Faculty News

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 by Laura Braun

The odors on display harking from our fair city are plenty evocative, but far less poignant. The exhibit was curated by California College of the Arts architectural history professors David Gissenand Irene Cheng, and four vessels are meant to capture the historical smells of that school's Potrero neighborhood: salt air (nice); stables (see: "The Smell of Manure in the French Countryside"); coal soot (acrid, unbearable); and pollution (even worse).

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Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by Brenda Tucker

Proposed redesign captured attention of Ticketmaster design team!

Matthew Lew’s love of music has turned him into a bit of a design rock star.

In fall 2013, the CCA student (Graphic Design 2015) received a Typography 3 assignment from faculty member David Asari. Lew’s project, a total redesign of the iconic Ticketmaster ticket, got him ink in two leading magazines, Fast Company and Wired, and attention from business leaders and numerous designers, from Facebook to Dropbox, TicPic, Eventbrite, and yes, Jared Smith, the North American president of Ticketmaster.

Lew chose to reconsider Ticketmaster tickets because of his love of concerts. “The design is as old as the cassette tape; they are difficult to read and visually do not give any justice to the experience of live entertainment. It’s the only major ticket service that still prints tickets, and it lacks suitable anti-counterfeiting measures.”

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Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 by Laura Braun

Will H. and I walked over to SPUR the other day to take a sniff at its latest exhibition (co-presented by California College of the Arts), "Urban Olfactory," which tries to answer the question "What does history smell like?" Before we walked into the building, we paused for a whiffing moment on Mission Street. New Ming's Chinese restaurant was across the street; a woman with two schnauzers on a leash passed by. We could smell neither egg rolls nor canines; just eau de San Francisco, the usual combination of urine and pot, Will observed.

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Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 by Laura Braun

Curated by David Gissen and Irene Cheng of the California College of the Arts and featuring scents concocted by renowned perfurmers like France’s Christophe Laudamiel, the exhibit commemorates historians’ efforts over the past decade to record and reconstruct history’s odors to better understand the sense’s force in driving change. Get anywhere near the pollution vitrine -- a nauseating sample of what San Francisco smelled like following the Industrial Revolution -- and the demand for air quality regulations in the last century will make all the more sense.

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Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 by Laura Braun

There is no Polaroid for smells, of course (unfortunately), and Urban Olfactory is not a real historical archive. But the idea was to imagine one, David Gissen, the exhibition's co-curator with Irene Cheng, told me. Previously, Gissen had speculated fantastically about "urban ice cores," or an archive of indoor air for future urban climatologists. The dozen or so scents at Urban Olfactory range widely in time and space, from early modern Europe to the California of 50 years ago.

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Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 by Laura Braun

Michael’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Denver Art Museum; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; and the Library of Congress. He is an alumni of California College of the Arts (CCA), where he has taught Design for more than 30 years. In 2012, Michael was named to the Interior Design Hall of Fame.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 by Laura Braun

David Gissen and Irene Cheng, the exhibit's architectural-historian curators from the California College of the Arts, searched far and wide to amass this surreal collection of odors. They tapped into the collections of rock-star perfumers like Laudamiel – who fabricated "Paris 1738" using "cassis note for urine, and [pyrazine] molecules for the other sewage effects" – and solicited tips from odor-obsessed writers like Chandler Burr, the one-time perfume critic forThe New York Times.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 by Laura Braun

His clients include AmericanOne, Baker Furniture, Bernhardt Furniture,The Blackstone Group, Bolier & Company, Boyd Lighting, Esprit, HBF, IBM,Luna Textiles, McGuire Furniture, Robert Talbott, Teknion and The Walt Disney Company. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Denver Art Museum; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; and the Library of Congress. He is an alumni of California College of the Arts (CCA), where he has taught design for more than 30 years. In 2012, Vanderbyl was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 by Jim Norrena

(l-r) Pratibha Parmar, Alice Walker, and Geena Davis [photo: Jim Norrena]

Pratibha Parmar is a British filmmaker, director, producer, and writer who is known internationally for her political and often controversial documentary film work. She’s also a stalwart activist within the global feminism and lesbian rights movements.

In short, her accomplishments and commitment to making art that matters makes her an ideal visiting artist (MFA in Film) here at California College of the Arts.

Before she was born, Parmar’s family emigrated from India to East Africa, and then later immigrated to London, where she was raised and went on to study at Bradford and Birmingham Universities where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by Laura Braun

Parmar was given access to Walker's family photo albums, her private journals, and her homes in Mexico and Mendocino. Parmar, who teaches film at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, discovered startling things about her friend and colleague while making the documentary.

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