May 24, 2018
As of April 2018, Nik Hafermaas, who served as chair of Graphic Design at ArtCenter College of Design for more than 13 years, has stepped down from his leadership role. He is relocating with his family to Berlin in order to become creative partner at Triad, a leading Berlin design agency. Sean Adams has been appointed interim chair of the undergraduate and graduate Graphic Design departments in addition to his role as executive director of the two-year MFA program. Adams is recognized as one of the most influential graphic designers in the United States and is a recipient of the AIGA Medal, the profession’s highest honor.
Hafermaas will continue his role as executive director of the College’s Berlin programs. His goal is to expand the scope of ArtCenter’s educational opportunities, as well as generate greater support from educational partners in Berlin and Europe. He remains connected to the graduate Graphic Design program as an advisory board member.
To ensure seamless program operations during the transition Adams has worked with Steve Kim who has served as managing director of the Graphic Design Department for 13 years.
The College will conduct an international search for the new chair during the summer and fall semesters of 2018.
Hafermaas’ tenure at the College has been characterized by redefining the scope of Graphic Design as a profession and a reinvigorated department. Among the innovations he introduced is a transmedia design curriculum, fusing print, packaging, motion and interaction design. He pioneered a new departmental leadership model with the appointment of faculty directors for the various areas of emphasis within the major, including print, motion, packaging, information graphics, transmedia and typography. Recently, he launched the graduate Graphic Design degree program and orchestrated the move to new dedicated studio facilities.
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