Tink Adams was a terrific guy, and he knew exactly what the profession needed in preparing young people to run the world—it needed a school that could address that. We wanted to be leaders in the field, so it wasn’t a matter of training, but a matter of truly understanding. A school like ours was unusual back in those days.Don KublyArtCenter President
We moved to the Hillside Campus in Pasadena in 1976, into an iconic building designed by the modernist architectural firm Craig Ellwood Associates. In the 1980s, we were the first design school to install computer labs, spearheading the revolution in digital design. More recently, ArtCenter has focused on design’s potential to generate positive social change and improve people’s lives through our groundbreaking Designmatters educational program. In 2003, we became the first design school to receive Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status by the United Nations Department of Public Information.
We have long taken a global view of the importance of design and art, and from 1986 to 1996, had a second campus in Vevey, Switzerland. Today, we continue to leverage opportunities as they arise in the world, sending our students to work on projects across Europe, Asia and Central and South America, in order to address particular design challenges.
Closer to home, our Public Programs reflect our philosophy of design being integral to all aspects of life and being accessible to the surrounding community. The Public Programs administrative team is based at our South Campus—a former aviation wind tunnel—opened in 2004. South Campus is also home to our Graduate Art and Media Design Practices programs.
In 2014, ArtCenter expanded South Campus by renovating a neighboring former post office building, effectively doubling the size of our downtown Pasadena location. The new facility provides dedicated space for our Fine Art and Illustration students, with a professional Printmaking Studio, added classrooms, individual studio spaces, shared exhibition spaces and a sculpture yard.
The most recent acquisition at South Campus, now spanning seven urban acres, is a six-story office building at 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway. The addition of the office building completes an eclectic trio of structures that have found vibrant new life as classroom, studio, exhibition and administrative spaces serving the needs of a growing student body.
We remain focused on our core educational mission of developing creative leaders and innovators in art and design. We’re leading the way with cross-disciplinary programs and studios that prepare students within and outside their chosen fields.
Our story is one that continues to unfold—and to be told.