Design News

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012 by Mitchell Schwarzer

Mitchell Schwarzer gives his introduction at the CCA faculty retreat

On February 4, 2012, the faculty at California College of the Arts gathered at the college's San Francisco campus for a retreat focused on the state of the arts across our many disciplines. In the morning, 25 short presentations offered insights into challenges and opportunities faced by practitioners and thinkers in recent times. The word aired most frequently was crisis: the crisis of the Great Recession; the crisis of Global Climate Change; the crisis of understanding and working within a discipline in our digital age.

Watch the video of all the presentations (91 minutes), shot and edited by Yoni Klein (Photography 2012)

The economic downturn has produced an economic squeeze within most of our disciplines. Art directors, as Alexis Mahrus remarks, have diminished roles in shaping an illustration. Smaller profit margins reduce the flexibility and time given over to experimentation. Branding and celebrity worship take up a larger slice of the creative pie. Some presenters, like Sue Redding of Industrial Design, see no problem in this conflation of art and business and, furthermore, dispute the notion of a crisis. Yet many presenters feel that the economic crisis is not only real but wielding dangerously asymmetrical impacts. Demand remains strong for high-end craft goods and blue-chip fine art. Some small nonprofits are struggling to survive. To Ignacio Valero of Critical Studies, the priority given over to luxury items can be attributed to the ongoing influence of classical economic policies that privilege individual decision making over collective social and natural needs. Likewise, Sandra Vivanco of Diversity Studies notes that economic inequalities have greatly worsened over the past few years, especially in the developing world. Contemporary society is forging a timeless, spaceless way of conducting business, a race for lucrative and short-term gains that concentrates investment more than ever in the hands of a few.

Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 by Allison Byers

An outdoor concert always seem like a fun summer activity, until one considers the restroom situation: long lines of people waiting to use malodorous, unhygienic Porta-Potties. Although it won’t do much to improve the stench, Kevin Cheng’s dual-use system promises to slash the wait time: Each unit has a closed stall on one side and an open urinal for men on the other, with waste from both flowing into a single tank.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by Joyna Heinz

November 16–20, 2015

Download the International Education Week schedule

A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to recognize the global exchange environment between the United States and other countries, International Education Week (IEW) is a celebration and promotion of international education and exchange.

Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by Joyna Heinz

November 16–20, 2015

Download the International Education Week schedule

A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to recognize the global exchange environment between the United States and other countries, International Education Week (IEW) is a celebration and promotion of international education and exchange.

Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 by Allison Byers

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee laid out his "innovation portfolio" for 2012 during an industry awards ceremony Wednesday night, articulating his plan to harness technology to improve city services and reiterating his self-appointed role as the "technology mayor."

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Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 by Clay Walsh

Congratulations to this year's juried R.A.W. Video (real artists at work) contest winners! The contest, open to all current CCA students, challenged contestants to create a two-minute (maximum) high-resolution digital film (including audio) with “In and Out of the Studio" as the required theme.

The goal was to encourage students to pick up their digital camcorders and highlight their community at CCA—whether in the classroom, studio, residence hall—or away from the college altogether. And the goal was definitely met several times over!

2011 R.A.W. Video Contest Winners

Posted on Thursday, November 3, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Social Craft builds a home on the campus of Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore

$10,000: It's a daunting amount of money to a student, especially when the task is to spend it in three months on a single project. But three CCA student IMPACT teams proved up to the challenge in summer 2011.

The IMPACT: Social Entrepreneurship Awards is a new initiative at CCA, run by the Center for Art and Public Life under the direction of Center director Sanjit Sethi and program manager Rebecca Wolfe. It is one of a trio of unique programs managed by the Center that connect students with outside communities to address specific, real-world problems.

The three winning IMPACT teams had competed against numerous other contenders, and they all had what the judges were looking for: They were interdisciplinary, they had strong relationships with their proposed community partners, they were attentive to a relevant social and humanitarian need, and they balanced innovation and pragmatism.

Sanjit Sethi says, "The name of this speaks for itself. At its core the IMPACT program is about innovation, community, collaboration, and making. It celebrates the entrepreneurial drive of CCA students combined with their desire to create a tangible, positive impact within a specific community."

(Note to students: Info sessions for summer 2012 IMPACT are happening in San Francisco on Nov. 8 and 17 at 6 p.m. in the Timken reception area, and in Oakland Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in front of A2 Cafe.)

The year-one IMPACT teams reported on their completed projects on September 29, 2011, in Timken Lecture Hall on CCA's San Francisco campus.

Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Jens Hoffmann leads CCA Curator's Forum tour of Istanbul Biennial (Kris Martin's work in foreground) (photo: George Jewett)

The Istanbul Biennial is a key event in the international contemporary art scene -- a highly visible, highly respected exhibition that draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city and exposes them to some of the most engaged and relevant art being made today. In its opening week, the 12th Istanbul Biennial (which remains open through November 13) was attended by almost 4,000 guests, including critics, curators, museum and gallery administrators, and approximately 400 members of the press from 50 different countries. Everything they saw (whether they realized it or not) bore the marks of a CCA affiliate's hand -- specifically two CCA curators, one CCA graphic designer, and one CCA editor. They also saw the work of one faculty member and three alumni; all three alumni had entire galleries devoted to their work.

CCA President Stephen Beal, chair of the Board of Trustees F. Noel Perry, other trustees, and several members of the CCA Curator's Forum (a dedicated group of Wattis Institute supporters) flew to Istanbul for the opening weekend. Stephen Beal remarked, standing at the biennial entrance, "It is very gratifying to see the college so prominently represented here. It is evidence of the major relevance, at the international level, of what we are doing, and the kinds of experiences and access that CCA makes available to its community."

The Curators

It was almost two years ago that Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann accepted the invitation to co-curate the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Beginning with that moment, what began as a single thread of connection between the college and the city of Istanbul expanded into a densely packed web involving multiple individuals.

Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 by Allison Byers

Walker’s winning design features bright colors and comprehensible graphics that illustrate the food’s ingredients

Visual designer and CCA alumna Renée Walker (MFA Design 2011) placed first in the Rethink the Food Label competition, an online contest issued by GOOD magazine and University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s News21 project to redesign the nutrition label found on food packaging.

Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 by Leslie Roberts

Jen Pearson Designs the studio of 2009 MFA Design alumna Jen Pearson, is a sustainable design studio located in the flats of Oakland. When Pearson completed her MFA, she knew she wanted to start her own design practice, making things based on her strong beliefs in sustainability. She says she envisioned "a space to create unique objects and design solutions through sustainable methods. My background in the arts encompasses diverse practices, which influence household product and object design.