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Meet new DCA Instructor Tzeitel Sorrosa

tsorrosaHere at UCLA Extension, we’re proud to welcome instructors from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds. Tzeitel Sorrosa is a multicultural creative director who brings her diverse experience to our Illustrator II online course beginning in winter quarter. Born in Costa Rica, Tzeitel was raised in Ecuador and received her education at Boston College.

She says, “My most valuable training, however, has come through my extensive travel, diverse areas of studies, and consistent curiosity to explore beyond the world around me.”

Below she shares how her artistic intuition has shaped her work, as well as some info on what you can expect in her upcoming course.

What brought you to this field?

During my childhood, I frequently expressed my thoughts, feelings, and wild ideas through doodles and sketches almost always with graphite or charcoal, and Stonehenge paper. In unstoppable mode, I graffiti-ed everywhere in school, including my text books, wooden desks and freshly-painted walls (to the chagrin of my teachers). Doodling has been an excellent channel of communication for me because it has given me much room for imagination to continue to explore freely across multi-surfaces and formats. I knew at a very young age I would be a fine artist, but I did not know I would evolve into a digital artist. Technology forced me to evolve. Mobile devices have become vehicles of unlimited potential for self-expression and imagination. These devices are all fueled with unlimited energy awaiting to be channeled through YOU to create surprisingly memorable and beautiful things.

 

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.

I creative directed and designed the American Diabetes Association’s Welcome Kit for newly diagnosed children with Type 1 diabetes. The concept for the packaging initially started out as a very complex hexagon resembling a sugar molecule, made up of tangram shapes that kids would unfold as colorful puzzle pieces. As much as this design was engaging and playful, the costs to produce it were prohibitive. In the many rounds of feedback from our stakeholders, the iterative process took us back to a simpler but more intuitive model. Yet, the final product was one that still embraced the three key emotions I wanted to convey in the initial welcome kit design: Courage. Wisdom. Hope.

The project felt very special from the start, but it was also a journey of discovery. In design, one of the most important steps to consider is the iterative process. As designers, we’re usually biased in favor of our very first idea, and we say “Eureka!” even before we build a prototype. Prototyping, however, is not just a way to test an idea, but is also a doorway to a more meaningful conversation about the needs of your users.

 tz2

Why is your course, Illustrator II, important for my design education?

Teaching creative applications, such as Adobe Illustrator, is a doorway to constant learning. For the always-thirsty, curious mind, it creates not only a 2-way channel of giving and receiving, but an opportunity for collaboration and personal growth. There is always something new to learn from anyone and everyone, and you will be the beneficiary of a storehouse of perspectives, ideas, experiences, and information that you can later resource to in your next project.

Do you have a sample assignment?

In one of our assignments, we will be recreating IBM’s logo into 3D type miniature office buildings utilizing Illustrator’s powerful isometric tools.

Welcome, Tzeitel!

Course Spotlight: Graphic Design for Broadcasting

disneyFormer students of instructor Neal Weisenberg’s Graphic Design for Broadcasting course have been thrilled not only with how much they’ve learned, but also with the valuable industry connections they’ve made through the course’s numerous studio field trips and guest speakers. We asked Neal to share a little more about the course with us:

What brought you to this field?
Broadcast design offers a designer and a creative individual so much variety in the type of work that is produced within Broadcast facility (tv, cable, agency, production company, etc).

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.
I was lucky enough to get to produce a Disney Channel TTI. (THE TIME I…) spot featuring my nephew, who happens to be my hero.

Why is your course, Graphic Design for Broadcasting, important for my Design education?
Broadcast design and graphics are so important to all areas of entertainment.  This course will give you a taste of the “real” world agency/studio design field.

Do you have a sample assignment?
Below is a link to the type of work we will learning about and designing.

Thanks, Neal!

Enroll in Graphic Design for Broadcasting today!

 

UX Instructor Interview: Julia Morton

JuliaMorton_HeadshotUCLAExtension4.26.2015We’re excited to share with you an interview with one of our incredible instructors, Julia Morton! Julia is a UX Designer at Fandango and teaches our UX: Mobile course here at UCLA Extension. She will be teaching UX: Mobile in fall 2016.

