Tag Archives: Strategic Plan

Say Goodbye to the Old Paradigm. Here Comes the Next Generation of Design-Driven Startups


Art Center  and Caltech today announced the launch of The Design Accelerator, an incubator aimed at helping startups grow by merging great design, cutting-edge technology and business strategy to create innovation. The Accelerator initially will be housed within Idealab, which is well known for creating and operating pioneering companies in its own right.

“In today’s economy, artists and designers play a vital role as creative leaders and catalysts for innovation and change,” said Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman. “Integrating technology, design and business, The Design Accelerator creates an opportunity for Art Center and Caltech alumni to expand on what they learned as students and provides a stimulating space for their concepts to become viable businesses.”

The Accelerator is an integral part of Art Center’s 2011–2016 Strategic Plan. Understanding students’ concerns about employment prospects following graduation, The Accelerator fills a critical gap by giving students and alumni the opportunity to develop their concepts into sustainable and commercial ventures—a bridge between academic and professional life.

Fred Farina, Caltech’s chief innovation officer, adds, “We know that making connections across different areas fuels innovation, and that’s why we’re excited about this collaboration. The combination of our complementary but very different perspectives in a startup team promises powerful results.”

The Design Accelerator benefits from its prime location in Pasadena, Calif., which has become a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship with vibrant creative, technology and business communities, enriched by the presence of Art Center, Caltech, angel investors and venture capitalists.

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Trustee Charles F. Johnson Flies High with “Red Tails”

"Red Tails" Executive Producer and Art Center Trustee Charles Floyd Johnson.

One of Art Center’s newer Trustees, Charles Floyd Johnson has a long-standing and successful career as a producer in the entertainment industry. He first started becoming familiar with the College during August of last year, became a Trustee earlier this year, and is looking forward to assisting Art Center in a number of different capacities, from outreach to fundraising.

“I came out for a graduation and was so impressed with Art Center, its students, and its plans for the future, that I said this is the place for me,” said Johnson, who points to being particularly impressed by the College’s Strategic Plan. “It felt to me like a very forward-thinking agenda, in terms of both making the school more user-friendly for the students and also making Art Center more dominant. Art Center already has a wonderful reputation in so many of its areas, but the College is interested in becoming even stronger.”

Johnson is currently serving as executive producer of the CBS television drama NCIS, which celebrates its 200th episode on February 7. He is also one of the producers of Red Tails, the Lucasfilm feature about the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first all African-American aerial unit who both helped bring down the Nazi war machine during World War II and challenged racial stereotypes back home. Defying the odds, the film starring an all African-American cast — including Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nate Parker and David Oleyowo — debuted last weekend in second place by bringing in nearly $19 million at the box office.

“It’s a story that has resonance with a lot of people,” said Johnson of the film which he and fellow Red Tails producer George Lucas had been trying to get off the ground for 23 years. “These young men were not encouraged to fly for their country. They were not expected to succeed. But they triumphed over adversity. These were men who fought racism at home and fascism abroad. They did it successfully and they were heroes, not victims.”

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Looking Back on a Year of Change

Art Center President Lorne M. Buchman.

Earlier this year, Art Center College of Design launched Create Change, our strategic plan for becoming the preeminent college of art and design in the 21st century.

With Fall graduation events set for tomorrow and the winter break nearly upon us, we felt it was the perfect time to sit down with Art Center College of Design President Lorne M. Buchman to hear his thoughts on the past year, get an update on the strategic plan and find out what’s in store for the coming year.

Dotted Line: Looking back at the past year, what are your first thoughts?

Lorne M. Buchman: I’d like to begin by expressing how deeply gratified I am by all that we’ve accomplished. This has been a banner year for Art Center. We’ve seen record enrollment of talented and gifted students, we launched our strategic plan and we are set to begin new degree programs in Fall 2012. We’re closing in on the purchase of the post office property adjacent to South Campus, a facility for which we’ve raised significant funds to purchase. We’ve built the Board and we’ve recruited some dynamic new faculty. We are connecting with alumni the world over. We’ve offered some fabulous new courses and we’ve made significant strides in acquiring new technology and equipment for our students. I could go on and on. It’s been remarkable. And all of this doesn’t happen by accident. The driving force of our success is the focused and diligent work of our trustees, faculty and staff. We should recognize with much gratitude the quality of this extraordinary community.

