Industrial Design News

Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012 by Allison Byers

It may seem incomprehensible to the latest generation, but we used to choose what art schools we'd apply to by looking at printed paper brochures that came in the mail. In an era before social media and the internet, a school's reputation wasn't easy to ascertain, particularly if you lived far away from it; your high school art teacher—who might've been anything from an out-of-work landscaper to a bored housewife—would tell you they heard RISD was good, for instance, and that was about the extent of it.

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Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by Samantha Braman

Delphi Digital Optics, designed by Lucas Ainsworth

What do Delphi Optics (special wilderness goggles that use satellite info to provide specific information about your surroundings), Jungle Walkers (100 percent sustainable cardboard puzzle animals), and the Snowkite (a kite that pulls you across snowy slopes) all have in common? They're all the brainchildren of alumnus Lucas Ainsworth (Industrial Design 2010), and they're all in one way or another expressions of Ainsworth's passion for the outdoors.

Before he came to CCA's Industrial Design Program, Ainsworth studied environmental science at UC Davis. "I always intrinsically loved design, but I was never exposed to it growing up. I thought products were designed by mechanical engineers. Then, during my time at UC Davis I was a whitewater guide in their outdoor program on weekends. The guy who runs the program was a designer at Black Diamond, and he used to tell stories about designing and testing outdoor gear. After graduating and working for a few years, I called him up and asked what it takes to be a designer at Black Diamond. He introduced me to the field of industrial design and said, basically, 'Your only chance is to get into a top-notch design school and rock it.'"

While at CCA, Ainsworth developed and marketed all kinds of products, from toys to high-end electronic devices. It was in Jay Baldwin's Industrial Design 1 class that he conceived the Jungle Walker, an environmentally conscious toy elephant made of cardboard that, when assembled, walks and moves its head with surprising realism.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Lisa Mishima and Yvonne Mouser turn food into art at Sam's Movie Night

From painter to pastry chef, ceramicist to wine cellar owner, innovative CCA alumni are shaping creative niches across the world of food and drink.

Twenty people stand around a long butcher-block table. The lights above cast a pale glow on its surface, illuminating the ingredients piled in its recessed trough -- lemons, lettuce, flour, eggplants, bell peppers -- without lighting the faces of the diners. They are here for Hands On, a food-making experience in which they use their hands rather than utensils to create a three-course meal.

"Cooking is very much a form of art," says Lisa Mishima (Graphic Design 2005), who concocted Hands On together with her boss, Randall Stowell of the creative production company Autofuss, and friend Yvonne Mouser (Furniture 2006). "Both cooking and art involve concepting, crafting, and presenting a piece. But there is something about consuming one's creation that feels even more personal, immediate, and honest."

Initially, the guests are nervous, even clumsy. Flour falls to the floor. Slowly, the experimental chefs grow more confident. There are giggles around the room, then nods of approval as the dishes take shape. The menu features Caesar salad, handmade pasta with pesto sauce, and tiramisu. Some diners shape vegetables into utensils and use those instead of spoons or spatulas. Maybe there will be a meal at the end of this.

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Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2011 by Allison Byers

During her visit to the Orient, Editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani is selecting young emerging designers. Here’s for you the next generation of Chinese designers.

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Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Trevor Mantkus in his studio

Of all the career paths leading to Detroit's auto industry, you might think majoring in ceramics would be an unlikely route. But Trevor Mantkus (Ceramics 2008) is not your average ceramicist.

When he's not at work at General Motors as an automotive sculptor, he spends his spare time drawing, making paintings on commission, designing tattoos, and customizing a 1978 Corvette Stingray. He also customizes superfast motorbikes -- a YouTube video shows him pulling a (don't try this at home) freeway wheelie on a retooled Suzuki streetfighter with an estimated top speed north of 180 mph. His motorcycle designs have been featured in Hot Bike and Sport Bike magazines.

Shortly after being hired at GM he rushed to sign up for classes in digital modeling. "I wanted to be a candidate to do whatever the company needed. Now I move back and forth between digital and clay. There's benefits to both media. Although, obviously, I was a ceramics major, so I like working with my hands, getting dirty, and seeing something come to life in three dimensions."

The seeds of Mantkus's success were sown at CCA. "I've always been into cars, and in the Ceramics Program, I made a motorcycle. In 2007 my professors Nathan Lynch and Arthur Gonzalez came to me with the application for a summer internship at General Motors. They saw this as a good path for me even before I realized it. I knew cars were sculpted out of clay, but I had no idea what was really involved. Thousands of art students from across the country, mostly industrial and automotive design students, applied for 18 internships, and I got in. It was an amazing opportunity to work, to learn, and also to make contacts. One of the guys I met there had an automotive design degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, another was a digital designer from Howard University. It was one of these contacts I made back in 2007 who tipped me off about GM hiring in 2010. I got this job because of that internship."

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Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

NONOBJECT
The MIT Press, 2010
Hardcover / iPad app, 207 pages, $29.95/$24.99

What happens when we think beyond the object, beyond the business plan, beyond what we think we know about design? In this book that is also an iPad app, coauthors Barry Katz (Industrial Design faculty) and Branko Lukic take us on a tour of the charged spaces between people and the objects they use, the mysteries of this immaterial reality. View a series of explorations of objects from the future, derived from as-yet-undiscovered materials, imagined manufacturing processes, and invented rules. Product design meets philosophy, poetry, and the theater of the imagination.

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Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by Jim Norrena

The 2011 Annual Fashion Show has come and gone. Get all the highlights, plus an interview with Fashion Design chair Amy Williams

The Annual Fashion Show 2011 at California College of the Arts, the capstone experience for Fashion Design seniors, unfolded Friday, May 13, with all the characteristic grandstand presentation the college and its community have come to expect. And once again, with 800 persons in attendance, the shindig was completely sold out!

Watch the slideshow » (Select "show info" in the upper right-hand corner to see the name of the designer.)

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Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 by Marion Anthonisen

Those of you with the cold-weather tolerance for snow sports have a couple options when headed to well-maintained slopes: You can choose equipment that’s easy to use; or go with gear that requires training.

Both options boast equal safety levels. The bummer is for boarders who want to explore untended backcountry powder, but don’t want to invest time and money in complicated training-required gear. There’s no option that’s both easy and safe.

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Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Happy Earth Day, CCA!

California College of the Arts is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review, an education service that helps students select and apply to colleges.

CCA's inclusion in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition reinforces the college's reputation as an exemplary institution of higher education committed to sustainability.

The news, which USA Today reported Wednesday, April 20, arrives just in time for today's Earth Day celebration—and brings to a close CCA's Earth Week festivities with a remarkable bang!

The Guide to 311 Green Colleges, the first and only free comprehensive college guidebook to focus solely on high-ranking U.S. colleges and universities, showcases outstanding commitments to environmental sustainability in and out of the classroom (e.g., environmentally related practices, policies, and academic offerings). The 220-page guide contains profiles of 308 institutions of higher education in the United States and three in Canada, all of which demonstrate a significant commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.

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Posted on Monday, April 11, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Industry guest Christine Marcellino (Alite Designs) reviews prototypes and form studies by student Haley Toelle

Ask not what your function can do for your fashion, but rather what can your fashion can do for your function. — Anonymous

Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Best of Both Worlds

“Form over function” has taken on a whole new meaning for the students who completed last fall’s undergraduate “Fashioning Functional Gear” course. The interdisciplinary studio united the Fashion Design and Industrial Design programs in eco-conscious investigation and technological innovation.

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