`California College of the Arts is an art, design, architecture, and writing school founded in 1907. It has campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, and it enrolls approximately 1,500 undergraduates and 500 graduate students.CCA educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. The college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.CCA advocates that artists, designers, architects, and writers have important roles in solving the world’s cultural, environmental, social, and economic problems. The college cultivates intellectual curiosity and risk taking, collaboration and innovation, compassion and integrity. CCA is a proponent of social justice and community engagement. The college promotes diversity by improving access and opportunities for underrepresented groups. It values sustainability and believes that artists have a unique ability and responsibility to shape a culture that is more environmentally responsible Wikipedia.
News Article | September 19, 2016
Something’s afoot in the future of work, but it’s hush-hush. People don’t like talking about it. "I know it is ugly to say ‘unicorn,’ but yeah, you kinda do have to be the unicorn," Chris Noessel, head of design for IBM’s transportation group, tells me. Before joining the tech giant, Mr. Noessel spent a decade at the design and strategy firm Cooper. His former boss, Alan Cooper, who invented (and later sold to Microsoft) the core design for Visual Basic, is even more cautious around the subject. "I think we in the design profession do ourselves and our colleagues a disservice by even recognizing the argument that ‘unicorns’ exist." Noessel and Cooper aren't talking about tech unicorns—startups valued at over $1 billion—they're talking about people. I asked them both about the type of person whose professional expertise is both deep and wide in multiple subject areas, and whether such a worker's already high value has risen in recent years. Cooper seems to reject the notion of such a person outright; Noessel doesn't but is uncomfortable with the notion of a "unicorn" worker in his field—somebody with vast experience in business, technology, and design. Yet both men are clearly more than a little polymathic themselves. I've written before for Fast Company about the role of these "comprehensivists" in the knowledge economy, and how some are leaving corporate jobs to take on high-paid freelance work. Plenty of companies are more than happy to pay one such "unicorn" worker a lucrative rate to do the work of what would otherwise be a two- or three-person team. But they may be less willing to talk about it. After all, the notion of a well-rounded comprehensivist working solo flies in the face of a work ethos that's been resolute about the need for collaboration for a generation or more. Knowledge workers with competencies in multiple disciplines threaten the culture of collaboration that's ruled the working world for decades. As the Economist recently put it, "In modern business, collaboration is next to godliness." So comprehensivists’ tendency toward whole-brain thinking, straddling art and science, introversion and extroversion, the tactical and the strategic may strike some as a puzzling departure. It conflicts with the notion of company life imagined by our Industrial Age forebears of the 1890s as well as the collaboration gurus of the 1990s. Indeed, fin-de-siècle factories and modern-day workplaces aren’t too dissimilar. Both were designed explicitly for teams of specialists. The polymath had no place. In the world of work, an interest in (and/or aptitude for) self-reliance has been out of vogue for quite some time. As author Susan Cain once put it in the New York Times, "Collaboration is in." That was in 2012, and what was "in" then may not exactly be "out," but it's showing signs of wear. A growing body of academic research and the popular press have begun to point toward collaboration’s costs and limits. In one study last year, high-performing individuals were shown to carry their teams—managers actually got higher returns by investing in their top employees than by trying to motivate and support everyone equally. Meanwhile, collaboration doesn't seem to have solved our intractable productivity needs, risks of burnout, and communication breakdowns. Even the technologies designed to make collaborating easier and more seamless are coming under fire by some users who claim they do nothing but add to the noise. Has the progress that collaboration promised finally stalled? In many ways, comprehensivism is a direct reaction to the ever-increasing burden and diminishing returns of collaborating. Gradually, and perhaps even unintentionally, individual workers amass whatever skills they need to accomplish their goals independently, at a pace and style satisfactory to them, with no sales pitching, arguing, pleading, cajoling, or meeting in sight. In this sense, comprehensivism is a necessary workaround in an overly collaborative environment. As Noessel tells it, having a rich and varied quiver to draw from is priceless. "I knew this one guy in grad school who got terrible advice from a Stanford professor who told him, ‘Don't worry about learning graphics software. Don't worry about technology. There will always be minions who can do that for you.’ So this guy was always dependent on others who could realize his vision," Noessel recalls. "He became a manager by default. He had to be in a terrible feedback loop all the time." This is a problem for organizations that have invested heavily in the idea of collaborative work for decades—everything from continuing-education programs and communication cultures right down to the physical design of spaces. Real dollars are involved in getting people to work together—even when they'd be more productive flying solo. Chalk it up to the "sunk-cost" fallacy, but it seems now as if there's no going back. By now, it’s become important to the world of work (read: balance sheets) that collaboration continues to "work." Otherwise, what good are all those training modules, messaging platforms, and collaboration cabins? But when it comes to collaborating, what if our proclivity to overdo it were the least of our problems? According to research by MIT’s Mark Klein and colleagues, collaboration may be a creativity killer. They've found that a collaborative design process—where a bunch of specialists put their heads together to try to come up with innovation solutions—generally "reduced creativity due to the tendency to incrementally modify known successful designs rather than explore radically different and potentially superior ones." That’s funny. Because collaboration has been billing itself as the font of workplace creativity for decades. What if the opposite were true? Incidentally, groupthink is also characterized by a loss of individual creativity. It may be that collaboration and groupthink are two sides of the same coin—kissing cousins at least—and we’ve collectively chosen (thank you, groupthink) to see only one side of that coin for years. While comprehensivists are likely a reaction to the creeping curse of collaboration, it doesn’t mean they yearn for total solitude and self-reliance; certainly, asking everybody to be good at everything and do it by themselves is no solution. You can't just employ only multidisciplinary "unicorns" and fire the rest of your staff. The answer more likely lies somewhere in the middle—and it starts not only with knowing when not to collaborate but also when to resist the urge to go solo. "I have for years been relying on myself for everything. I can deliver a one-man team on a lot of stuff," says Joe Brown, multidisciplinary designer at IDEO (where, in full disclosure, we once worked together). "The biggest challenge for my career has been to not do that." Brown points out that at some point, projects become too large to manage without the use of teams. When he worked onsite in Berlin for a year with European e-commerce client Zalando, he directed a studio that had five teams running simultaneously. "That just means there is no way I can do everything." As you begin to work more with creative teams, "the more you do, the less they learn and develop," says Brown. It becomes less about solo performances and more about helping others grow, which requires stepping back. At Zalando, Brown says, instead of actually doing everything, he was able to assist with anything. There’s a subtle shift there for the comprehensivist. Varied and valuable skills are present in either case, but their application changes completely. "Being able to jam with one team for a short, intense period of time is really great, because it fills whatever gap the team has at the moment, which may be more quantitative or may be more visual-oriented. That's been a real joy." For all of its drawbacks, collaborative work isn't going away anytime soon—and that's probably a good thing. To be sure, even the most dedicated comprehensivists don’t aim to shortcut teamwork wholesale. They simply want to right-size it, as any sane person on the brink of burnout might. In fact, all workers are likely on a trajectory toward some version of comprehensivism, perhaps even unwittingly. As Doreen Lorenzo, director of integrated design at the University of Texas at Austin recently wrote, "In the future, all designers will be hybrids." The same is likely true in a variety of industries. Why can’t the mid-career architect also also pinch-hit on acoustic and lighting design occasionally? Why can’t the financial analyst also tackle accounting-journal entries from time to time? Why can’t the supply-chain manager also oversee a production run or two? No reason per se. Small businesses and startups embrace hybrid workers out of sheer necessity. Medium- and large-sized businesses could take a cue. "In anyone's career, anyone's growth, if you only exercise one set of skills, then you're only going to be a partial contributor to what you're doing," says Brown. "You may become incredibly good and gain expertise in your field, but you'll always have a hard time connecting to the people you work with. If the future of work is highly collaborative, then there will be value in being able to plug into others." We'll need to know how to do one another's jobs—or at least parts of them—in order to do that. Then perhaps through this cycle of hybrid-skills acquisition, collaboration can dial itself down a little, letting workers everywhere regain the time and headspace to do their best, most creative work all on their own. Wouldn’t that be a dream? Seems almost unreal—like, say, unicorns. Lisa Baird is a former principal designer at IDEO. She recently earned her master of design at California College of the Arts and previously earned her MBA at University of California Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @bairdlisa