More questions with President Lorne M. Buchman after the jump.

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Hot Off the Press: DOT 19

The latest issue of DOT is online, and print versions are hitting mailboxes now!

This issue focuses on Art Center’s new strategic plan, Create Change and includes President Lorne Buchman’s reflections on the strategic plan, essays by faculty and planning committee members on the plan’s different aspects, and profiles on students who’ve realized their creative visions thanks to scholarships.

In October, we’ll debut a reimagined print magazine and online presence, so stay tuned. To be notified via email when the next issue is published, sign up for our mailing list.

Read DOT 19.

You Can Create Change

Last year, the Art Center community came together to envision the College’s future and to design a plan to achieve it. Create Change, Art Center’s five-year strategic plan, came out of that process.

Create Change contains a bold educational agenda for the next five years built on three major themes:

The Conservatory Spirit reflects the intense, specialized and practical career preparation that is the hallmark of an Art Center education.

Convening Diverse Communities & Disciplines centers on broad access and the growth of intercultural and cross-disciplinary dialogues and programs.

New Spaces for Learning calls for providing our students with a superior educational environment by renovating and expanding our physical facilities and developing online learning opportunities.

We are already starting to implement the plan, and we invite you to join us. Your support—for scholarship, the Art Center Fund or seed funding for initiatives—strengthens our programs, creates opportunities for our students and ensures the College’s continuing leadership.

Together we created this plan, and together we’ll make it a reality. Help us create change today.

New Standing Committee Created

Guest post by Art Center President Lorne Buchman

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Last fall, I launched an important conversation regarding diversity through a forum with Dr. Daryl Smith, a leading national scholar in higher education diversity theory and research. The intention was to bring College leadership together to explore the values of diversity and inclusion as central to academic excellence and institutional mission.

Synchronized to align with the development of our new strategic plan, the forum was an important beginning in developing a common understanding of institutional diversity and inclusion. In the final plan itself, these values have been anchored at the center of our educational mission—precisely where they belong. Create Change recognizes the critical responsibility of developing professionals, leaders, and citizens able to thrive in and contribute to a changing and pluralistic society.

To implement and monitor relevant aspects of the strategic plan, I am pleased to announce that I have established a new standing committee for the College—the Council on Diversity and Inclusion. Parallel to Art Center’s Budget Committee, and Facilities & Technology Committee, the council will be a standing shared governance committee of the College. The responsibility of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion is to realize the strategies outlined in our new plan through ongoing oversight in measuring progress toward achieving our objectives.

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Creating Our Future Through Art Center’s Strategic Plan

What does the great art and design school of the 21st century look like? How can it best serve its students?

Last year, the Art Center community came together to find out. Through an all-inclusive visioning process, we addressed the challenges of making our distinctive education cutting-edge and pertinent—the what, where and why—and envisioned Art Center’s future.

The result of this process is Art Center’s 2011-2016 strategic plan, unveiled last week to the College community. The five-year plan both honors Art Center’s distinguished 80-year history and imagines its future.  It shapes our core values into a new model for art and design education for the 21st century—one that ensures continuing excellence, relevance and impact for decades to come.

We sat down with College president Lorne Buchman to find out more about the strategic plan, how it came about, and what it means to the Art Center community.

Dotted Line: Why was it important to involve the entire Art Center community in the visioning process?
Lorne Buchman:
Art Center has a reputation for being incredibly rigorous with our students—it’s key to the quality and the kind of education that we offer. One of the wonderful things about the planning process was that it was a chance for us as an institution to be as rigorous with ourselves as we are with our students.

In coming up with this strategic plan, we felt it was really important that everyone—alumni, students, faculty, staff, Trustees—participate in the planning process that culminated in the plan. The College is filled with brilliant, creative, wonderful people who care deeply about this institution, and who have the power to design their future. The spirit of this planning process proceeded as such.

