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Allan Chochinov is a partner at Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts. He is the editor-in-chief of Core77.com, the widely read design website, Coroflot.com design job and portfolio site, and DesignDirectory.com design firm database. ADC caught up with Allan to learn more about his personal path to success, how teaching adds perspective to the work he does, and what he's done to complete the Core77 "ecosystem". (Allan, and the Core77 Network, are supporters of the ADC Job Board, Designism, and ADC Young Guns.) Interview by Regan Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADC: You worked on design projects as a consultant prior to Core77, can you tell me about that?
AC: When I was a graduate industrial design student at Pratt Institute in 1986, I began a thesis project on the design of a stick-proof hypodermic needle. There was a lot of fear (and not a lot of protection) around HIV transmission in the healthcare environment at that time, and it was some of the most challenging and gratifying work I'd ever done. I was privileged to work for Tanaka Kapec Design Group, a design consultancy in Connecticut with a concentration in medical, for 6 years after I graduated, and then I consulted for various clients for several years after that. I really enjoyed the diversity in the work.
At a certain point I was doing a lot of work for Herman Miller--much of it with Eric Ludlum and then Stuart Constantine, co-founders of Core77--and as that work increased, so did the traffic and activities at Core77.com and Coroflot.com. Ultimately the three of us formed a new partnership, and currently the consulting portion of our business comes in the form of design competitions and events. I miss the other kinds of consulting actually, but the websites keep us more than busy.
ADC: I read that you attended the University of Toronto for undergrad. Are you in fact Canadian?
AC: I am indeed Canadian (we're everywhere!), but I've shed most of the tell-tale signs since I've been living in the United States for so long. Every now and then someone will catch me with word or a pronunciation, but they're few and far between these days. Now it's Pat Kiernan (of NY1) taking all the glory.
ADC: Now, tell me about Coroflot.com? Core77.com concentrates on product, or industrial design, but Coroflot is a place for designers of all stripes.
AC: It's true that Core77 is home to industrial designers, and it's a community popular with both design professionals and design students the world over. Coroflot represents designers in all disciplines of design--from print and interactive to exhibit and architecture. We just passed 145,000 portfolios at the site (a thriving community of amazing individuals), and have hundreds of design jobs from companies like Nike, Apple, Procter & Gamble and Autodesk. Coroflot is a place for "creative work" in both senses: It offers designers a home to establish an online profile and portfolio (their "work"), and it offers employers a job posting network to help them find the best talent out there for their creative "work." We are proud to power the Art Directors Club job board, and have been adding new features and functionality to the site on a regular basis.
ADC: What about the DesignDirectory? How does that fit in as your third site?
AC: The DesignDirectory.com site completes our ecosystem by providing a place for design firms to list their company profiles and portfolios of work (currently there are over 8,000 firms). It's a great place for corporations interested in design and innovation services to find design firms, and it's also a great place for designers looking for work to research firms to hit up. Also, we have partnered with the Designers Accord--a coalition of designers, corporations and educators working together to create positive environmental and social impact--so that design firms can adopt the accord at DesignDirectory.com, and also so that companies can more easily find firms that have committed themselves to sustainable design practice.
ADC: Is there a new competition series or lecture series coming up?
AC: We're in the midst of a bit of a design competition and event frenzy right now, with two graphic design-intensive competitions (around snowboards and sport kayaks), and a Coroflot Creative Employment Confab series taking place in four cities around the United States. We had one at ADC, actually, and the next one will take place in San Francisco on September 9th.
ADC: You were co-chair of ADC's 2009 Interactive Student Portfolio Review which was a big success. Overhear anything interesting that day among the students or the reviewers?
AC: I really enjoyed taking part in that event, along with co-chair Liz Danzico. I remember mentioning in our opening remarks to "make sure the person visiting you gets to talk a lot…that people often have a fond memory of a meeting if they are the ones doing most of the talking!" But now I'm not sure that was such good advice - there were a lot of pretty quiet designers in there!
ADC: You teach courses in the graduate departments of Pratt and SVA, what have you learned from your students?
