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PASADENA, CA, USA | To keep abreast of the exciting and innovative ideas, people and projects at Art Center College of Design, the media and general public can subscribe to Art Center's news digest by sending email to and in the body of the mail type "subscribe newswire" (without quotes). We highlight some of the newsmakers in our Art Center community monthly.

To report news or obtain more information, contact Jan Kingaard, tel. (626) 396-2394; fax (626) 683-9233.


Chicago Sun-Times (May 23, 2002)Instructor Paul Schneider has been named creative director of Digital Kitchen/Chicago. He joined DK after a two-year stint as creative director for Wide Open Spaces, a Los Angeles-based classic design studio.

New York Post (May 21, 2002)Fanciful furniture and playful products were found at this year's International Contemporary Furniture Fair. "Clever mobility" was the theme that Art Center students brought to the exhibition. Visitors were treated to a six-foot seesaw sofa by Yuen Tung Chiang and an aromatherapy table lamp by Nadine Schelbert. According to Brooke Stoddard, style editor for House & Garden magazine, the "ICFF is like the Academy Awards of furniture design. It's the single most important contemporary design show in America."

International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)This year's 2002 was held in New York May 18-21. The annual event is an opportunity for both small companies and large international manufacturers to highlight furnishings, surfacings, and accessories for both residential and contract use. ICFF also invites a select number of schools, including Art Center College of Design, to exhibit at the fair. According to instructor David Mocarski, because Art Center students create within the department of environmental design, they are sensitive to the placement of the pieces within a space. Of the works exhibited, Mocarski says, "They're works that really promote involvement with the user. In some cases the pieces convert, requiring interaction from the user. They offer some sense of additional service of flexibility or they redefine the usage of a piece of furniture."

The Salon du Meuble de ParisThe annual Paris show is the place to see new French products, discover new international trends and get an overview of the furnishings market. Art Center alumnus Arik Levy, founder of Ldesign, Levy debuted his Arik sofa bed. "In our office, we are looking for solutions that adapt to the user rather than having the user adapt to the product. My sofa has no notches, so you can easily move the seat forward or backward, even a fraction of an inch, to any length that is comfortable. When you sit on the sofa, a piece of soft rubber presses down and adheres to the floor to keep it from moving." (May 18)Art Center's Clever, Smart and Mobile exhibit at the ICFF 2002 focused on creating furnishing with multiple uses. Included were Yoshi Saito's Hug, a sort of pod inspired by cocoons and pet beds; Yuen Tung Chiang's SeeSaw Sofa that doubles as a seesaw and Chiang's Hi Workstation, designed with three different surface levels for writing, typing or screen watching. FILM Shoot (May 24, 2002)Art Center College of Design film students Vee Vitanza, Richard Hartman, Ken Saba, Jeff Wang, Jonah Torreano, Jerry Magana, Kirsten Hanna, Alex Rembrandt, Rubina Chabra won silver Clios in the student category for their work for Adopt-A-Pet entitled "Companionship." Also awarded silver Clios were Nicolas Hill and Robert Hanson for their work "Boardroom," "Porn Surfer," and "Couple" for The Clio Awards Festival recognizes the best work in the television/cinema field of advertising.

Chicago Tribune (May 17, 2002)Alumna Catherine Sullivan is merging the worlds of theater and movies. The director is creating a hybrid art form that offers audiences live performance combined with video presentation. Recently, the University of Chicago commissioned her to create a new piece. "Five Economies (big hunt/little hunt)" is the result. The presentation consists of a row of five screens, each about 10 feet by 13 feet, that display black-and-white footage of actors performing various scenarios in a large public building in Los Angeles. "I'm interested in how power functions," Sullivan says. Her work also provides an opportunity to disprove commonly held misconceptions regarding actors, especially the notion that they "lose" themselves in a role. "It's never an actor putting on a mask and hiding," she says. "The mask brings out different qualities of an actor. It's not a matter of being taken elsewhere, but finding that Ćelsewhere' in the actor."

The Business Dialogue SeriesPatrick Welsh, president, and Eddie Sotto, chief creative officer, from Progress City talked to students and faculty about the firm's passion in creating immersive worlds for people to escape to, explore or utilize. Progress City is a product design firm with a focus on systems of experience. The staff includes theme park designers, show producers, industrial designers, software programmers, graphic artists and architects. The company offers turn-key solutions to clients that push technological boundaries as needed to engage memorable emotional responses.

The Business Dialogue SeriesCreative Director Stefan Pannenbecker and Technical Director Zander Nosler of Teague Product Studios shared their views with the campus web community on the issues of change, culture, collaboration, character and creativity . Teague creates informed, intelligent and inspired solutions in the areas of industrial design, interaction design, strategic design, design research and product development. Their scope of clients is broad and includes companies that work in consumer electronics, medical systems, business electronics and consumer goods.

Intellectual Property SeriesAttorney Michelle Katz offered four seminars on copyrights, trademarks, how to protect work, and how to avoid infringing on other people's work. Throughout the month of June, she presented necessary information and concepts as they apply to artists and designers. Hosted by the Liberal Arts and Sciences Department, her presentations were enlightening for the entire Art Center community.

Star Wars Insider (Issue 50)The look of Star Wars characters were the result not only of George Lucas, but illustration alumnus Ralph McQuarrie. When Lucas needed some production illustrations to sell the futuristic film to Fox execs, he came to McQuarrie. McQuarrie's interpretation of Lucas's ideas resulted in distinctive characters and sets for the first Star Wars movies, including Darth Vadar, C3PO and the starfighters. Though there was a feeling while working on the film that they were creating something special, no one envisioned that the movie would become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time.

