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    SCREENING AND CONVERSATION with Margaret Prescod, Founder, Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders and host of “Sojourner Truth” on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK.
    Nana Gyamfi, Lawyer-Black Lives Matter, Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders.

  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Oliver Payne, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Kimberli Meyer trained as an architect and an artist, and has been the director of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House in West Hollywood since 2002. She has initiated and curated many programs there, including the exhibitions How Many Billboards?

  • Industry Spotlight

    Oct 15| Special Event

    An advertising creative director for more than 25 years, Otis alumnus Josh Weltman was the Mad Men co-producer responsible for Don Draper's credibility as an advertising genius.

    Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the hit series, plus hear key insights from Weltman's new book Seducing Strangers: How to Get People to Buy What You're Selling.

  • Please join the Digital Media Department for a lecture by  Alina Chau.
    Chau is an Animator, Illustrator and Storyboard artist who has worked with Lucasfilm Animation, Technicolor Interactive Services, and Electronic Arts.  
    Alina Chau received her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. She spent over a decade working in the animation industry. Her most notable credit is on LucasFilm’s Emmy Award Winning program, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Yutaka Makino. He lives and works in Berlin.  Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.


Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud, Common Studio

Dec 16, 2013
Guerilla Gardening
Spotlight Category: Alumni

Daniel Phillips (’08 Architecture/Landscape/Interiors) and Kim Karlsrud (’07 Product Design)
 of COMMONstudio

Daniel and Kim created Greenaid, a Los Angeles-based social enterprise that makes guerilla gardening efforts easier and more accessible to the general public.  Seedbombs are the weapon of choice -  small nuggets of clay, compost, and native seeds that are thrown (and grown) in otherwise neglected corners of the urban landscape.  The Greenaid vending machine offers the public instant and affordable access to seedbombs at over 100 locations (and counting) worldwide, and Greenaid seedbombs are hand-rolled in Culver City using local materials, sustainable packaging, and socially responsible labor.  Working in partnership with Chrysalis, a local non-profit, Greenaid offers employment opportunities and a living wage to formerly homeless or economically disadvantaged men and women.

It happened organically and a little accidentally – it didn’t start off as a entrepreneurial ambition, but a means of realizing a design idea in the face of a recession. After experiencing the frustration and lack of opportunities within our fields we tried to stay proactive and engaged through collaborating (together and otherwise) on projects we found interesting. We’ve found that when you start with local issues and needs, rather than clients, the projects are way more relevant, meaningful, impact-oriented and fun. Sure the economy is bad right now, but that means there’s huge opportunities for new types of creative and responsible industries to emerge – and if you’re willing to take a risk for something you believe in, there’s always a way to make it happen.

What we soon realized was that it’s relatively easy to do one copy of something, and it’s a whole new ball game when you suddenly have to think about doing more.  Our breakthrough moment was when we were introduced to the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com. We raised $10,000 through Kickstarter which enabled us to establish an initial presence in L.A. To date, we’ve over 100 Greenaid dispensers across the U.S. Mexico, Canada, and Europe.  We estimate that we’ve distributed about 75 million native seeds into the world using seedbombs.

Otis provided a curriculum that was rigorous without being too rigid.  It was flexible enough and small enough to nurture the passions and unique approaches of the individual.  There was a lot of room to find your own way.  No school can completely prepare you for what everyone faces after graduation, but it was at Otis that we learned to combine our creative instincts with the ability to act upon them in strategic ways, and that’s made the difference for us.


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