Posts in Category "Alumni Features"

Adobe Design Achievement Awards Alumni Feature

The Adobe Design Achievement Awards team is always happy to hear from ADAA alumni.

We enjoy hearing about their evolving work, creative experiments, and recent accomplishments. We never tire of sharing and applauding the innovative projects that come from our global community of ADAA alumni. This was true when Cristian Zuzunaga let us know he’d be in San Francisco in June, to speak at the @Arkitektura showroom during SF Design Week.

We first met Cristian in 2007, when he was attending the Royal College of Art in London. His group entry was chosen as an ADAA finalist selection, in the category of illustration. The ADAA judges recognized his work for its richness in color, silhouette, and creative concept. Cristian’s ADAA entry was a collection of men’s wear, using textiles inspired by pixelated coloration. The illustrations and final silhouettes demonstrated surprising examples of coloration, motif, and modern graphics.

Cristian Zuzunaga shown with pixelated designs.

Cristian Zuzunaga shown with pixelated designs.

It was great catching up with Cristian at the Adobe offices in San Francisco. He shared his insights for staying inspired. “I stay connected to my surroundings, to nature, and balance the stimuli of the city. My commute from the country allows for a quiet time to process and reflect on new designs or unexpected approaches.” Visit Cristian’s website.

We asked Cristian what advice he may have for recent graduates. Zuzanaga then told of the times when he was a recent graduate, and rejected for employment as a designer. “I went to many job interviews. I was rejected three or four times. By my fourth interview rejection, I told myself, ‘well if no-one else can see the potential that I see, then I must have something pretty different here.’ So I made a conscious choice to believe in myself and my work, and not get discouraged.”

Cristian Zuzunaga's group collection, Royal College of Art, 2007.

Cristian Zuzunaga’s group collection, Royal College of Art, 2007.

Cristian Zuzunaga’s design house was founded in 2007, offering contemporary textile prints, rugs, furniture, and art pieces. Since then, Cristian has received numerous awards and worldwide recognition for his conceptual prints and product designs. Zuzunaga received the ICFF Award, for Best Textiles in New York, as well as the coveted Les Découvertes Award at Maison & Objet, in Paris. He also received the esteemed Elle Deco International Design Award for Best Fabric Design in 2011, in response to his Skyline curtain collection by Kvadrat.

 

Claire Erwin, Senior Manager, Worldwide Education Community at Adobe, (left) with Cristian Zuzunaga, Artist and Creative a Director at Zuzunaga (right).

Claire Erwin, Sr. Manager, Worldwide Education Community at Adobe (left)
Cristian Zuzunaga, Artist and Creative a Director at Zuzunaga (right).

To view the full range of Cristian Zuzunaga’s work, please visit his website. Join us, in wishing Cristian the very best in his future creative endeavors. We continue to support and celebrate the extended ADAA global community and alumni! Explore Cristian’s ADAA submission, featured here, on the Adobe Design Achievement Awards Online Gallery.

www.adobeawards.com

ADAA Online Gallery

www.zuzunaga.com

Royal College of Art, an Adobe Partners by Design institution

Download the ADAA Library app

www.arksf.com

Adobe Design Achievement Awards Alumni Feature

Andrej Balaz's design work focussed on participative art for festivals, in Europe during summer of 2013

Andrej Balaz’s design work focussed on participative art for festivals, in Europe during summer of 2013

ADAA Honorees Continue to Create and be Recognized

The ADAA crew always enjoys hearing from ADAA alumni, about their recent projects and accomplishments.  Within our community of animators, designers, filmmakers, game designers, we never run out of innovative projects to discuss, share, and applaud with one another.  The New Year is a great time to take a look at new design work that the alumni honorees have been creating.

 

 

ADAA 2012 finalist, Andrej Balaz of Germany, has been busy working towards his master’s degree, and recently shared some of his projects with us. “We focused on audience communication and participative art for festivals, and made a series of projects that we took to music and art festivals around Europe last summer,” added Andrej Balaz.

Andrej Balaz working on branding for Mach Dich Bunt, based in Germany

Andrej Balaz working on branding for Mach Dich Bunt, based in Germany

.

