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Introducing New AIGA UCLAx Student Group President Benjamin Anik

Benjamin Anik

We’re proud to welcome Benjamin Anik as your new AIGA student group president! If you haven’t already, be sure to join the AIGA UCLAx Google group by emailing

Here’s a bit more about Ben as well as what’s in store for the AIGA UCLAx community in the New Year:

Tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to the DCA program.
Having gone to Undergrad as a studio artist at UC Santa Cruz, I knew I wanted to be in an artistic field. What led me to the DCA program was that when comparing similar programs at other schools, they all seemed very competitive and I felt that all the students were creating the same projects as one another, nothing unique.
At UCLAx I got the feeling that the program was more about helping me become a better artist and a better businessman. The DCA program not only has you creating a great portfolio, it also gives you experiences that are similar to those you will find once you leave the program. Real world skills with great tools as well as great portfolio pieces. 
Are you focusing your studies in one area or are you still exploring?
With the opportunities at UCLA Extension, I would hate to limit myself to just one field. I make sure I take a wide range of classes that the DCA program has to offer, ranging from Print to Web Design and Photography to Package Design.
When I leave the program I will be able to take on any clients’ design requests because of the many skills I have learned as well as the business experiences I have encountered. 
What can students expect for potential upcoming events this winter?
Students can expect a wide range of events coming up this year. From Group Workshops to help students understand multiple solutions for a single problem, to Field Trips and Guest Speakers that can show the unique perspectives of designers all around us. 
If students have ideas for events or studio tours, how can they reach you?
I am always available by email at for any questions regarding the program, teachers, classes, and events. I would love to hear what other students think and hopefully be able to answer all their questions and concerns.
When I am on campus, which is frequent, anyone can feel free to approach me and I will gladly talk with them.

The Awesomeness that is the IDEO Way

Fred Dust from IDEO taking questions after his presentation on designing for scale

Last night’s DCA AIGA Student Group event was fantastic, with a standing-room only crowd of about 100 eager listeners packed into a classroom in Lindbrook. Fred Dust educated us on the ways of thoughtful, empathetic and strategic design that is the IDEO way.

Andrew Kutchera and Fred Dust

My personal highlights:

– The visuals, which included a photo of Fred’s dog (and connected story)
– Stories of Peruvian women who are change agents in their communities
– Distilling the diversity of our citizenry into four behavior types that can then be targeted when teaching said citizens how to access their social security
– Homemade bundt cake at the back of the room
– Seeing students I know and connecting them to one another and their instructors
– Fred’s sense of humor, which is up my humor alley
– Thanking Lutska for her years of service!

I took many photos and tried to capture how inspired and abuzz we all were. Love, hope, bravery!

What were your highlights?

Lutska Mamos, Fred Dust, Aileen Tu

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