CCA News

Posted on Friday, March 2, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

California College of the Arts' Centennial Gala and Threads Fashion Show will be the centerpiece of a yearlong celebration of the college's 100th anniversary. More than 1,300 guests are expected to attend the gala event on April 25 at San Francisco's Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason.

Lead sponsorship for the Centennial Gala is generously provided by Osterweis Capital Management, Levi Strauss Signature, and Saturn. Kay Kimpton Walker and Allison Speer are cochairs; Emily Carroll is honorary chair.

The festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a lavish cocktail reception and dinner catered by Taste, followed by the fashion show. Noted designer Stanlee Gatti has been tapped to provide the decor.

Featuring the original collections of up-and-coming designers, the Threads Fashion Show will be a high-caliber runway presentation with professional models. This year's designers were selected from the CCA Fashion Design class of 2007 by a jury of faculty and industry professionals.

Wilkes Bashford Honored

San Francisco retailer Wilkes Bashford will be honored for his contributions to the fashion community with the CCA Fashion Industry Award.

Hailed by Esquire magazine as "The Most Important Men's Fashion Specialist in the Country," Bashford is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Cutty Sark Award for the Best Men's Store, the Uomo Moda Collections Award for Italian Menswear in America, and the Hall of Fame of the International Best Dressed List.

The Wilkes Bashford Company operates four upscale retail stores with annual sales in excess of $30 million.


For reservations and information, see Tickets.

Proceeds from the gala will support vital scholarships for CCA students.

Committee and Sponsors

"CCA is one of this country's most prestigious art colleges and it's an honor for me to cochair the Centennial Gala and Threads Fashion show," said Kay Kimpton Walker. "The response from the community has been so enthusiastic. I'd particularly like to thank our sponsors and patrons; their support is key to the success of the gala."

Cochair Allison Speer added, "CCA's fashion show is always one of the major highlights of the year and this year promises to be the best yet. Funds raised from the gala are earmarked for scholarships, assuring that the most deserving students will have access to the excellent education offered at the college."

See Committee and Sponsors for more information.

About the Fashion Design Program

Established in 1996, the Fashion Design Program at CCA is idea driven, emphasizing both design concepts and skill development. Students learn the technical skills of pattern making, sewing, draping, and fashion illustration as well as visual and oral communication skills. CCA offers innovative courses, passionate teaching, and vigorous design discipline.

The program's goal is to graduate fashion designers of great individuality and originality who will contribute to fashion as an aspect of modern art and culture as they participate in the global fashion industry. Alumni of the program have gone on to positions with such prominent designers as Donna Karan, BCBG, and Alexander McQueen.

See Fashion Design for more about the program.

About CCA

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 20 undergraduate and six 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 San Francisco and Oakland, CCA currently enrolls more than 1,600 full-time students.

Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 by Hannah Eldredge

Matthew Gale, Excubo, 2006

Matthew Gale, who graduated from the Industrial Design Program in 2006, is the winner of the third annual Eye for Why student design competition, sponsored by Dyson and the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Gale won for his design of the Excubo jacket, which helps commuters comfortably sleep on various forms of public transportation. The jacket is designed with a system of cords and polystyrene foam padding that, when tightened, cause the jacket to transform into a sleeping cocoon. The collar becomes a sleeping mask, the lapels become pillows, the sides tighten around the torso to support upright posture, and the cuffs unwrap to become mittens. The Excubo (Latin for "I sleep outside") provides effective support for the body to sleep while traveling on planes, buses, subways, and other forms of transportation.

Gale was awarded $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York, where he was honored at a reception hosted by James Dyson, founder of Dyson. Gale is also now eligible to compete for the James Dyson Award, an international competition between the winners from all the national Dyson award programs, which are held in 13 countries.

Gale designed the Excubo as part of the Industrial Design 6 course, instructed by Bill Wurz and Joanne Oliver. The course is one of the final Industrial Design courses to fulfill the undergraduate program and is tied to the final presentation and Senior Show, which is open to the design community.

For more information on the CCA Industrial Design Program, see Industrial Design. For more information on Dyson, visit Dyson.

Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by Hannah Eldredge

Milpitas City Hall, Charles Dilworth

AIA Fellowship Program

Three architecture faculty members—Peter Anderson, Charles Dilworth, and Paulett Taggart—have recently been elected into the Fellowship program in the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Fellowship program recognizes architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. This is the highest honor the AIA gives nationally, and only 76 out of 80,000 members received the award this year.

Posted on Monday, February 5, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

Lia Cook, *Binary Traces: Kay, 2005*

The work of faculty members Lia Cook (textiles) and Eric Heiman (graphic design) is included in Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006, on view through July 29, 2007, at the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Design Life Now features the work of 87 designers and firms, including animation, architecture, fashion, film, graphic design, robotics, textiles, and web design.

Inaugurated in 2000, the triennial seeks out and presents innovative American designs from the prior three years in a variety of fields. Design Culture Now, the first installment of the series in 2000, brought together the work of 83 U.S.-based designers and firms to highlight the blurring of traditional boundaries through the exchange of techniques and ideas among once-discrete disciplines. The second installment of the triennial in 2003, Inside Design Now, showcased conceptual and realized objects from 80 current and emerging leaders in a variety of design fields.