His participatory project, Reason? No, Thanks! brochure was created for young people who attend festivals, and want to participate more in the design of their festival experience through games and workshops. Balaz’s brochure is full of vivid illustrations, characters, and games, to better prepare students for activities. By providing students with specific games, the student is able to focus on engagement with others, while simultaneously creating less waste and trash from their activities. The communication strategy includes a variety of games, to enhance the festival experience through gamification, which is part of Balaz’s master thesis project called, “Participative Design and Gamification for Festivals”.

Balaz's illustrative work in his "Reason? No, Thanks!" brochure

Balaz’s illustrative work in his “Reason? No, Thanks!” brochure

Balaz also conceived a striking brand image for Mach Dich Bunt, the German company producer of ‘holi powder’.  His intention was to work simply, with a hand-made touch, and allow for the vibrant product to shine brightest.  While working, Balaz experimented with different patterns, typefaces and proportions by hand.

SemaforoRecently, ADAA 2013 animation and Grand Prize winner, Simon Wilches-Castro received word that his animation entitled, SEMÃFORO, was selected as an Official Selection for the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film in Germany.  The animation begins as a lovely circus show, which evolves into a more surreal and darker story.  His animation is also nominated for Best Student Film at the Annie Awards given by ASIFA HOLLYWOOD on February 1, 2014.

Wilches-Castro is a graduate student of USC in Los Angeles on a Fulbright scholarship, originally from Colombia.  “Being a double Adobe Award Winner has been incredible. I´ve been noticed by a bigger group of people within the university, and the design community.  As an artist, it has only inspired me to improve my skills and innovate the way I communicate through animation…to produce something fresh and unexpected,” Wilches-Castro commented.

Still Image from the ADAA 2013 Grand Prize winning animation, 'Semaforo'

Still Image from the ADAA 2013 Grand Prize winning animation, ‘Semaforo’

The ADAA is now entering its fourteenth year, with 30,000 design entries, submitted from 75 countries.

As we look towards opening a new 2014 Call-for-Entries session, we welcome a new year and another opportunity to globally recognize student ‘creative’s’, like Balaz and Wilches-Castro.

Stay tuned, as we prepare for the launch of the 2014 Adobe Design Achievement Awards Call-for-Entries!

www.adobeawards.com

www.adaagallery.com

www.facebook.com/adobeawards

Adobe Design Achievement Awards Finalists Tour NYC

When the Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA) finalists were flown to NYC in November, they were met with a packed schedule for their days in the Big Apple.  Along with the ADAA dinner and awards ceremony, which was held at the Hotel Affinia Manhattan, the students were pre-scheduled to meet with creative directors and design professionals in their studios, for an exciting window into the world of digital creativity.

Visiting with creative professionals in NYC

Visiting with creative professionals in NYC

The ADAA finalists each selected from 12 design studios within Manhattan.  The group of finalists split into smaller groups, then set out, to visit and meet with three design studios per walking tour.  Students were greeted by incredible creative’s, saw amazing projects, and heard inspiring stories, told by luminaries of their prospective fields.

ADAA 2013 Finalists visit Blue State Digital

ADAA 2013 Finalists visit Blue State Digital

The studios that graciously welcomed the international group of students and faculty were:

212 Harakawa Inc.

Behance

Blue State Digital

Carbone Smolan Agency

Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv Studio

Doyle Partners

General Assembly West

Graham Hanson Design

Gretel Inc.

Pearlfisher

Pentagram

PS New York

Pureandapplied

ADAA 2013 honorees visiting NYC design studios

ADAA 2013 honorees visiting NYC design studios

 

“I think the idea of having such a diverse group of judges from both different cultures and different design disciplines, gives a real credence to the Awards. It’s fascinating to see the breadth of work, the diversity, and largely, the quality of the entries,” commented Harry Pearce, Partner at Pentagram U.K.

Matias Corea, Co-founder of Behance shares insights with ADAA 2013 honorees

Matias Corea, Co-founder of Behance, shares insights with ADAA 2013 honorees

Students were able to visit the Behance offices, and meet directly with Matias Corea, Co-founder and Chief of Design at Behance.  Corea had also participated in the 2013 ADAA contest, as an official judge.

