70 episodes

ArtCenter College of Design’s bi-weekly podcast features intimate interviews with leading artists examining the ideas fueling their work and how the creative process can be a catalyst for change—personally, professionally and globally. Hosted by ArtCenter President, Lorne M. Buchman, these conversations examine the many ways in which artists and designers are enriching our lives. ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education; and our mission statement—Learn to create. Influence change—lies at the center of all we do.

Change Lab: Conversations on Transformation and Creativity ArtCenter College of Design, hosted by ArtCenter President Lorne M. Buchman

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 59 Ratings

ArtCenter College of Design’s bi-weekly podcast features intimate interviews with leading artists examining the ideas fueling their work and how the creative process can be a catalyst for change—personally, professionally and globally. Hosted by ArtCenter President, Lorne M. Buchman, these conversations examine the many ways in which artists and designers are enriching our lives. ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education; and our mission statement—Learn to create. Influence change—lies at the center of all we do.

    Karen Hofmann on building an accessible, affordable and inclusive education

    Karen Hofmann on building an accessible, affordable and inclusive education

    To many of our listeners, this guest needs no introduction. She is someone who has burst through seemingly impenetrable ceilings – glass and otherwise – to claim leadership roles historically held by men. She rose through the ranks as a strategic industrial designer before returning to ArtCenter, her alma mater, for a transformative stint as Chair of our Product Design department. She was also a driving force behind ArtCenter’s innovative DesignStorm program, through which major brands engage our students in developing new products and ideas. 
    The force of nature I’m describing here is none other than ArtCenter Provost and President-elect, Karen Hofmann, who is the first woman to serve in either of those roles. On a personal and professional level, I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in leading this College through the uncertainties of Covid-19 and the enormous logistical, creative, social and emotional adjustments that went along with the transition to remote learning and back. Thanks in no small part to Karen’s dedication and unflagging optimism, we’ve emerged stronger and better equipped to face the future than we’ve ever been. And, come July, Karen will be poised to build on those achievements when she takes office, upon my retirement, as ArtCenter’s first female president.
    Throughout her tenure as provost, Karen tackled a set of complex challenges with an eye toward ensuring ArtCenter’s health and longevity. Karen managed to keep calm and carry on, facing each new obstacle with a solution-minded determination that is the hallmark of every great designer. In fact, it was almost as if she was making the case, in real time, that there is no better person to lead ArtCenter through the uncertainties that lie ahead.
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    • 49 min
    Jackie Amezquita on migration, memory and making art

    Jackie Amezquita on migration, memory and making art

    When we first heard from Jackie Amezquita four years ago, she was an ArtCenter Fine Art student on the cusp of graduating. In a raw and revealing interview, she traced the arduous path she’d walked to find the stability she needed to risk everything for her art. 

    Her remarkable journey (captured in E14 of Change Lab) began in her native Guatemala, where surging violence and poverty had forced Jackie’s mother to migrate to the United States to provide for her family. At age seventeen, Jackie followed her mother’s footsteps to the US (quite literally), and barely survived a dangerous border crossing. After years spent working as an undocumented nanny to put herself through community college, Jackie eventually earned her Bachelor of Fine Art at ArtCenter. Her thesis project drew international media coverage when she bravely embarked on a second grueling walk from the Tijuana border all the way to Downtown Los Angeles. 

    The power of her resilience and grit continues to stand out as an example of a purpose-driven artist whose message brilliantly aligns with her chosen medium. We’ve held her story close to our hearts, and the hardships she’s transmuted into art resonated all the more this season as we explore the alchemy of creativity and adversity.

    It’s for those reasons that We’ve asked Jackie to join us as Change Lab’s first returning guest, even as she puts the finishing touches on her MFA thesis at UCLA. We waned to know more about her investigation into grief and displacement, and we were fascinated by the bravery and creative energy it took to revisit her trauma and to give depth and dimension to a painful story that needed to be told.
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    • 41 min
    Aimee Mullins on Finding a World of Possibilities in Every Problem

    Aimee Mullins on Finding a World of Possibilities in Every Problem

    Aimee Mullins is a true polymath. Her passions and professional pursuits are as varied and boundless as the awards and groundbreaking strides she’s achieved within her many chosen fields. She broke new ground in athletics as the first amputee in history to compete against able-bodied athletes in the NCAA’s Division 1 track and field events. She went on to set records in the 100 and 200 meter races and the long jump.
    Her poise and athleticism led to a career in fashion as a runway model for Alexander McQueen and as a global ambassador for L’Oreal. She then added acting to her portfolio with roles in wildly varied projects ranging from artist Matthew Barney’s Cremaster series to Netflix’s Stranger Things. Through it all, Aimee has continued to make sense of the many trails she’s blazed in a series of influential TED talks that have been viewed by millions and translated into 42 languages. 
    It was her paradigm-shifting talk on the “opportunity of adversity” that offered a veritable proof of concept for the ideas we're exploring in this season of Change Lab. Her powerful argument for the creative leaps that result only from the hurdles we face resonated deeply with the idea that the human imagination feeds on challenge and uncertainty – a familiar concept to regular listeners of this podcast. 
    Aimee contends that we meet and exceed our goals because of—not despite—each obstacle we encounter. An insight she’s earned the hard way navigating the world as a double amputee. Her insistence that “good enough” isn’t good enough has led to advances in prosthetic design that would never exist without her. In fact, Aimee contends that disability itself is a misnomer better attributed to a broken piece of machinery than a human being whose differences are the source of their strength. We all have much to learn from Aimee’s self-determination, curiosity and wonder.


