CCA News

Posted on Friday, June 9, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

An eclectic mix of top California interior designers, architects and design experts present original new work along with their ideas and inspirations for the future at the California College of the Arts (CCA) summer 2006 Interior Designers Forum: "The Next Great Thing: New and Emerging Directions in Design."

Moderated by best-selling design author and editor Diane Dorrans Saeks, the Interior Designers Forum will focus on the latest directions in interior design, architecture, landscape design, home electronics and art. Seven leading design and architecture innovators will discuss issues pertaining to fashion and furniture design, arts and popular culture, sustainable design and the influence of new technologies in their professions.

The forum is presented by the CCA Extended Education Department and will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, at CCA's San Francisco campus.

The forum's program includes "Transcending the Trend: The Enduring Importance of Quality," with keynote speaker Douglas Durkin of Douglas Durkin Design, and "Luxury Hotels: New Design Directions," with featured speaker Gerry Jue of Babey Moulton Jue & Booth.

Other speakers include William Leddy and Marsha Maytum of Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects on "Architecture in the Service of the Community"; Silvina Blasen and Eric Blasen of Blasen Landscape Architecture on "Green Is the New Green: Sustainability and Style in Landscape Design"; Richard Green of Rich Green Ink on "The Future of Home Electronics"; Todd Hosfelt of Hosfelt Gallery on "Art World Darlings: Recent Directions in Collecting Art"; and Elisa Stancil and James Stancil of Stancil Studios on "Engaging the Emotions in Design."

Diane Dorrans Saeks is the author of 17 books, including her most recent, "Michael Smith Elements of Style" (Rizzoli), "Hollywood Style" (Rizzoli) and "San Francisco Style" (Chronicle Books). A noted editor and lecturer, Ms. Saeks has written extensively for the New York Times, Departures, Garden Design and many other design publications around the world. She is the interior design editor of PaperCity, the San Francisco editor at large for C Magazine and the California editor of Metropolitan Home.

The cost of the forum is $120 (plus $20 registration fee) and will include lunch. ASID members may earn 0.6 CEU credit. Preregistration is required. Those interested should call (510) 594-3710 to register or receive more information.

About the College

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts is the largest regionally accredited, independent school of art and design in the western United States. Noted for the interdisciplinary nature and breadth of its programs, CCA offers studies in 19 undergraduate and 6 graduate majors in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts and master of fine arts degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,600 full-time students. Noted alumni include painters Nathan Oliveira and Raymond Saunders; ceramicists Robert Arneson, Viola Frey and Peter Voulkos; filmmaker Wayne Wang; conceptual artists David Ireland and Dennis Oppenheim; and designers Lucille Tenazas and Michael Vanderbyl.

Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2006 by Kim Lessard

A kaleidoscope view of marine life

CCA graduate design students spent the spring semester exploring innovative ways of integrating art and design with the natural sciences in order to enhance the educational experience of visitors to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

The project was a collaboration between two CCA graduate courses: The Teaching and Documentation Project, taught by Linda Yaven, and Graduate Design Studio 2: Form + Language, taught by Raul Cabra.

The purpose of the project was for students to experience research and prototype testing—a crucial component of the design process—in an educational context.

Currently occupying a temporary space in downtown San Francisco while its new building (designed by Renzo Piano) is built in Golden Gate Park, the Academy became interested in how faculty and students from a lively design laboratory like CCA might bring new insights to their design rationale, working methods, and strategies. After observing the physical structure and spaces of the museum and how visitors interact within it, the students identified ways in which art and design might alter or enhance visitors' experiences. They then created and tested prototype installation aids.

Some of the students, like Chanida Buranatrakul and Maria Johansson, worked at solving specific problems they identified within the museum's spaces, such as finding an alternative to the sometimes hard to follow exhibition map. Others sought to simply add a dimension to visitors' experience of the natural history museum—Navid Ghaem's oversized kaleidoscope positioned in front of an aquarium of colorful fish, for example.

Zara Logue and Adelaida Mejia created a tentlike structure for younger visitors that resembled a jellyfish within a vast room of aquariums. Made out of translucent recyclable plastic, the structure drapes around floor pillows in organic shapes and casts an ethereal orange glow of reflected light from the tanks. Called the "Storytelling Pod," it offered a cozy, restful place within the larger open space. While testing the prototype, the students found that children were much more at ease when being read to within the dwelling and that parents instinctively tended to join their children, adding to the sense of calm and comfort.

Seeking ways in which the museum store could be an educational environment, Tom Hall and Andriyanto Wibowo designed a kid's game using probably the least expensive toy in the store, the low-tech, no-frills, injection-molded plastic insects. Centered on an in-store display, "Bugs Battlefield" is a sort of wildlife rock/paper/scissors, in which kids lose or gain points if they are prey or predator, slow or fast.

Other students who created projects for the class included Ryan Alexiev, Nathan Davis, and Azusa Oda.

This is the first year that CCA students in the MFA Program in Design have collaborated with the Academy of Sciences. Previous collaborations have taken place with K–12 schools. The institutional collaboration was initiated by CCA faculty member Marina McDougall along with Academy exhibition director Linda Kulik, with the encouragement of CCA president Michael Roth and Academy director Patrick Kociolek.

