Augmented Reality 101
by Mike Winder
This past summer, Art Center welcomed back its first Visionary in Residence, science fiction author and cyberpunk pioneer Bruce Sterling (Schismatrix, Islands in the Net, The Caryatids) to co-teach an augmented reality (AR) design course called Augmenting Reality.
What exactly is AR? Sterling defined it for the classroom as a software program that meets three criteria: 1) It mixes the virtual with the real; 2) It’s interactive in real-time; and 3) It registers in three dimensions.
To help illustrate the concept, Sterling launched a pair of iPhone apps—one which creates the illusion of a green monster walking across a classroom desk; the other which lets users customize and walk around a virtual sneaker—as examples of the types of applications that companies are currently developing.
In the course—sponsored by Amsterdam-based Layar, a company whose AR platform claims more than one million active users—undergraduate and graduate students across a range of disciplines worked in teams to design programs that ranged from virtual pets to an app that helps individuals with food allergies virtually scan a product’s ingredients.
Think this is all starting to sound a little sci-fi? You’re not alone. “The thing that interests me about (AR) is it’s something exceedingly science fictional that really is becoming a genuine industry,” said Sterling.
An industry which designers can help shape with their understanding of the psychology behind branding. That’s something Augmenting Reality co-instructor Guillaume Wolf knows a thing or two about. “What makes somebody want to pay more for a pair of Nike shoes than a generic brand?” asked Wolf, who explores similar questions in depth in his Communication Design 4 psychographic class. “By being in this class, I reminded the students that what they’re doing here is product creation.”
The reminder seems to have worked. Take See/k by Graphic Design majors Josh Finklea and Nico Sala, both currently in their final terms, and recent graduate Jason Yeh GRPH 11, a project which turns a limited edition perfume pop-up retail store into a journey of discovery that spans both the digital and real worlds.
“Why would somebody want to see the world through a cell phone screen?”
asked Sala, who said his team wasn’t interested in creating just another novelty. “Ultimately the experience is about the essence of searching. Which in turn is the core of augmented reality, the desire for something new beneath the ordinary.”
Art Center Launches Branded
Network on Behance
by Vanessa Silberman
When it comes to organizing and promoting creative work online, artists and designers often face a quandary: how to ensure their latest projects receive maximum exposure and are streamlined, up-to-date and instantly synched across digital and social networking platforms—without having to invest huge amounts of time at the expense of their productivity.
It’s an issue that was seized as an opportunity four years ago by Scott Belsky, who founded a start-up named Behance Network with the ambitious goal to organize the creative world’s work on a single platform. Today, Behance has grown into a premier online creative community boasting 10 million visitors each month. And, beginning last month, Art Center joined the fun when it launched a branded network within Behance that is open to Art Center students, alumni, faculty and staff—free of charge.
The goal, according to Kristine Bowne, director of Art Center’s Alumni Relations, is to enable the Art Center community to easily organize and share their work, manage their careers, network, search for talent and connect to a global community of creatives. “We are thrilled to offer the Art Center community our branded Art Center network within the Behance platform,” she said. In addition to uploading and organizing their own projects, members of the Art Center community can sort and search through millions of projects based on all kinds of criteria—the tools used to create the projects, the design or art discipline, the names of collaborators and clients, the year of Art Center graduation, and more.
Behance enjoys an exclusive relationship with LinkedIn, allowing Behance users the ability to link their text-based LinkedIn profile with the visual work of their Behance profile. In addition, the site hosts branded networks with professional design organizations like AIGA, AdWeek and ID magazine.
Bowne believes Art Center’s branded network is a win-win for the College community and offers many advantages over inCircle, Art Center’s current alumni online network, which will be phased out by next spring. In addition to connecting the Art Center community with the larger art and design worlds, it can help foster potential collaborations, internships and jobs. “Plus,” added Bowne, “it will help us internal folks discover all the incredible work being created by the Art Center community.”
Carl Bass, Jeffrey Glassman and Peter Mullin Join Board
by Vanessa Silberman
Art Center’s Board of Trustees recently welcomed three new members to its ranks: Carl Bass, Jeffrey Glassman and Peter Mullin. In making the announcement, Art Center President Lorne Buchman said, “We need a great Board to realize our ambitious strategic plan, and the appointment of these three individuals takes us a long way toward making that happen.”
Bass is the president and CEO of Autodesk, Inc., a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Previously, as Autodesk’s chief operating officer, he was responsible for worldwide sales, marketing and product development. He is a board member of the Rocky Mountain Institute and is also a member of the Executive Advisory Boards of Cornell Computing and Information Science and UC Berkeley School of Information.
Glassman, who has practiced law for over 30 years specializing in estate planning, probate and trust administration, is the managing director of Covington Capital Management. He serves on the boards of American Jewish University (chairman), the Wallis Foundation, Jewish Home for the Aging, the Los Angeles Police Foundation, Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Glassman also serves on the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University and is a member (formerly co-chair) of the Advisory Board of the UCLA School of Public Affairs.
