Art Center College of Design is a small, private college in the city of Pasadena, California.
The Art Center School was established in 1930, in downtown Los Angeles. A post-war boom of students forced the school to expand, and in 1949, it began awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees in arts. It became accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 1955, and later by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. It became the ArtCenter College of Design in 1965.
The college has two campuses; Hillside Campus – which is designated a historic monument – and South Campus, which opened in 2004.
The college provides undergraduate and postgraduate programs in art and design, including interdisciplinary programs, and courses in advertising, transportation design, illustration and environmental design. It is among the only institutions in the US to offer a major in Interaction Design.
Its film program – established in 1973 – is well-recognised in the industry, and prominent ArtCenter alumni working in film include Michael Bay, Roger Avary, Zack Snyder and Jon Jon Augustavo.
ArtCenter College of Design is recognised for its vocational training, and it provides career support for its students by organising workshops, careers mentoring and work experience. It also provides a vast number of public programs for children and younger students, as well as ‘ArtCenter at Night’; a range of more than 200 adult evening classes.
In 2003, the UN Department of Public Information granted it the status of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), recognising its work in raising awareness of social and humanitarian issues through art and design. ArtCenter College of Design is the first design college to achieve NGO status.
The college has established ArtCenter satellites in other locations, including a studio and classrooms at the ‘ArtCenter at the Peterson’, in the city of Los Angeles, and a permanent studio in Berlin (ArtCenter Berlin).
Its famous logo – the ‘Dot’ – consists of a plain orange circle.