CCA News

Posted on Friday, March 7, 2008 by Kim Lessard

The Industrial Design Program at California College of the Arts (CCA) will host a free panel discussion on April 9, 2008, as part of the West Coast tour of Design Green Now. Design Green Now is a series of free panel discussions exploring the integration of innovative tools into the "greening" of consumer products.

According to EcoSystems, the Brooklyn-based design consultancy that organizes Design Green Now, the purpose of the series is to inspire and empower emerging designers to begin building a sustainable future. CCA was invited to participate along with the other hosting institutions because of its long-standing commitment to sustainable design education.

The panelists will include Yves Béhar (principal, fuseproject, and chair, CCA Industrial Design Program), Valerie Casey (founder, the Designers Accord), Peter Kallen (men's products design director, Nau), Sarah Louise Todd (senior design analyst, frog design), Sophia Wang Traweek (cofounder, o2-Cascadia), and Richard Whitehall (director of industrial design, Smart Design). They will share their current green projects, the challenges they face, and the tools they use to create successful, sustainable designs., one of the world's most respected and popular design communities, is on board as a media partner. Allan Chochinov, editor in chief, comments: "Core77 is thrilled to sponsor Design Green Now, which occupies a sweet spot at the intersection of education, sustainability, and innovation. The initiative will bring together professionals, students, fans, and enthusiasts, all engaged in sessions that will inspire creativity and promote positive social change."

About EcoSystems

EcoSystems' mission is to create products, systems, and services for a healthy planet. It uses innovative frameworks that engage and educate communities in collaborative developments.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts is the largest regionally accredited, independent, nonprofit 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 eight 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, master of fine arts, and master of business administration degrees. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls more than 1,600 full-time students.

Design Green Now 2008 West Coast Tour Schedule

April 1 Western Washington University, Bellingham
April 4 The Art Institute, Portland, Oregon
April 9 California College of the Arts, San Francisco
April 10 TBA
April 11 California State University, Long Beach

Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

CCA is one of just four design schools that have been selected to exhibit student work at the 2008 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York in May. ICFF is one of the most prestigious design events in the world and the premier showcase for contemporary design in North America. Each year ICFF invites the world's leading design schools to participate in a competition juried by industry leaders. This year's other winners are Savannah College of Art and Design, the School of Visual Arts, and Yale University.

Both the Furniture and Industrial Design programs will be represented at the booth. The Furniture project represents the outcomes of the Bevara Design House / sponsored studio that was run by faculty member Oblio Jenkins in the fall 2007 semester. That interdisciplinary furniture studio addressed a "sustainable design for mass production" theme. After researching the complex issues associated with sustainability and the wide range of locally available production technologies, students worked with Bevara Design House and Wal-Mart to develop those designs with market potential.

CCA's Industrial Design Program coordinated two projects which will also be featured at the booth: Glass+, a collaboration with the Glass Program, and the Kitchen Sink, a joint effort with the Ceramics Program. The students worked individually and in teams to design and develop a wide range of products for the home, from cocktail sets to kitchen sinks, using real-world production techniques such as blow-molded glass and slip-cast ceramics.

For more information please visit ICFF's website at

Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 by Sarah Owens

Technology never tasted so good

Industrial Design Program senior Noah Balmer tied for second place in the 2008 International Housewares Association student design competition. Noah will receive a $1,800 cash prize, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to Chicago, where he will present his winning design, KitchenSync, at the 2008 International Home and Housewares Show.

The show is expected to attract 60,000 visitors from more than 100 countries all focused on buying and selling the latest products at the world's largest home-goods marketplace.

KitchenSync is a durable, hand-washable, portable wi-fi device that allows the user to look up recipes via a touch screen, thereby eliminating the risk of having a computer in the kitchen, as well as preventing the loss of smudged recipes printed in water-soluble ink. Slim and easy to use, the waterproof, book-shaped device ships with a stationary dock that it magnetically attaches to and through which it charges via induction. KitchenSync can remain in its dock or placed on a counter or even kept in one's hand.

Noah attended Lewis and Clark College, then transferred to California College of the Arts to pursue his design career. Regarding his choice to attend CCA, he explains it was because of its "great teachers, future thinking, and emphasis on sustainability."

In 2006 Noah also won an International Housewares award for his design of a kitchen scale manufactured with zinc. Studying industrial design is a natural progression for Noah, who has sculpted and created objects since childhood. He believes industrial design is "psychology of form," or the study of how "a person chooses a simple, sleek object over a complex mechanical one."

Noah will further advance his design career as an intern with designer Karim Rashid in the spring.

Additional press coverage available at the International Housewares Association website.

Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

Ryan Duke of CCA's Industrial Design Program presents to Gucci

PPR French worldwide group is sponsoring a series of design studios at California College of the Arts (CCA) during the 2007–8 academic year. Students in CCA's Architecture, Industrial Design, and Graduate Design programs are examining a variety of design issues while working with representatives from three PPR brands: Gucci, Puma, and Redcats.

"We are delighted to be working with PPR," stated Stephen Beal, provost of CCA. "This partnership enriches our design curriculum considerably and provides our students with unique opportunities to interact with top international professionals."

Sponsored studio courses at CCA give students the prospect of conceptualizing design within the context of a particular brand. They also give the retail, manufacturing, and design industries access to the fresh perspectives of next-generation designers. Other recent sponsored studio collaborations at CCA have included a sustainability studio with the international design firm IDEO and a pet product studio with the Turkish design firm Gaia&Gino.

About PPR
PPR develops a portfolio of high-growth global brands. Through its general consumer brands and luxury brands, PPR generated sales of EUR 19.8 billion in 2007. The group is present in 90 countries with approximately 93,000 employees. PPR brands include Fnac, Redcats Group (La Redoute, Vertbaudet, Somewhere, Cyrillus, Daxon, Ellos, The Sportsman's Guide, The Golf Warehouse and brands of the plus-size division), Conforama, CFAO, Puma, and the luxury brands of Gucci Group (Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, YSL Beauté, Balenciaga, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney). Explore the universe of PPR brands at

Founded in 1907, CCA offers studies in 20 undergraduate and eight graduate majors in the areas of architecture, business, curatorial practice, design, film, fine arts, and writing. The college offers bachelor of architecture, bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, master of architecture, master of arts, master of business administration, and master of fine arts degrees.

Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 by Brenda Tucker

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts will present the exhibition Amateurs from April 23 through August 9, 2008, in the lower-level Logan Galleries on the San Francisco campus of California College of the Arts. Organized by Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery in London, the exhibition is free and open to the public, with an opening reception Wednesday, April 23, 2008, from 6–8 p.m.

Amateurs surveys a terrain of artistic practice that departs from the hyperprofessionalization characterizing so much cultural production today. Whether collaborating with actual amateurs or working as amateurs in disciplines beyond the art world, the artists featured in this exhibition refuse to let the experts have the last word. They are committed instead to a democratization of artistic production—one that often invites us, the viewers, to reflect upon our own role as citizens in a participatory, democratic society.

Says Rugoff: "At a moment when the big news in contemporary art is so often related to skyrocketing auction prices, Amateurs explores the work of artists who embrace a nonprofessional ethic by collaborating with and/or documenting the art of amateur practitioners, and in some cases assuming that role themselves. Our landscape is being redefined by amateur-friendly phenomena such as YouTube and news blogs, and my hope is that the exhibition will provoke much-needed reflection on the values of amateur cultures and their potential for challenging the limitations of professional art practices. Ultimately, this exhibition seeks to remind us that we are all amateurs."

Amateurs will feature works by 18 international artists: Johanna Billing, Jennifer Bornstein, Andrea Bowers, Phil Collins, Jeremy Deller, Harrell Fletcher, Josh Greene, Cameron Jamie, Alan Kane, Long March Project, Yoshua Okon, Michele O'Marah, Hirsch Perlman, Jim Shaw, Simon Starling, Javier Téllez, Jeffrey Vallance, and Eric Wesley. It will be accompanied by a full-color exhibition catalog with essays by Rugoff and the scholar John Roberts.

Amateurs is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. The Exhibition Award program was founded in 1998 to honor Emily Hall Tremaine. It rewards innovation and experimentation among curators by supporting thematic exhibitions that challenge audiences and expand the boundaries of contemporary art.

Founding support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. Generous support provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, and the CCA Curator's Forum.

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 by Lindsey Lyons

Alumni from classes 2000–07 joined us in San Francisco for a Young Alumni Happy Hour on February 22, 2008. The event was held at Etiquette Lounge, an engaging night-life addition located at 7th and Market, designed and co-owned by CCA Industrial Design alumni Matt McKee and Joseph Pitruzzelli.

Alumni mixed and mingled while enjoying free popcorn and tasty drinks, made even better because the first drink was on CCA!

Posted on Friday, February 22, 2008 by Jim Norrena

On Wednesday, February 20, Bay Area news broadcaster ABC-7 (KGO) featured California College of the Arts as a contributing influence to a growing trend among local artists—creating art that reflects ecologically responsible, sustainable practices.

