic obsession.

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Future road trip: Autospaces 2025 to explore the changing automotive landscape

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Students Angela Dong, Thokozani Mabena,Vivia Liu and Sarineh Issagholian discuss their concepts with Jaguar Land Rover representatives at the New Car Experiences midterm. Photo: Chris Hatcher

Students Angela Dong, Thokozani Mabena,Vivia Liu and Sarineh Issagholian discuss their concepts with Jaguar Land Rover representatives at the New Car Experiences midterm. Photo: Chris Hatcher

It’s the end of the schlep as we know it. And we feel fine.

Well, perhaps not quite yet, but thanks to rapidly evolving technology making autonomous vehicles possible, that daunting commute we face every day may soon be a thing of the past.

Tomorrow in the Wind Tunnel at South Campus, Art Center hosts Autospaces 2025, a one-day symposium that brings together designers, researchers, and government and industry leaders to explore issues of connectivity, trust and mediation with autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.

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Media Design Practices graduating students explore the contours of invisibility, visibility and spaces in-between

Monday, April 27th, 2015
MDP graduate Jenny Rodenhouse's thesis explores the possibilities of opening test sites to the public. Photo: Chuck Spangler

MDP graduate Jenny Rodenhouse’s thesis explores the possibilities of opening test sites to the public. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Imagine a world where scientific test sites operate like amusement parks, where robots disperse through their environment like seeds in the wind, where algorithms understand and incorporate the nuances of human language, and where the invisible data surrounding us is transformed into navigable terrain.

No, that’s not a back cover synopsis of the latest William Gibson novel, but rather thesis projects by then Media Design Practices (MDP) MFA candidates Jenny Rodenhouse, Ji Won Jun and Marcus Guttenplan, respectively, which were recently presented in the Wind Tunnel as part of that graduate program’s thesis exhibtion.

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Inherited land and soft hands: An MDP faculty’s field notes from Uganda

Thursday, February 5th, 2015
Mike’s brother in a brickyard, talking on his cell phone. Like many Ugandan villagers, he makes bricks for a living. Once piled into a tall structure, the bricks will be fired in place then sold. Photo by Elizabeth Chin

Mike’s brother in a brickyard, talking on his cell phone. Like many Ugandan villagers, he makes bricks for a living. Once piled into a tall structure, the bricks will be fired in place then sold. Photo by Elizabeth Chin

Media Design Practices faculty member, Elizabeth Chin, illuminates her experiences doing field work in Uganda in Anthropology Now, excerpted below.

In a small village in eastern Uganda, I sat on the porch of my host’s home. A retired head teacher, he has a rumbling, stentorian voice that commands authority. As we sipped tea, he looked over at me and asked: “Is it true that in your country it is legal for a man to go with a goat?”

After a moment, I sputtered, “Well, no!”

He considered my answer. “But it is legal for a man to go with a man?”

I told him “Yes.”

He continued, “And for a woman to go with a woman?”

“That too,” I said.

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Dispatches from the future of design thinking: MDP’s Faculty Work-in-Progress show

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

MDP Faculty Work-in-Progress Show. Video by Nick Meehan from MediaDesignPractices on Vimeo.

“Being part of a community that provides support and critique is important,” said Media Design Practices (MDP) Chair Anne Burdick as she kicked off the department’s first ever Faculty Work-in-Progress show on a recent Thursday evening in Art Center’s Wind Tunnel gallery space. “It’s really a super amazing gift.”

As the MFA program’s twelve faculty members’ presentations unfolded over the next two hours, it quickly became clear that Burdick was not overstating the rewards of her department’s commitment to open dialogue. The event, which Burdick hopes will become a regular piece of programming, was organized around the following theme: a piece of something bigger. Faculty responded to that imperative with a series short presentations of unfinished projects they’re cultivating in their private creative practices.

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MDP + UNICEF: make AND break designs empower Ugandan youth

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Peer-to-Peer Mentoring: VJs Shafic, Venas, and Bashir learn basic circuitry in a workshop facilitated by a peer mentor. Photo credit: Tina L. Zeng / 2014.

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring: VJs Shafic, Venas, and Bashir learn basic circuitry in a workshop facilitated by a peer mentor. Photo credit: Tina L. Zeng / 2014.

The following story, by Media Design Practices post-grad fellow, Tina L. Zeng, was originally published on UNICEF’S Stories of Innovation blog. The inspiring innovations reflected below are the result of the independent graduate work she began conducting in Kampala, Uganda in September 2013, supported by the UNICEF Innovation Lab.

What if technology was made to break?

What?

