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

Rich Siemer

Graduate Industrial Design

How/Why did you choose Art Center?
It was a lucky alignment of the best graduate industrial design program being located near my wife’s dream job.

What was your background prior to Art Center?
I practiced architecture for nearly 20 years.

Biggest creative challenge/breakthrough you’ve faced while at Art Center?
It happened when I realized that design was about more than objects. I really enjoy making things but found that I can do a pretty decent job of designing systems.

Describe your most gratifying collaboration with a faculty member or another student?
In first term I had a difficult time with another student on a group project. When we ended up on another team together in third term I was really not looking forward to it. But it turned out that we worked really well together. I think both of us had improved our team skills quite a bit in the intervening months.

How do you hope to change the world through your work?
Despite being middle aged, I’m still pretty idealistic, so I hope to promote healthy lifestyles through my designs.

What advice would you give to prospective Art Center students?
Be very sure of your commitment. If you are not completely dedicated, you will have a hard time enjoying your time here.

What do you do with your downtime in greater LA?
I usually try to do something outdoors with my wife and our dog and I race my bike whenever I can.

What do you hope to do when you leave Art Center?
Ideally I would have a job that allows me to design both products and strategy somewhere in the outdoor sports industry.

What are some of the most valuable practical tools and skills you’ve acquired here?
Presentation. Grad ID requires that you be able to get your ideas across in a very clear and direct way in five minutes.

How have the College’s corporate partnerships impacted your work here?
We had the opportunity to do a sponsored project with Autodesk, a company whose products I’ve used for years. Designing for a real client forced me to really step up my game in a variety of ways.

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