Interaction Design News

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2013 by Allison Byers

“At a broad level, Apple has been pretty outstanding because they led by design,” says Kristian Simsarian, chair of California College of the Arts’ undergraduate interaction design program and an IDEO fellow. “That’s really been a great credit to Steve Jobs, because he was one of the few business leaders that would actually make bold decisions, that didn’t necessarily have the quantitative backup which most business leaders want.”

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Posted on Sunday, January 6, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Success by Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers
HOW books, 2012
Paperback, 297 pages, $29.99

David Sherwin (Interaction Design faculty), the author of this book, is currently a Principal Designer at frog, a global innovation firm, where he helps to guide the research, strategy and design of novel products and services for some of today's leading companies and nonprofit organizations.

He says: "Fellow designers: In your career you may have been like me: Trying to keep projects on the rails and clients happy. Digging through blogs for useful advice. Wondering if there was a better way to handle all of the demands of being a design professional and running a creative business. The wisdom contained in this book will help you become a stronger businessperson and better plan your career path as a design leader.

"This book was born from in-depth interviews with a slew of successful designers, studio directors, project managers, and client service professionals across a wide range of creative industries. It contains the business secrets I needed most when I started as a designer 16 years ago."

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Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Collective Action Toolkit
frog design, 2012
Digital, free

David Sherwin (Interaction Design faculty) is a principal designer at frog design. He and Erin Sanders (also Interaction Design faculty) are the primary creators of frog’s new Collective Action Toolkit (CAT), a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community. The toolkit provides a dynamic framework that integrates knowledge and action to solve challenges. Designed to harness the benefits of group action and the power of open sharing, the activities draw on each participant’s strengths and perspectives as the group works to accomplish a common goal.

Read more about the CAT on frog's design mind blog.

Read an interview with David Sherwin in FastCoDesign about how the CAT came about.

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 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.

Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2012 by Allison Byers

California College of the Arts has been training students in fine arts, architecture, design and writing for more than 100 years, and the school is translating that experience to a cutting-edge interaction design program, which launched in fall 2011.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Interaction Design chair Kristian Simsarian [photo:]

UX Week is the premier user-experience design conference. Design professionals from all over the world gathered August 23-26 in San Francisco for four days of community, inspiration, and skills building. Among the notable guest speakers was Kristian Simsarian, chair of the Interaction Design Program at California College of the Arts, who was invited to discuss . . . what else? the formation of this exceptional and timely new program.

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Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 by Marion Anthonisen

(still) $1Dollair presentation video

We’re all pretty excited about Interaction Design around here. Although the official launch of CCA's newest program is fall 2011, Interaction Design chair Kristian Simsarian taught “Introduction to Interaction Design” in the spring, treating us to a glimpse of what’s to come.

For the course’s final project, teams of student designers redesigned outdated airline user experiences; the resulting concepts were smart, diverse, and entertaining.

Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011 by Clay Walsh

Students present their final projects in Timken Lecture Hall [photo: Alister Lee]

This spring marked the first course offering from the college’s newest Interaction Design Program—set to officially kick into gear on the San Francisco campus in the fall. "Introduction to Interaction Design," taught by Interaction Design chair Kristian Simsarian, filled to capacity within 48 hours of open registration. The course attracted a diverse array of students, whose backgrounds included graphic design, industrial design, photography, fashion, film, animation, and fine arts.

Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

MIT Press, 2010
Hardcover, 240 pages, $29.95

What happens when designers think beyond the object to creative positive, unexpected design experiences? This book by Branko Lukic with text by Barry Katz offers inventive perspectives on design and engineering that help reframe and reinvent the way we think about traditional (and often mundane) objects. Branko Lukic is founder and principal of Nonobject Studio in Palo Alto, which provides design innovation solutions and strategic consulting services to established companies, nonprofit organizations, and startups worldwide. Barry Katz helped to articulate the philosophy of the Nonobject; in addition to serving on CCA's faculty he is also a consulting professor at Stanford University and a fellow at IDEO.