Interaction Design News

Posted on Friday, February 27, 2015 by Jeremy Joan Hewes

Scott Minneman and JD Beltran demonstrate the Cinema SnowglobeView slideshow 

Everyone relies on highly portable technology to stay in touch, find a restaurant or a parking space, and grab images on the go. But a few lucky folks have seen or held the Cinema Snowglobe, a marriage of art and technology that is an object of pure delight.

Designed and created by CCA Graduate Program in Design faculty members JD Beltran and Scott Minneman, this new snowglobe updates the old-fashioned little scene in glass that you shake to see the snow fly and settle. When you shake this palm-sized marvel, you see video or animated images that are looped to play repeatedly.

The several early editions of the Cinema Snowglobe feature a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge, a fireworks display, or a walk through the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park.

Another snowglobe is a collaboration with the artist Leo Villareal and displays his marvelous Bay Lights installation that illuminates the west span of the San Francisco­–Oakland Bay Bridge.

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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015 by Jim Norrena

(l-r) Dave Malouf, IxD15 summit co-chair; Don Norman, keynote speaker; John Somoza, Intel higher education program manager; Simona Maschi, IxD15 summit co-chair

Trailblazing cognitive scientist and usability engineer Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things (Basic Books 1988), a book that introduced the idea of “user-centered design” to budding designers worldwide, delivered the keynote address at the sold-out Interaction Design Education Summit, hosted by CCA Sunday, February 8.

(The summit was part of the larger Interaction 15 conference held in various locations in San Francisco Februrary 9-11.)

The book has since become required reading for students and teachers alike everywhere.

“He put ‘design’ as a verb on the map,” said Interaction Design chair Kristian Simsarian, in his introduction of the notoriously stern and witty author.

Not one to mince words, Norman immediately took the opportunity to critique today’s design education system.

“Design must grow up. We need a wider variety of designers,” said Norman, who proposed more teamwork between disciplines and a focus on approach, rather than end solutions.

“Wicked problems require broad education, not just craft.”

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Posted on Monday, January 26, 2015 by Laura Braun

The BFA Interaction Design Program at California College of Arts, winner of the Design for Experience award for Academic Program, does this by providing students with design skills, communication skills, and a broader understanding of everything that goes into experience design, while also helping them see how our relationship with technology is changing—a set of initiatives that it’s hard to imagine fulfilling in a remote setting.

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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 Friday, October 31, 2014 by Laura Braun

Twenty-five years ago, you might've mined the halls of the Rhode Island School of Design or the cubicles at big, traditional design agencies. Today, with designers employed across the working world, from tech startups to banks, the smartest employers are casting a wide net. Design schools aren't a bad place to look. But they're just a start. 

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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, 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, April 14, 2014 by Laura Braun

CCA is excited to announce that its Interaction Design Program has been named “Best Academic Program” in UX Magazine’s inaugural international Design for Experience awards. The awards recognize excellence in all aspects of experience design. CCA’s program is one of the first such undergrad programs in the world. It is the first in California, and the only one in Silicon Valley.

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Posted on Friday, March 28, 2014 by Laura Braun

The mission of the Interaction Design Program at CCA is to humanize technology by creating a new breed of human-centered specialists. Students are taught forward-looking core skills in systemic and behavioral design, as well as visual design and technical skills. This is a brand new program, but the judges were impressed with the balanced and robust infrastructure and see potential for the program to be highly influential in the UX/IxD education landscape.

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Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2014 by Laura Braun

Evan Litvak (Interaction Design 2014) is set to graduate from CCA this year, and the idea of delving into the workforce is far from the daunting task most people his age face.

As one of CCA’s inaugural IxD students, Litvak scored an internship with Facebook, which has since secured him a career with the social media giant.

From Fine Arts to Technology

“I came into CCA as a Ceramics major and had been doing fine arts all my life,” Litvak explained. “I had a little interest in computers and technology, but mostly recreationally -- I’d play videogames and surf the Web all the time.

“At the end of my first semester at CCA, I was in the dorms in Oakland and I saw a poster for the first Intro to IxD class ever. It had prompts all over it, with one of them saying, ‘Who’s going to create the future social network?’ and I thought, ‘Why not me?’”

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