My first teaching assignment was at Art Center in 1992. Yes, I am that old. At times, I felt like I was banging my head against a concrete wall, but for the last several years, it’s my favorite part of my job. Of course, there are still times when I’d like to throw a chair, but as someone who is there to encourage, inspire, and educate, that would be bad.
Last term’s Communication Design 4 class was a particularly exciting group. Yes, there was the typical range of students: amazing and dedicated, just fine, and stoners (I’m sure everyone is on the pot). This group was heavily slanted toward the amazing side. The class is about research, strategy, identity, systems, and application across multiple media. Thank God I didn’t have to take this in school. It’s hard. I did assignments like a coffee table book version of The Preppy Handbook.
Hanlu Cao made an incredible identity for China Broadcasting based on a changeable Chinese tangram. Shana Torok’s system for MOCA is a circus of energy and ideas. Ellen Flaherty took Bombay Gin and gave it a fresh life. Some of the programs challenged the idea of identity, like Michelle Cho’s poster for a new LAX system. And some were fantastic, stable, and beautiful old school logos like Bo Yeoung Han’s Fuji id. I love Lily Gregorian’s poster for LAX with Betty White and the slogan “Deal with it.” And Paul Hoppe’s identity for the sausage restaurant Wurstkuche, with a logo made from cut paper is genius..
But, nobody should get a fat head. I still felt like throwing chairs when an assignment was late, or my instructions were not followed explicity.