  1.       What brought you to this field?

I was getting my Masters in Library and Information Studies at UCLA when I fell in love with the way UX design marries art and science to make life better for people. Taking design thinking classes, it hit me — what does it matter if you have a fabulous library collection if no one can find what’s in it? The idea of designing for better access inspired me. What motivates me now is the hope that my work can help folks enjoy or accomplish their end goals rather than have to think about how an interface functions.

 

Before I studied it, I used to think ‘design’ was about making toys for rich people, like $15,000 watches, or about luxury utility, like how maybe you can afford to have one well-designed task chair in your apartment, and it becomes a sacred object. That never struck me as much fun.

 

One of the things I love about UX design is that it’s for everyone who is using your product or service, and people expect websites and apps to be designed well enough that they don’t have to think about how to use them. That’s the great thing – these days, folks are upset when a site or app doesn’t meet their needs; we assume that sites and apps should just work.

 

  1.       Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.

I work at Fandango. One of the more impactful projects I’ve gotten to work on was developing a digital movie ticket that people can use to show a ticket taker and get right into the movie they’re going to go see, with no scanning technology needed. I loved this project because it’s something that genuinely makes people’s lives easier, from the person who is walking into the theater to the ticket taker, who doesn’t have to use special equipment to check the ticket.

 

The work itself for this project was so much fun because it required a huge amount of collaboration with developers, business folks, and visual design. The idea sounds so simple as to be trivial, right? But we needed to take into consideration all sorts of edge cases, ways to avoid fraud, and ways to make sure people who aren’t used to using it would understand it. I’m tremendously lucky to get to work with fabulous teams — all of my most fun projects have involved lots of collaboration with tech, and have ended up somewhere I couldn’t have imagined when we started out.

 

  1.       Why is your course, UX Mobile, important for my UX education?

 

Mobile web and apps are huge channels for people to engage with digital products and services, and many companies these days work by designing mobile first. There are a couple of reasons it’s a good idea to learn how to focus specifically on mobile design:

 

1) Mobile is often the most important platform and the hardest to make prioritization decisions about, because there is less space available. Also, your user likely has less time on mobile. When you learn how to design for mobile first, it becomes much easier to take care of the other platforms afterward.

 

2) There are a number of mobile device-specific functions that offer huge advantages, such as location services, accelerometer, and camera/mic/photo/contacts integrations, and learning to think with them in mind expands what you can do.

 

3) In class, we look at Android and iOS, the two dominant operating systems used in mobile these days. Each system has a specific set of conventions, and it’s worth taking time to understand them and learn how to stay up to date with their rapid changes.

 

4) Because UX is a field where you learn by doing, the class is project based. You’ll do lots of work both in and out of class, get lots of feedback, and end up with a prototype that abides by the conventions and practices of mobile design.

 

  1.       Do you have a sample assignment?

 

Create a persona for your product, not just for your users! This is a great idea I recently learned from an Alastair Somerville conference talk (his Twitter handle is @Acuity_design, if you want to check him out).

 

By now, creating personas to represent the people who will be using your product is a well known step in the UX design process. Sometimes we make personas for stakeholders, too.

 

What we think of less often is that the product or service we are designing will be imbued with personality, perspective, and values, all shaped by what we put into it. That’s why it’s a great idea to create a persona for your product or service: it helps you define and understand what you’re building, which in turn helps you make the connection between it and your users.

 

  1.       Any advice for UX designers just starting out?

 

Keep thinking critically about how to do things. Interface patterns are useful because people recognize them and know how to use them, but we all have a responsibility to keep moving interface conventions forward when we come up with something better.

 

Keep building your ability to empathize with your users. Your ‘beginner’s eye’ is a precious resource – yes, your thinking will become more sophisticated as you develop, but pay attention to your first thoughts and reactions. Contemplate your ideas rather than discarding them as the dross of ignorance. You might learn something unexpected, or you might start thinking about something that will bear fruit in years to come.
When it comes to mobile design, keep your tap targets large, my friends. Keep those tap targets large.

 

See one of Julia’s sample assignments here: CharacterAppSiteTemplate2016

 

AIGAx Design Dialogues podcast: Pete Hawkes of Oblong

We’re extremely excited to share our inaugural Design Dialogues podcast! Design dialogues is a new series of interviews with local designers, makers, and artists presented by your UCLA Extension AIGA group.

In this edition, AIGAx president Michelle Quach introduces DCA student Aneesha Bharadwaj, who visited Oblong Industries downtown and interviewed Pete Hawkes, Director of Interaction Design.

