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

Ini Archibong

Environmental Design

6th Term

How did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in design?
I started out studying business at USC. I have a very academic family and had an academic upbringing, so I never looked at design as a career option. But while I was studying business, I knew for a fact that I didnít want to go into it for a career. I found I spent most of my time doing creative things instead. So I decided I wanted to become an architect, and I dropped out of school, much to my parentís chagrin.

I got a job in an architectural firm, Georgia Architecture, in South Pasadena. It was like an apprenticeship, and I worked there for three years. I was basically doing all of the drawings, arranging projects and doing some design workó and building up a portfolio.

What advice would you give someone who was planning on attending Art Center?
Develop as many technical skills as possible before coming here, so you donít have to spend too much time learning the basics. Instead, you can focus on learning how to express yourself in the philosophy, without being hampered by a lack of skills.

Your table, Serif, made its debut at the ICFF in May 2011 and is being produced by Bernhardt Design. What can you tell us about it?
I created the table with John Phillips and Stephanie Stalker as part of a Bernhardt Design sponsored studio. The challenge was to design a task table. We decided to design something aesthetically driven, more beautiful than technical. Bernhardt liked our design, and picked it up for production. They flew us to North Carolina to review the prototype, and it went into production this year. Serif is being shown at ICFF and NeoCon. Itís certainly my biggest achievement at Art Center to date.

This table wouldnít be this beautiful if not for many all-nighters and dead ends. It was like this for all of us. For example, youíd walk outside, watch a deer run across the grass, then come back insidea and rework something. Then back outside, watch the sunrise, back inside to work, and then finally an idea just hits you, at 7:30 in the morning, and now you have just an hour and a half to rework everything you had done for the past 12 hours so that you could present it that afternoon.

All-nighters seem to be a part of the Art Center experience for many.
Yeah, and without them, a lot of my impression work wouldnít have gotten done. Itís not like anybody has to pull an all-nighter here, I donít have to. But, if something in my work is not right, I canít sleepóso why try?

To design this table, I think I pulled at least three all-nighters a week, for at least eight or nine of the weeks of the term. Maybe more. But that was a choice I made. And Iím proud of the results. It still feels amazing.

Interview by Advertising student Lauren Coffin

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