Industrial Design News

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Jim Norrena

Kaii Tu's innovative design process has him in the spotlight. (Photo: Clint Bowers, Interiors & Sources)View slideshow 

Windgate Fellow

To say CCA alumnus Kaii Tu (BFA Individualized Major 2012) is on the right path toward career success is probably the understatement of the year. That's because Tu, who graduated with high distinction, was recently awarded a 2012 Windgate Fellowship by UNC Asheville’s Center for Craft, Creativity and Design (CCCD).

Read about the 2012 Wingate Fellows »

The $15,000 fellowship, for which more than 120 universities across the United States nominate two graduating seniors with exemplary skill in craft, is one of the largest awards in art and design in the nation.

Tu graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies, but he's also one of the youngest persons to reach the level of brand manager at Procter & Gamble, his employer from 2005 to 2009 in Cincinnati, where he worked in product design, brand architecture, and business management.

Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Scholarship recipients Renata Maria Araujo (in black dress, with a friend) and Lionel Ramazzini

The following speeches were delivered by CCA scholarship recipients at the Scholarship Dinner in fall 2011.

Renata Maria Araujo

My name is Renata Maria Araujo. I am a fourth-year Architecture student, and I would not be here without the Lloyd H. Oliver Memorial Scholarship. It is the reason I attend CCA. I share your understanding that education is the most transcendent gift one can be given, and it allows us to have a foot in the door of the future.

Knowing I have been awarded this scholarship makes me feel proud, and, at the same time, obliged. No artist is an island, and I am very aware of the community I aspire to be part of. More than anything, though, every time I present my work I am thankful for the trust and encouragement this award represents.

I lived abroad almost all my life, so arriving at CCA was a dramatic change. I was even unsure about pursuing architecture. Now, I am in my fourth year, and it is my future career. I've met new housemates, work buddies, and the city of San Francisco. I've learned how to take a design from my mind, to paper, to physical reality. This knowledge has changed the way I see the world. Sometimes I'll look at a building today and think now I understand, or, sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Posted on Thursday, August 9, 2012 by Allison Byers

Building a bike is an expensive and time-consuming process, traditionally reserved for devoted hobbyists and the very wealthy. But as cycling gains a stronger foothold in American cities, it’s likely that such skills will become more commonplace in design education programs. Leading the way is Nicholas Riddle, a designer at Easton and the founder of the Urban Mobility Lab at the California College of the Arts.

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Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by Allison Byers

Industrial design has always been a sexy job, if only in the minds of industrial designers. Then Apple and its sleek, user-friendly consumer electronics became household items and suddenly, industrial design became sexy to a much wider swath of society.

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Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

From Amber Cox's documentation of San Francisco's Financial District

San Francisco and Istanbul: Both built across seven hills, on peninsulas jutting into major bodies of water, where East meets West dramatically and literally-continentally. Their respective situations along major global shipping routes means that they have always been rich in trade, rich in a cosmopolitan diversity of cultures, and rich in ideas: Just as the Bay Area has been a center of forward thinking, from the 1960s Haight-Ashbury counterculture to contemporary entrepreneurial Silicon Valley culture, Turkey -- and especially Istanbul -- is facing the future culturally and politically in its unique position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Arab world.

CCA and Istanbul: East Meets West

CCA has been engaging with Istanbul in many cultural exchanges in recent years. In 2011 Jens Hoffmann, director of the CCA Wattis Institute, co-curated the 12th Istanbul Biennial, which featured numerous CCA alumni and faculty. The Vehbi Koç Foundation of Turkey recently announced its pledge to support one full-time Turkish student each year in CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. And in spring 2012, Mariella Poli's CCA course Locality and Global Discourses facilitated an exchange between 16 students at CCA and five students at Istanbul Bilgi University.

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 by Amanda E. Gross

from Team JuaBar IMPACT 2012 project proposal

Within the next few weeks, the three teams of CCA students who won IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards will be heading to Alaska, Tanzania, and Mexico to attempt innovative social transformations. Bolstered by the support of their $10,000 IMPACT grants and their community partner organizations, the teams -- KVAK TV, JuaBar, and 20/20 FOTO -- will work to empower three different communities to address pressing local concerns. Each team brings together a mix of graduate and undergraduate students from different academic programs.

IMPACT is one of the anchor programs at CCA's Center for Art and Public Life, providing students with opportunities to build relationships for social change. It is about innovation, community, collaboration, and making. It celebrates the entrepreneurial drive of CCA students combined with their desire to create a tangible, positive influence within a specific community.

Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012 by Allison Byers

Alongside collections of everyday objects like light-switch covers and felt bags, Rachel Gant’s SF Design Week offerings earlier this month were decidedly in-season. She was showing a series of bags that convert into picnic blankets, and in the store’s window, she put a giant spinning top on display. It was still light out when the evening event started, and I surely wasn’t the only one eying the combo for a final bit of fun before dusk.

Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Allison Byers

The designer behind the One Laptop Per Child Project, Yves Behar is truly a world-class designer, balancing aesthetics, function, and socially-based initiatives. Founder and principal designer of FuseProject, he also happens to be the Chair of the Industrial Design Department at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts. Recently, he facilitated a design studio in which Industrial Design students partnered with South Korean cell phone manufacturer Pantech to design new cell-phone models, taking on the future of mobile communications and addressing the idea of emotional networking.

Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by Jim Norrena

(l to r) Fashion Design chair Amy Williams, Maybelline representative Gabriel Almodovar, and program manager Pam Zahedani

CCA's sold-out 2012 Annual Fashion Show, a favorite among the numerous commencement-week events held at the college, took place Friday, May 11. The runway presentation, held inside a trademark tent in front of the main building on the San Francisco campus, is the program's capstone event of the year and serves to showcase the innovative thesis collections built by senior Fashion Design students.

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.

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