Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Bryce Butcher

Product Design

8th Term

Why did you choose to attend Art Center?
Art Center has been my dream school since I was about seven years old. I attended Saturday High classes in 1998 and was very impressed with the student gallery and the challenging curriculum.

After experiencing what other colleges were like, the professionalism and level of work done by the students at Art Center surpassed anything I could compare it to. I knew that if I wanted to be a successful professional in Product Design, I had to attend Art Center.

What has been your favorite Art Center experience?
Honestly, having my work shown in the student gallery for the first time has to be my favorite experience so far.

The reason this meant so much to me is because my grandmother took me to Art Center when I was young to show me what the school was about. She took me by the student gallery and said, “Now, Bryce, I don't want you to get your hopes set too high. The work that students do here is the best in the world. To get your work in this gallery is very, very difficult, and it's OK if you don't!”

So when my work was chosen for gallery, I felt so proud and thought of that moment, and I couldn't wait to tell my grandma I'd been selected.

In what ways has Art Center helped you grow as a designer?
Art Center has provided me with experiences I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to experience. In my fifth term, I enrolled in the exchange program with Caltech and took the class, Product Design for Developing Worlds. I traveled to Guatemala for research on the lifestyle there and ended up designing a Latrine seat called “Eco-Loo” with three other teammates (one from Art Center and two from Caltech). We ended up winning first prize in the class. This class motivated me greatly, helping me realize my passion to help others.

I love to design, but I never quite understood how much power is in the hands of a designer until I realized that I can help improve people's lives.

I later had the opportunity to attend MIT for one month for the International Development Design Summit. While there, I worked on a system for nucleic acid purification that turns blood into DNA for better transport in getting disease diagnostics. I worked with a doctor at Boston University and again felt this great excitement in helping others with my work.

After these two opportunities, I began getting involved in sustainability and the understanding of how my products affect the world. The education I have received at Art Center has transformed me into a philanthropic designer with an awareness of what I can do for others, and what I can do to reduce my footprint as a designer.

What has surprised you the most during your time here?
The professional bond between the students and the faculty. The teachers are true professionals, devoting so much of their daily lives to their students without hesitation. They treat you as a colleague, and expect nothing but the best of you; and they will be there to help you get there, as long as you are willing to work for it.

What has been your favorite class or project?
I have had a lot of favorites! It's probably a toss-up between my exchange class I took at Caltech and my Branding Solutions class where I designed an insulin pump. I had a lot of fun in the class with Caltech and made lifelong friends in Guatemala. In my branding class, I was more stressed and challenged than I have ever been, but I look back on it being a favorite because of the challenges I overcame.

Butcher graduated from Art Center in 2010.

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