Click on the image:

Hawkes

Intro and outro magic by our very own Allison Tan!

Episode image designed by Ayushee Aithal.

Here’s a gallery of photos from Oblong:

Meet new DCA instructor Christina Webb

We’re thrilled to welcome Christina Webb to the UCLAx Visual Arts community! Christina brings a wealth of experience from her MFA work at the Rhode Island School of Design and her client work in web design, screen design, photography and custom typography. She has also worked on teams at Local Projects and the J. Paul Getty Museum Design Studio where she focused on exhibitions, way-finding, and identity systems for environments and print.

Christina Webb

Christina Webb

Her own practice explores social constructs and dialog in public spaces, with a focus on language and intervention.

Christina is teaching Typography this winter quarter.

What brought you to this field?

I stumbled into graphics in high school, when my infatuation with music, alternative fashion and drawing took new form on t-shirts, faux album art and small local ads. I was part of an expressive punk D.I.Y. culture, and I’ve always loved being hands on and experimental. I became a hair designer and designed my own ads using single-color xerox printers. Later on a new love for digital tools and fine art would lead me into formal training  in a B.F.A. program in Seattle. I was reluctant to take 4(!) lettering and typography courses, but the right professor brought the expressive, irreverent and hands-on love into it and the rest is history. I have since designed commissioned logotypes, print campaigns, exhibition campaigns, interactive type and environmental type installations. I continued to take advanced typography workshops while working as a designer, and focused on it it much of my recent graduate education.

perifix-IMG_0751-770x578Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.

There are several, but one of my recent projects that I undertook during my graduate studies was particularly fun. I work in multiple disciplines and “Perifix” is an online project that can generate typographic content usable in other formats, such as print. Users can use a touchpad to scroll the content of different frames within the web page, or press the spacebar to instigate chance arrangements like a slot-machine, remixing word segments across frames to build something new and unexpected. By zooming in, it becomes a typographic form experiment. I love the sense of discovery how the framework can work with varying degrees of source content to generate everything from poetic abstractions to juxtaposed meaning—such as remixing marketing terms as social commentary. This project was selected for a Triennial Exhibition at RISD this fall.

IMG_3468-770x513Why is your course, Typography, important for my design education?

Typography is a necessary part of graphic design, but it is also a rich area of creativity and form-making in itself. To understand this, become savvy with the technical aspects of type and find one’s own inventive, expressive way of working with typography adds depth to your work as well as your way of looking at the visual world. It is also critical to a higher standard of design practice to be able to offer well-skilled, bespoke solutions to clients.

Kennedey-IMG_5209-770x770Do you have a sample assignment?

Assignments in this course will be focusing on the fundamentals of typography such as form, composition, history and context in graphic design. Students will also be researching the rich public space of Los Angeles and doing hands-on experiments that will bring out the unexpected potential of working with type. Both digital and hand crafting skills will be explored. Later assignments will focus on form and its relationship to conceptual content by designing a multi-faceted print project that addresses a contemporary issue, so students will get to merge new making skills with social engagement. I am super excited to see how we can work together to develop engaging work!

Welcome, Christina!

Interview with instructor Dale Hernsdorf

Jewelry 5

We are pleased to announce a new instructor to our program. Dale Hernsdorf will be teaching Handmade Jewelry I this summer, and is looking forward to bringing her personal style and skill set to the classroom.

We spoke with Dale about her background in jewelry design, and her personal aesthetic. To see more samples of her work, visit www.dalehernsdorf.com.

What drew you to jewelry design and how did you get started?
I’ve always had an interest in both the fine and decorative arts. At Wesleyan University I majored in painting, studied photography, and took my first silversmithing class. I worked as a photographer and a graphic designer after graduation, but was always interested in metalworking. I took a couple of classes at The New School in New York City, and then in 1997 I took this very class here at UCLA Extension. I continued studying with Master Goldsmith Ralph Goldstein in his studio, fine tuning the techniques I’ll be teaching here in Handmade Jewelry I.

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it.
I’ve been commissioned to create many different pieces of jewelry, and have always enjoyed the process of working with my clients. But recently the husband of one of my best friends in college contacted me from Charleston, South Carolina, and asked me to create a bracelet for a special occasion. Designing the piece involved solving a number of technical issues, as my friend is a serious athlete and it was important that the piece be substantial, every-day-wearable, and close with a toggle clasp that would under no circumstances come accidentally undone. I crafted an 18kt gold and yellow sapphire triple-chain bracelet joined by a unique X-shaped toggle that relies on bilateral tension as it drapes around the wrist to stay closed. I always love the design process, and solving problems in a beautiful way is richly satisfying. This piece not only suits my client’s personality, aesthetic and life style, but also pushed me creatively.

