By Luke Netzley
Pasadena Weekly Associate Editor
The ArtCenter College of Design has named four new winners for their 15th edition of the Alumni Awards: Hiroshi Sugimoto for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Yves Béhar for the Distinguished Midcareer Award, Bruce Heavin for the Outstanding Service Award and Mariana Prieto for the Young Innovator Award.
“Hiroshi, Yves, Bruce and Mariana are examples of dedicated alumni who throughout their lives continue to give back to college on many levels,” said Lorne M. Buchman, president of the ArtCenter College of Design . “They are important figures in shaping culture, and they inspire future generations of ArtCenter students to influence change.”
The ArtCenter College of Design was founded in 1930 and has grown to become a world leader in art and design education. The college offers 11 undergraduate and 10 graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as the visual and applied arts and has hosted iconic visionaries such as legendary photographer Ansel Adams, the modern artist Keith Haring and science fiction author Bruce Sterling, who was the school’s first “Visionary in Residence”.
ArtCenter was also the first design school to receive United Nations non-governmental organization status in recognition of its commitment to social impact design through its Designmatters educational platform. Throughout the college’s history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture and societal issues, and this year’s recipients are no different.
Lifetime Achievement Award winner Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948 and moved to the United States in 1970 to study photography, but also worked in sculpture, installation, and architecture.
In 2009, he established the Odawara Art Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization to promote traditional Japanese performing arts and culture. Sugimoto’s own works have been exhibited around the world in numerous public collections, including the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery in London; and the National Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. His art seeks to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western ideologies while examining the nature of time, perception and the origins of consciousness.
Béhar, winner of the Distinguished Midcareer Award, is a Swiss designer and entrepreneur who believes that the integrated design of products, brands and experiences is the cornerstone of any business. Béhar pioneered design as a force for positive social and environmental change and received the INDEX award for his humanitarian work with the One Laptop Per Child and See Better to Learn Better projects, the latter distributed 6 million corrective glasses free to school children in Mexico for the past 10 years. He is the only designer to have received the award twice.
In 1999, Béhar founded Fuseproject, a leading design and innovation company that focuses on using design to improve people’s lives. He has also been at the forefront of entrepreneurial business design, co-founding FORME Life, August and Canopy, as well as partnerships with numerous start-ups such as Happiest Baby Snoo, Uber, Cobalt, Desktop Metal and Sweetgreen. .
Outstanding Service Award winner Heavin is an American artist, strategist and entrepreneur who co-founded the online training website lynda.com with his wife Lynda Weinman. As Creative Director, Heavin has been instrumental in the company’s success as a pioneering leader in online training. He created the company logo, designed many distinctive illustrations on the course website and DVD covers, and wrote some of the site’s first video tutorials in Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and ImageReady.
As an illustrator with extensive experience in photography and animated graphics, Heavin has created work for national publications as well as for clients like Adobe, MSNBC and E! Entertainment television. As a distinguished and engaged alumnus, he has been an active and generous donor and supporter of philanthropy in the ArtCenter community. Heaven was elected to the ArtCenter Board of Directors in June 2014 and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of FullCircle, the school’s donation company.
Young Innovator Award winner Mariana Prieto is the founder of Design for Wildlife, a collective that works with wildlife conservation organizations to find large-scale, economically sustainable solutions to wildlife challenges. She was named a TED resident in 2018 and 2019 for her work in wildlife conservation and won the Common Ground Emerging Scholar Award in 2020.
Prior to her career in wildlife conservation, Prieto worked as an innovation manager for the International Rescue Committee and as a Global Design Fellow for IDEO.org, where she worked on numerous projects in Africa from East and Asia before becoming an assistant professor at ArtCenter.
The Alumni Awards will take place in 2022.