The museum staff seemed delighted and intrigued by the results. When the students presented their findings, what started as a two-hour final critique became a lively three-hour dialogue on the impact of design on how a natural history museum serves its visitors and the community.

Kulik commented, "Staff who interfaced with the students enjoyed their fresh perspectives and unique design approaches." For CCA the Academy offers what one participating graduate student described as a lifetime of design challenges.

Further CCA and Academy collaborations are in the works.

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2006 by Hannah Eldredge

CCA fashion design alumna Sumie Yamashita ('06) was chosen as a 2006 finalist in the Target/Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Design Initiative.

Yamashita was one of 10 national finalists who were awarded $1,000, as well as an interview for a paid one-year design internship with the Target Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2005, as a junior, Yamashita was a Best in School winner in the CFDA Junior Scholarship Competition.

The Target/CFDA Design Initiative is a highly competitive, nationwide program open to students from selected fashion design schools. This year, 18 schools were invited to participate. Only three to six students from each school may apply. Students are judged on a portfolio of their fashion projects, which are divided into categories, such as women's wear or men's wear.

For more information on CDFA, visit For more information on the CCA Fashion Design Program, see Fashion Design.

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2006 by Molly Mitchell

In May 2006, Native American basket weaver Julia Florence Parker taught a one-day workshop at California College of the Arts as part of the Masters of Tradition series, which was attended by students taking courses in the Textiles Program.

Parker spoke of her life, told stories, and taught students traditional willow twinning with materials she had gathered in the Sierra Nevada. Parker has been a long-term friend of the Textiles Program, during which time she has taught several workshops and shared her unique perspectives on Native American textile arts.

Posted on Friday, May 19, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

On June 1, the third volume of Eleven Eleven, the annual journal of literature and art at California College of the Arts, will be available to booksellers through Small Press Distribution. The journal can also be ordered directly by emailing

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 by Kim Lessard

Architecture alumnus Chad De Witt's firm, DEWITT Residential Design & Interiors, is the interior designer for Sunset magazine's 2006 Celebration Idea House. The architects are Siegel & Strain Architects, and the builder is Clarum Homes.

The first to be built in the backyard of the magazine's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, the 2006 Idea House will be unveiled at Sunset's ninth annual Celebration Weekend, May 20?21, and is open for tours May 26–June 18. Hours are 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Friday–Sunday.

Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 by Allen Fear

We invite you to join us for one of the season's most exciting fundraising events, the annual Threads Fashion Show Gala.

Threads will take place on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at Fort Mason Center's Festival Pavilion in San Francisco, and will once again showcase the innovative work of CCA's top student designers.

The evening will include a cocktail reception, an elegant dinner, presentation of the seventh annual CCA Fashion Show, and an after-party.


Single tickets are available at $250 and $500. Tables may be purchased at $5,000 and $10,000.

Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

Gregory Gavin (MFA '93) has been the April 2006 artist in residence at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. At the beginning of the month, Gavin set up his mobile studio in the museum's Kimball Education Gallery to create "De Young River: Universal Solvent." As part of the month-long project, visitors have been invited to view the evolving river/landscape sculpture and make art to add to it.

Gavin creates large-scale sculptural installations in public spaces—often containing running water—and invites the public to add to them spontaneously using a variety of materials. His goal is to reclaim art production as a social activity for both children and adults, with the potential of luring people of diverse backgrounds into casual conversation and dialogue.

The public is invited to a final celebration on Friday, April 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Kimball Gallery. Live music will begin at 6:30 p.m. Gavin will give an artist's talk at 8 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium.

The project will be on display through Sunday, April 30.

All events take place in the free area of the museum.

About the Artist-in-Residence Program

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Artist-in-Residence Program brings working artists into the museum setting. This program enables museum visitors to meet artists and gives artists an opportunity to work with the public.

By watching an artist work, talking with an artist, and engaging in art-making activities, visitors learn more about various techniques and processes, thus gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for the art on view.

For more information, visit

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Architecture Program has received a prestigious National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) prize for its studio curriculum in comprehensive building design. Individual faculty members were honored for their work at the recent design awards sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

NCARB Prize Goes to Studio Curriculum

Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 by Hannah Eldredge

The American Association of Museums has awarded the CCA Wattis Institute second prize in the category of exhibition catalogs for the design of Monuments for the USA. Graphic Design student Michael Morris ('04) designed the catalog. Morris also designed the poster/custom cover, which was screen-printed by Printmaking faculty member Thomas Wojak ('92).

The 25th annual Museum Publications Design Competition drew more than 900 entries from museums across America and around the world.

The Wattis was honored in the category of institutions with budgets of $500,000 or less.

Monuments for the USA presented proposals for political and social monuments for the United States of America, including drawings, diagrams, maquettes, photocollages, and written descriptions. The exhibition was on view in spring 2005 and was curated by the director of the CCA Wattis Institute, Ralph Rugoff.

"This award shows what a wonderful advantage the Wattis Institute enjoys from being part of the art and design culture at CCA. I am very proud of Morris's work as a designer, especially as this was his first exhibition catalog. He found a concept that worked with 60 very different proposals by 60 very different artists," said Rugoff.

More information about the competition can be found at