What can students expect from the Handmade Jewelry class?
We will be working in fine silver, which is more pure than sterling and gleams like platinum. I’ll teach the basic skills of hand fabrication: drilling, sawing, filing and soldering; pulling wire and making tubing; making prong and bezel settings; setting stones; and finishing. A series of projects is designed to build a foundation of these fundamentals, which can be applied, with further practice on one’s own or with more advanced study, to the creation of pieces like those of mine shown here.

Any advice for designers just starting out?
Stay true to your own aesthetic. Take note of what you’re drawn to, and consider why. Notice how things are constructed, proportions, and the relationships between parts. And ALWAYS carry a sketchbook. Inspiration hits in random and surprising moments.

Jewelry 4

Jewelry 3

Jewelry 2

Jewelry 1

Course spotlight: Advanced Typography (online) with Anya Farquhar

SP15_AdvancedTypographyWe were thrilled when expert designer Anya Farquhar not only joined our instructor team but also agreed to help us bring the course Advanced Typography into the online world!

What can you achieve in this awesome class? Check out this gallery of student work:

Enroll in Advanced Typography (online) today!

Instructor Spotlight: Richard Barkinskiy

hamstervalhallaWe’re thrilled to welcome HTML5 instructor Richard Barkinskiy! An outstanding graduate of our very own Advanced Web & Interaction Design program, Richard is a digital application specialist for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He specializes in WordPress website development with HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, and MySQL.

Richard fields our “big four” questions here:

What brought you to this field?

Web development is in constant flux, always keeping me challenged. It requires patience, planning and determination to execute every web site. Although at times it can be frustrating, it’s never boring.

Today websites are more than just online brochures. They contain videos, interactive images, games and everything in-between. If there was ever a profession for a curious mind, I can’t think of a better one than website development.

www.discoveriesmagazine.orgTell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.

Working for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has given me many opportunities to further strengthen my web development skills. One such opportunity was creating the Discoveries Magazine website in 2012.

The Discoveries Magazine publication chronicles the latest research conducted at Cedars-Sinai with moving photography, stylistic typography and engaging stories that help bring to life the work undertaken at the medical center. I was tasked to bring the same level of professional and innovation to the web.

I sought to build a website that not only took advantage of HTML5 semantics, but employed responsive website design techniques. At the time, responsive website design was just a concept being discussed by the web community, not as the de facto approach to website development it is today.

Taking a calculated risk, I presented the responsive website design idea to various stakeholders and was entrusted to create a website unlike anything they had ever seen before.

Having no prior experience building a responsive website, I did my best to soak in as much information regarding the technique. With the deadline looming, I tackled the project and launched the website about two months after its conception. The website was one of the first built with responsive website design for Cedars-Sinai and most recently earned a 2013 Eddie award for an online publication.

Why is your course, HTML5, important for my design education?www.zugotruck.com

Understanding key fundamentals of modern website design is paramount in constructing the next generation of websites. The web today is accessible on multitude of devices—from laptops and tablets to smartphones and gaming consoles. It’s now, more than ever, imperative in understanding how to code with accuracy and employ modern best practice techniques effectively in order to engage online visitors on any device that connects to the web.

Do you have sample work?

www.runforher.com

Utilizing HTML5 and CSS3, I constructed responsive landing page for the Run for Her event. The Run for Her event supports ovarian cancer research and awareness and this year has grown to include events in the Bay Area and New York in addition to Los Angeles. The homepage needed to consist of links to the various events, a feed to the event’s photo gallery and video—all while remaining responsive.

www.discoveriesmagazine.org

Incorporating “Art Directed” techniques in bringing the printed publication to the web, I have helped transform stories from print to an engaging online presence utilizing HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery.

www.pink-party.orgwww.zugotruck.com

Building the Zugo Liquitarian website was a fun project where I got to tap into my creative side and build a website for the best juice truck in Los Angeles. I utilized jQuery to help deliver Instagram’s API onto the homepage.

Additional websites: www.pink-party.org, www.hamstervalhalla.com, www.nvenv.com

Welcome, Richard!

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