03.16.05 Community of Minds NOTES: Jurgen Faust sees NEO as "Future Center" of design world

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 03/21/2005 - 23:53.

The 03.16.05 Community of Minds get-together featured Jurgen Faust, Chair of TIME (The Integrated Multimedia Environment) at the world-class Cleveland Institute of Art. Community of Minds is the longest-standing and most innovative entrepreneurial networking initiatives in NEO, providing attendees highly valuable, free, bi-monthly insight sharing meet-ups at the Case University Dively Center, held with support from the Center for Regional Economic Issues (REI) and Thompson Hine law firm. At this March meeting, Jurgen Faust offered important insight on developing NEO as a "Future Center" of design excellence.

In introduction, REI Executive Director Ed Morrison explained how important are the arts, design and CIA as part of a "creative cluster" in the NEO economy. Ed champions an Open Source Economic Development framework and considers artists valuable brainpower, the CIA a quality connected place, and Community of Minds an important innovation network - see related presentation.

Jurgen is the originator and internal champion of the CIA TIME program where, “under the guidance of an experienced faculty, majors choose individual tracks of study that incorporate a broad-range of approaches and interdisciplinary combinations of new media: video, installations, performance art, film, sound, and multimedia productions.� In five years, the undergraduate TIME major has grown to be the largest program of study at CIA. TIME broadens and enhances CIA’s already strong design program – 65% of students at CIA study in related fields. With ongoing success, CIA’s offering a masters program in the field starting in 2005 – 8-10 students will begin this year.

With his introduction out of the way, Jurgen explains we are not on the West Coast – don’t have Dream Works next door – so there is need across the region to create opportunities for designers here, and thereby develop new strengths across the region through better design. This builds on Jurgen’s position we have a design crisis here. He
recounts coming back from SF the prior week and in the airport feeling
“a little depressed� that people here do not appreciate design – there is not enough public and private awareness of the value
of world-class design, nor sufficient resources focused on teaching
people about design. He sees here few incentives to invest in good
design, yet in Europe the focus is different... if you use design and
technology well and differently you stand out.

Jurgen points out TIME and other CIA design students collaborate on
many projects with other institutions and organizations around NEO,
leveraging project design work as an education platform that brings to
the region a valuable integrative concept.

Thus, central to the subject of his talk, he introduces the concept of a design and technology transfer center and incubator for NEO and explains how it could influence region – his vision is still at conceptual stage. Examples of how design makes a difference - Peter B. Lewis building reenergized Weatherhead School as innovative… Nokia cell phones got 80% of market by designing well… Donley Construction got major building contract because of design presentation CIA students developed for them… Nottingham and Spirk’s success in the field.

Jurgen’s envisioned “Future Center� would be open to the public – achieve high visibility as the dominant place where industry, design/technology education, collaboration, explanation and demonstration unite. Working as a community, we will leverage resources better… for example, Jurgen points out at Case he saw a laser prototyping machine that no one was using, which design students could put to good use.

He sees opportunity for NEO to achieve reputation in which CIA/Future Design center is globally recognized for design showcase – lectures – education – collaborate. It will integrate a design incubator, design gallery, production group, and professional partnership program. He explains such resources and world-class design expertise is not found in many companies in this region, so the region would leverage great, unique value from what is made available via CIA, in partnerships and collaborations among CIA students, alumni, faculty, CMA, Case, Clinic, all scope of businesses, designers and engineers, innovators, REI, NEOSA, COSE, CAMP, etc.

In conclusion, Jurgen points out this region has its advantages – cost of living – easier to live here – and certainly cultural and arts education strengths – we are remiss not to leverage all that for greater unique value and competitive advantage world-wide, and he is certainly correct!

Q&A – Moderator points out if Cleveland wants to be world-class we need to develop/have such world-class strengths

Q. Is there a timeframe?
A. Working on funding and Board response – at conceptual exploration – ASAP… every year that passes, we lose a year

Q. How do we better prepare artists for business?
A. Working on design management program – difficult to merge cultures – huge need to develop management understanding art/design (e.g. for design and design related firms). One of the key qualifications to succeed in design (and focus at TIME) is teamwork, which is also true in business

Q. At the CMA Len Steinbach worked on a project that led to some students starting local company – speak of such success.
A. There are already so many business collaboration design initiatives for students to work on, the CIA can’t handle more – it is important to grow the design program, and Jurgen wants to have at design center business development coaching and grant money to start local businesses to make NEO center of design excellence beyond CIA

Q. How to make the money work?
A. What is necessary is directing money in right direction – CIA does that in collaborations with outside organizations - CIA charges for everything TIME does, which offsets expenses for facilities – brings money into institution.

Download Jurgen Faust's presentation 2.4MB.