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Change Lab: Conversations on Transformation and Creativity
47 minutes | a day ago
40 Grace Lynne Haynes on painting to redefine darkness and light
Grace Lynne Haynes’ creative calling didn’t announce itself until she set foot in her first college painting class. But from that moment forward, Grace’s artistic destiny came through loud and clear, as unmistakable as a spiritual epiphany.Here’s how she describes it: “It almost reactivated my physical senses. I felt as if colors were brighter, senses were stronger. I just felt like my passion for life began to come back again. I knew that I had to be doing this for a living."She poured that passion into her painting practice as an Illustration student at ArtCenter, where she cultivated the signature style that quickly translated into a thriving career as a professional painter and illustrator. Her works are striking and instantly recognizable, at least partially because you’ve probably seen them on the cover of The New Yorker, which has featured two of her illustrations in the past eight months. She’s also recently graced the pages of Vogue, ELLE and The Washington Post.The vibrancy of her bright color schemes and rich skin tones, which she describes as “pitch black,” offer a counter-narrative to the negative connotations placed on the very idea of darkness. Grace’s brush strokes depict a better world, one where light and dark coexist harmoniously in brightly hued images that celebrate contrast.Grace’s career launched like a rocket the moment she graduated from ArtCenter. She was selected to be an inaugural member of Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Senegal residency and was included in Forbes “30 Under 30” list under Art and Style.In many respects, Grace is now living her dream along with that of most every young artist. But perhaps most admirable is her commitment to pursuing a creative practice that reflects her deeply-held values.https://www.bygracelynne.com/
65 minutes | 8 days ago
Change Lab Present: Micheaux Mission
Throughout this season, on alternating weeks, we’ll feature a handpicked episode from podcasts by, for or about the Black community.This week we’re excited to share an episode from the Micheaux Mission. Since 2016, Len Webb and Vincent Williams have been challenging themselves to watch and review every Black feature film ever made and released to theaters.In Vincent's words, they hope to give 'Rolling Stone' style examination to these under appreciated works of art. Together they hope to find the perfect wine to drink with Pam Grier's Coffy, the five movies, since 1985, in which Samuel L. Jackson does not appear, and someone else who agrees with Len that The Last Dragon is a bad movie.The Micheaux Mission is named for Oscar Micheaux, regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker and the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century. Len and Vincent have spent the last few years bringing the good word of Black film to the masses in a fun and engaging way. Along the way, they have been featured in The Philadelphia Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Radio New Zealand and won the Expression in Radio Award at the 2019 PhillyCam Cammy Awards.Today’s episode features the 2012 film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. According to the Micheaux Mission, Writer/director Terence Nance has created a literal poem of a movie, a heartfelt exploration of one man's feeling for his homie-lover-friend, that has enthralled Vince and Len unlike any film before on the Mission.
54 minutes | 15 days ago
39 Cedric Johnson on thinking historically about racial justice and the policing crisis
Last year, Cedric Johnson embedded himself at ArtCenter for a week-long residency. Included in that visit was a talk about the policing crisis as well as a workshop with students exploring what it means to “do good” in the world through art and design. These issues have only become more timely in the intervening year. But as any good historian will tell you – and Cedric most definitely fits that description – history has a way of colliding with the present if you wait long enough. As a professor of political science and African American studies at University of Illinois at Chicago, Cedric has dedicated his academic career to studying and writing about the relationship between class, race and social change. These ideas coalesce in rich narrative detail in his award-winning book, Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics.Cedric has a gift for communicating complex and sometimes disruptive ideas with warmth, clarity and impressive skill. Throughout his extensive writings (and in his interview with Change Lab), he emphasizes the need for addressing the roots of racial injustice in class inequities, from persistent poverty and the “crimes of survival” committed as a result of “structural unemployment.Our conversation was full of ideas, both grounded and groundbreaking, that are critical to creating sustainable social change. Particularly germane to the ArtCenter community, were his observations on the importance of decommodifying education (i.e., making it accessible to all students regardless of their ability to pay). This, he insists, is an essential stepping stone toward creating more diverse, equitable and inclusive college campuses.
