After a hiatus, ArtCenter’s graduation show returns as a public event.
By Garrett Rowlan
In the downtown Pasadena Exhibit Hall, the graduation showcases some of the work produced by ArtCenter’s 295 spring graduates, divided into 15 areas of expertise.
Walking through the dazzling display of art, design and vision, it feels like time has moved further into the future than the two years that have passed since the last group of graduate work went on public display. . Whether due to the pandemic or other events, more than 24 months seem to have passed.
“What we’re really dealing with is our state of consciousness,” says a creed projected onto the wall in the Spatial Experience Design section of the exhibit. Indeed, the state of consciousness seemed a primary concern, mental comfort seemed a corollary in the linear and spacious design of miniature houses, or modular offices illuminated by tube-wrapped lights, or the promised bliss of a bottle of floating cologne in the Beaux-Arts. Graduate art.
Across the hall, in the Tactile Interaction Design, concern for its interior condition has reached solipsistic levels, such as around the semi-circular display, bar-like presentation flat screens, headphones and a virtual reality station promising either individual escape from a reality beyond the showrooms or, through technology, better ways to deal with it.
Still, there was the comfort of the familiar tropes of the Film Graduate section, Evan LeBlanc cyberborg creationsor Rita Li Hall of the Mountain King-like a temple, while Aleza Zheng’s triptych entitled “The Room”, presented in the Illustration section, suggested that the refuge was only a closed door.
Also charming was the rune figure chess set designed by Aziza Tanjung.
Perhaps the optimism has come from where you might least expect it in transportation design, with the emphasis on electric cars and limos and even, in the visionary sketches of Frank Guan, carbon-powered cars.
Overall, we leave the room with the feeling that the future is already here. Just be born.