In the latest issue of Dot magazine, Fatou Wurie, a Mo Ibrahim Leadership Fellow at the African Development Bank Group, asks a pressing question for those interested in engaging in social innovation design. "Are we embracing the space just as an opportunity to flex our skillsets?” she says in a roundtable discussion with Designmatters Executive Director Jennifer May on the topic of art and design's ability to effect social change. "Or are we coming to the table from a place of empathy and humility at the complexity of today's social problems?"
Gratitude is the place from which President Lorne M. Buchman introduces the Fall 2021 issue, beginning with a quote by author Henri J.M. Nouwen: "In the past, I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline." Buchman then goes on to thank the individuals whose dedication to the College and its mission allowed it to continue operating through the pandemic, even when its physical spaces were closed. "[F]rom the custodial and security staff who made sure our campus was safe and secure, to the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which has held dozens of events to foster a sense of inclusion for our students who were dispersed across the globe," he says. "There are many, many more teams and departments than I can possibly list here, but their collective efforts are reflected in the impressive work our students have continued to create during this time."
In the issue's main feature, "Creative Resilience," Senior Writer Solvej Schou profiles three alumni whose creative output during the pandemic showcased vulnerability and strength: filmmaker Ana Lydia Monaco (BFA 18 Film), who shot her short film Lola, about a woman whose medical issues are misdiagnosed due to weight bias; artist Leonardo Santamaria (BFA 17 Illustration), whose pandemic-era illustrations included a very personal piece about his wife's struggles for The Washington Post; and designer Elyse Marks (BS 08 Environmental Design), who shifted from designing corporate experiences to creating meditative spaces for healing. "I've learned a lot about myself through this pandemic," Marks says in the story. "Before, my life was just work, work, work. Now I'm trying to be more vulnerable and reflective."
Also featured in this issue is a story on industrial designer Sigi Moeslinger (BS 91 Product Design), co-founder of Antenna Design, which has produced everything from subway cars for New York City to office furniture for Knoll; a profile of filmmaker and Trustee Zack Snyder (BFA 89 Film), whose latest project is the renovation of ArtCenter's Ahmanson Auditorium; a story on Lucasfilm Concept Design Supervisor Christian Alzmann (BFA 98 Illustration), who created the final design for Star Wars' Baby Yoda and BB-8; a profile of photographer Erinn Holland (BFA 15 Photography and Imaging), whose commercial and editorial portfolio includes work for clients like Hasbro, Forever 21 and Coach; a visual gallery of work by Joanne Kim (BFA 18 Illustration), who taps into her memories of her childhood in South Korea; and, as an online bonus, a story that celebrates the 20th anniversary of Designmatters by sharing thoughts and reflections on ArtCenter's social innovation program by the students, alumni, faculty and staff who turned the pioneering program into a force for change.
For this issue's "From the Archives," we've selected a portrait of Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman taken by photographer and alum Jules Bates (BFA 78) who, in the late '70s and early '80s, created a substantial body of work documenting Los Angeles' emerging punk, alternative and new wave music scenes. Bates captured important places like the Masque, the Plunger Pit and the Canterbury, as well as music, entertainment and literary figures like Charles Bukowski, David Byrne and Howard Devoto. ArtCenter recently became the new home to Bates' significant collection, thanks to a $1 million gift from Bates' sister and brother-in-law, Melissa and Michael Lora. Their gift helped with the renovation of an exisitng space for the College's Archives—now redubbed the Jules Bates Artrouble Center—and will help fund Photography and Imaging student scholarships.
And finally, the cover of this issue features alum Sang Won Lee's (BS 20 Transportation Design) personal concept project Borame 00, an autonomous plane with forward-swept wings that resemble a swan's. "I value the process of ideation the most," says Lee of his favorite part of the design process. "With a great foundation, [a] project can become a terrific saga."
We hope you value this issue of Dot and that you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe during the holidays.