Posts Tagged ‘pasadena’

ArtCenter master plan features affordable student housing and elevated quad and cycleway

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
ArtCenter’s vision for a South Campus student housing village, mobility hub, public gallery and park-like quad. (Image credit: Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio)

ArtCenter’s vision for a South Campus student housing village, mobility hub, public gallery and park-like quad. (Image credit: Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio)

ArtCenter College of Design has made public its new master plan, charting a 10-year vision for the future of the College’s physical campuses. At a November 12th reception, nearby residents and business leaders were treated to an early look at the visionary proposal that will provide students with innovative learning and making spaces as well as much-needed housing. The College plans to break ground in 2017, following the City of Pasadena’s review process, to create a thriving art and culture educational urban destination.

Highlights of the plan include an elevated park-like quad that spans the Metro Gold Line tracks, a transportation hub, a cycleway, the transformation of Raymond Avenue into a tree-lined pedestrian-friendly road and a student housing village.

“This is mission-driven growth informed by the College’s conservatory-like approach to education,” said Lorne M. Buchman, president of ArtCenter College of Design. “We’re sharing our vision for rich, intercultural and transdisciplinary dialogue, and our goal is to ensure that institutional development is synonymous with meaningful change in the surrounding community.”


Where urban and digital realms merge, the post-geographic city emerges

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Everything, On Time (2015) by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker (with Jenny Rodenhouse), "a testing ground for what the city is, and perhaps will be."

Everything, On Time (2015) by Tim Durfee and Ben Hooker is “a testing ground for what the city is, and perhaps will be.” Image courtesy Tim Dufee and Ben Hooker

This Friday is ArtNight, a twice-a-year event in which Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions—including ArtCenter College of Design—swing open their doors for a free evening of art, music and entertainment.

In addition to attending a celebration for the opening night of the College’s street art exhibition OUTSIDEIN, visitors to ArtCenter’s South Campus will have a unique opportunity to see in the Wind Tunnel Gallery a preview of Now, There: Scenes from the Post-Geographic City, an exhibition from ArtCenter’s Media Design Practices (MDP) program which will be installed at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture this December in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Curated by MDP’s Professor Tim Durfee and faculty Mimi ZeigerNow, There explores “what is now and where is there” in today’s reality in which “urban and digital realms are inextricably linked” by presenting a selection of screen-based works, objects and texts that “develop, explore and visualize a city not tied to any physical locality.”


Classing up 1111 South Arroyo Parkway: Goodbye ’80s corporate office. Hello 21st-century atelier.

Friday, September 18th, 2015
Faculty Deni Wohlgenuth teaches on the first day of class. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Faculty Deni Wohlgenuth teaches on the first day of class. Photo: Chuck Spangler

Take the 110 Freeway all the way to Pasadena and just try not to notice ArtCenter College of Design.

The College’s recently purchased six-story building at 1111 South Arroyo Parkway has undergone a makeover—its stucco exterior has been painted black and large “ArtCenter” logos adorn each side of its wraparound mirrored curtain wall—arguably giving the College its greatest public visibility in history.

But it’s what’s going on inside that structure that’s really impressive.

The beginning of the Fall term last week brought with it the arrival of hundreds of students to the building, all of whom are taking courses in the recently reimagined sixth floor of the building.

And what a reimagining it is. (more…)

Pasadena unveils alum Catherine Menard’s Armenian Genocide Memorial

Friday, April 24th, 2015


Saturday, April 18th, 2015, was a blistering hot day in Pasadena Memorial Park. But the day’s speakers and many in the crowd wore black to the unveiling of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial, designed by alum Catherine Menard (MFA 14 Environmental Design), whose teardrop concept for the monument was chosen as the winner in 2014 competition, launched by the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee. We caught up with Menard on this momentous occasion to hear how she approached the weight of commemorating the estimated 1.5 million victims who died during a campaign against Armenians and other Christian minorities beginning in 1915, as well as how the experience has changed her.

How did you learn about the competition?

I was asked by Professor James Meraz to join a studio that he created through Designmatters for the specific purpose of designing memorials that we would then submit to the competition.



Civic improvements: Spring 2015 Graduation claims a new location and starting time

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

Photo credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Pham

In February 1932, during the lowest ebb of the Great Depression, the new Pasadena Civic auditorium was dedicated “to the citizens of Pasadena, whose efforts and sacrifices have made the erection of this beautiful and useful building possible.” In the decades since its dedication, the Civic has seen millions of patrons from several generations of Southern Californians pass through its doors. As a home for ballet, symphony, popular music, musical comedy and television programs, the Civic has hosted a wide variety of special events.

On Saturday, April 18, 2014, the 2,997-seat auditorium will serve as the new venue for Art Center’s graduation ceremonies. The Spring 2015 graduating class will be the first Art Center cohort in a long time who will not face off against the elements—rain, sun, wind or cold—as they prepare to collect their diplomas. The gathering is at long last moving to a climate-controlled indoor home with permanent walls and floors. It is also conveniently centrally located between Art Center’s Hillside and South campuses.

As the day approaches, let’s celebrate these creative and talented individuals who are about to take on the world. Here’s the lowdown for the week:


Art Center student mentors help invigorate local high school’s art club

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Illustration student Ashley Pinnick shows off some appreciation by Blair High School's Art Club.

Illustration student Ashley Pinnick shows off some appreciation by Blair High School’s Art Club.

