Interior Design News

Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Watching their Carnaval float moving down Mission Street as part of San Francisco's massive annual parade, laden with dancers from the Brazilian troupe Sambaxé, accompanied by the vibrant beats of the Brazilian musical group Blocura and the powerful moves of the Brazilian ABADA Capoeira troupe, TV cameras rolling, people cheering from the sidewalks and the rooftops high above. . . It was a triumphant moment for CCA faculty member Sandra Vivanco and the 15 students in her Body and Spectacle course.

The Carnaval parade was the culmination of a semester of hard work and intensive collaboration -- not only among the CCA students, but also in coordination with a group of high school students enrolled in the Out of Site Youth Arts Center, the city of San Francisco, experts in construction and transportation, and beyond. The CCA course was offered under the auspices of Diversity Studies and attracted a correspondingly wide-ranging bunch, from Architecture and Interior Design to Graphic Design, Illustration, Fashion Design, and Painting/Drawing.

The students designed not only the Carnaval float structure, but also the costumes and props that made its appearance in the parade a real performance rather than just a potential site for one. They had done as much work as they could in the CCA shops, and then transported the pieces to Pier 40, where the city graciously donated space for final assembly.

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Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 by Christina Linden

Amy Campos and CCA students at the Dolores Shelter Program

In fall 2011, CCA faculty member Amy Campos and a group of Interior Design students worked with Dolores Shelter Program (DSP) as part of an ENGAGE at CCA course. Their brief: to generate ideas for the renovation of DSP's homeless shelter on South Van Ness in the Mission District of San Francisco.

The facility's residents are in great need of an empowering and supportive sense of place, hope, and safety, and the aspiration was to facilitate this via better space planning and organization, and the creation of more durable and usable furnishings and storage.

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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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Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Film faculty member Lynn Marie Kirby with students at CAFA

What began in 2008 as a visit by CCA President Stephen Beal to the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing is now blossoming into a productive relationship between the two schools. This fall CCA enrolled six more undergraduate students from CAFA’s International Foundation Course; they join the first four students who began their studies at CCA in fall 2010.

In the first foray into faculty exchanges, David Hisaya Asari (Graphic Design) and Lynn Marie Kirby (Film) spent spring break 2011 at CAFA. An IFC instructor visited CCA in August. And Furniture faculty member Christopher Loomis is in Beijing now teaching for the semester.

What inspired this relationship between the two schools and what are the plans for the future?

Laying the Groundwork

In October 2008 President Beal was invited to participate in a forum on international art education, as part of CAFA's 90th anniversary celebration. He was impressed with the 4,000-student institution and its leaders, many of whom have ties with U.S. institutions. President Pang Gongkai was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. Vice President Xu Bing, well-known artist and recipient of the prestigious MacArthur “genius” award, lived and worked in New York for more than 10 years. Dean of Design Min Wang completed his graduate work in design at Yale and worked for more than 20 years in the United States, including a stint at Adobe before forming his own firm in San Francisco.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Mid-Century Designers
Rizzoli, 2010
Hardcover, 224 pages, $45.00

Volume Inc., of which Eric Heiman (Graphic Design faculty) is a principal, designed this book of newly commissioned photographs by Leslie Williamson. The book is unique in that it presents interiors designed by significant architects and designers for themselves to live in. Many have never been published before. The featured designers include Russel Wright, George Nakashima, Harry Bertoia, Charles and Ray Eames, and Eva Zeisel, among other iconic names. Williamson's photographs show these creative homes as they were inhabited by their creators: Walter Gropius's historic Bauhaus home in Massachusetts; Albert Frey's floating modernist aerie on a Palm Springs rock outcropping; Wharton Esherick's completely handmade (including a hand-carved staircase) Pennsylvania house.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Model Making (The Architecture Brief Series)
Princeton Architectural Press, 2011
Paperback, 160 pages, $24.95

Megan Werner (Interior Design faculty) is the founder of zDp Models, a San Francisco-based model-making firm. Her client list includes Microsoft, SOM, Renzo Piano, Gensler, IDEO, and Stanford University. Here she presents the nuts and bolts of model making in the latest addition to Princeton Architectural Press's Architecture Briefs series. In 33 "concept blocks" she explores a wide range of possible types, including laser-scored acrylic models, basswood topography models, acid-etched metal blocks, peeled paper blocks, D-print models, cement pour blocks, and many more. Model Making includes handy appendices on materials, tools, tips, and techniques, as well as a glossary of design concepts.

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Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Join us at the many events scheduled to celebrate CCA's 2011 graduating class

Note: This page showcases the wide selection of end-of-year events CCA hosted in 2011. Events listed here are for illustrative purposes only; all events have passed.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by Marion Anthonisen

The only collection of its kind at any art school in the country, the CCA Materials Library is an interdisciplinary space where students explore texture and engage imagination. Within its walls, fashion students envision constructing purses from heavy-duty conveyor belt textiles. Film students see high-performance sailcloth and imagine large-scale video projection screens. The idea is to inspire through tactile experimentation, and it's a pretty awesome place. Check out the video tour above. Many thanks to CCA alum Jake Sollins for taking us through the archive!

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Posted on Thursday, November 4, 2010 by Jim Norrena

California College of the Arts is collaborating with the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) (a partner of the International Design Alliance) in its Design Future: Interiors Entity initiative by hosting a regional "think tank" here at the college on the San Francisco campus this Saturday, November 6.

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Posted on Monday, August 23, 2010 by Jim Norrena

It's refreshing to know design does matter—and that people still matter—to such design leaders as CCA Graphic Design faculty member and alum Michael Vanderbyl (BFA Graphic Design 1968), who has gained international prominence in the design field as a practitioner, educator, critic, and advocate.

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