David Mocarski

Department Chair, Graduate and Undergraduate Environmental Design


David Mocarski has explored the boundaries of the creative process for more than thirty-five years. He is the principal of Arkkit forms design, as well as Department Chair of the Graduate and Undergraduate Environmental Design Department at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Arkkit forms was founded in1982 as a highly inter-disciplinary design studio exploring such diverse projects as: packaging for Baron Philippe Rothschild and Taylor of Old Bond Street London, explored Furniture collections for Cumberland, Design Within Reach, Fiam Italia, Driade, Frag, Viccarbe, Ello, Galerkin and Artedi, designed corporate Brand & Identity development for: Vichan Winery, Napa Valley and CrossLynn Vineyards, entertainment graphics and collateral for Sony-Columbia-Tristar and a long list of contract, residential and exhibition spatial projects. Mocarski is known Internationally for his extensive involvement in Global design.

David has also been involved with art and design education for more than thirty-five years. He has been instrumental in the development of ArtCenter’s Environmental Design program and its focus on “Designing Spatial Experience.” He has been an educational leader at ArtCenter since 1978. In addition to developing both Graduate and Undergraduate curricular directions for Environmental Design, he has taught Fine Arts, Illustration, Graphics & Packaging, photography and Industrial design. Many of his students have gained significant global recognition for their efforts. His sponsored studios with Bernhardt design have defined a new model for how industry interfaces with education. He has been instrumental in the evolution of ArtCenter ’s International Study Abroad programs in Copenhagen “Designing Index,” Fresh Eyes and TESTLAB Berlin 1-6 and Pacific Rim 1-10 Tokyo, Japan and has worked closely with Designmatters on humanitarian projects for: GE Healthcare Africa project, Un Techo Para Chile “Safe Agua Chile, Peru and Columbia,” “Living Home India” and “Safe Niños” Chile.

Mocarski’s work is highly sculptural in nature, driven by research, content and context. He believes that design is “from the first moment of encounter to the last moment of interaction.” Whether it’s creating an object, a place or a destination, he feels that the outcome is always about providing a supreme experience and that the most effective design is always about: attraction, involvement, interaction & producing satisfaction and/or inclusion beyond expectation. He also believes that nothing is more compelling than engagement & surprise, whether it be in the design of objects or spaces. Mocarski is known for exploring new ideologies, materials, technologies and manufacturing techniques in his search of meaningful solutions. What is clear in his work, is an unrelenting passion for all things art and design.

Mocarski has exhibited his work internationally since 1971, first in fine arts and later with limited edition and commission furniture works. Since 1982, he has been in involved in the design and development of residential and contract spatial projects and furniture & lighting design for international clients. He has been extensively involved in Brand Development for a variety companies ranging from Vichan Winery, Galerkin Design & Manufacturing, Artedi Inc. and LaCosta Spa, as well as a long list of others. These projects have involved the design of brand strategy development, identity systems, showrooms and exhibition spaces, presentation graphics, packaging, print campaigns and collateral development.

His understanding of Brand & Messaging enables him to conceive design outcomes that embrace the important essence of a company, while offering new fresh solutions. By having a firm grasp on the expectations of a project, Mocarski enjoys crafting skillful scenarios to reverse engineer a range of possible design solutions. His design has always been extremely human-centered in nature and he feels that understanding: need, purpose, materials, manufacturing and how it relates to business is crucial in developing a well-rounded project. He believes that one cannot design in a vacuum and that a designer must be aware of new approaches, new technologies, practices and applications. He believes in the strength of design and its abilities to explore innovative thinking with a global perspective.

His mentors are the early modernists such as Carlo Mollino, Gerrit Rietveld, Jean Prouve and Eileen Gray. He has always held a strong commitment to the idea of bringing “Art into Life.”

Mocarski holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Santa Barbara, California, and completed his undergraduate education at Cooper School of Art. He has presented lectures at “TedX” Long Beach, “Pan-Asia” Korea, “Designing Designers” in Milan Italy, “EVENT Design Conference” in New York, as well lectures and presentations in Berlin, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Quito Ecuador, Vancouver and London.

His “Seatrain House,” completed with Jennifer Siegal for Richard Carlson, has appeared on the cover of Dwell magazine as well as Praxis magazine and the book “Prefab Modern.” His studio was featured in Barbara Thornberg’s book “LA Lofts.” His work has been featured in numerous international publications, such as “Axis” “Domus” “Artforum” and “Marie Claire” and in such books as “International Furniture Design for the 90’s” Project Design 4&6, and California Interiors.

Among awards from professional societies are: Merit Awards from “How” magazine, Creativity/Graphics, American Corporate Identity, a gold metal from the Society of Illustration, New York and four Creativity Awards for packaging design and Gold and Silver medals from the IDSA/IDEA awards and numerous other competitions and organizations from around the world.

For all his diversity, Mocarski produces designs, which offer fresh options for how we live, work and play. He explores works, which extend our perception of user, function and place.

He is continually looking to explore projects which extend art and design’s ability to make a difference. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.