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BASF: Changes in society, technology inspire future vehicle paint colors


The digitization of daily life will soon inspire new paint colors, with metallic blues, silver, and white hues becoming more popular, according to BASF in its annual automotive color trend report released today.

BASF, a global automobile supplier of industrial coatings and decorative paints and operates a large technical center in Southfield, offers predictions for 2020 and beyond, based on research by the company’s designers.

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Oakland County building designated as AT&T "fiber-ready"

As part of AT&T’s continuing effort to drive economic development and investment in Michigan, AT&T today joined representatives from the Troy Chamber of Commerce, HTC Global Services and both state and local elected officials to announce the Centennial is now designated AT&T Fiber Ready.

The AT&T Fiber Ready designation helps economic development leaders more effectively position their communities for site selection by emphasizing the availability of high-speed, fiber-based services. 
“I’m thrilled that we can now include the Centennial as part of a growing list of business locations in Michigan with access to AT&T’s fiber-optic infrastructure,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. “With a Fiber Ready designation, the Centennial can market itself to business leaders as a world-class building with access to all the tools businesses need to growth and thrive.”
In today’s world, connectivity is vital to new employers and businesses of every type.

AT&T has been deploying high-speed, fiber-optic infrastructure across Michigan for years, and the AT&T Fiber Ready designation was developed as a tool for economic development leaders to highlight the assets available in their facilities.

“In the business community, the communication infrastructure that connects us is just as crucial as the roads and bridges that serve the same purpose,” said Dane Slater, Mayor of Troy.  “When considering expansion or relocation, top-quality fiber optic infrastructure is always at the top of any business leader’s checklist. With the AT&T Fiber Ready designation, the Centennial now has the tools in place it needs to be competitive in attracting new business and investment to the area.”   
Deputy Oakland County Executive Matt Gibb echoed Slater’s remarks.
“Here in Oakland County, we have always made a tremendous effort to be a business-friendly community and I think it’s clear we’re succeeding on that front,” Gibb said. “State and local officials have worked hard to cultivate an environment where businesses can thrive, and with AT&T’s help, we’re taking Oakland County to new heights”
Local leaders were pleased to welcome Congressman Dave Trott (R-11) to today’s certification announcement. Trott noted the Fiber Ready designation helps shine a light on the high-tech infrastructure needs of today’s businesses.

“In today’s economy, business leaders increasingly need access to high-speed, reliable and secure internet connectivity,” Trott said. “With this Fiber Ready designation, the Centennial now has a communication infrastructure capable of attracting new high-tech, high-paying jobs to our area. This is good news for Troy and all of Southeast Michigan.” 

A glowing example of high-tech art from Lawrence Tech

A formerly blank white wall in a much-traveled lobby of Southfield Town Center is now home to high-tech art created by two students from Lawrence Technological University.

The 20-foot-long, 7-foot-tall sculpture, called “Hedron,” is a series of triangular Plexiglas sections held in place by wood framing.

As a statement of sustainability, the lights are power-saving LEDs, and the wood framing was recycled from another sculpture. The LEDs change color to add dynamic motion to the art.

"The idea was to take the simple geometric form and make an organic composition through repetition and distortion,” said one of the sculpture’s designers, Daniel Stack, a junior graphic design major from Farmington Hills.

Added the other designer, Alek Cummings, a junior graphic design major from White Lake: "As for the inspiration, I'd say it's inspired by the ‘80s … wild geometry and colors, but still pretty modern. It's kind of just to inspire happiness.”

Cummings added that he hopes the sculpture helps those who work at Town Center “forget about stress” at their jobs.

Phil Lucas, LTU student engagement coordinator, said he was contacted by the Southfield City Centre Advisory Board to put LTU students to work on public art installations.

Lucas, in turn, contacted Steven Coy, associate professor in LTU's College of Architecture and Design, who teaches a sculpture class each fall, and Coy's students got busy.