School of Visual Arts Welcomes the ADAA 2013 Finalists

School of Visual Arts Welcomes the ADAA 2013 Finalists

Additionally, students were invited to visit the School of Visual Arts, for a presentation by MFA Design Co-chairs and faculty Lita Talarico, Ron Callahan, and Steve Heller, regarding artistic entrepreneurism.

The Adobe Create Now World Tour was held at SVA’s theatre, and the ADAA finalists were invited to attend the event.  Finalists and guests were treated to live demonstrations by Adobe Evangelists, Terry White, Paul Trani, and Jason Levine.  Paul Trani congratulated the ADAA winners and finalists from among the crowd in attendance.

ADAA honorees are invited to meet the experts at Adobe Create Now World Tour

ADAA honorees are invited to meet the experts at Adobe Create Now World Tour

Coming soon – ADAA 2014:

The Adobe Design Achievement Awards are held in collaboration with Icograda (International Council of Communication Design).  Adobe and Icograda have partnered for five consecutive years, to select an international panel of judges.  Together, Adobe and Icograda are looking forward to a successful Adobe Design Achievement contest for 2014.

This year’s contest will open the call for entries soon, so stay tuned! We’ll keep you posted.

Watch the recorded winner announcements here.

Congratulate the winners, finalists and honorable mentions in the ADAA Online Gallery!

Adobe Design Achievement Awards 2013 ceremony held in NYC

We were thrilled to announce the 13th annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA) ceremony, held in New York City, at the Hotel Affinia Manhattan.  Eleven student category winners were honored, and Adobe also announced three students as 2013 Grand Prize Media Segment Winners.  The event was hosted in collaboration with Icograda (International Council of Communication Design).  Adobe and Icograda partnered for the fifth consecutive year to select an international panel of judges, with varied expertise in design, art, animation, and filmmaking.

Adobe Design Achievement Awards Board Member, Willy Wong was the emcee of the awards ceremony on November 19th in NYC

Adobe Design Achievement Awards Board Member, Willy Wong was the emcee of the awards ceremony on November 19th in NYC

Finalists and winners at the ADAA ceremony in New York!

Finalists and winners at the ADAA ceremony in New York!

 

Yael Cohen, the 2013 Grand Prize winner for the Interactive Media Segment, commented on her win, “The Adobe Design Achievment Awards has provided me with an amazing experience, new and unforgettable; both on the professional and personal level. It was an enriching educational experience. I was exposed to a lot of talented designers from around the world. The ceremony was exciting, definitely a lifetime experience.”  Yael attends Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel.

Yael Cohen of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel, takes home the Grand Prize win, for the Interactive Media segment.

Yael Cohen of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel, takes home the Grand Prize win, for the Interactive Media segment.

In addition to the Awards dinner,  Adobe also hosted design studio tours for the finalists and winners.  The ADAA honorees were able to select from 12 design studios within NYC to visit and meet with Designers and Creative Directors, including Pentagram, Carbone Smolan Agency, and  Doyle Partners, among others.

 

Contest Categories:

Student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, digital filmmakers and computer artists submitted projects created with Adobe tools. Over 3,750 projects were submitted into the contest, from 55 countries worldwide. From that, 1,100 Semifinalists were selected. Eventually, the top 30 finalists from 10 countries were announced in October.

 

Left to right: Hsien-yin Ingrid Chou of Associate Creative Director at MoMa; Bryan Berger, ADAA winner 2009; and Marc Nonnenmacher, ADAA finalist 2010 and winner in 2013

Left to right: Hsien-yin Ingrid Chou of Associate Creative Director at MoMa; Bryan Berger, ADAA winner 2009; and Marc Nonnenmacher, ADAA finalist 2010 and winner in 2013

ADAA Winner, Marc Nonnenmacher, first achieved finalist status in 2010 for his work, Kausalkomplexe.  Now, Marc has returned to the contest victorious, winning the 2013 Installation category for his newest work entitled Causal Timelines.  Nonnenmacher was grateful when he commented that, his friends had helped him by, “lending me their ear, and allowing me to discuss my ideas with them.  And I owe so much to my professors for supporting me and inspiring me.”

 

The 2013 Category Winners were:

Interactive Experience Media Segment:

Grand Prize Winner and Information Design: Yael Cohen, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Israel

Game Art and Design: Sanghee Chu, Hongik University, South Korea

Installation Design: Marc Nonnenmacher, Fachhochschule WÜrzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany

Digital Publishing: Katarina Batina, University of Washington, United States

Katarina Batina accepting her award for Digital Publishing

Katarina Batina accepting her award for Digital Publishing

Motion and Video Media Segment:

Grand Prize Winner and Animation: Simon Wilches-Castro, University of Southern California, United Sates

Editing and Post Production: Alexander Heringer, Stuttgart Media University, Germany

Motion Graphics: Dani Wolf, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Israel

 

Grand Prize Winner, Min Gyo Chung of OCAD, takes home the win for Traditional Media segment

Grand Prize Winner, Min Gyo Chung of OCAD, takes home the win for Traditional Media segment

Traditional Media Segment:

Grand Prize Winner and Illustration: Min Gyo Chung, OCAD University, Canada

Packaging: Vivi Feng, Pratt Institute, United Sates

Photography: Brian Biles, Savannah College of Art and Design, United States

Print Communications: Benjamin Lee, Art Center College of Design, United States

Added Min Gyo Chung, Grand Prize Winner for the Traditional Media Segment, “I was personally encouraged by the amount of support that the Adobe Design
Achievement Awards has shared to emerging and independent designers like myself.
It was uplifting to spend a week in New York City in the company of many
enthusiastic and mature designers who were willing to connect in a friendly and
professional manner.”

Watch the recorded winner announcements here.

Watch the 2013 judges in action here!

Benjamin Lee accepting his award for the Print Communications category!

Benjamin Lee accepting his award for the Print Communications category

Prizes:

Individual category winners – and the leader from each winning group submission – received a US$2,000 cash prize and a membership to Adobe Creative Cloud, and a one-year mentorship with an Icograda design industry professional. Three Grand Prize Media Segment winners received and an additional US$3,000 for a total purse of US$5,000.

Join us in congratulating the winners, finalists and honorable mention recipients in the ADAA Online Gallery!

Adobe Design Achievement Awards Alumni Participate in Global World Communication Design Day

JCDecaux, in partnership with Icograda, the International Council of Communication Design, invite ADAA alumni to join in the celebration of World Communication Design Day.

JCDecaux, in partnership with Icograda, the International Council of Communication Design showed 50 posters from 50 designers across The Cromwell Road Digital Gateway in London, April 27 – 29, 2013.  In celebration of World Communication Design Day, JCDecaux and Icograda invited promising design talent from five continents, including countries such as the UK, Canada, China, South Korea, Mexico, Germany, and Russia, to share their work on the Digital Gateway.

The Cromwell Road Digital Gateway in London shows work from designers worldwide.

The Cromwell Road Digital Gateway in London during World Communication Design Day.

The digital billboard gallery showcased work along The Cromwell Road Digital Gateway for three days, allowing motorists to experience visual designs created by some of the most exceptional burgeoning designers.  The sky was their limit, as designers were able to celebrate design in a grand scale, for the out of doors.  Each of the unique designs rotated multiple times across the nine digital billboard screens during the 3-day show, viewed by an estimated 350,000 people.

 

Under the theme, 1Love1Word original creative design work was selected from some of the most innovative designers from all over the world. Icograda extended this very rare opportunity to the Adobe Design Achievement Awards alumni, and encouraged some past ADAA winners and finalists to join the celebration by contributing their adaptation of ‘1Love1Word’ to the Digital Gateway collection.

1Love1Word by LABOR, ADAA group winner 2006

1Love1Word by LABOR, ADAA group winners 2006

Marilena Farruggia, Managing Director of Icograda, noted, “The initiative stemmed from people coming together with a spirit of collaboration and passion for design. This was an example of young talent taking a risk and turning an idea into reality, and that’s what Icograda was built on – the spirit of possibility.  The theme, ‘1Love1Word’ was envisioned by members of our Board… and you will see other initiatives this year celebrating this theme. We hope that young talent will be inspired to try… to aim high and make things happen, instead of waiting for something to happen.”