Dotted Line: And a new College mission statement came out of the process as well?
Yes. I’ve never loved a mission statement, but I love this one: “Learn to create. Influence change.” It’s such a profound educational philosophy, and what our College is about.

Dotted Line: Why was a strategic plan necessary?
There is a new ecology of learning going on. Higher education is changing incredibly rapidly. Our students are changing—they’re different than they were five, even 10 years ago. We must be attuned and responsive to these things.

Dotted Line: In what ways have students changed?
Our students are coming to us with a real kind of social consciousness.  I think the success of Designmatters demonstrates this rather well. Students are coming to Art Center with the goal of finding meaningful work after graduation. They understand that what they do as artists and designers has ramifications for all communities and corners of the world. They can lend a way of thinking, creating, solving problems and addressing issues. That’s very deep and profound, and it opens up a new kind of knowledge. It’s our duty to help them in this pursuit.

Dotted Line: One of the plan’s key pillars is the Conservatory Spirit, which isn’t a term one usually applies to an art and design school. Can you elaborate?
: The idea of Art Center as a conservatory has its roots in the school’s history. This has always been a place that prepares students for creative and career success. Akin to Juilliard, we provide the highest caliber of education, we employ a professional faculty who bring a sense of real-world relevance to the classroom environment and we offer programs that meet the demands of society—all to ensure artists and designers have a place in the world. This is where the conservatory spirit comes from.

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Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Art Center President Lorne Buchman unveiled Art Center’s new strategic plan last night to the College community. (Read our live tweets for the event on Twitter.)

The five-year strategic plan represents the culmination of more than a year of deep conversations, brainstorms and working group sessions with the entire Art Center community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and friends—that explored the intrinsic qualities of the great art and design college of the future. A website has been created as well that will explain the plan and track progress.

Also revealed was the College’s new mission statement: Learn to create. Influence change.

The strategic planning process coincided with the first full year of Buchman’s tenure, as well as the College’s 80th anniversary and related celebrations. The timing of this process gave the community opportunities to consider the College’s distinguished past while embracing the future.

Art Center’s five-year strategic plan offers a roadmap for getting there. The plan is organized into three broad pillars that align with Art Center’s mission: “The Conservatory Spirit,” “Convening Diverse Communities & Disciplines” and “New Spaces for Learning.”

The Conservatory Spirit
The first pillar, “The Conservatory Spirit,” reflects Art Center’s longstanding commitment to serve as the foremost college of higher learning for ambitious artists and designers to master their craft and learn from experts in their respective fields. To ensure Art Center’s programs remain on the leading edge and that students are prepared for leadership in a pluralistic society, the strategic plan calls for the expansion of transdisciplinary learning among students from different disciplines, as well as the creation of new undergraduate, graduate and public programs that will address emerging fields and provide students with additional opportunities for growth.

Convening Diverse Communities & Disciplines
The second pillar, “Convening Diverse Communities & Disciplines,” centers on the need to nurture a diverse and robust College com-munity of students, faculty and staff (in terms of culture, identity and socio-economic status.) Increasing the number of student scholarships is but one vital aspect of creating a more diverse community on campus. In addition, Art Center plans to offer a broader range of disciplines and partnership opportunities with industry and nonprofits that will aid in students’ creative development.

New Spaces for Learning
Equally important, students must have access to the types of learning environments—both physical and online—that will foster collaborations among the various art and design disciplines. The plan’s third pillar, “New Spaces for Learning,” calls for the improvement and development of Art Center’s South Campus in downtown Pasadena as well as a thorough renovation of the College’s Ellwood Building at Hillside Campus to replace outmoded and inefficient systems and materials. The plan also calls for the creation of online education programs and tools to expand and support curriculum and encourage new modes of learning.

Through these various initiatives and resolutions, the strategic plan will position Art Center to shape and define culture, to encourage relevance and social responsibility in art and design, to prepare graduates for leadership roles in society, and to advance learning, research and making. Our collective efforts, together with support from our partners and advocates, will make Art Center the leading college of art and design for the 21st century.

The full text of Art Center’s 2011–16 strategic plan is available online at artcenter.edu/createchange. Also, check out our live tweets from the event.