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Otis College of Art and Design Receives Major Grant for Academic Computing from The Ahmanson Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Please contact John Axtell for inquiries and photos 310-665-6857 jaxtell@otis.edu

Digital media upgrades will enhance classroom and studio instruction, serving Otis College of Art and Design’s entire student body.
Digital Media Lab

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) February 28, 2014

Otis College of Art and Design has been awarded a major grant for digital media upgrades that will enhance classroom and studio instruction, serving the College’s entire student body. Specifically, the funds provide for upgrades to digital media control systems in traditional classrooms as well as the first digitally enhanced studio spaces on-campus. The project, scheduled for completion in Fall 2014, exemplifies the collegial spirit ever present on the Otis campus as it brings together information systems, library, and liberal arts and sciences staff under the direction of Academic Computing Director Felipe Gutiérrez.

Keeping students focused and attentive to detail during lengthy studio classes is a prime concern for Dave Schultze, now in his 11th year of teaching toy design at Otis. A licensed architect, principal of SchultzeWORKS design studio, and instructor of the first Rhinoceros (Rhino) software course for Lynda.com, the industry leader in online digital education, Schultze says his classes on 3D visualization would not be possible without the College’s strong academic computing services. His students learn the principles of three-dimensional design by developing simple, imaginative objects—robots, vehicles, spaceships, and toy figurines—using the most sophisticated applications—Rhino, V-Ray, Bongo, Photoshop, and AfterFX.

Schultze explains that digital design has progressed over three decades but high resolution projectors have only been available in the past few years. Picture clarity is crucial for students that watch his detailed demonstrations of techniques for building 3D models and processes for 3D rendering, animation, and compositing, as well as for critiques of their own work, which is uploaded to the College’s online Learning Management System, O-Space, or the video-sharing website Vimeo. The ultimate goal is job preparedness. Schultze explains, “With respect to technology, the classrooms at Otis and the workplace are one in the same. I give my students a very real world experience. It is very deep software, all the stuff I teach. I want my students to start using it so they can be competitive. If you don’t know 3D, you’re going to have an impossible time getting a job as a designer. I am trying to get them to a level of competency so they can exceed expectations on their first job.”

Fast approaching its centennial anniversary, Otis is investing in state-of-the-art technology that would have been unimaginable at the time of its founding in 1918. From its leadership as an early adopter of tablet display technology with classrooms dedicated for teaching on Wacom’s Cintiq line, to liberal arts and sciences courses offered on iPads, and now wireless digital presentation systems in both traditional classrooms and art studios, information technology underlies Otis’ commitment to academic excellence.

The Ahmanson Foundation is a longstanding, generous supporter of Otis. In addition to this award for new academic computing technology, the Foundation established an endowed scholarship fund, The Ahmanson Foundation Graduate Scholarship, and also provides annual support to the Otis Student Scholarship Fund through both undergraduate scholarships and the Ahmanson Veteran Scholarship Initiative, providing support to recruit, retain, and educate student veterans.

About the Ahmanson Foundation
The Ahmanson Foundation primarily serves Los Angeles County and awards grants for cultural projects in the arts and humanities, education, health care, programs focusing on the homeless and underserved populations, and a wide range of human services. Additional information is available at theahmansonfoundation.org.

About Otis

Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design is a national leader in art and design education. The College mission is to prepare diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. Alumni and faculty are Fulbright, MacArthur, and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, legendary costume designers, leaders of contemporary art movements, and design stars at Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pixar, DreamWorks, Mattel, Nike, and Disney.
 
Otis enrolls approximately 1,100 full-time students, and offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Architecture/Landscape/Interiors, Digital Media (Game and Entertainment Design, Animation, and Motion Design), Fashion Design, Communication Arts (Graphic Design, Illustration, and Advertising Design), Fine Arts (Painting, Photography, and Sculpture/New Genres), Product Design, and Toy Design.  Otis also awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Public Practice, and Writing.   

The five-acre main campus is located on L.A.’s Westside near the beach and LAX; Fashion Design is in the heart of the downtown fashion district; and the Graduate Studios are on the Creative Corridor in nearby Culver City and in the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

2,700 adults and children participate in Continuing Education art and design classes and workshops.