About Lia Cook

Lia Cook works in a variety of media usually combining weaving and painting, photography, and digital technology. Her work explores the sensuality of fabric and the human response of touch. Recently she has been working on a series of large-scale childhood portraits that explore early sensual/emotional experiences. These oversize images—familiar but sometimes haunting—are embedded in the structure of cloth, constructed of individual threads woven together; up close they dissolve into particles of vibrant color or binary traces of black-and-white maps and mazes.

Cook has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She has recently completed a commission for the Federal Courthouse in Pittsburgh, PA. Her works are in the permanent collection of the MOMA, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC; National Collection, France; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Oakland Museum of California; Musee Bellerieve, Switzerland; and National Gallery of Australia, among others. She has taught in CCA's Textiles Program for 31 years.

About Eric Heiman

Eric Heiman is cofounder of Volume Inc., an award-winning design consultancy, where the work ranges from books to environment design, identity programs, and film. Volume has produced work for a wide array of clients, including ReadyMade, Adobe Systems, Heath Ceramics, Chronicle Books, Sony, SFMOMA, and McSweeneys.

Heiman's writing on design has been published in Emigre and Voice, AIGA's online journal. He has given numerous lectures around the country on design and design education. He graduated from the CCA Graphic Design Program in 1996 and has taught in the program since 1999. He was awarded the collegewide Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003.

Design Life Now features the book ReadyMade: How to Make (Almost) Everything, which Heiman designed.

About Cooper-Hewitt

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution is devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum presents perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through educational programs, exhibitions, and publications. Founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor, and Sarah Hewitt—granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper—as part of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967.

Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art recently announced the recipients of the 2006 SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) Art Award. Four of the five winners have a CCA affiliation: faculty members Kota Ezawa and Amy Franceschini, alumna Mitzi Pederson (MFA '04), and current MFA student Leslie Shows. Sarah Cain was the other recipient.

The biennial award honors local artists of exceptional promise with an exhibition at SFMOMA, an accompanying catalog, and a modest cash prize.

Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 by Brenda Tucker

For years, alumni and friends of the college have been asking for CCA merchandise. Now, just in time for the college's centennial, a wide variety of products featuring the CCA logo are available through

Sweatshirts, T-shirts, caps, bags, license-plate frames, tote bags, and mugs are a just a few of the products you will find. Choose among three different designs: classic, centennial, and alumni.

Profits from the sales will benefit the CCA scholarship fund.


Posted on Friday, January 5, 2007 by Kim Lessard

It has long been said that hindsight is 20/20. Nowhere is this more evident these days than in America's growing interest in greening its mass consumption. While new ideas abound for sustainable materials, they are one of many approaches for reducing a product's negative impact on the environment. A product's lifecycle—the path it takes from concept, manufacturing, distribution, use, potential reuse, and ultimately landfill—is complex.

This past fall, in an interdisciplinary studio class called Lifecycle: Empathy and Design for Complex Processes, students at California College of the Arts (CCA) took a broad look at the cultural assumptions and expectations of some common mass-produced items found today in households across America. The class was taught in partnership with IDEO, the world-renowned company responsible for the design of widely used consumer products ranging from Procter & Gamble's Swiffer Sweeper and packaging for Crest toothpaste, to Palm Pilots and TiVo boxes.

Working in groups of five, students chose icons of mass production that included Converse shoes, Barbie dolls, disposable diapers, PDAs, and compact discs. They first conducted extensive cultural research on the public perception and user behavior around their chosen product. They then took on the challenge of reinventing each product in the context of its lifecycle, making it smart, user centered, and ecologically sound.

"The depth, creative passion, and energy brought to bear on this creative process was inspirational. Each project resulted in unique and highly imaginative designs that traverse disciplines and boundaries with the common goal of placing design front and center as a tool to create change in our world," said Katherine Lambert, chair of CCA's Interior Design Program and one of the teachers for the course.

The disposable diaper has long been despised by environmentalists with a passion equal to that with which parents of infants embrace its convenience. The students who took on this controversial icon had to look beyond the obvious—a green disposable diaper alternative—and meet the challenge of improving the product, the process for consuming it, and simultaneously increasing the value for the consumer while decreasing its environmental impact.

What they came up with was both innovative and feasible. Their proposal incorporates optional home delivery and pickup of ecologically made diapers as well as pickup of any brand of commercial diaper for disposal into municipal recycling programs. The process would increase convenience for consumers by not only delivering new diapers but also by providing a portable, reusable receptacle specially designed to contain the waste and odor of the discarded diapers until they are picked up for recycling.

Prototypes of all the projects created in the Lifecycle class will be exhibited for the public January 11 through 31, 2007, at the Thoreau Center for Sustainability at 1016 Lincoln Boulevard in San Francisco's Presidio. Admission is free.

Lifecycle: Empathy and Design for Complex Processes, was taught in partnership by a team of designers from IDEO and faculty from California College of the Arts. Instructors for the studio included Gretchen Addi, Soren DeOrlow, Mary Foyder, Alex Grishaver, Katherine Lambert, Anne Pascual, and Clark Scheffy.

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 20 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 San Francisco and Oakland, CCA currently enrolls over 1,600 full-time students.