Posts Tagged ‘Media Design Practices’

Media Design Practices alum delivers TED talk on memes as the ‘street art of our social web’

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
An Xiao Mina examines "The Meaning of Memes" on the 2013 TEDGlobal stage.

An Xiao Mina examines “The Meaning of Memes” on the 2013 TEDGlobal stage.

Think you know your memes? If you’ve spent any time online, you’ve probably run across the likes of Grumpy Cat, Scumbag Steve or, one of our personal favorites, Art Student Owl.

Those viral images and videos that people modify and spread across the Internet are always good for a laugh, but at the TEDGlobal 2013 conference in Edinburgh, Media Design Practices alumna An Xiao Mina took the stage to deliver a talk entitled “The Meaning of Memes,” shedding light on how individuals across the globe are turning memes into “the street art of our social web.”

In her talk, Mina provided examples of how people in both democracies and censorship states have used memes to speak out on controversial issues, from the detainment of Ai Weiwei to the shooting of Trayvon Martin. “These memes are about more than humor,” Mina said on the TED blog. “They do what art and visual expression have always done—make us feel less alone.”

This story originally appeared in Art Center’s Spring 2014 Dot magazine, where you can read more about alumni and faculty achievements.

Fashion forward meets emotional rescue: Art Center students imagine the future of wearables

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Sangli Li's Expressive Wearable.

Sangli Li’s Expressive Wearables shields its user from intrusive sights and sounds.

With Apple and Google both adding fashion professionals to its regiments, it appears that the next consumer electronics war will be waged not over the smartphone in your pocket, but over the devices worn around your wrists and over your eyes.

Always ahead of the curve, Art Center students, instructors and alumni are currently imagining where wearables might head next. And while wearables will undoubtedly translate to big business, how might this technology change our behavior as human beings?

This question, and many more, were explored in a recent Intel Corporation-sponsored Wearables Ecologies course taught by Media Design Practices (MDP) Professor Phil van Allen and Associate Professor Ben Hooker.

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Wearing your heart rate on your sleeve: Inside the wearable tech revolution

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

wearables_main

By now you’ve heard of Google Glass. But what about bracelets that measure sun exposure? Headphones that double as heartbeat monitors? Or jewelry that unlocks your front door? Are you ready for the dawn of smart watches, smart earrings, smart contact lenses and smart wigs? And no, that last one isn’t a joke.

The “wearables” field is in an early yet promising stage of its evolution. But Art Center, always striving to stay ahead of industry and cultural trends, has had wearables squarely in its sights for years. Today, our students, instructors and alumni are busy imagining where this technology might head next, creating the devices that are paving the way for the future, and questioning how a wearables-saturated world will change our behavior as human beings.

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Clothing that bites back and bridges the gender gap in Uganda

Monday, January 20th, 2014
MDP student Barb Natali designed these  "barbed-shorts" to provoke dialogue about gender-relations in Uganda

MDP Student Barb Natali designed these “barbed-shorts” to provoke dialogue about gender relations in Uganda

Last fall I spent six weeks in Uganda as part of the Media Design Practices program. While there, a few classmates and I attended a crowded performance and had multiple, local men inappropriately grab us as we attempted to navigate the throng. I caught one teen in the act and yelled at him. He grinned at me during the tirade, but was for the most part unfazed.

A few days later when the anger subsided, I reflected on the experience. The incident had provoked questions about the interactions and power dynamics between men and women in Uganda. In order to develop an understanding of these aspects of the society I decided to create a series of designs to facilitate conversations about Ugandan experiences, reactions, and negotiations of the dynamics between men and women, specifically in regard to sexual harassment and inequality.

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How embracing failure has helped John Ryan design solutions to life’s most puzzling questions

Monday, November 4th, 2013
John Ryan (second from left) works with UNICEF and frog design staff on mHealth solutions

John Ryan (second from left) works with UNICEF and frog design staff on mHealth solutions

What was your background prior to Art Center?
I was born in Dublin, Ireland and studied multimedia as an undergraduate. I began my career working as a digital and web designer, and early on I knew that I really wanted to start my own studio. After working for a couple of in-house design teams, I couldn’t quite find the right fit: designers weren’t supposed to have the desire to move so broadly throughout the design process. So I started my own business and worked directly with clients throughout Ireland and UK. It was a fun couple of years and I learned a lot from the experience.

But I had always had a desire to go to grad school, and with my weird mix of interests across disciplines — design and art, technology and code, politics and culture — I became hungry for a new challenge that would integrate more of my own passions and curiosities into my design practice.

Art Center’s Media Design Practices program was exactly the kind of interdisciplinary environment I was looking for—innovative, experimental design work that would give me a platform to engage with the bigger ideas, concepts and questions that lay beyond the previous client work I had been doing.

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Required reading: Digital_Humanities, by Media Design Practices Chair Anne Burdick

Monday, September 30th, 2013

burdickWhat are the digital humanities? That’s the question posed in a new scholarly book co-authored by Anne Burdick, chair of the Graduate Media Design Department. And judging by the critical response—from movers and shakers in the field like Lev Manovich, Dan Cohen and Alan Liu—it’s a question many want answered.