AC: I've learned a ton. I've been teaching at Pratt for almost 15 years now (yikes!) and I just started at SVA last year. Although I only teach only once a week at each school, I've found teaching to be one of the most impactful ways I can contribute to the field of design. The best class is when the group takes on a life of its own, and when the one-to-many pedagogy fades away. Right now, I'm teaching a seminar class at Pratt where we discuss contemporary issues in design and have a ton of invited guests. Since the class is large (sometimes as many as 26 students), it's been a bit tricky getting everyone involved in the conversation. At SVA, I teach a crash-course in three-dimensional design, so it's a studio course with intense crits. The course takes place in the very first semester of the two-year program, so the students are a bit wary of being critical to one another. There's a lot of time spent on how to present design work and how to give feedback as a result, but it's pretty hard to hide--I tell them, "come prepared to talk."
ADC: What is your advice for job seekers?
AC: My advice for job seekers is consistent with many others': It's really about meeting as many people as you possibly can and finding a good match--for both of you. Especially in this economic climate, it's easy for a design firm to tell you that they're not hiring right now, so my first suggestion is to frame your pitch as an "informational visit;" that you've heard a lot about the firm, or that you admire the firm, and would really, REALLY, like to come visit. Sometimes that takes the pressure off them--maybe they're slow that week and you sound interesting on the phone--and they might just invite you in. The key is to do anything you can not to make it a cold call. Use any in you have--your alma mater, a colleague, someone who visited your school when you were a student. If you can say "so-and-so suggested that I give you a call" it will be so much better than you sending in a résumé and hoping the phone will ring.
Lastly, tell us your 3 favorite:
- SauceSea shrimp cocktail glasses. Our family had a bunch growing up; you can still collect 'em, but the new design of the glass isn't as nice. I used them to drink Beep.
- Castiglioni Arco Lamp. I don't own one, but it's one of the objects I covet and dream of having one day. It probably has more worth to me as an aspiration than as a possession anyway.
- Brass compass/sundial: I was just in Williamsburg (the colonial one) last week, and I got this at one of the shops. It's not really old, but nicely distressed. We took it outside right away and tried it out with our daughter. Indeed, we were charmed by it's performance and accuracy (though it didn't know about daylight saving time!).
- Until the End of the World
- Once Upon a Time in America
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
- John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany
- Daniel Eatock Imprint
- Stone Soup
Websites to browse:
- Chez Brigitte, which sadly closed last year
- Los Dos Molinos
- The Four Seasons. Pretentious to have this on the list, but I'll suffer the ridicule. It's been said many times: "If for no other reason than the awe-inspiring room…"
July's spotlight question: What do you get out of volunteering at ADC?
Receive a gift from ADC & Moleskine just by renewing your ADC Membership
Moleskine is a brand that identifies a family of notebooks, diaries, and city guides: flexible and brilliantly simple tools for use both in everyday and extraordinary circumstances,. Moleskine was created as a brand in 1997, bringing back to life the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two century: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin. Renew today and receive your gift by mail. Applies to all types of ADC Memberships.
Hurry, available only while supply lasts!
Discount from Adobe: Take Advantage
This offer has been extended. Order before August 31, 2009, and save 15% off full version and $100 US off upgrades in the North American online Adobe Store. ADC Members, login to your account to take advantage now.
ADC's 87th Annual Awards Traveling Exhibition's Final Stop
School of Visual Concepts
On view now through Friday, July 31, 2009
500 Aurora Ave. N.
Stay tuned for announcements regarding the 88th Annual Awards Traveling Exhibition!
Henry Wolf Summer Photography Workshop Reception and Exhibition
Saturday, July 18, 2009
25 area High School students were chosen to learn from top New York City photographers. The students' work will be on view for one night in ADC Gallery. ADC members, family and friends are invited to view the work of these extraordinary High School students. Open event.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
@ ADC Gallery
106 West 29th Street, NYC
Computers donated by: TekServe
Sahre, Victore, Wilker Workshop descends upon ADC
July 19-25, 2009
Six intensive days with Paul Sahre, James Victore and Jan Wilker at ADC. Participants from around the world will collaborate to reconsider their working processes and to push their ideas: hands-on design challenges, guest speakers, critiques, surprise trips, micro-exhibitions, and more. Registration is now closed. To hear about future SVW workshops, please e-mail Robyn at email@example.com to be placed on the mailing list.