59 minutes | 21 days ago
Change Lab Presents: Scene On Radio
Welcome to our third episode of Change Lab PresentsThroughout this season, on alternating weeks, we’ll feature a handpicked episode from podcasts by, for or about the Black community.This week we’re excited to share an episode from Scene On Radio, produced by host John Biewen, in conversation with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika.Scene on Radio is a Peabody-nominated podcast that dives deeply into issues central to American society. The show comes from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and is distributed by PRX. Today’s episode features Myra Greene, who for years explored blackness through her photography, often in self-portraits. She then explored what it would mean to take pictures of whiteness. By photographing friends, peers, and mentors, Greene visually ponders whether photography can capture and describe the nuances of whiteness. Please enjoy this Change Lab Presents episode of Scene on Radio.Scene On Radio Website
53 minutes | a month ago
38 Kevin Bethune on realizing dreams through design
Like the consummate designer he is -- Kevin Bethune has iterated his own job description. Kevin’s strikingly diverse career-path includes stints as a nuclear engineer at Westinghouse Electric, a financial manager at Nike and strategic design innovator at Boston Consulting group -- all achievements that would stand alone as a high-point on most resumes. But Kevin still had goals he’d yet to articulate and accomplish. And, as you’ll hear through his deeply introspective reflections in this episode of Change Lab, Kevin takes his dreams very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they became the driving force behind his current venture, an innovation think-tank called dreams, design + life.Animated by the idea of bringing a child-like openness and imagination to realizing our highest possibilities, Kevin now leads a multi-disciplinary team at dreams, design + life. There, he uses design innovation tools to help businesses plan for an uncertain future. Kevin is a unicorn even by Silicon Valley standards. He comes to the table bearing a trio of specialized degrees from prestigious institutions – including a Master of Science in Industrial Design from ArtCenter. And, perhaps even more rare and relevant to his success is the kindness, humility and integrity he brings to every layer of his creative process. Though he has faced his share of obstacles as a person of color. He’s prevailed by remaining true to his commitment to connecting people with their dreams and taking the high road in business and in life.
34 minutes | a month ago
Change Lab Presents: The Brown Girls Guide to Politics
Welcome to our second episode of Change Lab PresentsThroughout this season, on alternating weeks, we’ll feature a series of bonus episodes we’ve handpicked from some of our favorite podcasts by, for or about the Black community.This week, we’re excited to share an episode from The Brown Girl's Guide to Politics from the Wonder Media Network.Host A’shanti Gholar leads conversations with women changing the face of politics. Episodes include interviews with politicians, candidates, and influencers. Today you'll hear from Brittany Packnett Cunningham. Named by People Magazine as one of the five inspiring people chartering a path forward as America fights racism, Brittany is the co-founder of Campaign Zero and a leading force in the fight for social justice.Please enjoy this Change Lab Presents episode of The Brown Girl's Guide to Politics.https://brittanypacknett.com/bio
53 minutes | a month ago
37 Photographer Barbara DuMetz on bringing diversity to both sides of the camera
Throughout her long and distinguished career as a commercial and fine art photographer, Barbara DuMetz has produced images that feel familiar even if you’re viewing them for the first time. Through her lens, even the most ordinary subject matter has a mythic quality. She has a story to tell that reaches far beyond the frame. That’s her unique creative gift. And it’s one she began cultivating as an ArtCenter student and ultimately deployed to great effect in editorial spreads for glossy magazines and iconic ads for global brands like Coca Cola and Delta.Despite her vast reserves of natural talent, it was hardly a given that Barbara would achieve her lofty creative goals as a Black woman making her way in the predominantly white male field of commercial photography in the 1970’s and ‘80’s.And yet she persisted. Against steep odds, Barbara built a professional photography practice from the ground up and paved the way for a new generation of Black female artists. Her personal journey is nearly as inspiring and captivating as her iconic images of such legendary trailblazers as Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Thelonius Monk – the latter of whom she first met by chance as a young aspiring photographer.In this week’s lively, history-soaked Change Lab episode, you’ll hear her describe that encounter with Monk with sheer wonder at his genius. And then, with characteristic humility, she’ll concede, after some prodding, that maybe, just maybe, her work echoes the deeply-felt rhythms of her beloved jazz. As anyone listening to this conversation can attest, Dumetz walks through life to a beat as cool and distinctive as the art she makes.Links from this episode:BarbaraDuMetzPhotography.com1984 Olympics Coca-Cola Advertisement
73 minutes | 2 months ago
Change Lab Presents: The Institute of Black Imagination
