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  • Sumner Fineberg - 95 Years Young and Still Designing

    July 27, 2017

    This summer SF received a note from StoryPoint, a forward thinking senior living community in Saline, Michigan. The staff called us because we’re a product innovation team with industrial designers and engineers whose roots run deep in Michigan Modern design history. When inquiries come in we expect to hear from entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes in search of new products with specific goals aimed at game-changing category impact on the broader stage of product development. But this call was different. The StoryPoint team reached out to introduce one of their most esteemed residents, Mr. Sumner Fineberg. What distinguishes Mr. Fienberg from the rest of our clients is that he predates our firm’s 84-year history and he grew up in the great age of industrial design when it was just coming to be known as such in the United States. in the 3d Print room drawing at board Fineberg is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Design (ID), significant because ITT pioneered the development of modern design in 1937 as the new Bauhaus in Chicago, the Bauhaus point of entry into North America design education and culture. (Keep in mind SF was founded in 1934, so Fineberg, SF and ITT are coming of age together). By the 1960’s Industrial Design as a field had taken hold and definitively changed design approaches from an engineering – centric to a human- centric approach by the 1990’s. Fineberg walked each step in this American design pathway. At age 95, Mr. Fineberg’s life story includes service in WWII which led to becoming one of the first students (and is now the oldest living pupil) who studied under László Monholy-Nagy, who was a key leader of the Bauhaus School in Germany who had helped move the school to America before the Nazi invasion. When asked what his ‘big dream’ was by StoryPoint, he said he’d like to make one more contribution to the world of art and design, and to do this he’d like to start in his own community by providing an art display solution to showcase the creative work of the StoryPoint residents. After decades as a successful graphic designer who cross-trained as an industrial designer, Fineberg arrived to SF with sketches and portfolio in hand. His project premise was based on a modular display system that could be set up and broken down easily by StoryPoint staff. The idea was to lend recognition and enjoyment to both makers and viewers on a daily basis and also for special occasions. sumner at board drawing After a 3-hour meeting/design charrette with Sumner and his son, architect Keith Fineberg, the SF staff had enough information to create a collaborative design based on Fineberg’s initial sketches. The SF team utilized 3D printed corner braces and some basic engineering principles to use inexpensive modular materials that could be easily replicated in the next phase of development. These images show the first iteration prototype fresh off the truck from the SF shop, with President Curt Bailey as industrial designer, project manager and fabricator in conjunction with a team of engineers and summer intern, Colin Lilley, and Mr. Fineberg. At SF we are always intent of pleasing our clients, but to see the smile on Sumner Fineberg’s face was particularly satisfying. keith and sumner at 3D printer Sumner thumbs up Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro - Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategies, design research, industrial design, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, and packaging. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiate their products and experiences increasing their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advancing strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Website: www.sundbergferar.com Contact: hello@sundbergferar.com Twitter: @sundbergferar Instagram: Sundberg-Ferar LinkedIn: Sundberg-Ferar Company
  • SF VP of Sundberg-Ferar Chairs 2017 IDSA International Design Conference

    July 20, 2017

    A Note from Jeevak As chair of the IDSA International Design Conference 2017, I invite you to join us Aug. 16–19 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis for Design IS Business. ID is among a handful of disciplines that really, really values and strives to improve the human condition. Not just intrinsic value—but fundamental, instrumental value. Whatever the world throws at us—digitization, electrification, sensorification, autonomy or connectivity—industrial designers surmount barriers, leveraging them as elements. We make “design at scale.” headline image - not hotel of kids Even if your product/solution is the most meaningful, it has to sell on the fair, open market—giving businesses the confidence to invest in and continue the growth of their portfolios. Now, the business world is taking note of the strategic advantage brought by ID to the table. The world’s most innovative companies are declaring solidarity with design—reserving a seat on the board for a chief design officer; assimilating design strategy; or making room for design to influence business strategy significantly. Business model patterns essentially research the target audience’s desires and meticulously develop meaningful product solutions and relevant ecosystems of experiences to improve the end user’s life—while profiting and—in many cases, keeping a watchful eye on our planet. From Harvard Business Review to Fast Company to The Wall Street Journal—the media, too, has newfound affection for the impact of ID on business—and on a greater scale—the global economy. disney architecture What to Expect at the Conference In addition to the finest design networking nationally and internationally, you can look forward to four days filled with insights from the best minds on design. Thursday’s panel on the Business of Corporate Design Studios, Friday’s panel is on the Business of Design Consultancy Studios, and the Future of ID and Education panel is on Saturday. Catch some great tips at the Career Center, try Sketch Aerobics and refresh your practice with late breaking trends and industry arguments and top it all off with a rapid fire exchange between 15 top industry thinkers. During the conference more than 40 compelling speakers will share their insights at the intersection of design and business; studio and other offsite tours; great parties; and family-friendly attractions. Key notes speakers will be Bob Weis, president, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Andrew Bolstein, Vice President of Operations, Shanghai Disney Resort. They will share how essential partnerships work and the significant role industrial design plays in their success. hotel reminder The conference will culminate with the grand IDSA International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2017 Ceremony on August 19 so plan to stay through the end! These events will be moderated by Jeevak from Sundberg-Ferar Design Studio and Kevin Shankwiler from Georgia Institute of Technology. Feel Like a Kid Again at Super Saturday Morning at IDSA Atlanta to Welcome Next Gen It's a first—that we can remember—for an IDSA event! Super Saturday Morning at this year's IDSA International Design Conference at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis will be open to attendees and their families (children ages five and older) from 9 am to noon on Aug. 19, 2017. From feathered friends—to a magician—to some of the biggest names in children's product design—these special sessions will be geared toward a wide range of attendees. kids day Saturday Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro - Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategies, design research, industrial design, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, and packaging. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiate their products and experiences increasing their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advancing strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Website: www.sundbergferar.com Contact: hello@sundbergferar.com Twitter: @sundbergferar Instagram: Sundberg-Ferar LinkedIn: Sundberg-Ferar Company
  • White House Honors Two SF Clients on 1st Made in America Event

