We’re looking for bright, articulate, intellectual, literate and social individuals.
Students with industrial design undergraduate degrees and various levels of professional experience comprise a slight majority of our student body. We prefer students with professional industrial design experience whose work has resulted in market-tested designs. However, we also accept candidates with a wide variety of undergraduate degrees and professional experience. In fact, breadth in the background of our students plays an important role in defining the transdisciplinary culture of our program.
We’re especially interested in individuals who can:
- Make appropriate and human-centered designs.
- Write and communicate effectively with language.
- Demonstrate an understanding of, and experience with, 3D form and design.
- Draw effectively and visualize via other methods and mediums.
- Select important projects and identify real needs.
- Research, investigate and analyze design topics.
- Experiment, think laterally and engage in creative idea-generation activities.
- Demonstrate consistently great visual design sensibility and ability, with an attention to style, proportion, shape, material, color, etc.
- Take a systems approach to design solutions and demonstrate an understanding of the business, technological and human related aspects of the design context.
- Create value for the human condition, in addition to satisfying an aesthetic appetite for consumption-driven style and fashion products (e.g. chairs, desk sets, most cars, and designer teapots).
For the summer of 2009 Katherine Bennett’s Design Investigation class will work on a project in partnership with the American Red Cross. The future of the Red Cross is the big topic. Students will engage in secondary and primary observational research regarding 5 key areas:
• Branding and Messaging • Organization • Volunteers • Disaster Response and • New sources of Revenue.
The project is the outcome of efforts started a year ago by NYC chapter volunteer Sean Hart who is also a graduate of Art Center College of Design. Members of the ARCGNY ( Manhatten) and ARCLA ( Los Angeles) worked in concert with education leadership at the college to define the program. The project is expected to cover a one year period – in three phases
Phase 1 Research and Analysis (Summer ’09)
Phase 2 Future study and Strategic Design (Fall ’09)
Phase 3 Design Development (Spring ’10)
The vision integration process uses iterative cycles of rapid visualization with expert feedback for developing complex, future scenarios and innovation for that future. This kind of design and visualization practice is common in industrial design and entertainment industries where skilled artists and designers can rapidly accelerate innovation discussions. However, the practice is novel when applied to strategic planning, forecasting and large scale social systems. “Vision Integration” is the term coined at Art Center to describe this experimental practice. There are of course many instances in history where “artists concepts” have been used to inspire change to greater or lesser effect. Vision Integration intends to formalize the practice and make it a repeatable and deployable process for teams. The forthcoming mVIP card deck is one application of this research.
Like most other campuses, Art Center has a parking problem. At peak times of the week, it is difficult to find enough legal parking space at our main campus. As Art Center rightfully prides itself on its Transportation Design program, we ought to be able to come up with our own creative solutions to solve a transportation issue. So, rather than spend capital on parking structures instead of improving our teaching facilities, what if we could offer our students, staff and faculty access to small footprint vehicles for their daily commute to school? Replacing a few hundred regular cars, which on average have a footprint of 90 square feet, with one or one-plus-one seat vehicles with a footprint of 30 square feet would free up significant parking spots. However, there are huge challenges to this simple sounding solution. How could we convince people to travel in such a small vehicle on streets full of SUV’s? What would the incentive to use them? How would we deal with vehicle construction and safety regulations. How would they be propelled and could they be designed with a very low ecological footprint too? How much would it all cost? Who would own and maintain them? What would the incentive be to an enterprise to build or supply them? What would the revenue stream look like? Intrigued with answering these questions, GradID and our small Advanced Mobility Research group have embarked on an ongoing research project to study small urban commuter vehicles that would help solve Art Center’s parking issues. Tempted as we designers always are, to solve the whole world’s problems with one solution, we decided that a better starting place would be to look at our own backyard first. While answering all the above questions requires complex, systems thinking, Art Center’s location give us a headstart. The prevailing climate is mild, year-round. The City of Pasadena is progressive in its mobility thinking. Pasadena based CalStart has specialist knowledge in alternative vehicles. There are other local institutions that have similar issues who could profit from the venture. Our goal is to propose a complete system that could see the light of day. Looking at the significant issues of designing and delivering small commuter vehicles that could be easily used by anyone with a regular driver’s license will be central part of the project. Our desire is to build some running prototypes with which we can get some valuable “customer” feedback on ergonomics, perceptions about safety and interfaces. We will be studying other vehicle architectures and concepts too. The images show Jason Hill, a Transportation Design undergraduate student, working on an ergonomic mock-up of one potential solution – a three-wheel, semi-enclosed vehicle, which would have a battery-electric drive train. Jason took a term out of his regular studies to work on the project as a research assistant.