Dynamic Aesthetics for Dynamic Media: The Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, the Graduate Program in Communication and New Media Design


Presentation Title:

  • Dynamic Aesthetics for Dynamic Media: The Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, the Graduate Program in Communication and New Media Design



  • Institutional Presentation Statement

    Digital tools and media demand a dynamic aesthetic to replace the static model.? Contemporary graphic designers must plan for movement, must anticipate interaction, must understand narrative. As publishers merge with television studios, and magazines create integrated web sites, convergence is more than just a catch phrase. The designer must be able to move from print work to dynamic media, from two dimensions to three, and sometimes even four. Design’s contribution to meaning has never been greater. It was for this reason that the Art Center College of Design instituted the Graduate Program in Communication & New Media Design. Educational institutions must speak to each other and discuss how they are responding to the onslaught of technology and the new paradigms in art and design. Our presentation will focus on three issues:

    (1) curricular modeling;

    (2) the importance of a theoretical underpinning for studio work in new media;

    (3) integrating entrepreneurialism into design education. We will be showing selections of student work in print, interactive media, and the World Wide Web. We feel that response to our presentations in European contexts have been quite strong, as demonstrated in last year’s 101 Design Conference at the Van Eyck Akademie and at Doors 3 in Amsterdam.

    What follows is an expansion of the three main areas to be covered:

    (1) We will discuss how we built on Art Center’s renowned design curriculum, adding technical classes that span the range of tool sets necessary to create fully formed projects in the new media, with studio courses in programming, interactive design, motion graphics, 3-D modeling, digital font design, and web site development.

    (2) Equally important, we will cover the seminars that create an intellectual context for these technical skills. These seminars include theories of construction, new media aesthetics, semiotic discourse, interactive narrative and classical story structure, the philosophical implications of virtual systems, and the interweaving of architecture and imaging systems.

    (3) Part of increasing the significance of the designer’s role in the coming information era is to increase the designer’s ability to generate projects, to create intellectual capital and utilize it, rather than coming in at the end as a surface treatment.

    Art Center prepares its students for just such an environment by encouraging an entrepreneurial approach to design, exposing students to other models of intellectual property systems — the film industry prime among these — in which creators have been able to wrest certain degrees of autonomy, control, and equally important, equity in the projects towards which they contribute.