Welcome to our first episode of Change Lab PresentsThroughout this season, on alternating weeks, we’ll feature a handpicked episode from podcasts by, for or about the Black community.This week we’re excited to share an episode from The Institute of Black Imagination. Hosted by artist, writer, and brand consultant Dario Calmese, the show features conversations from The Pool of Black Genius: a collection of iconoclasts at the leading edge of cultural thought and innovation. Today’s episode features architect, designer and scholar, Dr. Mabel O. Wilson, who discusses her trans-disciplinary practice touching upon the worlds of curation, performance, art and cultural history.Please enjoy this Change Lab Presents episode of the Institute of Black ImaginationLinks mentioned in the episode:Mabel's Instagram: @studio_andHer new book: Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present
49 minutes | 2 months ago
36 Bob Davidson on Rising Above Segregation through Persistence and Resistance
There is something almost poetic about beginning this season, dedicated to amplifying Black voices, with today’s interview with Bob Davidson, who recently stepped down from his post as Chairman of ArtCenter’s Board of Trustees.Bob was instrumental in my decision to assume my current role as President of ArtCenter. And over the past eleven years, our collaboration has been among the most profoundly transformative of my entire career. Our bond transcended our professional roles (for all intents and purposes, he was my boss) and became something much richer and deeper, rooted in our shared values and an almost spiritual commitment to manifesting the College’s mission statement: learn to create, influence change.And change we did. In partnership with Bob, we launched two iterations of a master plan that prioritized long-term sustainability and diversity. The College has grown in many important ways thanks to his contributions. But there’s still much work to be done, which we discuss at length in today’s conversation.Even though we’ve known each other intimately for over a decade, our candid conversation was revelatory. I hadn’t known the extent of the racism he faced growing up in the Jim Crow south. Nor was I aware of the subtle bias he experiences in his daily life now. At the same time, he confirmed many of the qualities and achievements I’ve long admired – his self-made success at the highest levels of business and his steadfast unwillingness to let anyone stand in the way of progress —his or anyone else’s for that matter.
2 minutes | 4 months ago
Change Lab Season 07 Trailer
On September 23rd, Change Lab will kick off its seventh season, which is dedicated to amplifying Black voices in art, design and activism. Much has changed since our last episode – everything really. So in response to these radically shifting times, this next set of interviews will lean into the special relationship between uncertainty and creativity and how it just might hold the key to unlocking ideas and works of art and design that can change the world.
45 minutes | 8 months ago
35 Graffiti artist Chaz Bojorquez on straddling the street and the Smithsonian
This episode of Change Lab happens to be the last one of this season and we’ll resume again, as usual, in the fall. And though it wasn’t planned this way, it’s hard to think of an interview more timely or better suited to demonstrating the strength of the creative spirit to transcend expectations, assumptions and challenges than this one with Chaz Bojorquez, aka the Godfather of Graffiti.There are few art world honors as coveted as having a piece of work included in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection. Likewise, in the pop culture universe, not many artists can claim to have their own special edition line of Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.Chaz can claim both of those achievements and many more.A native of East Los Angeles, Chaz merged his tandem passions for creative forms of socio-political protest, underground comics and the Chicano muralist movement into a signature style that has influenced his widespread popularity and established prestige now, finally, attributed to street art.After Chaz visited ArtCenter last fall to deliver a talk about the role of graffiti in creating cultural unity, Lorne was taken by the power of his wisdom and his work. In fact, we were all so impressed with his accomplishments that we decided to award him an honorary doctorate at our Spring commencement ceremony (which was sadly postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis). But Lorne and Chaz had the opportunity to sit down together in early February to reflect on his remarkable career that blurs the boundaries between high art and street art, calligraphy and graffiti, popular and alternative culture.Related Links:https://americanart.si.edu/artist/charles-chaz-bojorquez-6040https://lagunaartmuseum.org/artist/chaz-bojorquez/http://www.sohodh.com/chaz-bojorquez https://sneakernews.com/2013/06/26/chaz-bojorquez-x-converse-chuck-taylor-all-star/
53 minutes | 8 months ago
34 Get Lit Words Ignite founder Diane Luby Lane on empowering teens through spoken word poetry
Diane Luby Lane is the founder and executive director of Get Lit-Words Ignite, a leading arts education nonprofit dedicated to increasing literacy and stemming dropout rates among at-risk youth. Her groundbreaking curriculum, fusing classic literature with spoken word performance techniques, has been adopted by schools around the country. In this inspiring episode of Change Lab, Lorne Buchman sat down with Diane to discuss the redemptive power of poetry her mission to share it with the world.