ADC Young Guns @ Apple Store: Keetra Dean Dixon
Monday, July 27, 2009
On the last Monday in July, August and September of 2009, select ADC Young Guns winners will be presenting their work at the Apple Store in SoHo. First up: Keetra Dean Dixon.
Keetra Dean Dixon is a designer and artist working under the handle FromKeetra. Her socially-themed messaging, objects & installations have gained notoriety for their friendly absurdism and whimsical tone. Dixon's work has been recognized on several fronts including a place in the permanent design collection at the SFMOMA, works exhibited for the '09 U.S. Presidential Inauguration, and an upcoming solo exhibit at London's KKOutlet.
Monday, July 27, 2009
6:30 - 7:30 PM
Apple Store SoHo
103 Prince Street, NYC
Free, no reservation required.
Graphic Design, Referenced
By Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit
Graphic Design, Referenced is a visual and informational guide to the most commonly referenced terms, historical moments, landmark projects, and influential practitioners in the field of graphic design. With more than 2,000 design projects illustrating more than 400 entries, it provides an intense overview of the varied elements that make up the graphic design profession through a unique set of chapters: principles defines the very basic foundation of what constitutes graphic design to establish the language, terms, and concepts that govern what we do and how we do it, covering layout, typography, and printing terms; knowledge explores the most influential sources through which we learn about graphic design from the educational institutions we attend to the magazines and books we read; representatives gathers the designers who over the years have proven the most prominent or have steered the course of graphic design in one way or another; and practice highlights some of the most iconic work produced that not only serve as examples of best practices, but also illustrate its potential lasting legacy. Graphic Design, Referenced serves as a comprehensive source of information and inspiration by documenting and chronicling the scope of contemporary graphic design, stemming from the middle of the twentieth century to today.
Henry Wolf Summer Photography Workshop Kicks Off July 13
This year the Workshop will be led by photographer Tom Starkweather, a native of Northern Virginia. Tom now lives in New York City and since 2007 he has been shooting documentary projects, portraits and weddings. His work has been published in the New York Times and magazines and newspapers throughout the world.
The ADC Henry Wolf Summer Photography Workshop guest lecturers will include: Aaron Taylor, Donna Svennevik and Myriam Abdelaziz. We are very enthusiastic about the great line-up of photographers!
For more information on Tom check out www.tomstarkweather.com. The image to the left is from the The New York Times Photo Series: Shrinking Portals to the Past.
88th Annual Award Winners now online
Check out this year's Gold, Silver, Bronze, ADC Hybrid Cube, ADC Design Sphere Cube, and Merit winners online here.
View by category, award, agency, country and more. The winning work will be included in the Art Directors Annual 88, to be published by RotoVision SA in November 2009.
Free Seminar at Noble Desktop
Noble Desktop is offering two seminars available exclusively for ADC Members & their friends!
ADC Free Seminar: How to Send HTML Email
Monday, July 27, 6-8pm
ADC Free Seminar: Moving from Print to Web
Wednesday, July 29, 6-8pm
Sign up by going here.
About Noble Desktop:
Noble Desktop has been teaching courses in desktop publishing and web design since 1991. They currently offer comprehensive day and evening classes in QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Web Site Creation (featuring HTML and Adobe Dreamweaver), Adobe Flash, and Final Cut Pro. Noble is located at 594 Broadway, Suite 1202 in New York City.
Collaborate and Barter
Bartering has always been popular especially during times of economic downturn from the Great Depression to today. Designer Kristina Critchlow, a presenter at last month's ADC Reboot: Design event, noticed a unique opportunity in the current economic environment, so she developed Swap Hive. This website provides a place for creative people to collaborate, barter, and get noticed by potential employers while providing an opportunity to network and meet other creative professionals.
88th Annual Awards Exhibition and Party Photos
View photos of ADC's 88th Annual Awards Exhibition and the Exhibition's Opening party, which took place on June 4, 2009. The 88th Annual Awards Exhibition will now embark on a global tour!
