Product Design at ArtCenter College of Design

My father’s an engineer my mother’s an
interior designer, so I was growing up with a lot of art and technology from both sides.
And I was looking for something where I could combine these passions of mine and utilize
them for something productive. Most of my students that I have in the classroom
have discovered that if you put creativity and logic together, you get Product Design. It’s not just what it does. If you can’t
get them to touch it and pick it up, you can’t get them to buy it. Why is this color beautiful?
Why does the customer want to buy it? We have to make it emotionally satisfying because
that’s what humans want. It’s about inventing, innovating, bringing
new ideas to the world that have not been seen before. You get to see your product come to life,
and you get to share it and it’s not just a concept in the computer. It’s real, it’s
right there, and you can touch it and you can see it from all around. And you can make
it work! The first two terms here is really what we
call “hardcore foundation.” They take you from start-to-finish of the
whole process of coming up with ideas, doing the research, doing the sketching, doing the
modeling, doing the presentations–everything. We try to get through that as quickly as possible.
We try to use the tools that we gave them, and refine those things and having them plug
and play, and try out a bunch of different shortcuts and have them figure out their own
workflows. You always have to sort of update your knowledge
and do more research. For that reason, I think it’s important to be extremely perceptive
and open minded to go into things without any preconceptions. Most of our faculty are not professional teachers,
but teaching professionals. It brings basically a very, very real life and applicable knowledge
from the design industry directly into the classroom. They give you real life input on what is happening
out there and what you could be doing about it, which is great because it helps you take
that leap from being a student to being a professional. They’re hard on us, which is a good thing.
And then they’re constantly giving us amazing feedback. And really they care about our work
and what we’re doing. Our shop is very much state-of-the-art when it comes to the newest technology. It’s really a candy store for anyone who is interested in making things. You get to use 3D printers of all kinds. They teach you how to use the CNC so you can make large scale models such as furniture. We have
a really great shop with amazing instructors so that if you ever get stuck, they’re there
to help you. Sponsored projects at ArtCenter, and in particular
in with Product Design being involved, are really a key differentiator for us. It’s
their chance to collaborate with students and faculty of other disciplines, but also
have a real working relationship with those coming in from the industry. We are really
striving to create designers who have a passion to change the things that need to be changed
in this world, but also are free to imagine. We should create tools to help people solve
bigger problems than us. We constantly have to question ourselves if what we’re doing
is right. I truly believe that design could be changing
the world through design research, design thinking. We could be changing the lives of
people around us, we could be changing the lives of people on the other side of the world,
and making it better. Design is a given now, so it’s all about
how you interact with your team. It’s all about how you interact with the product and how much passion you have. What are you really about, that’s what’s
going to help build a really strong team. All the experiences you’ve already had in
your life, just bring that here and share it with everybody. I think passionate students, passionate about making, and having a positive impact on the world around them. those are the type of students that I would be looking for in my classroom.


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