examples of surface design projects

Surface Design Research Lab

Initially limited to textile design or wall decoration, Surface Design has come into its own as a field of study, with artists and designers exploring an array of techniques for imbuing surfaces of all kinds—mobile devices, home furnishings, soft goods and more—with individual style.

To inform their work, ArtCenter Surface Design students research influential contemporary California Modernist design history with a focus on vibrant printed design in our state of the art research lab and display studio.

The Surface Design Research Lab is a 100 square foot space that houses an archive of surface design projects, a library of leading American Modernist monographs—including the work of ArtCenter’s very own contributor to the Modernist movement, Alvin Lustig—and publications and examples of the work of Los Angeles' famed Charles and Ray Eames. The Lab also houses modern surface design publications and a database of surface design influencers, designers and organizations.

Surface Design is an area of specialization within our Illustration Department, but as you can imagine select Product Design students also have a strong affinity for this area of research. Faculty member Christine Nasser leads this track of study and heads up the Surface Design Research Lab.

Students interested in the lab can make an appointment with either Nasser or Illustration Department Chair Ann Field, both of whom are readily available to guide Surface Design students in their research.

Surface Design Research Lab
870 S. Raymond Avenue, Room 203
Pasadena, CA 91105Get Directions


Monday—Friday, by appointment



This innovative new focus for illustrators and product designers brings high-style illustrative design and pattern-making to a range of projects.

Ann FieldChair, Illustration
Hands sketching in a notebook

Today's illustrator is a problem solver, art director and multifunctional artist whose work can be used across media, from print to web and in between.