ADAA 2012 winners and design studio, Butcher’s Hook, seized the opportunity extended by Icograda to participate in World Communication Design Day.  James Coltman of the London-based design studio stated, “This is an amazing platform to really get your work out there; to share it for other people, to see it, and actually engage with it. The fact that these digital billboards are here is a ‘sign’ that technology is moving forward, and the fact that we’ve been a part of that journey is just amazing.”

1Love1Word by Butchers Hook, ADAA group winner 2012

1Love1Word by Butchers Hook, ADAA group winner 2012

The Digital Gateway collection included work from ADAA alumni such as Andrej Balaz, James Coltman, Seungkwan Kang, Andrea Ramirez, Stephan Powilat, Nada Seet, Kirsten Southwell, Mathias Vogel, and Anna Zarinova among others.

1Love1Word by Andrej Balaz, ADAA finalist 20012

1Love1Word by Andrej Balaz, ADAA finalist 20012

 

 

 

 

ADAA winners from 2006, Stephan Powilat and Mathias Vogel from Germany were invited to participate.  Powilat commented, “At LABOR, our goal is to create the most succinct work as possible. The theme, “1Love1Word” was especially inspiring to us because it aligns with our own design mission perfectly.“

Vogel added,  “…we recognized this unique opportunity where designers were able to come together to create, collaborate and celebrate design in a worldwide forum, and we feel strongly that this will be the direction of global design, moving forward.”

1Love1Word by LABOR, ADAA group winner 2006

1Love1Word by LABOR, ADAA group winner 2006

 

 

 

 

 

The Adobe Design Achievement Award team would like to extend congratulations to Icograda for their milestone of leading creatively for 50 years.  Icograda is continuing their year-long celebration, and they continue to invite designers from across the globe, to reflect upon the powerful force of community, empowerment and creative leadership. We encourage the ADAA community to join in their celebration of dynamic creativity.

1Love1Word by Andrea Ramirez, ADAA finalist 2012

1Love1Word by Andrea Ramirez, ADAA finalist 2012

1Love1Word by Kirsten Southwell, ADAA winner 2012

1Love1Word by Kirsten Southwell, ADAA winner 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related links:

Read more about the The Cromwell Road Digital Gateway out of doors opportunity here.

Check out the Digital Gateway gallery here.

Follow Icograda on Twitter to stay informed with your global design community.

Zhongxuan Liu and Allati El Henson Participate in the Red Bull Collective Art Project

The Adobe Design Achievement Awards team was thrilled to hear that two ADAA 2012 honorees were recently selected as guest artists for a new and collaborative partnership between Adobe and Red Bull.

Adobe and Red Bull Collective Art #createnow

Adobe and Red Bull Collective Art
#createnow

Together with Adobe, the Red Bull Collective Art project has created a very unique solution for one of the most age-old challenges of being an artist; creating work that transcends through cultures and time. Reaching this challenging goal may be sporadic or fleeting for most artists. From a single vantage point or perspective, it is remains difficult to include all of the rich inspirations our world has to offer into one immediate and succinct visual.

 

But what if things were different? What if we could be inspired by a multitude of vantage points, through the eyes of many artists from around the world – simultaneously. What if we used today’s technology and tools to create rich and dynamic images that transcend cultures, because they collectively come from artists living in all corners of the world.  What if artists were invited into a visual dialogue with fellow artists, inspiring a dynamic and generational single work?

 

Adobe and Red Bull explored how artists might be able to come together virtually, to create work that is collaborative, inclusive and collective

The first step was an invitation to emerging artists from 85 countries.  Artists would participate by layering their work, all created in succession, to eventually become a single collective piece. Each contributor would have four hours to add their artistry to the final piece. The final piece will be shown in art galleries throughout the world beginning in mid-May as a dynamic demonstration of collective creativity.

The following step was to ignite the creative process with the beginning images. Guest artists were invited to start the evolution, by creating the first few images for the single work of collective art.