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    • 50 min
    Artist Lita Albuquerque on Regeneration After the Fire

    Artist Lita Albuquerque on Regeneration After the Fire

    We’re lucky as artists that we can recover much faster because we can express. Nature recovers and we recover. 
    Lita Albuquerque is an artist whose body of work has often defied the strictures of convention and, ultimately, canvas. Over the course of her celebrated career, her paintings and sculptures outgrew the traditional materials contained within her studio and expanded to inhabit the land and people around her. 
    To experience Lita’s large-scale installations (often tinged in an ultramarine blue pigment all her own) is to dance with dichotomies. At once grounded and transcendent, intimate and epic, earthly and celestial – Lita’s work, above all, is a celebration of how we connect to our environment. 
    It’s a creative worldview that was put to test in November of 2018 when the Woolsey Fire engulfed the hills around Malibu and destroyed her home and studio. Suddenly, the place in which she spent decades raising her kids and making her art was gone, along with a vast archive of completed works and works-in-progress. 
    It was a monumental loss that would have been devastating to any artist—and particularly so for Lita, whose creative imagination has always been intrinsically connected to her environment. But Lita could not let her grief paralyze her because she had to get to work on the long list of pieces previously commissioned by collectors. That backlog turned out to be her saving grace. Eventually she found that the process of creative expression had resurrected the parts of her she feared the fire had claimed forever. 
    Over the course of a Change Lab conversation alternately stirring and sublime, Lita generously retraces the harrowing path she’s walked to a place of recovery and renewal she simply describes as “back.”
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    • 44 min
    Artist Kim Schoenstadt on finding redemption through creativity and kinship

    Artist Kim Schoenstadt on finding redemption through creativity and kinship

    Client hypothetical. This is the term pioneering architect and designer Eileen Gray used to classify the many Modernist masterpieces she designed in the absence of actual paid commissions. She was simply making things because that was what she was made to do. 
    Gray now stands alongside other towering talents whose under-recognized body of work were later exalted by their artworld peers. First among Gray’s admirers is artist Kim Schoenstadt who spent the past two years creating an entire exhibition inspired by the way Gray essentially designed her way through the many challenges laid in her path. 
    Enter Slowly, The Legacy of an Idea, which opened last fall in ArtCenter’s Mullin Gallery, paid homage to Eileen Gray as heroine of Twentieth Century Modernist design despite the fact that her work was often misattributed to her male collaborators and counterparts. Indeed, for much of her life, E-1027, the house she designed in the South of France, was credited to superstar designer, Le Corbusier, who did little to correct the record. 
    Shining a light on Gray’s legacy was a task tailor made for Kim, an artist best known for her “mash-up drawings” layering elements of architecture and history. She’s also demonstrated an equally steadfast commitment to moving the needle toward gender parity in today’s art world through her Now Be Here project.  
    We were particularly fascinated by the idea of an artist who creates a body of work based on the struggles she shares with an artist from another era. It’s an act of deep empathy and bravery and a perfect example of how adversity and creativity often coexist on the path toward redemption.
    Please enjoy this conversation with Kim Schoenstadt

    Selections of music in this episode were provided by Paco Casanova and J.C. Furmanski.
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    • 44 min
    James Meraz on creating a path through unimaginable loss

    James Meraz on creating a path through unimaginable loss

    James Meraz joined the faculty of ArtCenter’s Environmental Design department in September of 2001, shortly before 9/11. In the wake of that tragedy he wavered about how to proceed with his planned curriculum. How would it all be relevant? In the end, he resolved to lean into the uncertainty of that “cataclysmic moment,” realizing that the only way out of the pain, chaos and confusion was to go through it. 
    Above all he discovered the value in staying present and connecting with others when things fall apart. Of course, he had no way of knowing how much he’d come to rely on those same skills when another catastrophe struck much closer to home. 
    In June of 2019, James’ twenty year-old son, Luke, died. James and his wife were immediately thrust into every parent’s worst nightmare. But as they were pummeled with wave after wave of agonizing grief, James eventually felt called to move toward the pain in order to understand the lessons that might benefit him and others – all of which we cover in our Change Lab interview that cycled through tears to moments of transcendence.
    James’ journey has been an arduous one. The pain of loss remains an ever-present burden he’s dubbed “the backpack.” But by bringing his creativity to bear on an unbearable situation, James has discovered opportunities for reinvention and even a kind of rebirth in the projects he’s undertaken to support young artists and vulnerable communities in Luke’s honor. 
    Like the skilled designer he is, James has continued to ask himself the hard questions and has found renewed meaning in the simple act of showing up, even when part of him wants to give up.
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    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
59 Ratings

59 Ratings

Pasadena Feminist ,

Inspiring podcasts on creativity

When I need inspiration I turn to Change Lab as one of the podcasts where I can find it. I am incredibly grateful ArtCenter College of Design started the podcasts with its velvet-voiced intelligent President Dr Lorne Buchman.

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcast!!!

Lorne, host of the Change Lab podcast, highlights all aspects of creativity, transformation and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

alexandralala ,

Expertly produced, inspiring content.

Expertly produced, interesting and inspiring content, and a wonderful and diverse mix of guests. Especially like the way the Lorne easily talks about design and process and love the rich sounds mixed it. Looking forward to next season!

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