Welcoming the Cumulus Executive Board to Art Center

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Carolline Kim March 24, 2015

In the following blog post, Designmatters Coordinator, Carolline Kim gives her perspective on the recent Cumulus Executive Board visit to Art Center and her role in welcoming our international guests to Pasadena. 

Carolline’s prior work in the space of social impact and education have included positions as a Program Specialist for the national award-winning organization Girls Inc., where she facilitated after-school sessions for young girls in middle and high school in the context of several at-risk school sites throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District.  Additionally, her work with students includes the international education sector, having taught at one of the largest English academies in Seoul, South Korea.

Carolline_thumbRecognized by UNESCO since 2011, Cumulus is the only global association to serve art and design education and research, and boasts 211 members from 48 countries. Their executive board is comprised of top academics, school leaders and creative professionals from art and design and media colleges and universities throughout the world.

Art Center joined Cumulus in 2006, when the association first opened its membership to schools globally. Designmatters Vice President Mariana Amatullo has been a member of the Cumulus Association’s Executive Board (CEB) since 2013, and this past February was honored to host the CEB at Art Center for their winter board meeting.

Scheduled three times a year, these board meetings provide CEB the opportunity to meet in person and advance their mission to create dynamic academic forums focused on art, media, and design at top-level educational institutions worldwide.

As the Designmatters Coordinator it was my responsibility to coordinate all logistics for this 3-day visit, which included organizing things like hotel, transportation, events, technical support, food… the list goes on.

Up to that point I’d been at this job for less than 3 months. I was excited to be given such a challenging and important task – these were VIP guests from all over the world, after all – but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my initial reaction was deer-in-the-headlights panic.


Luisa Collina (Cumulus President) addresses colleagues and invited guests at the Cumulus Board Welcome Reception.

On top of the board meetings I was also responsible for extracurricular events, including a cocktail reception to welcome the CEB to Art Center. Guests included the college’s Executive Cabinet, department chairs, and select faculty and staff.

I quickly learned that there are many small but important details that go into planning an event (Are the hors d’oeuvres colorful enough? Will the spotlights blind the speaker at the podium? Oh, I need to order a podium!), and I am forever grateful to my amazing colleagues who took the time to answer my questions and guide me in the right direction. There were many, many meetings and even more e-mails and frantic phone calls.

I also owe many thanks to the people outside of Art Center who helped me coordinate additional extracurricular events for the CEB during their visit. This includes everyone at JPL, who organized an extra special VIP tour of their campus; Dr. Mark Breitenberg for organizing a tour of Idealab; and the docents at the Gamble House, who provided the most informative and entertaining tour of one of California’s premier architectural homes.


The Cumulus Executive Board from (lft to rt) Andres Villela, Sam Bucolo, Signe Kivi, Mariana Amatullo, Ulrich Schendzielorz, Lou Yongqi, Sara Hylten-Cavallius, Annabel Pretty, Luisa Collina, Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, Eija Salmi

And lastly, I want to extend my thanks to the Cumulus Executive Board. I was nervous to coordinate a visit for such a diverse and impressive group of people, but I found everyone’s kindness and gratitude to be the best part of this entire experience.

So to:

Luisa Collina (School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy),

Sam Bucolo (University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia),

Elsebeth Gerner-Nielsen (Kolding School of Design, Kolding, Denmark),

Sara Hylten-Cavallius (Department of Design, Linnaeus University, Vaxjo, Sweeden),

Signe Kivi (Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallin, Estonia),

Annabel Pretty (UNITEC Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand),

Ulrich Schendzielorz (University of Design Schwabisch Gmund, Hochschule fur Gestaltung, Schwabisch Gmund, Germany),

Virginia Tassinari (Media en Design Academie, KHLiM, Genk, Belgium),

Andres Villela (School of Design, DUOC UC, Santiago, Chile),

Lou Yongqi (College of Design & Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai, China),

Eija Salmi (Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland)


It was an honor to coordinate this visit for you!


To learn more about Cumulus and their work please visit cumulusassociation.org