Artist Zhongxuan Liu, in front of her work, "The Big Bang Clock" Photo by Jacklyn Atlas

Artist Zhongxuan Liu, in front of her work, “The Big Bang Clock”
Photo by Jacklyn Atlas

 

 

ADAA finalist Zhongxuan Liu, a student at Design School of Guangxi Arts Institute, submitted her work for consideration to be a Red Bull Collective guest artist because, she explained, “While I love working independently on projects, I feel that great designing can often stem from a collaborative experience between individuals. And from my experience, the more varied the designers’ backgrounds and life perspectives, the more exciting and fresh the ideas can become. I love the idea of being a part of a global collaborative project.”

 

 

At the same time, Allati El Henson, living in Oakland, California, seized the opportunity to share her work as a Red Bull Collective guest artist. “Designing on my own is one thing – and satisfies a big part of me, but when the art of collaboration is involved, is when design is at its most interesting point in time. The dance back and forth between two or more perspectives is what makes a piece ultimately compelling.”

Allati El Henson with Stefan Sagmeister at the ADAA gallery reception, Toronto.  Photo by Jacklyn Atlas

Allati El Henson with Stefan Sagmeister at the ADAA gallery reception, Toronto. Photo by Jacklyn Atlas

“Worldwide collaboration has never been more exciting and pivotal to the success of young designers and students.  The Creative Cloud provides them with the ability to share from anywhere at any time, marking a major milestone in technology’s contribution to empowering artistic synergy during the creative process,” explained Petar Karafezov, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing EMEA at Adobe. “We are inspired to share in the creative empowerment of students with Red Bull.”

The Adobe and Red Bull partnership is ambitious and exciting.  Over 10,000 artists have registered to participate thus far.  The majority of the artwork submitted in the Red Bull Collective Art project was created with Adobe tools.  To hear more from artists who have participated, read Michael Chaize’s blog, describing how he harnessed the Adobe Creative Cloud for his participation.

 

At the ADAA, we’re proud to share in Zhongxuan and Allati’s recent recognition on the global front.  Check out Zhongxuan and Allati’s work here – and be a part of something big.  We hope that more emerging artists take advantage of this inclusive opportunity, or begin their own inspiring and collective projects to share with the ADAA community.

Adobe Design Achievement Awards – Alumni Feature

Kirsten Southwell, ADAA 2012 Winner of Mobile Design category, shares her experience with us….

 

As designers, we’re always looking for ways to better our work, to evolve as artists and individuals. We grow up, mature, and our understanding of great design grows along with us.

Kirsten Southwell with ADAA 2012 trophy for Mobile Design category

Kirsten Southwell with ADAA 2012 trophy for Mobile Design category

Kirsten Southwell, North Carolina State University and ADAA 2012 winner of Mobile Design category, shared her perspective of the ADAA experience in Toronto. Her story demonstrates how sometimes, the little things become most memorable –  when our colleagues share in our achievement, when our friends share in our joy, and when our professors lift us up, are the times when we truly grow and connect to our community.

 

Since becoming an ADAA winner, I think I’ve gained a lot of perspective about my own abilities as a designer, as well as a greater appreciation for all of the wonderful support I have as an aspiring professional. I think that the place I have found the most support has been from the studio that I work for, Second Story Interactive Studios.  

For example, within an hour of winning the ADAA award, I was extremely touched to receive a phone call from David Waingarten, a Creative Director at Second Story. David temporarily derailed a meeting he was in, just to congratulate me and share the news with the rest of the studio.  It was a simple gesture, but it became obvious to me, that the individuals I work with enjoy sharing in my success in a way that is far more personal than by simply acknowledging it.

Kirsten hanging a Second Story logo in her studio as an image experiment

Kirsten hanging a Second Story logo in the studio as an image experiment

I was also surprised by how my alma mater, North Carolina State University, took such pride in my achievement. I received emails from all of the professors in the Graphic Design department!  Not only that, but someone thoughtfully took the time to create a large poster, announcing my achievement, then hung it up in the main breezeway of the College of Design.

A poster created to celebrate Kirsten's profile in the ADAA Gallery

A poster created to celebrate Kirsten’s achievement and profile in the ADAA Gallery

 

 

 

 

I feel my education is invaluable. I am thrilled that I have an opportunity to share the ADAA honor with the program—and specifically the faculty and TA’s—who gave so much of their time and effort to help shape the designer that I’ve become.