51 minutes | 9 months ago
33 Dennis Gassner on the ‘method’ behind his Oscar-winning production design
Storytelling is Dennis Gassner’s mother tongue. It’s the language – and the context -- through which the ArtCenter alum and legendary production designer processes the ideas of a script, and it fundamentally shapes the worlds his characters inhabit on screen.The six-time Oscar nominee is best known for the technically ambitious and artfully realized environments he has created for six Coen Bros films, the last four James Bond movies, Blade Runner 2049 and Bugsy – for which he won an Academy Award. Dennis received his most recent Oscar nomination for his stunning work on 1917, a World War 1 epic for which he designed, built and destroyed French villages and battlefields all, seemingly, filmed in one-take. The film also presented him with the rare opportunity to go to war with his longtime collaborators, director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins – two major talents with whom he’s found great success in the moviemaking trenches.On the eve of the most recent Academy Awards show, Change Lab’s Lorne Buchman interviewed Dennis in his home, which is steeped in Hollywood history and filled with artifacts from his films and the places they’ve taken him. As we sat facing each other on two art deco couches he used to furnish a lavish set in The Hudsucker Proxy, we discussed his transition from architecture to production design, his discovery (while at ArtCenter) that facing fear is fundamental to creativity and his conviction that successful storytelling is best measured by the heart rather than the head.Related Links:https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0309357/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1https://www.1917.movie/
53 minutes | 9 months ago
32 Jessica Helfand on Redefining Design Ethics for the Digital Age
It’s not an overstatement to say that Jessica Helfand is a renaissance woman of the design world. She co-founded Design Observer, an authoritative digital publication on the state of visual culture and an oracle of wise and thoughtful discourse on design for many of us. She also co-hosts two podcasts: The Observatory and The Design of Business/ The Business of Design. In all aspects of her work and writing, she asks profound questions about creative practice and challenges our assumptions about how to reconcile an ethical design practice with a successful one.In addition to her thriving art and design practices, Jessica is also a prolific author of numerous books, including her latest work, Face: A Visual Odyssey, recently included on the “new and noteworthy” list of the New York Times. With encyclopedic thoroughness, Jessica examines the cultural significance of the face and its centrality in human experience, from archival mug shots through selfie culture and facial recognition technology.Her academic career has been no less impressive than her literary and creative accomplishments. She has taught design at Yale University, her alma mater, since 1996. She currently serves as the second-ever Artist in Residence at Cal Tech, which is located a few blocks from ArtCenter in Pasadena. Later in the episode, we’ll join her there in the classroom for a fascinating peek at how she’s opening pathways of design to the quantitatively-minded students of science and engineering.A fascinating conversationalist, Jessica readily peppers her answers with cogent insights into social media’s impact on the next generation of designers and a very honest and moving sense of the ways in which personal experience invariably shapes creative practice. Related Links:https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/facehttps://designobserver.com/designofbusinesshttps://designobserver.com/https://designobserver.com/podcast-the-observatory.phphttps://www.jessicahelfand.com/
43 minutes | a year ago
31 Ini Archibong on Designing Things that Spark Wonder