News Article | October 31, 2016
With only two months left in 2016, performance review season is officially upon us. As many of us know all too well, it can be an awkward experience. But one key to nailing your review this year may be a departure from conventional wisdom. Typically we're told to make a strong case for how well we've performed in our particular roles—show you've mastered the job skills required of you and delivered great results, and now you're ready to move on to bigger challenges. And it's not that that's bad advice. But as the workforce evolves, the value of a broad-based skill set may be rising. Your employer might not even be totally aware of the shift, but they're more likely to need jacks-of-all-trades than they did even a year ago. Here's a look at why, and how to play into that trend during your next review. "I guess you can look at me and say that I didn’t specialize in anything," UX designer Amanda Yarmolich reflected recently. "But a lot of times, it ends up being more valuable to have somebody who can kind of pick up whatever you need." Yarmolich isn't alone in that sentiment. According to the 2017 salary guide published earlier this month in the design magazine HOW, employers will gladly pay top dollar, "but they expect value, which comes in the form of worker versatility." And that may not just be a quirk of design-focused industries. Yarmolich works for the insurance marketplace eHealth. In her recent experience, "You just have to be ready to do whatever needs doing at the drop of a hat." How come? For one thing, the changing macroeconomic landscape is pushing more employers toward low-labor business models—in other words, to find ways of getting more value out of fewer people. That necessity may have first gripped recruiters amid the last financial crisis, but since the recovery since then has been so incremental, it's seeped into many employers' hiring mentalities. As one staffing expert told Fast Company earlier this year, "We’re seeing more cross-pollination among industries than ever before," which is not only expanding what counts as "transferrable skills," it's also requiring workers to be more comfortable tackling a greater range of tasks—including unfamiliar ones. That type of agility is becoming less of an added bonus and more of a basic prerequisite for many job openings in a widening variety of fields. On the other hand, employers have always prized versatile workers. In his 1957 book The Problems of Design, famed industrial designer George Nelson observed that employers have long sought "general flexibility in relation to almost any situation. Translated into action, this means an ability to bring a high level of detached perception to any problem, and this has a very special kind of value to management." The difference now is the change from management preference to economic imperative. Corporate boards seem to understand this value, judging from the kinds of people they put in the corner office. The New York Times recently reported that the quickest path to CEO these days is a circuitous one—often via several functional areas—according to new research suggesting that a mix of skills may now count more than simply long experience in one specialty. These utility players are what coauthors Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin describe as "neo-generalists" in their new book The Neo-Generalist: Where You Go Is Who You Are. They use the term to describe knowledge workers who excel in "combinatorial creativity." As Mikkelsen described it to me, "Neo-generalists are people who expand their craft by bringing in knowledge from disparate areas and creating new ideas and methods from those new combinations." Martin added that knowledge workers everywhere often feel their organization or industry is too siloed, but he believes it’s the type of worker that makes this true or untrue: "We are arguing that people who have a more neo-generalist mind-set make a difference because they deliberately step outside of those silos." Hiring managers may be wising up to this idea. Not only are versatile workers often more cost effective, they also bring silo-busting behaviors to companies that help organizations stay innovative over time. What may have started as a dollar-stretching measure often turns out to be a competitive advantage. According to Martin, "Everybody has the potential to be a neo-generalist—absolutely everybody. But it's a question of being willing to accept that learning is never done, that you’re never a finished article, always beta." In their book, the authors point out that knowledge can go from acquisition to obsolescence in just five years. For knowledge to stay relevant, it must stay current. There are three main tricks to doing this; none of it's rocket science or even particularly novel, but if you can adopt all three strategically, you may stand a better shot at showing your boss you're an asset precisely because you're so adaptable—right when that's needed most. To prepare for your upcoming performance review, here's what to try: 1. Read. "Reading is a sense-making process," Mikkelsen says. It's not just a method of deepening existing knowledge—it's about getting a handle on unfamiliar ideas. Almost all of the 50-plus "neo-generalists" interviewed