The result is two public art installations with a third coming soon.

Besides the glowing art in Town Center, Coy's students also created a set of hanging stainless steel orbs, pictured below, for the lobby of Arbor Lofts, a refurbished office building on Civic Center Drive that's now home to apartments, many of which are rented by students from nearby LTU.

And soon, they'll be working on a new art installation in an office and retail building on Evergreen Road, just north of 10 Mile Road.

“This is the first major public installation of its kind for LTU in this area, and hopefully the first of many more to come,” Lucas said. “It's part of the college town atmosphere we're trying to build and maintain in Southfield.”

Financial support from the project was provided by the Southfield City Centre as part of their efforts to create a vibrant mixed-use environment in the City Centre district. The Southfield Public Arts Commission also assisted in implementation and will ensure proper future maintenance of the art.

Kimberly Heslep, senior property manager for Town Center owner Transwestern, said the art is an example of the company being “a firm believer in supporting the community.”

First-ever Michigan Design Prize now taking entries


At more than 4,000 strong, Michigan has the highest concentration of industrial designers in the nation.

Yet few people know about it unless you live here, says Jeff DeBoer, chair of the Michigan Design Council and a principal at Sundberg-Ferar, a Michigan design firm.

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LTU students design new house for Habitat for Humanity

Lawrence Tech architecture graduate students in an advanced design studio are in the middle of a two-year project to create a new approach to housing design and construction for Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County that could become the standard for future construction.
Work on this project will be on display at the “Hall House Full Scale” exhibition running Dec. 8-18, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., in the Architecture building gallery (A210). 
The project began in the fall of 2014, and construction will finish soon after the prototype house’s foundation is poured in Commerce Township in the spring.
The task of designing a house to meet the needs of Habitat for Humanity clients has been embedded into the curriculum of this studio within the architecture master’s degree program at LTU.  Associate Professor Scott Shall and Associate Professor Jim Stevens are leading the advanced design studio and coordinating the project with Habitat for Humanity managers.
The graduate students have met with owners of Habitat for Humanity houses and will continue to seek feedback throughout the design process. They’ve also met with appraisers and others involved in the real estate market.
“The students are learning the value of listening by talking to more constituents than architects usually do, and they’re doing it at an earlier stage in the design process,” Shall said.
Habitat has asked the students to come up with a house design that reduces the environmental footprint and cost yet increases the functionality and appraisal value of a three-bedroom house with one and a half bathrooms.
The students are attempting to save time and money on the construction site by utilizing the digital fabrication equipment and approaches of the makeLab in LTU’s College of Architecture and Design. They are designing and constructing some of the more expensive elements of the house in advance such as walls where the utilities are located, kitchen and bathroom walls, and walls that have closets with built-in storage space.
Having those elements of the house built off-site and in advance should improve the efficiency of Habitat volunteer crews, especially during the winter months.  
The project was the subject of an interview on Michigan Public Radio.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. The Brookings Institution ranks Lawrence Tech fifth nationwide for boosting graduates’ earning power, PayScale lists it in the nation’s top 10 percent of universities for graduates’ salaries, and U.S. News and World Report places it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus in Southfield, Michigan, include over 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Curbed highlights Cranbrook's design legacy

In a stunning November 15 feature, Curbed's Patrick Sisson digs deep into the design legacy of one of metro Detroit's most important cultural institutions, the Cranbrook Academy of Art. From its handling of the school's origins to its profiles of its most famous faculty and students (names like Eames, Saarinen, Rapson, and Knoll), this piece is a must-read for any lover of modern design.


The legend of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and its role as a prewar petri dish for American modernism, revolves around the brief period of time from roughly 1937 to 1941. Ray, Charles, and a host of future architects and designers crossed in and out of each other's paths, studying and teaching at the wooded campus roughly 25 miles north of Detroit. But Cranbrook's singularity didn't just stem from its collection of talent. An experiment in education by founder George Booth, a wealthy industrialist, his wife Ellen, and Eliel Saarinen, an eminent Finnish architect who designed the campus and served as the first president, Cranbrook was a new institution, a modern arts colony that reflected the times. The philosophies that Ray and her classmates picked up there could be considered the DNA of modern design: cross-disciplinary thought, organic forms, and a fidelity to experimentation and research.

