"This city is an epicenter for making everything and anything," says the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit and a member of the new Michigan Design Council. "Here, the people are passionate, full of pride and above all—have an ambition for making things happen. If necessity is the mother of invention—in Detroit—optimism is the father who gets things done."
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Inspirational speakers include The Empowerment Plan's Veronika Scott, whose innovative coats transform into sleeping bags to shelter the homeless and provide job skills to those in need. The CCS alumna has been named among Forbes 30 Under 30; Chronicle of Philanthropy's 40 Under 40; CNN's 10 Visionary Women; and CNN Heroes.
Ryan Eder of IncludeFitness creates cloud-connected, workout equipment for those with accessibility needs and others. "You'll hear plenty of NOs," Eder recalls of his design journey, "before you hear the YES that gets you where you want to be."
The International Conference in Motor City will showcase talks by automotive design leaders such as Morray Callum, VP of design at Ford Motor Company and Ralph Gilles, CCS alumnus and VP of design at Fiat/Chrysler Automobiles. There will be speakers from Shinola, Give One Dream, MAYA Design, Tongi University, Digital Strategy, Toggled, Made for Me, GE Appliances, Moving Brands, Michael Graves Architecture & Design and solidThinking—in addition to Big Tomorrow, Mahindra GenZe, TEAMS Design, Keen Footwear, Lextant, Cranbrook Academy of Art, IA Collaborative, InReality, Rubbermaid, Eastman Chemical, PGAV Destinations, Tekna, Kaleidoscope, Mormedi, D+M Group and Continuum.
Olga Stella, executive director of the Detroit Creative Corridor, will reveal how design is playing a major role in the city's resurgence. Robert Katz, A/IDSA, of Banner & Witcoff, will take a closer look at the landmark design patent case, Samsung v. Apple, set to go before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Registration is open for visits on August 18 to Dassault Systemes 3DEXCITE, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company or Shinola. On August 19, the IDSA Awards include inductions to the IDSA Academy of Fellows. The following day, a panel on Impact of Design as a Change Agent will be moderated by John McElroy, host of the "Autoline Daily" webcast and the television show "Autoline This Week." It will include Amko Leenarts, global director of interior design at Ford/Lincoln; Kevin Kerrigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation; and Marc Greuther, chief curator at Henry Ford Museum and a juror at this year's IDSA International Design Excellence Awards (#IDSAIDEA)—which will be held August 17 at The Henry Ford. The Ceremony is open to the public; tickets are available for the Gala. An exhibit featuring a selection of IDEA 2016 winners will be open at the museum in Dearborn, MI.