Environmental Design alum Kimberly Marte has worked on quiet a few impressive cars since graduating from ArtCenter. As the Senior Lead Designer for Color and Materials at Tesla Motors she worked as a member of the team that researched and designed the feel and color the iconic Model S. It is a car, and a company, known for its attention to detail. She contributes to the color options, both interior and exterior, anything you touch, such as the plastics, metals, resins, fibers, fabrics, leathers and grains. Her insight into consumers preferences comes from staying ahead of trends and researching what is happening in multiple disciplines from fashion, to interior design. She talked with us about the unique working environment at Tesla and the difficulties and rewards of being a female in the automotive business.
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.
Working for a carmaker is a dream come true for many, but for Transportation Design alumni Julien Bilodeau and Christine Park and Graphic Design student Bryce Shawcross, it’s a testament to their individual goals, ambition and perseverance, as well as Art Center’s stellar design programs.
Julien Bilodeau grew up in Baie Sainte-Marie, a small French Canadian town in Nova Scotia, where he dreamed about designing cars. When he came to Art Center, he said, “I was instantly impressed by the passion of the students, teachers and Southern California as a whole,” citing instructors Stewart Reed, Bumsuk Lim and Jason Hill as major influences on him as an artist and designer.
“Art Center really helped me develop a wide skill set, allowing me to approach design from a number of perspectives,” said Bilodeau. “The flexibility of the curriculum and supportive guidance allowed me to really pursue my own avenues with regards to my own interests.”
During his time at Art Center, he held an internship at the Honda Advanced Design Studio before transitioning into an internship at Porsche. Once his internship ended, he was offered a chance to complete his thesis project at Porsche. Although he couldn’t complete his final term at Art Center, he decided this was the best opportunity, knowing that it would be an important factor in eventually working at Porsche.
Earlier this year, Art Center alumni swept the first ever AllSpark Platinum Awards, which honors “the best of the best of the best” of the 2012 entrants to the Spark Awards.
Spark recently released a video in which AllSpark winners Yves Béhar PROD 91, Franz von Holzhausen TRAN 92 and Sujin Hwang PROD 11 are interviewed alongside other top designers, including Sam Lucente and alumnus Earl Gee GRPK 83.
In the video, Béhar speaks about See Better to Learn Better, a program his company fuseproject created in partnership with the Mexican government and Augen Optics. The program distributes hundreds of thousands of eyeglasses every year to schoolchildren in Mexico. Children have the opportunity to choose their glasses’ frame, size and color, giving them a chance to be involved in the design process.
Yahoo! Autos tested 100 vehicles — from the amped-up Ford Shelby GT500 to the pared-down Toyota Prius C — and named the Tesla Model S their 2013 car of the year.
Art Center alum Franz von Holzhausen and a team of 11 spent eight months designing the Model S, an electric luxury sedan styled somewhere between a Jaguar XJ and an Audi A7.
Bucking the electric car stereotype, the $50,000-and-up Model S goes form zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and seats seven with room for groceries. Designers took a page from the aviation industry adding 17-inch center-console screen with connectivity to the Web, navigation and the car’s systems.
Some recent media coverage featuring Art Center, our faculty, students and alumni:
- Illustration student Jesse Tise was interviewed by Amelia’s Magazine.
- The Pasadena Star-News reports on an innovative pet carrier created by alums Melony Lee, Michael Leung and Greg Mote.
- The Designmatters and Environmental Design Department’s Safe Agua project received a SPARK! Award, and was featured in Metropolis Magazine.
- The Pasadena Star-News and the International Business Times wrote pieces on the Williamson Gallery’s ENERGY exhibition.
- The Pasadena Star-News reported on Pasadena’s shop local campaign, designed in partnership with The Agency.
- A recent post on Core77 focused on a conversation between Art Center President Lorne Buchman, Product Design Chair Karen Hofmann and frog design about the future of design education.
- Art Center once again tops the DesignIntelligence rankings for undergraduate and graduate Industrial Design programs. Also, Karen Hofmann was named a DesignIntelligence “Most Admired Educator” for the second year in a row.
- The most recent Los Angeles Times Magazine included an article on Tesla Motors, featuring alumni Franz von Holzhausen, Bernard Lee and Nadya Arnaout.