My friends have been really excited for me. I think it has been a little eye-opening for some of them to get a bigger understanding and context of the work that I do.  My friend, Chris, came all the way to Toronto to attend the DesignThinkers conference and share in the moment with me. He confided that after they called my name to come on stage, his heart didn’t stop racing for a few minutes later. I found that incredibly endearing that he literally experienced my anxiety – for me.

As far as what I have learned as an artist… I’ve learned the value of making an effort and taking a chance to claim recognition, and become distinguished for your work. I work at an award winning studio, and it’s great to contribute to projects collaboratively. However, receiving individual acknowledgement can only empower you, validate you, and heighten your sense of awareness for the designer that can become.

Kirsten exploring with GIF 2D and 3D, along with colleague, Pillipe Laurlheret, in the studio

Kirsten’s recent exploration, working with GIF 2D and 3D, along with colleague, Pillipe Laurlheret, in the studio

Recently, I’ve been exploring motion. Part of this is in thanks to the DSLR camera I bought with my ADAA Prize Money! It started with a desire to create high-quality GIFS as a storytelling method on the Second Story blog. This has kind of taken off into creating long stop motion animations in Photoshop and creating prototypes in Flash. Now I’m learning AfterEffects – I’m committed to exploring as a designer.

 

 

 

 

Since being distinguished by the ADAA, I was also honored as a winner in the Optimizing category of the IxDA Interaction Design Awards.   So just last month, I found myself back in Toronto to receive an award at the IxDA13 Conference.

Kirsten's ADAA trophy on display!

Kirsten’s ADAA trophy on display!

 

 

At the ADAA 2013, we too share in the joy and achievements of Kirsten and all alumni in the community.  As the ADAA embarks on our thirteenth year, we’re looking forward to recognizing more emerging artists and designers, pushing their pursuit of greatness in design. 

Congrats, Kirsten!  To view Kirsten’s honored work, visit the ADAA Gallery at www.adaagallery.com.

Alumni Feature: My Favourite Animal, ADAA 2011

It is always a pleasure to hear about what our ADAA alums are getting up to. Lara Lee, a winner in the Animation category 2011, hailing from Daegu in Korea tells us a little bit about her ADAA experience.  Lara studies illustration and animation at Royal College of Art in London.  She draws, documents memories, reads and is a self-proclaimed story teller, and trinket collector.

 

Lara Lee

Lara Lee

 

When she was in Uni in Seoul, Lara was encouraged to be aware of influential international design competitions. Excited to share her first proper animation to the ADAA community and the world, she submitted her graduation project – four digitally drawn pieces – at the very end of the third round of judging.  Lara enjoyed the other submissions so much that she wasn’t expecting her own animation to be announced a winner.

 

Since what she describes as an exciting, mind-opening and unforgettable ADAA experience, Lara has participated in a group exhibition, studied sound and image juxtaposition for her dissertation and term projects, and is now preparing her RCA graduation project.  The ADAA experience has left a lasting impression on her work, influencing and honing the approach she takes to her future practice.  The experience has also shaped her opportunities as a designer by exposing her to a priceless network of students, faculty and judges in the ADAA community and countless opportunities for meaningful feedback.

 

What is Lara’s advice to design students such as herself? “Definitely read watch, share and be as productive as much as possible.” Her hopes are that the design world will become more hybrid and foster diversity, creating space for myriad opportunities for artists and designers, while also keeping society’s best interest at heart.

Alumni Feature: Whispering Reeds ADAA 2011

An Ancient Greek myth inspires the Mobile App of ADAA 2011 Finalists Damiano Gui, Martina Maitan and Paolo Basso
Iuav University of Venice

The combination of their University’s impressive ADAA track record (10 Finalists/Winners since 2008!), and the encouragement from their professors, lead to the team sending in their application concept.   The project entitled “Whispering Reeds” is an interactive system, accessed by a mobile device, through which people can “plant a reed” anywhere in Venice to record their thoughts and sensations, and can listen to the “whispering reeds” of others. Their project was inspired by the Ancient Greek myth of Midas and plays with the unifying human experience of imbuing our physical surroundings with our emotional and intuitive lives.