Open for Business: Sosolimited Remixes to Form a New Consultancy Firm
After seven years at the Cambridge-based Small Design Firm, Eric Gunther, Justin Manor, and John Rothenberg have decided to go full time with Sosolimited, their media performance group, and turn their moonlighting gig into their day job. Sosolimited will be an art and design consultancy. Their efforts will be focused on permanent design and art works and in their new practice these three hope to take an open source approach to software development and design.
In recent news, ReConstitution, their live presidential debate remix, won an Honorable Mention at Ars Electronica. They were honored to be part of the Cyberarts Festival where Ascenders & Descenders, a typographic reinterpretation of Merce Cunningham and OpenEnded Group's Loops project was an official selection. One member of the team, John Rothenberg, is also an ADC Young Gun 5. Sosolimited performed their live remix ReConstitution on October 7, 2008 (the second McCain-Obama Presidential Debate) at ADC to a packed Gallery. ADC wishes Sosolimited the best of luck!
Hall of Fame Laureate Maira Kalman's Recent Contribution to The New York Times
Maira Kalman is an illustrator, author and designer whose last column for Op-Extra, "The Principles of Uncertainty," ran from May of 2006 to April of 2007 and has been published as a book. She has written and illustrated 12 children's books, and her artwork is featured in a recent edition of Strunk and White's "Elements of Style." She recently created a panel story for The Rosenbach Museum and Library's 21st-Century Abe Web project. Her work is shown at the Julie Saul Gallery in Manhattan. Kalman lives in New York City and teaches graduate courses in design at SVA. "And the Pursuit of Happiness," about American democracy, will appear on the last Friday of each month. Last month Kalman shared her visit to Monticello.
Art Amaya: Astoria, NY
Yon Joo Choi: Jersey City, NJ
Erica Yujin Choi: Old Tappan, NJ
Kathryn Clark: Bradenton, FL
Kristofer Delaney: Brooklyn, NY
Kimberly Easley: Brooklyn, NY
Keith Endow: Ellicott City, MD
Roxanne Feldman: Highland Heights, OH
June Gonzales: NY, NY
Stacy Hirschheimer: Morristown, NJ
Nazmul Howlader: Annandale, VA
Peninna Jeruzalmi: Tarrytown, NY
Emily Kowzan: NY, NY
Deuk Gyu Lee: NY, NY
Michael Lee: NY, NY
Sarah Loffler: Spring Valley, CA
Yi-Fan Lu: Brooklyn, NY
Gab Marcelli: Roma, Italy
Liana Marqueen: Jamaica Est, NY
Helmut Meyer: Frankfurt, Germany
Marisa Montano: Fishkill, NY
Hamon Nasiri Honarvar: Muenster, Germany
Cindy Ng: NY, NY
Karen Parry: NY, NY
Odoardo Rodriguez: Miami, FL
Jin Ryu: Brooklyn, NY
David Schaefer: Guttenberg, NJ
Emily Suber: Oak Park, IL
Jessica Sudalnik: NY, NY
Nichola Taylor: NY, NY
Elizabeth Ackerman Valins: NY, NY
Alec Vianu: NY, NY
Seitaro Yamazaki: Tokyo, Japan
Dami You: Brooklyn, NY
Dana Zahavi: NY, NY
designates a CUBE member.
ADC members - this is your place to share. The newsletter is published monthly. The deadline for submissions for the August newsletter is July 24. Send news or inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Newsletter.
Consider the ADC gallery for your next event
The ADC Gallery can accommodate up to 430 guests and is handicap accessible.
Location: 106 West 29th Street
(Just West of 6th Avenue)
Closest subway stops are 1/9 or R/W to 28th St.
To view event photos visit ADC's online photo albums.
For more information click here.
For further questions or to make an appointment, please contact Olga Grisaitis at email@example.com.
The Art Directors Club is the premier organization for integrated media and the first international creative collective of its kind. Founded in New York in 1920, ADC is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to Connect, Provoke and Elevate world changing ideas. It focuses on the highest standards of excellence and integrity in visual communications for the industry, and encourages students and young professionals entering the field. ADC provides a forum for creatives in Advertising, Design, Interactive Media and Communications to explore the direction of these rapidly converging industries.
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