SF Chronicle: CCA Gala Highlights by Catherine Bigelow

Photo taken at CCA GalaHonoree David Kelley (center)

Design guru David Kelley, possessor of a Groucho Marx mustache and creator of Boeing’s 747 “Lavatory Occupied” sign, couldn’t contain his enthusiasm for California College of the Arts during that renowned 110-year-old institution’s recent gala honoring his enduring contributions to human-centered design.

Aside from praising CCA students for imagining ideas into art, Kelley (founder of IDEO and Stanford University’s d.school) also heralded CCA President Stephen Beal.

Especially as Kelley once telephoned Beal, asking if a friend of his in Woodside might take some painting classes. There was a pause at the end of the line until Kelley explained that his friend is actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who is wed to the “other” (TV producer) David Kelley.

“Stephen accepted right away,” Kelley recalled, laughing. “All the administrative red tape went to zero.”

Raising a toast, Beal described the huge impact of Kelley on the world of design and education: “David’s human-centered design advocacy and ability to recognize each person’s creative capacity have made him an inspirational figure for countless young people who are shaping the future of our built world.”

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