Read more: Curbed

Ford 'Go Further' video series focuses on hometown nonprofit

As Ford wraps up their successful ‘Go Further’ short-film series, they turned to Detroit for a story about those emerging from homelessness. The video “Furnishing a Family’s Future in Detroit” focuses on the work of Humble Design.
Co-founded by Treger Strasberg in 2009, Humble Design is a nonprofit organization focused on providing home furnishings for deserving families leaving local homeless and abuse shelters.
As Strasberg says in the video, “I think home is where your family is and where you’re comfortable and where you can rest, you can rest and rebuild.” To date Humble Design has provided a brighter future for 575 families in the Metro-Detroit area. Astoundingly 99% of these families are still in their homes after a one-year period.
You can view the video on the Humble Design Facebook page, by searching “Furnishing a Family’s Future in Detroit” on YouTube or by clicking HERE.
Humble Design offers a plethora of ways to get involved including volunteer opportunities, organizing drives, donating or a group day of service. Strasberg later added, “We furnish three homes per week and reply on the kindness of others, not only in terms of donations, but on their desire to make Detroit a better place.”
If you have questions, are in need of more information or would like to request an interview with Humble Design, please visit www.humbledesign.org or contact David George at david@humbledesign.org.
Humble Design is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to helping homeless families in need. Humble Design turns four bare walls into a clean, dignified and welcoming home by repurposing gently used household goods. Humble Design partners with local area homeless and abuse shelters to identify families who are emerging out of shelters. Many of theses families are victims of abuse and have left behind all personal items upon escaping and entering an emergency shelter. When these families move into their new residence, Humble Design comes in and makes their house a home! Giving them back their dignity and hope for the future!

Historical Society ready to show off museum renovations


Several months of hard work will pay off as a messy renovation project turns into a fresh new look for the Milford Historical Society Museum.

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LTU's Affleck House is on June 7 tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian houses

Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright will have a rare opportunity to tour the only three Usonian houses he designed in the Detroit area on Sunday, June 7, which is the day before the great architect’s birthday.

The Gregor and Elizabeth Affleck House and the Melvyn Maxwell Smith House are in Bloomfield Hills, and the Dorothy H. Turkel House is in the Palmer Woods section of Detroit.

The event, which costs $125 per person, includes a guided tour of each home, transportation in a luxury motor coach between the homes, and a hearty hors d’oeuvres and birthday cake reception at Eddie Merlot’s restaurant in Bloomfield Hills. 

Participants should arrive at the restaurant at 37000 Woodward Ave. in Bloomfield Hills by 11:30 a.m. for the tour that begins at noon.

Wright began designing Usonian houses during the Great Depression in the 1930s. His goal was to create a class of houses with a unique North American identity that would be affordable for middle class families.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit ongoing restoration projects at the Affleck House, which is owned by Lawrence Technological University.  To register, call LTU at (248) 204-2303 or go to www.lawrencetech.net/FLWBirthdayBash.