I recently wrote a post about a project that disrupts the current product-oriented mentality for designing technology for development. This project, weDub, is a set of platforms for youths in a slum area named Kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda to make, instead of consume, technology. weDub is a locally developed audio mixer and preamplifier that youths make to perform live improvisations of media content they reinterpret to an audience; this is locally known as VJing. I talk about the three key outcomes of the project here.

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Money magazine ranks Art Center grads among the most employable in the nation

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

 

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Alumnus Dan Goods, Visual Strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, stands with “Refraction,” an artwork he created with fellow alum David Delgado.

An Art Center education doesn’t come cheaply. It requires a high-deposit, high-return investment of resources, tapping reserves of creativity and cash. But Art Center students know these initial sacrifices will pay off down the road when they emerge with an education custom designed to equip them for creatively and financially fulfilling careers. Money magazine reinforced the College’s reputation for boosting its grads’ professional prospects this week when it ranked Art Center third on its list of 25 of the best college values.

In response to millions of parents seeking colleges that strike a balance between affordability and professional prestige  and training, Money devised a new tool to measure a college’s ROI.  The new ranking places Art Center at number three on its “Value All-Star” list since, according to the editors’ careful calculations, Art Center alumni exceed expectations when it comes to earning. Money found that our grads take home an extra $12,000 per year early in their careers, using criteria based on three equally weighted categories: quality, affordability and career outcomes. The magazine defines outcomes almost entirely in terms of how much students earn after graduation.

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The give and take of MDP alum Matthew Manos’ thriving social impact design practice

Monday, August 4th, 2014
Art Center students visit alum Matthew Manos' verynice design studio in Venice. (Photo by Stella Kalinina)

Art Center students visit alum Matthew Manos’ verynice design studio in Venice. (Photo by Stella Kalinina)

Professionally speaking, alumnus Matthew Manos (MFA 12) was precocious. At age 19 in 2008 he founded his own design studio, verynice, a service free to nonprofits using design as a tool for problem solving. By 2012, with a full-time staff of two, verynice was providing $300,000 in pro bono services.

Today, with offices in Los Angeles and New York and a staff of 10 and growing, Manos’ innovative studio has donated the equivalent of more than a million dollars in services to some 250 nonprofit organizations with the help of skills-based volunteers around the globe. Manos’ book, How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free, open-sources his 50% pro-bono business model. His givehalf.co platform is inspiring other companies to do the same.

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Nailing it: Grad students pioneer wearable tech’s entree into quantified manicures

Friday, July 25th, 2014
Handiwork courtesy of the team behind the Sensor Salon

Handiwork courtesy of the team behind the Sensor Salon

Fresh from wowing a tough techie crowd at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, Media Design Practices grad students Kristina Ortega and Jennifer Rodenhouse give us the lowdown on their novel nail salon concept that turns fingernails into a dynamic digital platform. The duo first hatched the idea for a “Sensor Salon” in a Wearable Ecologies class sponsored by Intel and led by MDP faculty members Philip van Allen and Ben Hooker. Now it’s taken flight, attracting interest in the field as well as a flurry of media attention, from public radio to Fast Company and Geekwire among other outlets. Their Wearable Services—proffering technologies embedded in nail gels, from LCD screens and 3D printed objects to GPS and haptic feedback devices—may well be fashioning the future.

The Dotted Line: What was your main inspiration for this unusual type of wearable device?

Kristina Ortega: We were really inspired by nail art culture and nail art salons in Los Angeles. During our initial research into the current state of wearable tech we noticed that many devices were one size fits all. This seemed in such stark contrast to this process of self-maintenance we saw with nail art and salon culture, which is all about the process of personalization.

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“Design for UNICEF” Showcase in New York

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Media Design Practices Grad Students present Uganda projects March 28

 

 

Art Center Media Design Practices graduate students, in collaboration with the College’s Designmatters social impact department, are in New York this week, showcasing groundbreaking projects that feature insights from design research and prototypes created at the UNICEF Innovation Lab in Kampala, Uganda. The event is part of “Design for UNICEF” on Thurs., March 28, 2013 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the UNICEF House, located in the Danny Kaye Visitors Centre at the United Nations.

The seven students’ projects, aimed at addressing issues of sustainability, access and equity, grew out of a partnership between Art Center’s MDP/Field track graduate program and the UNICEF Innovation Lab. Faculty members Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Sean Donahue and anthropologist Elizabeth Chin head up the team. The student cohort — Jeff Hall, Maria Lamadrid, Judy Toretti, Betsy Kalven, Elizabeth Gin, Jacob Brancsi and An Mina — made multiple visits to Uganda and immersed itself in a broad range of issues challenging the country’s youth.

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