We really enjoyed the chance to talk to the team and find out what they have been up to since the 2011 awards in Taipei.

 

Martina Maitan

Martina Maitan

Damiano Gui

Damiano Gui

Paolo Basso

Paolo Basso



 
Tell us a little bit about your project and the process of getting it done.

Martina: My team I decided to enter the competition because this seemed to be a good opportunity for measuring our ability as interaction designers at an international level. After the initial phase of brainstorming, we created the perfect interface to fit the need of the user, and then a working prototype and finally checked our work with some user tests.

 

Your impressive design earned you some attention after the awards! You went from Finalists in 2011, to being the team behind the fully functional Wings app for the ADAA 2012 campaign!  How did that happen?

Damiano: Shortly after the ADAA competition the guys from LABOR Studio, the team responsible for the design of ADAA campaigns, got in contact with us asking for our help in making the official ADAA 2012 App. We agreed enthusiastically, even if a bit scared: all of our past projects were just prototypes, and we had never built an actual application before! It was a real challenge, but we eventually succeeded. We couldn’t have done it without the help and support from our friends and from Mathias, Arnfried and Stephan (LABOR team). The Adobe Awards Wings App is now available in Google Play and in the Apple App Store and we are so proud of it!

 

How else have the ADAA’s impacted your  opportunities as designers?

Damiano: This July, I start a four-month internship at the MIT SenseAble City Lab in Boston, MA. I couldn’t even think of something like this a year ago. I just had interviews with studios from Madrid, Paris, Berlin, London and New York. All this thanks to my portfolio, which now includes an ADAA Finalist award and an Adobe featured App on top of all my other projects.

Martina: The ADAA has given me the opportunity to see my value as a designer on a global stage.  Like Damiano, I have also gotten a summer internship – mine is at Fjord Studios in Berlin.

Paolo: And I will be in Treviso, Italy at Studio Log607 for my internship!

 

How did the ADAA experience influence your outlook as designers?

Martina: The ADAA has been a force pushing me to pursue my path with much more strength and conviction than before this experience.  It gave me the chance to see other people with the same dreams and expectations and they have been an example for me.

Damiano: The ADAA’s jury choices made me reflect on what should be the aim of a designer today: not from the market point of view, but from an ethic and social one. Our project was a user-centred service design, which can shift technical complexity into a simpler and more emotion-oriented and poetic shape. I think this is the reason why Whispering Reeds was one of the Finalist projects. I think this is the right way to go in design for the future.

 

 

So where do you see design going in the next decade?  What do you think its role will be in industry, culture and society?

Paolo: I think that the role of design will be increasingly in the direction of the user experience, with the intention of improving the person’s life, not just with new functionality, but with the ease of use.

Martina: I think so too.  In my opinion, interaction design will have a central role in the future of any person.

Damiano: I see the role of a designer finally gaining the importance that it deserves.  People are coming to understand that technology is not just a brain’s matter: it’s a heart’s one too. Only thanks to designers we will achieve a world in which human beings and technology have a virtuous relationship.

 

Thinking about these reflections on the role of design and looking back over your experiences as students and ADAA Finalists, what advice or insight do you have for current design students?

Martina: As a student you should aim to keep a clear focus on your goals and dreams, but to always remain passionate and curious for new things that happen around you.

Paolo: When it comes to designing, the most important thing is to never design from start to finish alone! Discuss your project as many times as possible with different people during the process, so you can see mistakes and opportunities for improvement that often you don’t notice on your own.

Damiano: What I learnt is that you can’t do everything, but there is nothing you can’t learn if you have passion and ambition. So don’t worry too much about your technical skills and try to keep your mind and eyes wide open to the world, even to what is not related to your field. Aim high and don’t refuse any good opportunity, even if it could scare you in the beginning.

 

This impressive team are all finishing their Masters at Iuav University of Venice: Damiano and Paolo are writing their theses in Visual and Multimedia Communication Design, while Martina is doing hers in Interaction Design.  You can learn more about the Whispering Reeds project in our ADAA Gallery.  You can see more of Damiano, Paolo and Martina’s work in their personal portfolios:

http://www.paolobasso.com
http://www.damianogui.com
http://www.martinaemme.com