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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!

Instructor Spotlight: Benjamin Woodlock

Ben WoodlockWe’re thrilled to welcome new Typography (beginning fall 2014) and Advanced Typography (beginning summer 2014) instructor Benjamin Woodlock! A CalArts MFA grad, Benjamin now runs Subtext Office, a Los Angeles-based foundry and graphic design studio specializing in custom and retail typefaces, branding and publication design.

Benjamin fields our “big four” questions here:

What brought you to this field?

My path to design was through music. For a while I recorded and toured with an indie-rock band. We started a little label and did everything ourselves, so one of my jobs was to make posters for every show. When we started out, I had almost no skills or knowledge about design, but little by little I got better at it and started to fall hard for typography. I went back to school to get my masters which is where I started really geeking out by learning typeface design. Now my work is split between more traditional graphic design–mostly focused on branding and editorial work—and custom typeface design. When I can find some free time, I spend it working on a couple of typefaces that I’m developing for retail.

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

Last year, CalArts asked me to create a typeface to expand their branded communications. They wanted a three-style font based on their logo and I was lucky to get the commission right after an intense MFA experience there. Calarts has an amazing, vibrant, and bonkers tradition of typeface design so I was a little terrified at first trying to draw on all of it as inspiration for an institutional typeface. Fortunately, the project moved so quickly I didn’t really have time to freak out—it was a blur of drawing, revising and kerning. It was exciting how fast “McBean” came together and it is really rewarding to see them use it in so many different ways.

Why is your course, Advanced Typography, important for my design education?

Designers today need to go beyond just practicing good typography, which is a complicated enough task as is. Great typography needs to solve a complex equation: it has to be clear, inventive, complex, balanced and expressive, among other things. We are lucky to be designers right now because the wealth of typefaces and digital tools at our disposal means that there are endless possibilities for typographic expression. Advanced Typography provides a forum for stretching muscles and taking risks, while confronting the sort of challenging problems that typographers are asked to solve in the real world.

Do you have a sample assignment?

Here’s a teaser: since we’re in LA, the first project will revolve around the branding and marketing of film. All the projects in Advanced Typography will focus on two areas of growth. First, they ask students to experiment and explore the limitless possibilities of typography. That means pushing beyond boundaries to create innovative and unexpected solutions. At the same time, the work focuses on typographic complexity by engaging dynamic systems to handle many layers of information. Most of the projects will be open-ended in terms of format—so students can answer the brief in ways that interest them, whether that be a printed piece, a website, motion graphics, or something completely different. I’m looking forward to surprising ideas and approaches!

A poster for the Calarts Visiting Design Lecture Series. The title treatment is the result of a multi-stage analogue and digital process, reflective of Oh Yeah Studio's unique approach to design.  Screenprint; edition of 15.

A poster for the Calarts Visiting Design Lecture Series. The title treatment is the result of a multi-stage analogue and digital process, reflective of Oh Yeah Studio’s unique approach to design.
Screenprint; edition of 15.

Introducing Photo Instructor Parker Steele

Parker Steele bio imageThis upcoming spring quarter, we’re excited to welcome Parker Steele as our new instructor for Shoot & Critique.  From his work as a photojournalist and writer with the Ohio Army National Guard to his assignments for clients such as Bicycling Magazine, L’Officiel, Lucky Brand Clothing, Marie Claire, and Nordstrom’s HauteLook, Steele brings a diverse range of experience to the classroom.  We took a moment to ask him a few questions about his work, career, and what students can expect from his Spring course.

What drew you to photography and how did you get started?

I took a few photography classes in high school and was fortunate enough to have a teacher who was extremely supportive. At first, I was drawn by the technical aspects and how that could be translated into a meaningful image. My teacher encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design, to study commercial photography. Around the same time, I also decided to enlist in the National Guard as a photojournalist and writer. Luckily, both worked out and I was able to study and work as a photographer at the same time.

Bicycing in LA

Image courtesy of Parker Steele

Certain aspects of what I learned as a photojournalist have been translated into my commercial work. However, one of the best lessons I’ve learned is that as a photographer there is an innate feeling to project yourself into your work. It becomes more of an internalized projection than simply a documentation.  That’s why a photographer’s approach or process is considered somewhat sacred — it’s revealing and says a lot about what they value.

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

portrait with old painting in dark room

Image courtesy of Parker Steele

It was October ’11, I was living in NYC at the time. A photographer friend of mine invited me to the Navajo Nation while he was working on a long-term project. I took some basic stuff, my camera equipment and an audio recorder.  There was no internet, so I ended up having to post flyers around town in order to find people to photograph.  The entire project was about documenting the people of Tuba City, AZ.  As an outsider, being dropped into a somewhat marginalized culture left me with some larger questions to explore. My subjects included a young high school couple, a boy who had dreams of becoming a male model, a single mother and her child, one of the last remaining Navajo Code talkers of WWII, a children’s Navajo rodeo, a Navajo language teacher who was out of a job because they’re not teaching the Navajo Language to students anymore, plus various landscapes. There’s actually a behind the scenes video, which gives you a sense of what went into the making of the project. It was by far, the most rewarding project I’ve worked on. It was a project that I was truly passionate about and it refueled my desire to create, explore and it reminded me why I fell in love with photography in the first place.

What can students expect from your approach to Shoot & Critique this spring?

My goal for the class is to improve students’ understanding of photography and to explore their own creative process. Through talks, practical exercises, planned shoots and critiques I ultimately want them to have the tools to become stronger photographers in whatever field they’re interested.

woman and daughter

Image courtesy of Parker Steele

Any advice for budding photographers just starting out?

Be persistent, build your visual language, perfect your craft, and learn from mistakes. In a handful of cases, careers have started over night, but most successful photographers have worked really hard for at least 10 years to get where the are now. Figure out a way to support your photography. The experiences you have outside of photography will influence your perspective and you’ll become a better photographer for it.

Instructor Spotlight: Michelle Constantine

Michelle Constantine

Michelle Constantine

Many Visual Arts students already know the multi-talented instructor Michelle Constantine from the Mac lab where she teaches InDesign. This fall, we’re excited for her to bring her artistic passion (check out the gallery below!) to the online realm with Mixed Media and Collage for Designers and Artists (Online).  Read on to learn more about her and see samples of her own work:

What brought you to this field?

There wasn’t any specific thing that brought me into the arts, it just came together.
I have always been a maker—I collect things for future projects and meticulously organize until it’s needed. Fabric, glitter, paint, paper, thread, dye, maps, photo gels, books… Collage is about bringing things together that sometimes shouldn’t be. My work is a mix of materials; I use whatever is best for the project.

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

Early in my career, I was asked to make a mapquilt for a gallery in London. When I arrived for the opening, I was thrilled that my piece had been hung in the window. It was perfectly lit and looked fabulous. Being able to see my work in a presented state is always rewarding.

Why is your course, Mixed Media and Collage for Artists and Designers (online) important for my design education?

Learning how to make things by hand is important and valued in the digital age we live in. In a return to the handmade, understanding how to use a variety of tools and techniques properly makes you more valuable as a designer. There’s a playfulness that comes out when media is mixed.

Do you have a sample assignment?

For the class, you will work on weekly mini projects that serve as explorations of media. You will explore the techniques and mediums shown in the video demo each week. You will also work on personal portfolio pieces throughout the quarter that will grow and evolve as you learn and grow creatively.

Enroll in Mixed Media and Collage for Designers and Artists (Online) today!

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