LTU exhibit on mid-century automotive design opens April 17

“American Dreaming: Detroit’s Golden Age of Automotive Design,” the first comprehensive exhibition to offer a look inside the design studios of Detroit’s automakers from 1946 to 1973, will run from April 17 to May 2 at Lawrence Technological University.
The exhibition will be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays in the gallery of LTU’s University Technology and Learning Center, 21000 West Ten Mile Road, Southfield. Admission is free.
The exhibition kicks off with an opening reception on Friday, April 17, from 4-8 p.m. in the UTLC Gallery and lobby. Many retired automotive designers who have loaned their original art will be in attendance. This event is open to the public at no charge.
On Wednesday, April 29, from 7-9 p.m. Keith Nagara, director of LTU’s transportation design program, will lead a panel of retired automotive designers and art historians in a discussion about the art of the automotive industry and its place in American art history. Admission is free to this program in the Architecture Building auditorium at Lawrence Tech.
In an effort to gain market share in the post-World War II era, Detroit-based automakers hired university-trained artists to produce the most visually appealing cars. This was a time when styling and design were highly valued by automakers, and artists had the opportunity to shape the industry and change the look of the entire country. What makes this exhibition particularly remarkable is that the car company policies mandated preliminary artwork to be destroyed when the final designs were selected for production, so the vast majority of this artwork has disappeared. 
Sponsored by LTU’s College of Architecture and Design, the exhibition has been organized and curated by Robert Edwards and Greg Salustro, co-producers of a feature-length documentary film, “American Dreaming,” now in production. Salustro and Edwards, both native Detroiters, have been fascinated by these artists and their artwork and want share what they’ve discovered with fans of graphic art everywhere. Their forthcoming film features interviews with the designers whose creative imaginations launched the golden age of automotive Americana.
“We want to shine a bright light into the world of Detroit’s automotive design studios and recognize the artists of this golden age of car design,” explained Edwards of Salustro/Edwards Productions. 
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

Michigan's St. John Lutheran School wins 2015 Future City Competition second time in a row

A city of the future – Lekol-la-fre  – engineered by students from St. John Lutheran School in Rochester, Michigan – has won the grand prize today at the 2015 Future City® Competition. The students – Leah Schroeder, Emily Abramczyk and Abby Dayton  – teamed up with their teacher, Jon Pfund, and volunteer mentor, Linda Gerhardt, Phd, Global Lead Paint Quality for General Motors in Warren, Michigan.  The win is the second Future City Grand Prize in as many years for St. John Lutheran School.

“The most memorable part of our Future City experience was how we bonded with each other,” said Abby Dayton, 13.  “There were stressful days but we stayed bonded and held each other up.”

Teammate Leah Schroeder, 13, added, “We learned that if you do what you do to the best of your ability, you’re a winner inside.”

Since last fall, 40,000 middle school students from 1,350 schools have been engaged in the 2014-15 Future City® Competition. This year’s challenge: Feeding Future Cities.

Teams from 37 middle schools and organizations, each a winner of intense regional competitions held throughout January, participated in the Future City National Finals, which took place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC as part of Engineers Week, February 14-18, 2015.

St. John Lutheran School takes home the grand prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp and $7,500 for its school’s STEM program (provided by National Finals sponsor Bentley Systems). Their city’s solution is based on the model the team researched, developed and presented.

Second place went to West Ridge Middle School from Austin, Texas for their Future City, which they titled Aquatopolis . The team is comprised of students Dillon Samra, Everest Maher and Mikaela Sherry, as well as teacher Carol Reese  and mentor Nicholas Samra, Director of Design for TSMC in Austin. West Ridge Middle School receives a $5,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

Academy for Science and Foreign Language (ASFL) from Huntsville, Alabama took third place honors for its Future City Era Verde. The team is comprised of students Xavier Zyenge, Zaria Ben and Zach Jones, teacher Angela Traylor and mentor Ray Woodson, retired aeronautical engineer. ASFL receives a $2,000 scholarship for its STEM program, sponsored by IEEE-USA.

Honorable mentions went to Linda Fletcher’s HEART of Science Cooperative from Rockwall, Texas for their city Minato (fourth place) and Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School Aresvita in Philadelphia (Fifth Place). Each receives $750 for their organization’s STEM programs, sponsored by Ohio University and CH2M Hill.

Sponsored by the nation’s professional engineering community, Future City, one of the nation’s largest engineering education programs and among the most popular, aims to stir interest in science, technology, engineering and math among young people.