The broadcast segment, "The Bay Area Gives Birth to New Renaissance," is posted on its website at Local artists and professionals who embrace eco-friendly awareness discuss why this issue is relevant to today's art buyers.

According to Kim Anno, a featured CCA faculty member: "They want to see how art and design can give a glimpse of what's happening and straddle contradictions in a way that science couldn't. They want to be part of, I think, a movement of change, that provides a kind of tipping point for our culture."

Sustainability awareness is a critical component of a well-rounded curriculum for preparing students as innovators of the future. CCA offers such a focus on sustainability throughout its various design programs (industrial design, architecture, fashion, and others).

The Summer Institute in Sustainable Design (June 15–27), a two-week, hands-on opportunity that includes fieldwork and in-class lectures with instructors and innovators in sustainable design, illustrates CCA's applaudable commitment to incorporate green into its curricula.

To learn more about the Summer Institute in Sustainable Design, visit the newly launched website at

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2008 by Sarah Owens

The History Channel's "City of the Future" Competition

Faculty members of California College of the Arts Architecture Program shared their visions of what San Francisco might look like 100 years from now in a nationwide "City of the Future" design competition. CCA faculty were involved in five of the eight teams, with IwamotoScott, a firm co-owned by CCA associate professor Craig Scott, placing first.

Also, Pfau Architecture, owned by CCA adjunct professor Peter Pfau, received the IBM Innovation and Technology award, as well as an honorable mention.

The "City of the Future" competition is sponsored by The History Channel, IBM, and Infiniti with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as partners. The annual competition takes place in three U.S. cities. This year featured Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Each city has eight design firms that compete regionally for a $10,000 first prize, including the chance to advance to the national level of the competition (decided by online vote). Successful teams were invited to participate following an initial competition jury's selection of their design portfolios.

While several of the firms were robust enough to handle the extra workload the competition created, intensified by its one-week time limit, others recruited additional assistance from CCA students. The pressure accelerated as the teams had only three hours to assemble their 3D models and set up their public presentations at the San Francisco Ferry Building. The event was filmed for The History Channel.

The featured design work, including last year's competition that included New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, will likely be presented in a forthcoming book supported by the event's sponsors.

Honorable mention recipient and CCA adjunct professor Peter Pfau found this a refreshing experience to step back from routine architectural design and explore the future of San Francisco's makeup was refreshing: "Speculating on the possible future allowed us to leave behind our usual world of complex approvals processes, codes issues and tight budgets . . . and focus on broader thinking about the city."

The competition had a few stipulations that required competitors take into account such issues as infrastructure, transportation, commerce, housing, security, and the environment. CCA's newly appointed Chair of Architecture, Ila Berman, says, "The proposals were innovative, provocative, and extremely compelling, allowing us to imagine the future of San Francisco at the juncture of ecology, technology, and urbanism."

IwamotoScott united ecology, technology, and urbanism in its winning design that addressed the problems of the whole, with a specific focus on water and energy collection and distribution. IwanmotoScott's vision of the future presents a new nano-tube system, called "HYDRO-NET," featuring an underground network for hydrogen-powered cars, energy-producing algae ponds, and fog harvesters. Iwanmotoscott co-owner and CCA professor Craig Scott explains: "At key waterfront and neighborhood locales, HYDRO-NET emerges to form linkages between the terrestrial and subterranean worlds.

The eight San Francisco entries will be on display at CCA San Francisco campus February 4–15, 2008. An opening reception and panel discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6 from 7–9:30 p.m.

The work of the competing teams and competition winners will be on view on the History Channel's website on February 4, 2008. The national-level competition will be decided online later in February.

To vote in the national competition visit The History Channel's website.

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 by Kim Lessard

Sanjit Sethi

CCA has expanded its undergraduate Community Arts Program as of the spring 2008 semester with three new ranked faculty positions. The artist Claudia Bernardi, who has taught at CCA for several years, has been promoted to one; the other two are new additions to the faculty: the artists John Jota Leaños and Sanjit Sethi. Sethi is also the new program chair.

CCA has been offering the BFA degree in Community Arts since fall 2005.

Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 by Kim Lessard

Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, executive director of the Center for Art and Public Life (CAPL) at California College of the Arts (CCA) and founding chair of CCA's Community Arts Program, has accepted the newly created position of vice president of diversity and strategic partnerships at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She will be charged with enhancing the university's outreach and engagement with the greater Middletown community and serve as Wesleyan's affirmative action officer and director of the Office of Affirmative Action. She formally joins Wesleyan on July 1.