In Digital_Humanities (MIT Press), Burdick—along with metaLAB (at) Harvard’s Jeffrey Schnapp and UCLA’s Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld and Todd Presner—explores geospatial analysis, data mining, corpus linguistics and other non-traditional modes of humanistic inquiry. Writing for Leonardo Reviews, media artist and scholar Dene Grigar urges everyone to read Digital_Humanities, no matter their academic discipline, as it describes an area of research that has “the potential of transforming higher education.” And in the Italian edition of WIRED, Matteo “Mister Bit” Bittanti names the book one of his best of 2012 and recommends that every Italian university student add it to their reading list. A free Open Access edition of the book is available at the MIT Press website.

This story originally appeared in Art Center’s Dot magazine. Check out Dot online for more news of alumni and faculty exhibitions, products, books, films and social impact.

Step in to the shoes of homeless youth with Media Design Practices

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

 

Performing their song, "The Road I Walk," at the gallery are from left, Marlon "Mr. Stranger," Kevin "Lil' Krazy aka Ghetto Boy" and Lorenzo "Mr. L.A."

Performing their song, “The Road I Walk,” at the gallery are from left, Marlon “Mr. Stranger,” Kevin “Lil’ Krazy aka Ghetto Boy” and Lorenzo “Mr. L.A.”

The road I walk every day, it’s no game,

I try to make my way.

 People see what they want to see.  

But that person is not me. 

Look at me, look at me…

I might surprise you. 

Who am I?…

Lyrics by Kevin Lil’ Krazy aka Ghetto Boy from the song The Road I Walk

The assignment for the first term Graduate Media Design Practices Field students was to use design to tell a story that reframes preconceived ideas of homelessness. One of the results was a powerful collaboration that asks viewers to “step into my shoes” to explore homelessness through stories told by youth who have been there.

In partnership with Jovenes, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services for homeless youth in Boyle Heights, three Art Center student teams got to work.

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Entering the Matrix with Media Design Practices’ dialectical bus tour

Thursday, September 12th, 2013
The data center at One Wilshire

The data center at One Wilshire

“How do I talk about infrastructure?” Norman Klein wonders aloud as Media Design Practices’ annual dialectical bus tour of Los Angeles gets underway on a sweltering Friday morning in September. This annual odyssey through the pivotal places informing the city’s past, present and future has become a rite of passage for students pursuing a masters degree in Art Center’s forward-thinking program exploring the subtextual ideas at the intersection of design, social impact and culture.

Norman Klein

Norman Klein

Klein, a media and urban theorist who divides his time teaching classes on the relationship between Los Angeles, history and forgetting at Art Center and CalArts, has been presiding over this event since its inception some ten years ago. The tour takes its name from the original concept, which placed him dialogue with then MDP faculty-member Peter Lunefeld, who is now a professor in UCLA’s Design/Media Arts department.  That lively meeting of the minds then formed the basis for the tours future pairings with Klein acting as the constant.

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Culmination celebration: Summer 2013 graduation events

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Graduation at Art Center

With the all-nighter intensity of finals safely in the rear-view mirror, excitement mounts as Summer Term 2013 graduation week gets underway. Here’s an overview of the campus agenda, which teems with an array of culminating events showcasing the handiwork of the creative talent pool about to flow into the marketplace.

Thursday, August 15

Industry leaders and professionals, employers, corporate partners, donors and alumni will get the first look at the Summer Term’s graduating artists and designers at this year’s invitation-only Graduation Show Preview. The show will feature student projects from major fields of study at Art Center, including Advertising, Entertainment Design, Environmental Design, Film, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Imaging, Product Design, Transportation Design, Graduate Industrial Design and Graduate Media Design Practices.

Graduation Show Preview will be held at Hillside Campus from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., with a private reception hosted by Alumni Relations immediately following.

From 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Graduate Media Design Practices will host a lab research discussion followed by an exhibition and reception, from 5 to10 pm, in honor of this term’s cohort of graduates, which includes the program’s first Field Track students. These events take place on South Campus (950 Raymond) and are open to the public.

Saturday, August 17

Join us in the Sculpture Garden at Hillside Campus from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for our graduation ceremony. Cross-disciplinary faculty member and alum, Richard Keyes — who teaches popular classes in color theory, design principles and narrative structure — will deliver the commencement address. We will also hear from valedictorian and Environmental Design student, Rosa Tsaihua Lee and present the Art Center Student Leadership Award to Photography and Imaging student, Kate Marie Buntsma.

After the ceremony, Graduation Show opens to the public from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., where work by the newest Art Center graduates will be on display. In addition to Hillside Campus activities, Graduate Art and Graduate Media Design Practices will host  a Graduation Show at South Campus from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Free valet parking will be provided at the Hillside Campus from 6 – 10 p.m.  Self-parking will be available at South Campus throughout the evening.

Congratulations to our Summer Term 2013 graduates!

“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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