All in the Details


    Costume renderings. Photo by Annelyn Ayran.

    It’s four days out from opening night and B.F.A. Costume Design student Shelby Lionella has a laundry list of alterations and decisions to make before the first technical, or in-costume, rehearsal. Altering dresses and pants, labeling shoes for the actors, organizing a quick-change protocol, meeting with the director and production team; the list goes on. But for this moment, her focus is on buttons.

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    Fashion Meets Augmented Reality


    School of Fashion graduate Aastha Shah takes part in a Project Runway AR 2.0 app test. Photo courtesy of Peggy Kuo.

    There’s never a shortage of interesting projects going on at Academy of Art University. In more recent years, the School of Game Development (GAM) has embraced concepts bridging the department’s ability to create interactive technology with other fields: Think landscape design, web design, communications and more. 

    Will Anielewicz, an Academy graduate advisor working primarily with the School of Animation & Visual Effects, is piloting a project that would marry fashion and augmented reality (AR) technology. Using graphic hardware, tracking markers are placed on garments so when viewed through an AR app on a mobile device or tablet, animations appear on top of the designs.

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    School of Fashion Alumnus Makes a Statement on 'Project Runway'

    Brandon Kee, 2016 B.F.A. menswear design graduate, spoke candidly with Academy Art U News about his Project Runway experience


    Brandon Kee stars in Project Runway season 16, airing on Lifetime. Photo by Barbara Nitke. Copyright 2017.

    Out of the 16 hopefuls on the 16th season of Lifetime series Project Runway, Brandon Kee was the quietest. Just a year removed from school, Kee, a 2016 B.F.A. menswear design alumnus from the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University, kept to himself and stayed above the drama of the show. Working with a “tunnel vision” focus, Kee’s designs dominated the catwalk and awed judges week after week. Kee didn’t need to use words to say anything – his clothes already said plenty for him.

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    Molding a Legacy

    Sculpture instructors and alumni are creating a street-level monument of famed social activist Norman Lear


    Schifrin works on getting Lear’s expression just right for the monument. Photo courtesy of Peter Schifrin.


    The values of Academy of Art University are not simply rooted in fostering artists who make art, but in artists who make a statement. There may not be a better person who emulates that value than legendary television producer and social activist Norman Lear. So what better sculptors than instructors and alumni from the School of Fine Art - Sculpture at the Academy to create the first Lear monument of its kind in the country.

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    Shaping the Future With Stories

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    Illustration by Eda Kaban.

    There’s not an adult who doesn’t remember a children’s book that vividly captured their imagination as a child and connected them to literature. A book whose illustrations brought that story to life. This is the role of a children’s book illustrator and this year, four connected to Academy of Art University’s School of Illustration (ILL) were honored for their excellence in the impactful art of visual storytelling. 

    “Children’s books shape the future of every young reader,” said Chuck Pyle, ILL director. “Our artists are very driven, smart and passionate storytellers whose work is being recognized as the best of the best.”

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    Creating a Positive Social Impact Through Design

    LAN student Nahal Sohbati shared her design process for Ridge Lane Park in an inspiring lecture


    School of Landscape Architecture graduate student Nahal Sohbati gives a presentation during her department’s 2017 Speaker Series. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Look out landscape architecture, here comes Nahal Sohbati. On the cusp of graduating this month with her master’s degree, Sohbati will soon take her industry by storm and bring with her the ideals she implemented in her award-winning Ridge Lane Park project. 

    Sohbati imparted her experience and ideologies on her fellow Academy of Art University students during the School of Landscape Architecture’s (LAN) Speaker Series on Nov. 2. 

    “We are incredibly proud of her work,” said Jeff McLane, LAN director, as he introduced Sohbati to a live and online audience at The Cannery. “It’s amazing to see student work that actually becomes real. I hope this inspires all of you to go out and create.”

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