ArtCenter Students Attend 2016 NAKFI Conference

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October 25, 2016

A select group of ArtCenter students will be attending the 2016 (NAKFI) National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference  Discovering the Deep Blue Sea: Research, Innovation, Social Engagement, along with ArtCenter Humanities and Sciences faculty, Sherry Hoffman.


Meet The Students

Janet Hwang  (Illustration)

janet-hwang_nakfi“My goal as an artist is to be able to share my interpretation of this universe as an experience, as well as experiencing other’s interpretation.”


Ben Chu (Illustration)

ben-chu_cropBen is a designer and illustrator whose work presents the world around him through a vibrant, yet analytical lens.

Aphinop Aiden Khuiphum (Illustration)

aphinop-aiden-khuiphum_cropAphinop’s diverse cultural upbringing has allowed him to view the world with multiple cultural perspectives that reinforces his versatility as an individual and his respect for different environments.

David Hollo (Product Design)

david-hollo_cropWith his work, David plays with materials, technologies, and ideas, while fusing science and design to create engaging experiences with function.

Grace Haynes (Illustration)


Grace strives to illustrate compelling stories that capture the essence of the struggle and how we as humans reach our goals, and make things happen despite our circumstances.

Janice Chang (Illustration)


“I believe as an artist, we have the opportunity to find creative solutions that can help improve the environment and the lives of people around the world.”

Joshue Molina  (Photography)


Joshue captures environmental issues from his experience of living in the vast, urban landscape of Los Angeles.

Kristen Torralba (Illustration)


Through design, Kristen hopes to address issues regarding climate change, gender rights, racial equality, and habitat protection.

Tom Eichacker (Illustration)

tom-eichacker_cropTom’s influences include; illustrated safety manuals, alchemical art, branding mascots, the Magic Eye book series, medication ads, fractal geometry, and Snapchat filters.

Caitlin Joo (Illustration)


Caitlin’s design process  has always been very spontaneous, what she cares about the most for her viewers is having fun and encouraging them to re-interpret her work with their own point of view.

Celia Jacobs  (Illustration)

celia-jacobs_crop“In high school I volunteered at MESD Outdoor School, a program that takes sixth-grade students into the woods for a week and teaches them the natural sciences. That experience showed me how important it is to make science accessible, relevant, and engaging.”

Allie Kollias (Environmental Design)

allie-kollias_crop“Science answers so many questions and consistently offers an understanding of “why” so that we may change the “how.” I want to be part of that change.”

Michelle Kim (Illustration)


Michelle’s passion for design, education and social impact is directly related to her love for connection with the world and helping those in need.

Alejandra Fernandez (Illustration)

alejandrafernandez_cropAlejandra is inspired by ancient Mesoamerican art and contemporary Latin American artists and musicians. Her work is fantastical and character-based, consisting of painting and sculpture, including piñatas.




About The Conference

The NAKFI Conference aims to explore the frontiers of deep ocean science, focusing primarily on the zone of transition between the solar energy-rich, productive euphotic zone and the energy-starved abyss.  This transition zone, sometimes referred to as the ‘twilight zone’ due to the diminishing flux of solar radiation, is one of the least studied regions of our planet. The conference will take place at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, Irvine, California.

2015 marked the first time NAKFI featured art and design in its initiative! Check out a short documentary below on last year’s Conference “Art and Science, Engineering, and Medicine Frontier Collaborations: Ideation, Translation & Realization,” featuring Designmatters VP, Mariana Amatullo who served on the steering Committee on art, design and science, engineering and medicine frontier collaborations.