Santa Barbara Magazine (May 2002)The work of graduate Gary Hovland enhanced an article entitled "Spa Fear Factor." Gary's work has also appeared in The N.Y. Times, The New Yorker, Time, Esquire, W., Bon Appetit, Town & Country and The Wall Street Journal.

Hot Rod Magazine (June 2002)David Kimball has been illustrating cars, engines, boats, electronic equipment, etc. for over 30 years. Although he never earned a degree, he has been trained by some of the best in the industry, including Art Center College of Design. A Southern California native, he was considered a child art prodigy. His work has appeared on the cover of Hot Rod, Motor Trend and Wheel & Off-Road. He has done work for almost every major car manufacturer, the Apollo Program and the DC-9. He now lives in West Texas.

Advertising Age's Creativity (May 2002)The work of alumna Catherine Ledner has been described as a "visual paean to Everyman, showing people for who they are." "I think everybody is beautiful," she says. "That's really how I see things. I shoot real people in real situations, with a little bit of a sense of humor, but not making fun of the subjects at all." She has been named one of Creativity's favorite advertising photographers because of this sensitivity to her subjects and her unique way of capturing their beauty.

Photo District News (May 2002)Student Joseph Rafferty's work was selected for the PDN 2002 Photo Annual.

Financial Times (May 11, 2002)The surreal setting of the Salton Sea, attracted artists and photographers, including classes from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, that make frequent field trips to the site. Hollywood is rediscovering the area, too, with the recent movie The Salton Sea being filmed on-site. Locals, however, are not holding their breath that real estate prices are going up anytime soon. "I own seven lots over there and I'm not banking on capitalizing on any of them in my lifetime," owner Randy Varley says. "I just feel my kids will benefit from those lots one day. I'm a gambler - to a point."

Knight Ridder News ServiceWhen IBM introduced its PC 20 years ago, the company's button down style was reflected in the neutral beige tone of the unit. According to Art Center instructor Steve Montgomery, "Everything was beige back then. It fit in with the office. It also hides dirt somewhat." Times have changed, though, and so have computers. Design helped propel Apple Computer back into the spotlight from its back booth position in the mid-1990s. Lancy Hussey, vice president and design director for RKS Design points to design as the key differentiator in the computer market. However, Montgomery feels that unless the products have the technology and customer acceptance to support the design, they will fail. "A good design does not make a high-selling product," he says. "But I think that good design is likely to help." Montgomery feels this is what keeps the design community motivated. "It's our job. There are too many ugly things out there. Maybe it's a sense of duty. We are here to help the world have cool stuff."

Metropolis (June 2002)Graduate Dominic Symons was named as the exclusive designer for the new Etura line of casual footwear for Airwalk. Versatility and wearability were his goals in designing the new running shoe. "We tried to make the shoe the most comfortable on the market," he said. To accomplish this, he inserted a 2-mm piece of Poron, a slow memory foam found in Sweden. The foam gathers around the wearer's foot and surrounds it. This "foot bed" is removable and can be used in other shoes. Keeping a sense of the organic in the design, the unusual sole of the shoe is based on the Fibonacci number series, which is found in nature and has deep mathematical properties. The shoe, called "Phose," was launched worldwide on July 1.

The Toronto Sun (April 28, 2002)Student Nick Malachowski was recently awarded the first place prize of $10,000 by the World Design Competition for his concept for a "shared mobility" vehicle. This was the first year of the student competition and was part of the Canadian International Auto Show. The design brief asked students to address the universal big-city problem of ever-increasing traffic volumes by designing a shared mobility vehicle that would fit and work comfortably in the city where they live.

Car Design NewsArt Center recently hosted its Spring 2002 Graduation Senior Show featuring work from ten graduating students in the transportation department. The show highlights the work done while at Art Center and each student curates his own show. Business cards and promotional materials are distributed to visitors, including classmates and prospective employers. The show is exceptional and educates all that attend in the high standard of excellence that Art Center promotes. The work shown included concepts that are redesigns of existing brands in addition to the introduction of new brands. Included in this term's show were concepts for Aston Martin by Richard Duff, BMW by Kihyun Jung and Alfa Romeo by Tom Matsumoto.

I.D. Magazine (May 2002)The role of the car is changing from being just a machine to drive. Marketing execs have known for years how strongly consumers feel about their cars and now are expanding product lines beyond the requisite keychain. This exploration blurs the lines between automobile and product design, resulting in fresh insight for the designers and a boost to the company's creative credentials. BMW design chief and Art Center alumnus Chris Bangle views the work of BMW subsidiary MINI as an example that "we're interested in anything that moves the butt and the heart." Examples of this are the Street Carver skateboard, which uses the suspension from the BMW 5 series, the MINI clock that has a tiny model of the MINI Cooper car pop out on the hour, and the MINI Baby Racer, a riding toy for toddlers that introduces them early on to the joys of driving. Designworks, the product design arm of BMW, has helped devise BMW branded items for years. The company was founded in 1972 by legendary auto designer and long time Art Center instructor Chuck Pelly. Pelly's influence is far reaching, with many of his former studentsincluding J Mays of Ford and Freeman Thomas of Chryslernow heading the design studios of today's major car manufacturers.