• ArtCenter College of Design will honor three design pioneers forging the next frontier of innovation.

      ArtCenter--By Teri Bond

      Three distinguished alumni will be honored by ArtCenter College of Design at its fall commencement ceremony Saturday, December 18th. The trio, who influence how we live and learn through design innovation, represent the impact of an ArtCenter education on the world. The ceremony, held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

      Groundbreaking aircraft interior designer Michael Reese, class of 1974 in Product Design, will receive the Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of his extraordinary career; educational leader, environmental designer and much-loved 28 year ArtCenter faculty member Rob Ball, class of 1983 in Environmental Design, will be honored with the Outstanding Service award recognizing his significant service to the College; and pioneering industrial designer Jessie Kawata, class of 2011 with an emphasis in Product Design, will receive the Young Innovator award, which honors an alumnus of the past 10 years for notable professional achievement or creative innovation.

      Robbie Nock, director of Alumni Relations says:
      Beyond their impressive professional achievements, which impact our world through human-centered design and innovation, Michael, Rob and Jessie exemplify dedicated alumni who throughout their lives continue to give back to students and the College on many levels. Their collective contributions are illustrative of the close-knit ArtCenter alumni family who make up the most catalytic pipeline of creative talent in the world.

      Michael Reese

      As early as age 16, Michael Reese was excelling in the fields of art and design as a winner of the prestigious General Motors sponsored Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild futuristic automobile design competition. Prior to launching his firm in 1976, he broke new ground with the design of one of the first hand-held digital, educational toys for Texas Instruments and worked in the aerospace industry as a design engineer for General Dynamics. Best known for his innovative aircraft interior designs, Reese and his firm achieved world-class status specializing in the design of private luxury aircraft interiors customized for an international clientele. His recent personal design projects include creating custom built bodies to realize his vision of the ideal Porsche speedster and the restoration of an historic fly-fishing ranch in Colorado. The Reese Foundation, provides financial support to the visual arts, education and the environment.

      Rob Ball

      One of the most loved and respected instructors on campus, Rob Ball teaches in the undergraduate and graduate Environmental Design programs. He is an industrial and exhibit design consultant with expertise in interpretive environments, spatial experience, media, graphics, lighting, interactive and set design. He’s especially interested in story driven concepts and education-based sensory experiences. “No one puts in more hours, or works harder than Rob Ball on behalf of our students,” said David Mocarski, chair of the Environmental Design department.

      Jessie Kawata

      Jessie Kawata is lead industrial designer and creative strategist in the Advanced Design Engineering group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her passion for design, science and sustainability led her to JPL where she helped to pioneer their first in-house design studio. With a background in product design, she spearheaded the integration of design thinking, creative methodologies and strategic storytelling as the first lead mission architecture creative strategist in JPL’s Innovation Foundry.

      The ArtCenter Alumni Awards are an annual recognition bestowed by the College and the Office of Alumni Relations, with input from the internal ArtCenter community and global alumni community nearly 20,000 strong and growing. Honoring outstanding graduates is an opportunity for ArtCenter to recognize the extraordinary talent, impressive service and influential reach of its alumni. The awards are presented at the close of the fall term during commencement each December.

      *The ceremony will be live streamed here.

      Pasadena-based writer Teri Bond is an L.A. native who enjoys the adrenaline rush of riding waves, speeding down ski runs and singing in front of kind audiences at local cabarets.


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