in the book cited a voracious appetite for the written word. (Among the interviewees, there was a perhaps unsurprising affinity for Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings, among other sources.) What to do now: Start with current events, cultivate some patience for long reads, and strive to include fiction or even poetry. You’d be surprised at the new ideas and connections you’ll make by reading a wide range of genres and forms. Be sure to share those ideas at work, and ask for feedback. Be the one to spark fresh conversations, and let your boss see it. 2. Seek out informal learning. Amanda Yarmolich started out in traditional print graphic design but found herself working at a small web design agency, where she began bumping into areas typically outside her bailiwick. "I started getting more exposed to wireframes and information architecture, and I realized how much I didn’t know but needed to know. So I started looking around and found General Assembly." GA was practically unheard of at the time—Yarmolich was in its second cohort of students. She worked on three projects during an eight-week immersion. It’s that sort of informal educational venture that the most versatile workers give themselves all the time without being poked or prodded. That's something managers are more likely to find highly valuable. What to do now: If there's a training budget at your workplace, use it, and don’t wait to be asked. If not, find whatever free online courses make sense for you. Attend meetups and talks, and share your notes with colleagues. As Woody Allen once quipped, "Showing up is 80% of life." Show up, and let your boss know you’re doing so. 3. Take on unfamiliar projects. We’ve long been encouraged to pick up work for which we’ve honed a specific facility. But it's the opposite that works for developing versatility. "I've had to sometimes take employment I didn't really want, but I treat it as a learning opportunity rather than an oppression," says Richard Martin. Showing a willingness to work in unfamiliar territory is something all neo-generalists do and all managers want. What to do now: Next time you hear about an unfamiliar project or unusual need bubbling up, raise your hand. That’s it—simply volunteer. Understand that your unfamiliarity with the project space is an asset, not a liability, because it gives you permission to not know—to ask "dumb" questions, take best guesses, and truly learn. To be fair, you may not get a huge promotion or pay raise as soon as the calendar switches over to 2017, but developing versatility (and communicating its value effectively) is likely to keep you relevant in the months and years ahead. And preparing for your performance review is a great time to start. It also frees you to think and work more intuitively and creatively. You probably already possess pockets of knowledge that, for whatever reason, you’ve been habitually checking at the door each day. Versatility eschews that kind of narrow role playing in favor of a more authentic, whole-person approach. Who can argue with that? Lisa Baird is a former principal designer at IDEO. She recently earned her master of design at California College of the Arts and previously earned her MBA at University of California Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @bairdlisa Update: An earlier version of this article attributed the three tips for keeping knowledge relevant to Mikkelsen and Martin when in fact they are the author's. This error has been corrected.
News Article | November 21, 2016
MOCACuff and the MOCACARE App Deliver Results and Advice Loosening the Grip of Hypertension PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 21, 2016) - MOCACARE (www.mocacare.com) has today expanded its range of advanced, yet simple cardiovascular monitoring devices with the launch of MOCACuff, a sleek FDA-approved wireless blood pressure monitor that fits comfortably on the wrist. Priced at $69.99, MOCACuff is designed with style and comfort in mind -- avoiding the problems of bulky traditional cuffs worn on the upper arm. With each reading the MOCACuff screen displays pulse rate, systolic and diastolic measurements, and a color-coded indicator that corresponds to the American Heart Association's (AHA) blood pressure categories, allowing users to see where their health stands. The dedicated MOCA App also provides further information and actionable advice. "At MOCACARE, we're driven by a goal to simplify heart health monitoring and make caring for your health an easy, intuitive and reliable experience," said Naama Stauber Breckler, co-founder and COO of MOCACARE. "Like our first product MOCAheart, MOCACuff is specifically designed to be as simple as possible for everyone to monitor and improve their cardiovascular health." MOCACuff is available at www.mocacare.com. MOCACARE's mission is to improve the quality of life for its users by creating solutions that bring together the very best in health, technology, science and care. The company's multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, designers and physicians hail from Stanford, UCSF and California College of the Arts. MOCACARE was established in 2013 and is headquartered in Palo Alto. The company has an engineering center in Taipei and has an international team with members from Israel, Poland, Singapore, India, Taiwan and the United States.