Ini Archibong is a luxury goods designer. He is also a furniture and immersive experience designer and an ArtCenter alum. This is all accurate and incomplete. So we’ll leave it to Ini to describe his creative practice: “Any of the objects I’m making -- all they are is a potential entry point to wonder.”Ini has been accumulating accolades and prestigious commissions from the moment he graduated from ArtCenter’s Environmental Design program in 2012. After earning his MFA in Switzerland from the Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL for short), Ini’s furniture began appearing in the pages of Vogue, Architectural Digest and the New York Times.Ini’s iconic works of functional art have made him a rising star in the design world culminating, most recently with his celebrated Gallop watch for Hermes.Over the course of a philosophical exchange with Lorne, Ini explored what it means to design a sacred space, the mythological underpinnings to his work and how he achieves a state of creative flow.Related Links:https://www.dezeen.com/tag/ini-archibong/https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/t-magazine/ini-archibong.htmlhttps://www.vogue.co.uk/article/hermes-watch-launch http://www.artcenter.edu/about/get-to-know-artcenter/people/david-mocarski.html https://www.hermes.com/us/en/product/galop-d-hermes-watch-40.8-x-26mm-W047890WW00/https://www.ecal.ch/fr/100/homepage
52 minutes | a year ago
30 Documentary Filmmaker Ivy Meeropol on the Active Pursuit of Empathy
Ivy Meeropol is a documentary filmmaker whose emotionally and politically charged films explore social and cultural injustice from the inside out. Her work in TV and film ranges from an exploration of the threat posed by the nuclear power industry to the good, bad and ugly of the American political system, particularly as it relates to her family (more on that in a moment). But what distinguishes her work most is her disarming refusal to judge the characters in her films as heroes or villains– a process Ivy describes as an “active pursuit of empathy.” The result is a deeply nuanced body of work that reverberates with wisdom, intimacy and socio-political nuance.That empathy infuses every scene of her latest film, Bully, Coward, Victim: The Story of Roy Cohn, which recently premiered at the New York Film Festival. Combining archival footage with original reporting, the HBO film explores the complicated, controversial, and enduring legacy of Cohn, the closeted right-wing political attack-dog who was an early mentor to Donald Trump. Cohn launched his notorious career as the young prosecutor who convicted Ivy’s grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, of spying for the Soviet Union at the height of the Red Scare. Cohn succeeded in his quest to send both of them to the electric chair, leaving their two young sons (one of whom was Ivy’s father) orphaned.Over the course of an intimate and animated Change Lab interview, she explored the personal and political forces at play in her work, her willingness to allow her films the freedom to dwell in ambiguity and her sense of responsibility to ask questions previous generations never could. Related links: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1532413 https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2019/films/bully-coward-victim-the-story-of-roy-cohn/ http://indianpointfilm.com/ https://www.sundance.org/projects/heir-to-an-execution
50 minutes | a year ago
29 Saki Mafundikwa and Sadie Red Wing on Decolonializing Design
Sadie Red Wing and Saki Mafundikwa grew up a world and two generations apart. Sadie was born into the Lakota tribe and also considers herself a citizen of the Spirt Lake Nation of Fort Totten, South Dakota—two longstanding American indigenous communities. Saki, on the other hand, didn’t set foot in the United States until he left his native Zimbabwe at age 24 in 1979, almost twenty years before Sadie was born.Despite their different points of origin, their approach to their chosen profession is strikingly similar. They’re both pioneering designers who focus their practices on giving voice and context to underrepresented communities whose rich visual languages have often been subsumed or ignored by mainstream design’s bias toward Western modes of communication.Saki and Sadie joined forces for the first time in a joint workshop at ArtCenter entitled: Finding Our Way Home. The four-hour workshop created a space for students of all backgrounds to visually identify themselves, exhibit pride in representation and come away inspired to allow their heritage to inform their design work. We’ve also included a first-hand perspective on the workshop from participant, Amina Maya, a photographer and designer who works as a Junior Creative Director at Black Girl in Om, and Founder of Naturaliste Apothecary.This thought-provoking episode of Change Lab explores some of the most vital issues facing both design and academia through the lens of Sadie and Saki’s unique but parallel journeys toward better representing their own cultures in their work and encouraging diversity and inclusivity throughout the arts.https://www.aiga.org/design-journeys-saki-mafundikwa https://www.sadieredwing.com http://www.aminamaya.com
48 minutes | a year ago
28 Recent Alum Vicente Magaña on Solving the Riddle of Mass Transit in California