Illustration student Ashley Pinnick helped initiate the leadership exchange program between Art Center College of Design and Blair High School in the Pasadena Unified School District, along with students Cassie Zhang (Illustration), Tom Eichacker (Illustration), Martel McCornell (Film), D’Angelo McCornell (Graduate Film) and Vanessa Shababzadeh (Product), with guidance from Illustration faculty member Esther Pearl Watson. Below is her account of the experience.

Over the course of the Fall 2014 term, I had the privilege of being one of the students who forged a connection between Art Center and Blair High School as a student mentor.

Being a Designmatters Concentration student, it was a great opportunity for me to be thrust into a position where I could make a positive impact somewhere just down the street from Art Center’s South Campus.


Sky-high architectural praise for Pasadena’s Sequoyah School, designed by Art Center instructor Alice Fung

Monday, January 26th, 2015
The Sequoyah School expansion, designed by Fung+Blatt and featured in Architectural Record. View full slideshow.

The Sequoyah School expansion, designed by Fung + Blatt and featured in Architectural Record, features lofty classrooms that echo the original buildings on the site. View full slideshow.

For the last 12 years, architect and visual artist Alice Fung has been teaching a materials course in Art Center’s Integrated Studies Department while working as a principal with her architecture firm, Fung + Blatt. One of Fung + Blatt’s recently completed projects, the Sequoyah School in Pasadena, is featured in the January 2015 Schools of the 21st Century special issue of Architectural Record, in an article by Sarah Amelar, excerpted below. The magazine’s annual review looks at “the world’s most architecturally significant K-12 schools…that exemplify good design as a crucial component in a school’s programmatic development.” The issue is currently on newsstands and available at Art Center’s Student Store at Hillside Campus. The project also received an Honor Award from the AIA last fall.

True to the collaborative spirit of the progressive Sequoyah School, in Pasadena, California, its students played active roles in the recent architectural changes on campus. Architects Alice Fung and Michael Blatt asked the pupils at this independent K-8 school to list their “wild dream” improvements and prioritize their needs. Their input had impact: Fung + Blatt Architects’ (F+B) initial intervention here, in 2009, was a shaded pick-up/drop-off shelter, addressing a top priority of its users. The architects also tackled small projects, gradually weaving together the eclectic campus, before transforming a long-overlooked section with new buildings.

Instead of disrupting learning, the multi-phased design work inspired it, engaging students, for example, in mapping and analyzing the existing campus. In Sequoyah’s “place-based” pedagogy, its surroundings are fodder for learning.

But the site—a 2.25-acre parcel between a freeway off-ramp and a major artery—is not an obvious spot for a school. Sequoyah leases its campus from Caltrans, the state highway agency, yet the school has flourished here for decades, striking a balance among seemingly irreconcilable conditions. (more…)

Conjuring the magic of art and design for kids at the Boys & Girls Club

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Alvin Oei teaching at Pasadena Boys & Girls Club.

Be passionate about what you do. Be thorough and thoughtful doing it. Be a leader. Make something. Make a difference. These are core Art Center values and Environmental Design student Alvin Oei embodies all of them.

Oei’s enthusiasm about art and design drives his desire to share his knowledge and excitement for the disciplines with kids, most of whom attend schools with no art curriculum. He accomplished this in a big way for the children at Pasadena’s Boys & Girls Club when he conducted an intensive two-week workshop. The mini-Art Center boot camp challenged the youths to design different stores in Diagon Alley from the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” through storyboarding and physical model making. The project was designed around the popular book and movie series to help make it resonate. Kids “have this unabashed no-limit imagination” says Oei, who is inspired by their energy.


Los Angeles Times praises Art Center’s “smart growth” to meet increased demand for fresh design talent

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
The newly purchased Mullin Building, at 1111 Arroyo Parkway

The newly purchased Mullin Building, at 1111 Arroyo Parkway

We’ve been talking with Los Angeles Times’ higher education reporter Larry Gordon for a few weeks  about businesses aiming to sharpen their competitive edge by hiring top design talent. Gordon was intrigued by the notion that corporate leaders have realized market domination in the new innovation economy requires a brain trust of superior design thinkers. Savvy consumers have become more and more discriminating in their choices when purchasing everything from smart phones to urban mobility devices.

Art Center’s record enrollment growth since 2009 is a clear signal of the global increase in demand for innovative design education. The booming interest in design also illustrates corporations’ recognition of the expanding importance of the creative professions to a healthy global business climate. And this increasingly design-centric paradigm is exemplified by Art Center’s continued physical expansion, with the completion of the new HQ for the Fine Art and Illustration Departments at 870 Raymond and the announcement of the purchase of the Mullin Building at 1111 Arroyo Parkway.

Read on to see what Gordon discovered in his conversations with Art Center students and faculty about how the recently opened “Post Office Building” is meeting their needs for light-filled visual art making spaces, and what President Lorne Buchman had to say about the College’s latest acquisition along Pasadena’s “Innovation Corridor.”

June 2014 alumni news and notes

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

Photograph by Damon Casarez for the New York Times

From The New York Times to Esquire, from Cannes to the Venice Biennale — Art Center alums have been busy making, making headlines and making their talents known within some of the world’s most prestigious events, platforms and publications. In addition to this primer on their accomplishments, we’re also inviting the Art Center alumni community to nominate candidates for this year’s Art Center Alumni Awards. Read on to learn more.