News Article | November 4, 2015
A typical bike helmet has several problems: It usually doesn't fit perfectly on your head, it's too unwieldy to stuff in a bag when you get where you're going, and once it wears out—or you crash—it ends up in a landfill. A new design, grown from mushrooms and custom-shaped into a foldable geodesic dome the exact shape of your own skull, manages to solve all three issues simultaneously. When you get off your bike, the helmet easily unfurls into a strip of small segments. "The long strip is pretty flexible, so you might imagine it being similar to stuffing a small sweater or shirt in your bag," says Philippe Videau, an aerospace engineering student at UCLA who worked on the design as a part of a team of interns at Autodesk last summer. "It doesn’t just fold one way, so it can be squished into different shapes for each bag or compartment," says Becky Abramowitz, a mechanical engineering student at Penn, who was also on the team. "We believe that the hardest part of storing and toting a standard helmet is the round 3-D shape that doesn’t fit into most containers. By simply making it flatter, the helmet becomes much more compact." The tessellated shape of the helmet also makes it easier to get a perfect fit. Using Autodesk's software, the students 3-D-scanned their own heads and then customized a unique tessellated pattern for each person. Unlike current bike helmets, which only fit if your head happens to conform to a manufacturer's specs for "small" or "large," each helmet is precisely tailored. "I don’t seem to fit the norm since my helmet moves around like a Hula-Hoop on my head with even the slightest nod—tightening it only results in a more risky choking hazard," says Videau. "In short, any deviations from this general geometry usually lead to a somewhat loose fit that’s not only uncomfortable but also potentially unsafe." If the concept is made in the future, someone might be able to walk into a bike shop and get their head scanned, and a new helmet printed on the spot. "Our approach is mass customization—as both 3-D printing and 3-D capturing technologies are rapidly getting better, cheaper, and faster, we think that in the near future products can become highly customizable," Maya Kremien, an MFA student in industrial design at California College of the Arts. "Specifically for helmets, customization would be valuable, since a snug fit can substantially reduce the risk for a serious brain injury from a bike fall." As a material, the designers turned to mycelium—a part of mushrooms—instead of foam. "The ultimate goal would be to create an entirely sustainable helmet, one in which all the materials are either reusable and/or biodegradable," says Videau. While there are challenges to growing mycelium at scale, research is quickly growing. Videau says he's interested in pursuing the design. "Bike helmet design, whether pertaining to safety, comfort, convenience, or style, can substantially affect whether an individual decides to commute by bicycle—and I’m all for more sustainable and healthy transportation," he says. "I mean, just think about having a mushroom as a helmet."
Canton M.,California College of the Arts
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction, TEI'11 | Year: 2011
The Presence Table is a prototype that connects two households through an ambient, expressive interaction. The surface of the table illuminates and creates a reactive trace of human gestures and everyday objects. This trace is shared through a network connection to a linked surface at another location.
Ikemiya M.,California College of the Arts |
Rosner D.K.,Stanford University
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing | Year: 2014
This article describes the development and use of broken probes: prompted processes of degradation that produce unique identifiers with which to associate and retrieve digitally recorded histories. We offer our design and deployment of Broken Probes as a methodology for eliciting insights into how broken objects and acts of breakage may be given new life through their integration with ubiquitous computing technologies. Based on these developments, we introduce the genre of worn media - a variety of computational material with which to frame and critically examine the manifestation of wear among digital things. We end by discussing how the genre of worn media sensitizes designers and Ubicomp researchers to issues of incompleteness, impermanence, and imperfection to help account for the ethical, material, and historical terms of endurance in a digital age. © 2013 Springer-Verlag London.
