The MDP/Lab Summer Research Residency is granted to a creative practioner or team whose experimental design work engages emerging issues in science, technology, and culture. The winning proposal—to be selected by a jury that includes Pedro Gadanho, Yuri Suzuki, Elise Co and Ben Hooker—should demonstrate how design/making can be used as a mode of inquiry and critical engagement.
Call for Proposals
This call for proposals welcomes designers, filmmakers, architects, artists, hardware sketchers and software developers to submit proposals for design-driven research projects to be conducted in Summer 2013 in residence in the MDP studio—a former supersonic jet testing facility called The Wind Tunnel—at Art Center’s south campus in Pasadena, California.
In the MDP, we define “media” broadly. (see Tim Durfee’s blog post on this subject) Therefore, the residency is open to a range of disciplinary perspectives and practices. Projects that are the best fit will address some aspect of media, network, or digital culture; pervasive computing; information and communication technology; screen culture; or social media – as part of the subject or process of the work.
Given the modest budget and time frame, we consider this an opportunity to explore a discrete question as part of a larger investigation and/or an opportunity to test a new idea. Applicants should demonstrate an ability to successfully document and disseminate experimental design and research projects.
We cannot fund commercial projects – projects for which the researcher is being paid by a client – however we are not averse to projects that have potential commercial applications. The residency is not suitable for the latter stages of a project’s “finish.” To be considered, projects must allow for discovery through making during the residency period. The research page of this site shows past residents and faculty research projects that we have supported.
Each year we select a jury whose eclecticism reflects the MDP approach and interests. Based on the merits and fit of each proposal, ten finalists are selected, which are then blind reviewed by the jury.
Pedro Gadanho is an architect, curator and writer currently based in New York where he is the Curator for Contemporary Architecture at the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. He was the editor-in-chief of Beyond, Short Stories on the Post-Contemporary – a bookazine started in 2009 through Sun Architecture, and is the author of Arquitectura em Público (Dafne, 2011). He taught at the Oporto Faculty of Architecture, and from 2000 to 2003 he was a co-director of ExperimentaDesign. He was the curator of international shows such as Space Invaders, for the British Council, London, and Pancho Guedes, An Alternative Modernist, for the Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel. Most recently, he integrated the Advisory Panel for the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010, and was the co-organizer of the 1st International Conference on Architecture and Fiction – Once Upon a Place. He was recently profiled in the New York Times.
Yuri Suzuki is a Japanese-born sound artist and designer currently based in Stockholm and London. From 1999–2005 he worked for Japanese art group Maywa Denki, where he developed a strong interest in music and technology. In 2005 he moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art. During this time he worked for the designer Moritz Waldemeyer and after graduating in 2008 opened his own studio. He is currently showing work in Nowhere_Now Here (Laboral AICC in Asturias, Spain) and presenting his first solo exhibition, The Physical Value Of Sound (Clear Gallery, Tokyo, Japan).
Elise Co is co-founder of Aeolab, a design and technology studio in Los Angeles building dynamic interfaces, generative behaviors and advanced, high-fidelity functional prototypes of alternate/future devices and systems. Co holds a Master of Science degree in Media Arts and Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in architecture from MIT. At the MIT Media lab, Co explored the synthesis of fashion and technology. She is current faculty and thesis advisor in the MDP, and has taught at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Basel, Switzerland; the University of Minnesota; SCI-Arc; and USC. Her work has been shown internationally, including at the Milan Triennale, Istanbul Design Biennial, NEMO Amsterdam, MOMA, SIGGRAPH, and IMRF Tokyo.
Ben Hooker is a multimedia designer and artist who divides his time between consultancy, practice-led research, and teaching. He is partner in Hooker & Kitchen. His work – whether conceptual, experimental, or applied – defines new experiences and aesthetic situations that arise from the intermingling of the phenomenal and intangible worlds of physical materiality and electronic data. He is Associate Professor and Core Faculty in the MDP. Previously he was Visiting Faculty at Intel Research in Berkeley, and Research Fellow and the Royal College of Art, London. He has a BSc in Electronic Imaging and Media Communications, and an MA(RCA) in Computer Related Design.
Residents are given project space within the MDP’s Wind Tunnel studio—a former supersonic jet testing facility renovated by architects Daly-Genik—on the south campus of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
The resident will receive a $5,000 stipend and a $5,000 budget for materials and support along with access to the College’s shops and production facilities ranging from letterpress to video editing to rapid prototyping. The resident will also get to work with a project team of 2–5 graduate student research assistants (media designers/design researchers) for a total of 7 weeks.
Researchers can have access to the studio and facilities from May 13 – August 23, 2013, during which time they are required to be in residence for a minimum of 8 weeks, which must include the weeks of July 1 – August 16.
The MDP will provide dedicated project space. The Wind Tunnel studio is adjacent to the Graduate Art studios and galleries and will be home to at least one other research team, a post-graduate research fellow, MDP research faculty, and students and faculty from the Field track.
Researchers will have access within the studio to a digital shop, desktop and laptop computers, a digital video editing bay, recording equipment, color printers and plotters, projectors and miscellaneous digital devices. Researchers will also have access to the the College Library, the Color, Materials, and Trends Laboratory, and campus workshops for wood, metal, rapid prototyping, letterpress printing, screenprinting, and more.
The South Campus is walking distance to good housing options and shopping. It is adjacent to the MTA Gold Line which provides easy access to Chinatown, Koreatown, and downtown L.A. There is bus service between the South Campus and the main, Hillside Campus.
The Research Interns
MDP/Lab summer research projects offer our students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience doing research in design. Project Proposals should include plans to engage between 2–5 students as research interns and should include a job description and required skills for each position. The students will receive course credit and are available for 4 days per week for a period of 7 weeks (July 1 – August 16).
Students who are eligible to apply for a research internship will have completed at least one year of graduate school. Our students are media designers from varied backgrounds. Skills/experience may include: communication design, video, motion graphics, environmental media, physical computing prototyping, rapid prototyping, programming, and research and writing. Researchers will have the opportunity to review intern applications and may request interviews before selecting interns.
Deliverables and Calendar
Facilities available: May 13 – August 23, 2013, 8 weeks minimum to include July 1 – August 16.
Public project presentation: week of August 13, 2012
Full documentation due: August 24, 2012
Applications are due electronically by midnight, PST, February 13, 2013
Applicants must submit the entire application as a pdf or link by e-mail by midnight, February 13, 2013. The application should include a cv, project form, and 2-page project proposal.
Individuals who will be students at the time of the residency are not eligible, except for doctoral candidates who are ABD. We encourage recent graduates from Masters Programs to apply. Faculty from Art Center College of Design as well as other colleges and universities are encouraged to apply, as are practitioners. Full-time MDP faculty are not eligible, however part-time faculty are.
Art Center will not pay for housing, shipping, or travel to/from Art Center. However we can recommend resources to locate short-term housing and transportation. We recommend that researchers traveling from other cities, and particularly from other countries, plan to arrive 1-2 weeks prior to the start of the residency in order to allow enough time to get situated.
For more information: