03.29.05 NOTES: Tuesday@REI Jurgen Faust share vision of "Future Center"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/29/2005 - 17:42.

 Jurgen Faust has developed a vision for a "Future Center"
- an innovative collaborative strategy to address NEO's "Design Crisis" 

Q. What is design?

A. Design is a different way to think. At the beginning it is relatively
opposed to scientific thinking - image based thinking and method to solve
problems - thus has largely surfaced from art schools.

Q. Who are the consumers?

A. Consulting center, with education functions. Will have production purpose
and value. Because we show what is possible, not based on revenues but R&D,
then we can give the value back to the region. Want to use the incoming projects
for education.

Q. Are there other models of this?

A. Abroad - e.g. Stuttgart - many examples. Must look at what is needed here
- there are design centers in US that offer parts of the proposed solutions but
not as comprehensive of approaches.

Q. How does design fit with advertising, marketing, politics... I see the
opportunity of your initiative leading to new products and industries here.

A. Something very interesting happened in the art and design field -
realization certain methods are universal - way of thinking - There are people
who see design in business, that leadership is an "art". If people realize that
is a value we can use, it may become everywhere and so commoditized.

Q. Pointing out the design of the ceiling of the PBL Building, Jurgen is
asked if that is a good design

A. It seems to have a functional role and fits that, and it has an aesthetic
quality that seems valuable. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. In some
ways you must be educated to beauty - experience it.

Q. How is this going to help Cleveland? Will it help industries gain
competitive advantages?

A. I hope area businesses take advantage of the benefits of this initiative.
Ed Morrison (REI Director) believes from an economic development perspective
having better design creates a higher level of value and better jobs. We know
how to work better, smarter, faster - need civic culture to support these types
of ideas - make happen 100s of times over.

CIA President David Deming says vision for center is to show off great design
coming from CIA students, faculty, alumni and beyond. Points to Donely
Construction learning from CIA students how to sell their products better. And
because of TIME CIA has turned out great students who never got the opportunity
to build businesses around strong ideas - this would incubate them to keep them
close to the environment and create new businesses and jobs here.

Ed points out he was at a conference in Virginia where he sat next to someone
from Donely who raved about the great work CIA students did for them - that is
the type of global marketplace where we live. Also, to build a cluster in NEO
you need to build anchors, like Future Center. And, in business school we
learned analytic practices but now the challenge is learning ho to make sense of
information - having a business school next to a design school offers broader
value for the university.

Jurgen adds in thinking about management we need to work on semantics in
management - it's not only the meaning of words but the appreciation of
experiences. For example electronic arts is leader in gaming industry and there
they have different management approach where taking came of people and
enhancing their experiences is critical.  Jim Gilmore will speak about that at
REI soon.

Ed shows some of the creative cluster economic development sites around the
world - Creative London - Creative New Zealand (creative headquarters business
incubator) - Creative Queensland - Creative Economy New England.

Out of this session we want more involvement - help with next steps - at Ball
State Lily put $25 million into an electronic/digital media design center. In
Germany a center was funded at $400 million.

Q. Software designer says it is not easy to design. Use metaphors to
communicate opportunity.

A. Ed points out he uses three CIA students to communicate what REI does.

Q. Who are you looking to for investment - e.g. businesses that would benefit
directly? In a SF project they worked with Hollywood on skills development and
telephony.

A. Working on many sources and levels - he asked the VP at Electronic Arts to
consider investing here and found they are not interested in mid-west. We have a
bad climate and people who have a choice will choose to live where there is the
best quality of life. Hard to recruit people  and funders. Need $2-3
million.

Q. What about VC?

A. Jurgen expresses poor opinion of VC - American invention - this is about
educating the region and that is expensive. Ed says in ED world we're seeing a
shift in how development is funded - Federal Government is pulling back but
foundations are stepping up. But to position a project as an infrastructure
investment and make the education institution model more valuable to private
sector brings new opportunities. Business must understand that is order to
operate they need more than just low taxes - low costs - as was driven by the
South. Next wave of economic development will see faster players are key to
success - need to collaborate. We don't have good civic behavior .

Jurgen points out he has never seen as hierarchical a place as here - it is
not efficient.

Q. Man talks about a group they have formed to promote economic development
and tie better sense of collaboration to outcomes - e.g. with smaller groups -
other attendee speaks of broadening awareness of opportunity - suggests showing
the Future Center proposal at the IMAX

A. Jurgen says if we don't get this center we lose at a more fundamental
level - need to spread vision. For $2 million we get building/place and ability
to get up and running - for $25 million we get programming - lectures - global
reach and impact.