Industrial Design News

Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015 by Jim Norrena

In 2011 students Anna Acquistapace (DMBA 2011), Olivia Nava (DMBA 2012), and Eric Persha (DMBA 2012), launched an idea inspired by the MBA in Design Strategy program's Social Ventures course (taught by faculty member Steve Diller).

The idea involves working with members of a solar-distribution company as a partner organization to offer community members in rural Tanzania connectivity services that use renewable solar energy.

(Initially the partner organization had wanted to address better solar-powered lighting solutions in Tanzania, which evolved into the more wide-serving Juabar business model.)

"Our [CCA] education helped us realize that you don’t approach innovation by answering questions, but rather you look to understand end-users’ needs.

"So we didn’t come to that project on 'how can we better sell solar lights?' but more 'how do we understand the electricity experience of Tanzanians with little or no electricity experience?'"

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Posted on Friday, December 5, 2014 by Jim Norrena

The Center for Art & Public Life (The Center) and the MBA in Design Strategy program, both at California College of the Arts, last month co-organized TechRaking 7, an annual hackathon series put on by The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), which focused on the intersection of journalism and design.

TechRaking 7, the first within the series to work exclusively with college students (and CCA as its official partner), had CIR CEO Joaquín Alvarado reaching out to CCA to pose the question: How can we rethink human interaction around the news within our communities?

CIR enlisted colleagues from two of its local media partners -- Bruce Koon of KQED and Martin Reynolds of the Bay Area News Group (BANG) -- to challenge CCA students with some of their toughest community-engagement issues. For example, how might:

CIR create new ways for people to communicate about the role of guns in their neighborhoods?
BANG offer a more participatory model that empowers residents to share overlooked topics?
KQED develop cross-regional tools to communicate better the personal effects of the growing technology industry?

Far be it for anyone at CCA to turn away a challenge, thought leaders at The Center decided to enlist the help of CCA students -- working in small teams representing a wide range of disciplines -- to collectively come up with innovative solutions that could encourage greater public participation in today's changing news gathering and distribution policies and procedures.

In short, TechRaking 7 challenged students to give the concept of the traditional newsstand a much-needed facelift.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 by Laura Braun

San Francisco native and recent California College of the Arts grad Zara Dramov has a new handbag line, The Common Knowledge, inspired by the way bone meets skin, the way paper folds, sci-fi movie costumes, and shiny copper bolts found in city street grates. Miraculously, each rigid, architectural design is made from one single sheet of leather. Once again, Lena Dunham would know best: the Girls star was recently spotted carrying the oxblood Mini Bone Bag. 

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Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 by Laura Braun

In June CCA students from across multiple disciplines participated in CCA+AIR (Audi Innovation Research) Fellowship: Beyond Mobility, an intensive two-week design challenge that brought the Audi Group's leading designers -- and a host of other local designers -- to campus to hear students present about the next phase of creating luxury automobiles.

Architecture faculty members and Future Cities Lab partners Nataly Gattegno and Jason Kelly Johnson and Markus Auerbach from Audi AG’s AIR team spearheaded the event, which called for an interdisciplinary cross-section of program chairs to nominate students, who would then apply for the fellowship.

Auerbach emphasized daily a basic principle to which all Audi designers rely: “Humans have basic needs and rich desires.”

Students worked in teams and were instructed to keep the fundamental design consideration in mind as they envisioned the design of future automobiles for Audi AG, one of the "German Big 3" luxury automakers (along with BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which are the three best-selling luxury automakers in the world).

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Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by Laura Braun

We do teach industrial design very differently than we did ten years ago. Young industrial designers today have to be versatile, collaborative, empathic and forward thinking. We are no longer the midpoint between form and function, or the end-of-the-line "beautifying" process. Many other factors are shaping a product today: the business model, manufacturability, material sourcing and pricing, cultural fit, emotional connection... The complexity is much greater every day, and products cannot be created without industrial designers understanding the greater context.

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Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 by Laura Braun

in the past, the natural artists worked primarily with natural materials. nowadays, we have mountains of discarded technology. these junkyards are the modern day quarries. and artists like me can make anything out of these resources. all of my recent works are made from salvaged industrial scraps and surplus technology that our society is burying itself in.’ san francisco-based artist constantine zlatev holds these statements as the driving force behind each of his creations.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Students and alumni gain experiential learning during internships

CCA student designers are working in exciting, innovative internships at such innovative companies as Google, Motorola, Intel, de Young, Cooper Hewitt, Chronicle Books, Autodesk, frog, Townsquared, Flipboard, and many others -- and by doing so they are positioning themselves to kick-start their careers and reap the benefits.

Today the internship experience has become status quo; employers typically seek to hire only candidates who can demonstrate they already possess the experiential learning creative jobs require.

Don't Get Left Behind

Employers now routinely screen job applicants: Those who have completed an internship can stay; those who haven’t are weeded out.

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Posted on Monday, June 30, 2014 by Simon Hodgson

Photo: Zack DeZon

How does an engineer reinvent himself? One possible answer: at art school.

In 1996, just a year after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in civil engineering, Bruce King-Shey felt lost.

A lifelong musician, he switched tracks from engineering to take an entry-level job at the Annapolis Symphony. But when his career in arts management began to feel stalled, he wasn’t sure where he should turn next.

Today King-Shey (Industrial Design 2004, MA Visual Criticism 2005) is vice president of design innovation at food and beverage giant PepsiCo.

His circuitous career path offers much insight into how an arts education can unlock hidden talents.

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Posted on Friday, June 6, 2014 by Laura Braun

San Francisco native Zara Dramov majored in industrial design, so it's natural that her inaugural designs for her bag line, the Common Knowledge, have a structured, architectural silhouette. But the California College of the Arts graduate's inspirations for her Bone Bag also include both origami and the way bone interacts with skin (think elbows and cheekbones). She also had practicality in mind; the Italian leather bags - of which there are two sizes and four colors (plum, oxblood, olive bronze and black) - include a removable snap-in pouch.

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Posted on Friday, June 6, 2014 by Laura Braun

But then I got busy, and fell out of touch with Owen (a former Nike, Intel, and NASA design contractor who is former acting director of the industrial design department at the California College of the Arts). Recently I learned that the Sparse lights were available for online ordering, and I bought my own pair, for $140. They’re great, and they make my clownishly large Specialized crosstrail bicycle (it’s XXL-sized, to fit my 6’3” frame) look a little bit cooler—maybe even like something you’d find parked in the Batcave.

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