Tag Archives: Surface

Celebrating the ADA’s 25th birthday with a primer of inclusive design at Art Center

Kira Song's floatation vest for brain-injured athletes with limited motion.

Kira Song’s floatation vest for brain-injured athletes with limited motion.

As the nation prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, the community of makers at Art Center College of Design continues to innovate products and experiences that help improve the world for people who have essential life function limitations.

Since its founding 85 years ago, students, faculty and alumni have been making a difference through inclusive design by applying a human-centered theory to assistive products and experiences for populations challenged by issues of aging, race, gender, ability, chronic disease, psychological or developmental disorders, and more.

“We have a community of students who want to leverage their creativity to impact people’s lives,” said Product Design Chair Karen Hofmann (BS 97 Product) who has guided designers making significant contributions through rethinking how products can improve people’s lives for more than a decade. “That’s the most meaningful work designers can do.”

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Inside the extended-play version of the Microsoft Surface DesignStorm video


Earlier this month, we posted a teaser trailer capturing highlights from a DesignStorm in which students conceived innovative uses for click-on attachments (code name: Blades) to Microsoft’s Surface tablet. The three-day session consisted of a group of students from the College’s various design departments facilitated by Graphic Design faculty member Gerardo Herrera along with Product Design instructor, Todd Masilko and Jeff Higashi, who teaches both Graphic and Product Design.

DesignStorms are Art Center’s trademarked immersive workshops which pair  expert faculty with select upper-term design students with sponsors to form multidisciplinary teams. Over the course of the collaboration, the teams apply an intensive design methodology to identify opportunities for deeper exploration and innovation.

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Microsoft cracks the Surface with an Art Center Design Storm

Earlier this month, Microsoft placed the latest iteration of its Surface tablet in the eye of an Art Center Design Storm. For the following two days, a group of tech-obsessed designers (the futurists of the future?) gathered in a classroom at Art Center’s Hillside campus for a super-charged idea generating session with a single directive: Conceive the most mind-popping attachments and accessories for the device imaginable.

A flood of innovative and enticing ideas flowed from this quintessential Art Center technique designed to stimulate creativity. Watching the above video — produced by Microsoft and shot and edited by Art Center Film alum, Erik Anderson — feels a lot like peering into the right side of a designer’s brain as it fires at full capacity.

Have a look and feel free to let loose with your own unexpected and innovative concepts for  Surface improvements in the comments section below.