Elevate: AIGA LA Portfolio Day 2015 Studio Lab


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Hey there, LA design students!

What makes ELEVATE different from other student portfolio days? Two words: Studio Lab. Designers from some of LA’s most forward-thinking firms present their work and ideas, engaging students in a lively discussion about the future of design.

Who will be at Studio Lab this year? We’re glad you asked.


Yuji Sakuma
Senior Art Director, HUGE

Yuji Sakuma is responsible for the art direction and execution of client initiatives at Huge, supervising the overall creative process from concept to design and delivery. At Huge, Yuji has managed art direction for clients including JetBlue, Reuters, IKEA, the Museum of Modern Art, Diageo, and British Airways. Yuji has worked at Huge’s UK and Brooklyn offices, and joined the Los Angeles office in 2014. Yuji received his B.F.A. from the University of Southern California.


Pete Hawkes
Interaction Designer, Oblong

Pete Hawkes is an interaction designer and artist based in Los Angeles. He holds an MFA in Design Media Arts from UCLA and a BFA in Graphic Design from Brigham Young University. He has designed interactive experiences for Nokia, Ogilvy Interactive, KFC, Liz Claiborne, Boeing, and the Sci-Fi Channel. Pete’s work has been presented at the AGIdeas Design Conference in Melbourne, Verge: the OgilvyOne Global Digital Summit, and FILE in Sao Paulo. He currently teaches part-time at UCLA Extension and works at Oblong Industries in Los Angeles.


Sandy Irani & Kate Buss
Executive Assistant & Executive Coordinator, Wondros

Wondros draws on a powerful combination of filmmakers, activists, innovators, policy-makers, designers and storytellers to create content that informs culture and inspires change. Our portfolio includes campaign development and execution for organizations like George Soros and the Open Society Foundations, ONE, (RED), The Getty Foundation, Rock the Vote and TED, as well as film production for innovators such as the Clinton Global Initiative, the Columbia School of Journalism, the Council on Foreign Relations, MIT Media Lab and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Lucien Vattel
CEO, Gamedesk

Trailblazing education and game development visionary Lucien Vattel is at the forefront of a nationwide crusade to revolutionize learning in the classroom and beyond. As the CEO of the Los Angeles-based interactive curriculum creator and digital publisher GameDesk, and the founder of the PlayMaker School, Vattel is transforming the traditional school model into a hands-on, digitally-charged ecosystem for students to discover and nourish their greatest gifts, while embracing STEM skills through game-based learning. Vattel is also a frequent speaker and influential player in the Edtech space, having spoken at TEDx, Games for Change, SXSW and FETC.


Daniel Busby
Lead Engineer, Two Bit Circus

Two Bit Circus lives at the intersection of technology and spectacle. Engineering entertainment that is imaginative and interactive, they blur the line between physical and digital playgrounds to create a new world of social amusement. Based in Los Angeles, this interdisciplinary team of artists, engineers, educators, inventors, and performers develop spectacular productions with the goal to inspire, engage, and reinvent the way people play.


Matthew Manos
Founder, verynice

Matthew Manos is an advisor and author that is dedicated to disrupting the economic models of service-oriented business. He is the founder of verynice, a global design, strategy, and foresight studio that gives half of its work away for free to non-profit organizations around the world. Named one of “Seven Millennials Changing the World” by The Huffington Post, Matthew’s work and ideas have also been published in 250+ print and online venues internationally including Forbes, The Guardian, Inc, GOOD, and MTV. He is also the author of “How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free,” an internationally-distributed documentation of verynice’s 50% pro-bono business model and the subsequent “Give Half Movement” that has attracted nearly 10,000 readers across 1,500+ cities.

Our Studio Lab guests are going to ELEVATE your portfolio day with their projects and insights. But the only way you can experience it is to sign up!

Get those portfolios in shape, students! We’ll see you in the Studio Lab.

—The AIGA Los Angeles Education Committee

By Julie Manthey
Published May 12, 2015
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