Lange P.G.,California College of the Arts
Journal of Pragmatics | Year: 2014
Ranting is often conflated with flaming and hating, which are frequently interpreted as inappropriate forms of online interaction. Scholars have categorized rants, which contain emotional criticisms of something or someone, as "anti-social" ( Vrooman, 2002). However, scholars are moving away from universal interpretations of inappropriateness, and now engage in contextual analyses of online behavior. The present study examines a random sample of 330 text comments (drawn from a pool of 13,609 comments) that were posted across 35 rant videos on YouTube. Ranters describe numerous technical and social problems with the video-sharing site. But how are rant videos received on YouTube? Do commenters characterize them as inappropriate? Do rants stimulate productive discussion or do most commenters prefer to express emotional support for the ranter? Rather than displaying personal offense, numerous commenters discussed how problems with YouTube were being publicly revealed in video rants. Such issues are particularly relevant, as expectations about communicative norms are being proposed and contested in new media sites ( Markham, 2011). This study argues that under the right circumstances, ranting helps construct an emotional public sphere ( Lunt and Stenner, 2005) that generates discussion among similarly concerned YouTube participants about their online communicative rights and privileges. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Laurel B.,California College of the Arts
Interactions | Year: 2011
Gaian IxD frames interaction design in global terms. It builds on the growing interconnectedness of science, technology, philosophy, and politics. Vectors of change shoot through the history of HCI and interaction design, from the invention and evolution of technologies to myriad cultural and social transformations that have shaped and been shaped by interactive media. The designed interaction with the periscope produced emergent emotions and actions that were unplanned and unforeseen. Although they affected Morton's ability to concentrate on his job, some of these emergent phenomena were later put to good use in applications such as teleoperations and remote presence. The Arab Spring exhibits complex, emergent interaction at the level of cultural and political entities. A next permutation of IxD might step up to a Gaian scale.
Kudless A.,California College of the Arts
Integration Through Computation - Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA 2011 | Year: 2011
Borne from the complex negotiation between liquid mass and tensile constraint, flexible formwork castings are resonant with material energy. Hard as stone, yet visually supple and fluid, the precast architectural assemblies produced using flexible formwork techniques suggest integrative design strategies that acknowledge the intricate associations between form, fabrication, and material behavior. This tripartite synthesis between geometry, making, and performance has emerged as one of the central themes of contemporary architecture and engineering. Borrowing ideas of morphology from biology and physics, 20th century architectural innovators such as Antoni Gaudi and Frei Otto built a legacy of material practice that incorporated methods of making with material and geometric logics. The emergent effects (and affects) produced through these highly integrative practices serve as the basis of much of the research and design at Matsys. Building on the flexible formwork research of Miguel Fisac in the 1970s, the P-Wall series by Matsys explores the use of digital tools in the generation and fabrication of these bodies in formation.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 199.81K | Year: 2013
Exploring Science in the Studio is expanding a pedagogical approach that embeds science into courses in the fine arts, design, architecture, and creative writing. The project is engaged in developing and disseminating new pedagogical approaches and non-lab based instructional materials to deliver science content to humanities students. The outputs will be specially-designed and produced mobile units for scientific exploration. These mobile units will provide a replicable and scalable process for bringing science instructional materials directly into classrooms at colleges that do not have stand-alone science departments or facilities. This project has two goals: 1) To enable students in such colleges to understand the transferability of scientific methods of inquiry and knowledge to their practices in art, design, and writing; and 2) To help the humanities faculties in these colleges to integrate science into their teaching on the topic of sustainability. Sustainability is the science focus because of its substantial breadth, and because problems arising from climate change and the need for increased sustainability in the use of natural resources will be increasingly addressed by teams of individuals who contribute not only scientific knowledge, but creativity and innovation. Artists and designers have important roles to play on such teams.