Mullin, a financial services entrepreneur, has consulted on executive compensation and benefit issues for more than 30 years across a variety of industries. A renowned car collector, he is the founder and chairman of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, Calif., and his 1934 Volsin C-25 Aerodyne recently won Best of Show at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. He currently serves on numerous boards, including Avery Dennison, Gene Autry Heritage Museum, Guggenheim Foundation, and the UCLA Foundation. He is chairman of the Music Center Foundation, as well as past chairman of the Board of Visitors of UCLA, the Anderson Graduate School of Management.
Students Rack Up IDSA Awards
by Vanessa Silberman
Art Center topped the list of college wins at the 2011 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), considered by many the Oscars of design competitions. A celebration of design excellence in products, sustainability, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts, IDEA is presented each year by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Since the awards began 31 years ago, Art Center has won 59 IDEAs—more than any other school, and in the top 10 of any other institution, corporate or educational.
This year’s five winning students, who competed against a record number of student entries, include product designers Seth Astle, who won a gold award for Cadence, a prosthetic and pedal for cyclists who are below-the knee amputees; German Aguirre, who won a silver for Solista, a digital interface musical instrument enabling users to simultaneously create and share songs; and Vinh Pho, who won a bronze for his simple yet elegant portable skate helmet, FunKtion. Graduate ID students Koo Ho Shin won a bronze for Nestr, a sustainable modular bedding system; and Pengtao Yu won a bronze for Moen Loft, an all-in-one bathroom workstation ideal for small urban spaces.
In the professional category, the design strategy for Designmatters’ Safe Agua project won a bronze award, honoring the work of Mariana Amatullo, Elisa Ruffino,
David Mocarski, Karen Hofmann, Liliana Becerra, Penny Herscovitch and Dan Gottlieb.
Art Center also had many finalists, including German Aguirre, Centaur High Performance Quad Rugby Wheelchair; KC Cho and Jackie Black, Safe Agua: ReLava Kitchen Workstation; Jessica Yeh and Narbeh Dereghishian, Safe Agua: Ducha Halo Portable Shower; Stéphane Angoulvant, Dexter Work Sled; Joel Greenspan, Oplei Transitional Running Shoe; Jin Kim, Flameingo Sustainable Fire Extinguisher; Joey Wang, Lien Sustainable Funerary Ritual for Taiwan; Mark Huang, Orbital modular sport performance eyewear for POC; Mike Wang, STACK Traffic Control Products; Matthew Lim, Sennheiser Eco-Vinyl Turntable; and Pengtao Yu, U-Haul Emergency Response Conversion Kit for the American Red Cross. Congratulations to all for these well-deserved honors!
Photo by Steven A. Heller PHOT 85 MFA ILLU 98.
Ed Hanak 1928 – 2011
by Vanessa Silberman
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Edward Paul Hanak—former Art Center senior vice president, secretary of the College’s Board of Trustees, Trustee Emeritus and key College fundraiser. Hanak passed away on July 1 at the age of 83.
A native of Ohio and graduate of Ohio University, Hanak founded and served as the president of his college fraternity. He joined the army after World War II and served in Japan, then was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War.
After the military, he attended college on the G.I. Bill. He went on to work with the Greater Cleveland Growth Board, an arm of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, before moving to Pasadena to join Caltech’s development group in 1966.
Hanak joined Art Center as vice president of development in 1969—a pivotal stage in the institution’s history. In this role, Hanak spearheaded the drive to raise funds for the College’s various projects, in particular the plan to build Hillside Campus. Hanak worked closely with then-president Don Kubly to find and purchase property in the foothills of Pasadena (having inspected close to 40 properties) and negotiated the terms to erect the building designed by Craig Ellwood Associates.
Following his retirement from Art Center in 1986, Hanak continued to serve on the Board of Trustees as secretary, eventually honored as Trustee Emeritus. At the recent memorial celebration honoring the life of Don Kubly, Hanak was acknowledged for the important role he played in Art Center’s history. Hanak is survived by his long-time partner, Michael Borysewicz.
Scholarship Initiative Exceeds Goal
by Vanessa Silberman
Art Center recently completed its “80 for 80” scholarship initiative with more than $3.1 million raised to support students in the College’s undergraduate, graduate and public programs. The 18-month long “80 for 80” exceeded its $2 million goal by 56 percent.
Art Center launched “80 for 80” in 2010, to coincide with the College’s 80th anniversary. The goal? To secure the equivalent of 80 $25,000 scholarships. Said Art Center President Dr. Lorne M. Buchman, “We launched ‘80 for 80’ in direct response to the pressing financial needs of our students. It’s an important step as we strive to make Art Center accessible and affordable to students regardless of their socio-economic background.”
The College’s commitment to ensure access through scholarships and other forms of financial aid continues to be a priority, as outlined in Art Center’s 2011–2016 strategic plan, Create Change.
Food Labels Reimagined
by Vanessa Silberman
In partnership with the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Good magazine, a recent Designmatters studio challenged four undergraduate students to redesign the nutrition food label to make them more user-friendly and visually appealing. Pictured above is the Walton's brand envisioned by Product Design student Kenji Huang for Walmart, which makes the nutrition label part of the brand identity on the front of the package.