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Kendall College names director of business engagement

June 17, 2014
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Kendall Colleges names director of business engagement
Ken Krayer. Courtesy Kendall College of Art and Design

Kendall College of Art and Design has named its first director of business engagement.

Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids said last week that it has named Ken Krayer to the new role to foster further collaboration between the college and the business community in West Michigan.

Krayer works as an adjunct professor at KCAD and teaches design practice in both the collaborative design and industrial design programs.

Krayer will continue teaching in addition to stepping into the director position, which is an expansion of the school's community engagement and partnership work over its history.

“It has already been going on for some time. It is not a new thing,” Krayer said. “We are building on something that has been a strength of KCAD. The position didn’t exist, and we kind of talked Kendall into supporting this. Really, strength around the idea of collaboration and that culture doesn’t exist in all schools, and certainly not to the extent that it does at Kendall."

The role

Krayer will work with local companies to develop opportunities for KCAD students to gain direct experience with professionals in various industries.

He'll have several key responsibilities: attracting design professionals to KCAD for guest lectures, critiques and workshops; building relationships among the college and regional industries; and work with Katie Moore, director of community engagement, to generate a proposal for an on-campus resource center to support efforts in promoting external partnerships.

Krayer said he’s excited to have the opportunity to help nurture a collective investment in the future of the region.

“What we have here in West Michigan is an incredible abundance of both dynamic emerging talent and forward-thinking industries,” Krayer said. “It’s invigorating to imagine the kind of impact we can create by finding increasingly effective ways to converge those worlds together.”

Design background

Most recently, Krayer was an independent design consultant working with clients such as Steelcase, Rhode Island School of Design and Sauder Woodworking.

Previously, Krayer worked in multiple roles in higher education, in-house design and agency design: design director at Haworth; director of design for the details division at Steelcase; senior designer at A+O Studio, San Francisco; exhibit designer for Studio Dunbar, Netherlands; adjunct professor of industrial design at California College of Arts; and department chair for product design and furniture at the College for Creative Studies. 

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