Architecture & Design and Nonprofits

Creative industry collaborates on Design Week

April 3, 2015
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Creative industry collaborates on Design Week
Hugh Herr. Photo via

An entire week to celebrate and explore the design industry in West Michigan is back.

After making a splash with its debut event last year, West Michigan Design Week is returning for another year.

From April 6-11, a lineup of workshops, speakers and tours will be held in the area to develop connections in the design industry, as well as reflect on all that's been accomplished in the region.

“Last year was a test run, and we couldn’t have been happier with how well it was received,” said Sara Klele, AIGA West Michigan Design Week chair.

“I believe it shows how important design is to the community. This time around, we have had the benefit of planning for nearly a year and have organized some really special events. We’re especially proud of the caliber of speakers we are bringing to West Michigan.”

This year’s event will be brought together through a collaboration by a number of design industry organizations, many of which were involved in last year’s event: AIGA West Michigan, American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids, Design West Michigan, Kendall College of Art and Design, Industrial Designers of America, International Interior Design Association, American Society of Interior Designers and Interaction Design Association.


The keynote speaker for this year will be Dr. Hugh Herr, director of the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab and director of The Herr Institute for Human Rehabilitation.

Herr, who lost his lower legs in a mountaineering accident, has received national recognition for his work with design to impact physically challenged people.

His presentation, which is free to the public, will take place on April 6 at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, from 6-8 p.m.

“We have been watching Hugh’s work for some time and are pleased we were able to sponsor him as West Michigan Design Week’s keynote speaker,” said Kenneth Krayer, Jr., interim executive director, Design West Michigan. “He has a broad definition of design.”

The event will also feature a number of nationally known design industry voices: Tucker Viemeister, president of Viemeister Industries; Liz Sanders, founder of MakeTools; Cheryl Durst, EVP and CEO of IIDA; and Claudia de Almeida, founder of o Banquinho.  

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