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  • 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
  • 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.”
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Joe Sola (‘99)’s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums including: The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, The Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Andy Warhol Museum  and Kunsthaus Gras, Austria, Museum of Modern Art Jean-Duc, Luxembourg. Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City.  His performances have taken place at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, MOT International in London, 356 Mission Rd, Los Angeles.


History of Product Design

Step 1: Review How to Do Research

You may want to refresh your information literacy skills. Tutorials are available.

Step 2: Finding Information in Online Databases

Oxford Art is an encyclopedia with very good background information. Movements like Bauhaus and Postmodernism will be defined, sometimes in great detail. But don't expect every designer to be listed there. Sometimes a design-specific encyclopedia or biographical dictionary, such as Contemporary Designers located in the Reference section of the Library will include more.

The library does not subscribe to any databases that specifically covers design periodicals.

Art Source (aka Art Index) is an excellent database which broadly covers art and design periodicals. It's available through the link to Databases on all Library web pages. Other good databases to try are ProQuest and eLibrary.

Once you get a list of hits, look at them carefully. You can determine a lot simply by reading the titles. Sometimes you will see an indication about the content of the article, such as that it is an exhibition review. Obituaries are generally not critical, but they are often good summations of an artist's career. Ignore the book reviews and reproductions. Those won't help. Notice that the page numbers are listed. Longer articles will probably be more in-depth. Also, notice if there is an author listed. Reviews by known writers are preferable.

Many databases include "full-text" articles. Although originally published in print, it means that the actual article is reproduced there in plain text or a PDF version. Lucky you. You can read the articles on screen, email them to yourself, or print them.

One problematic aspect about databased articles is that you don't see them in the context of the full magazine. Unless you look at the actual original print version, you may have difficulty evaluating the publication. As design students, it's a good idea to become familiar with as many of these periodicals as you can, so do have a look at some of these magazines on the shelves.

Step 3: Locating Older Journal Articles

You should know by now that you won't always find everything online in full-text.  Some databases have no full-text at all. When you need to locate the print version of a periodical, you can use the Otis collection of back issues, which includes hundreds of bound volumes. Some are in the Stacks and some in the Annex, which requires paging. Some databases have a link to the Otis holdings or OPAC. Or you can look in Library's Magazine Holdings List.

Step 4: Finding Books and Exhibition Catalogs

Use the OPAC to find exhibition catalogs and books about your artist or designer. Sometimes the Table of Contents will be included in the OPAC and there may be a chapter about your designer or movement. Search broadly at first by using the "keyword" search box.

An catalog, by definition, includes lists and images of works from a particular museum or gallery exhibition of the artist's work. They often include essays written by the curator or critics. It's probably an exhibition catalog if it is published by a gallery/museum and if the word "exhibitions" appears in the subject field. Sometimes the date of the exhibition appears in the title field.

Designers don't participate in exhibitions as much as artists do. The types of books you will find with information on designers will include yearbooks and annuals from professional organizations and chapters in books about design.

For a list of possible areas to browse, see also the pathfinder for the Product Design Program.

Step 5: Citing Sources

Once you've found everything and read it, you're ready to type up your bibliography. Use the categories described in Types of Information for your annotations. See Sample Annotations. Remember to use MLA style for the citation portion. More about Citing Sources here.

Step 6: Assistance Is Readily Available

The librarians and the library staff are your friends. Ask for reference or computer troubleshooting any time. The SRC also has tutors available to assist you with the writing of papers. Start early so that you will have time to avail yourself of these services. We all want to support your learning experience.