To participate, students must submit a research essay on the competition’s annual theme. While under the guidance of an educator and volunteer mentor, participating students incorporate their ideas to create a virtual Future City model using SimCity™ Deluxe Edition software. They are also required to build a physical model using recycled materials valued at no more than $100.

In addition to the winning teams, a number of Special Awards, sponsored by numerous engineering societies and organizations, were also presented.

Future City has ongoing opportunities for engineering and technical professionals to volunteer in a number of different roles, including mentors and regional coordinators. For information about Future City or to volunteer, visit www.futurecity.org.

Major funding for the National Finals comes from Shell Oil Company, Bechtel Corporation, and Bentley Systems.

About DiscoverE
DiscoverE is leading a growing volunteer movement that inspires and informs present and future generations to discover engineering. Our network of volunteers in the US and abroad is drawn from the DiscoverE coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences and making science and math relevant. For more information, visit www.discovere.org.

Design competition opens to re-imagine Pontiac Silverdome site


Detroit-based Triple Investment Group, owners of the Pontiac Silverdome, has announced a design competition to re-imagine and reshape the former home of the Detroit Lions and its surrounding property.

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Sea Life Aquarium plans January opening at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

Sea Life Michigan Aquarium, a 35,000-square-foot attraction in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, has announced that it will open on January 29.

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Frank Lloyd Wright monographs donated to Lawrence Tech

With an assist from alumnus and adjunct professor Ben Tiseo, BSAr’78, Lawrence Technological University has received a set of 12 rare monographs by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
When prominent Detroit-area engineer and architect Clifford Holforty died in July 2014, he left an extensive collection of architecture books. His family decided that the books should be donated to Michigan schools and libraries in his memory. While cataloging and supervising the documentation and distribution of the books, Holferty’s son-in-law, Grand Rapids architect Ralph W. Moxley, AIA, LEED AP, discovered a set of rare Frank Lloyd Wright monographs.
The 12 volumes were protected by individual cardboard boxes, and many appeared to have never been opened. “After researching the monographs on the Internet, we found they were quite rare and very valuable!” Moxley said. “After some discussion, we determined that the 12 volumes should be donated to a Michigan architecture school for the students to utilize and study.”
Moxley mentioned his find to Tiseo, who suggested the monographs be donated to LTU because the University owns the Affleck House, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed  home in Bloomfield Hills. The home was donated to LTU in 1978 by the Affleck family and is being preserved for academic use and study.
The monographs were published in Japan and some of the text is in Japanese, according to Moxley.
Volumes 1-8 cover periods of Wright’s work, starting with 1887-1901 and ending with 1951-59.Volumes 9-12 are preliminary studies from three time periods, and volume 12 contains renderings from throughout his career. 
According to Tiseo, some eight pages in Volume 6 are dedicated to the Affleck House. In those pages are sketches and other drawings, including early development sketches.
“We had not seen these before,” said Tiseo, a member of the alumni restoration council overseeing ongoing restoration projects at the Affleck House. “This will be very helpful to the committee so as to guide our work in keeping with the intent of the Frank Lloyd Wright design.”
The 12-volume set demonstrates Wright’s genius as an architect and designer, according to Tiseo.
“What impressed me the most about the set is not just the breadth and depth of the projects covering FLW work, but also the progress sketches and details including its color reproductions,” Tiseo said. “This gift is truly a gem for LTU.”
The monographs will be housed at the  LTU Library on the lower level of the Buell Management Building. They will be available for viewing, but cannot be checked out.  
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area.  Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.

You haven't lived here until...seeing Warner Mansion



Fred, who served in 1905-11. He was the adopted son of local Farmington businessman and politician P.D. Warner, who built the ornate Victorian Italianate home in 1867. P.D. gave it to the future state leader in 1880 and moved two doors down. Members of the governor's family lived there until 1980, when they donated it — along with 3 acres of gardens and a gazebo — to the city for a historical museum.

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51 Design Articles | Page: | Show All
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