ArtCenter’s Transportation Design program has a type and, at first glance, Vicente Magaña seems to fit it perfectly.A lifelong obsession with cars? Check.A childhood spent sketching every type of vehicle his imagination could conjure? Check.An insatiable desire to land a job designing supercars and road testing them at top speed?Well…that’s where Vicente, a Summer 2019 ArtCenter alum, separates himself from the pack. Vicente is the rare car guy whose driving passion is not to design the ultimate driving machine. Instead, Magaña dreams of designing a public transportation system that turns cars into more of a luxury for weekend joy rides than a necessity for getting from Point A to B. We were particularly intrigued to learn more about the motivating factors guiding Vicente’s unique spin on a quintessential ArtCenter career-path, which is why we selected him for this season’s recent interview. As the son of Mexican immigrants (and the first person in his family to attend college), Vicente’s upbringing instilled a desire to use his education to improve the quality of life for those who need it most. While attending ArtCenter, Vicente seized every opportunity he could to apply his seasoned problem-solving skills toward the greater good. Nothing illustrates this more than his thesis project, Incog-NEATO, a modular system designed to convert most sedans into a discrete space for living and working out of a vehicle. Intrigued and impressed by Vicente’s unique combination of courage, empathy, and humility, Lorne dedicated this episode of Change Lab to tracking the journey that brought him to ArtCenter and where he hopes to go from here.
57 minutes | a year ago
27 IBM Design Chief Phil Gilbert on Leadership as Love
Though Phil Gilbert’s official job title is General Manager of Design at IBM, he’s more often referred to as IBM’s very own design evangelist. But ask him to describe his earliest creative impulses and he’ll tell you without hesitation that he was an entrepreneur from “day one.”It quickly became clear that Phil is all these things and more after spending the day with him at IBM’s colorful, post-it-strewn design studio in Austin. In other words, to use a tech-speak term of art: Phil is a unicorn. Need proof? Look no further than his decision to embed design thinking at scale across a company that spans 387,000 employees and 170 countries. Fast Company recently praised Gilbert’s accomplishment at IBM as “establishing a modern standard for increasing the role of arts in business.” Under Phil’s leadership, the legacy computer brand has resurrected and expanded its venerable design program and transformed itself into a nimble, forward-thinking company employing a fleet of designers, charged with applying their problem-solving skills to innovative software and B2B infrastructure initiatives, like quantum computing and state of the art digital security. To wit, ArtCenter alum Tina Zeng, a design researcher on IBM’s security team, offers an insider’s perspective on how design is being deployed on a day to day basis under Phil’s leadership.Over the course of a lively Change Lab conversation (conducted in IBM’s employee programmed radio station) Phil opened up about his appreciation for the school busing program in Oklahoma City that first exposed him to the value in a diverse learning environment, his evolution as a leader and the importance of seeing every day as a prototype that can be improved upon. Related links:https://www.ibm.com/design/http://www.tinalzeng.com/ https://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/gooddesign/
50 minutes | a year ago
Encore Episode: Wendy MacNaughton on Road Testing Inspiration
In the lead up to the launch of Change Lab Season 5 on September 25, we’re releasing a series of “Encore” episodes. For this final installment, we caught up with graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton to discuss her latest creative endeavor: A Honda Element she’s tricked out to function as a mobile studio. The car features a custom-made drafting table, art supply storage, and a double bed to catch some zzz’s on longer road trips. Wendy embarked on the project after realizing that solo time on the road has always been a reliable source of creative inspiration. Wendy called us from her idea-generating machine in San Francisco to update us on her most recent wanderings. We hope you enjoy the episode. Don’t forget to tune in for a whole new season of conversations on creativity and transformation kicking off with Lorne’s incisive interview with IBM design chief, Phil Gilbert.
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