    July 17, 2017

    USA Today reported on July 17th that the White House hosted a Made in America event featuring one invited company from each state that boasts products that are Made in America. Sundberg-Ferar would like to congratulate two product development companies/OEMs that we have had the great pleasure of working with on their inclusion in this esteemed event. The Florida based company, Tervis specializes in durable, attractive and functional on- the- go and indoor / outdoor drinking vessels. SF was proud to work with Tervis to bring their classic tumbler to the wine glass market and it has been a resounding success which led to many new colorful and highly customizable variations. The Oklahoma featured company was bestowed upon Ditch Witch and their trencher / excavator. SF has worked with the company on a couple of projects, most recently on the new JT40 Horizontal Directional Drill. We congratulate our clients Tervis and Ditch Witch and understand first-hand why both of these great companies were selected for this incredible honor. Ditch Witch JT40 Read USA Today hereSundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro - Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategies, design research, industrial design, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, and packaging. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiate their products and experiences increasing their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advancing strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Website: www.sundbergferar.com Contact: hello@sundbergferar.com Twitter: @sundbergferar Instagram: Sundberg-Ferar LinkedIn: Sundberg-Ferar Company
  • Second Annual Soft Ball Game- Team Thimm Dominates 19:12

    June 23, 2017


    The 2017 annual summer soft ball game had weeks of planning and mounting excitement from designing new t-shirts, to battling over picking teams AKA- duking it out over the company all-stars (there were some derailed staff meetings filled with lively debates about team picks!).
    One of the all-stars, Senior Industrial Designer, Ian Cobb, has taken great pride in setting this new company tradition in place. Given that Ian had a draft opportunity as a college player but selected football instead never snuffed the designer’s love for the game and what is more is that he is the great nephew of famed ball player Tyrus Raymond (Ty or Georgia Peach) Cobb. Ian has the game in his bones and grew up playing since the age of six. Needless to say Ian has become our official SF Ball Club Manager. The opposing team was headed up by David Thimm, Principle and VP of the Design Studio, who is himself a formidable all-around athlete.


    The game started off with no clear winner. Team Cobb pulled out in the lead in the first few innings and they arrived at a tie by the sixth inning. With bases loaded there was a grand slam by Thimm and a couple of home runs by Cobb and David Wilson. The game drew to a close with a seven point spread - Team Thimm 19:12. when the game was called and the team retired for burgers and the fixings. There will be two more games this summer for Team Cobb to come back and overtake team Thimm and we can bet the BBQ will only get better as the summer wares on. So take me out to the ball game - see you at Maple Glen Park next month!

    Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro - Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategies, design research, industrial design, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, and packaging. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiate their products and experiences increasing their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advancing strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Website: www.sundbergferar.com Contact: hello@sundbergferar.com Twitter: @sundbergferar Instagram: Sundberg-Ferar LinkedIn: Sundberg-Ferar Company
  • SF Summer Team Photo

    June 27, 2017


    SF team had the unusual good fortune of being able to all work under one roof together - no one in China this week, no one in Chicago at meetings — everyone in-house working on drawings, hinged mechanism and a stack of proposals. It is so great to ride the wave of studio energy on days like today. Saws buzzing in the shop, the 3D printers humming, conference calls in the back and clients in the front. Our first of three summer soft ball games was last night and an SF baby was born too. We snuck outside for a quick summer portrait to mark a particularly good week, then back in to celebrate two staff birthdays, not bad for a Tuesday! Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro - Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategies, design research, industrial design, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, and packaging. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiate their products and experiences increasing their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advancing strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Website: www.sundbergferar.com Contact: hello@sundbergferar.com Twitter: @sundbergferar Instagram: Sundberg-Ferar LinkedIn: Sundberg-Ferar Company
  • Ride To Work Day Tops SF Favorite Workday of the Year List

    June 19, 2017


    SF crew hit the road today on two wheels instead of four! Thanks to the coordination of the Ride To Work organization today SF joined riders across the country, tuned up their gas and electric-powered motorbikes and took off toward Walled Lake. This afternoon it looks like rain, but these two – wheeled travelers are in this with both wheels! From left to right you see pictured Partner and VP Design Studio Manager, David Thimm, Senior Industrial Designer, Josiah J. LaColla, Partner and President, Curt Bailey, and Senior Industrial Designer, Ian Cobb. Ride To Work is a 501c4 organization that has been raising awareness and advocating for safety, education, fun and overall increased utilization of two wheeled vehicles for more than a decade. From a design perspective a great number of the SF team have been admiring, restoring, designing, owning and trading motorbikes for decades and it is more than a thrill, it is a passion, an adventure on wheels as well as a commitment to the environment. AND...if you want to get into one of the most exciting arguments you’ve ever been in, come talk motorbikes with David Thimm and the industrial design team! You will end up with a brew in your hand, a very loud foosball match and a lot of the latest bike designs to follow up on. Built for speed, built for sport or built to cruise, from quiet electric to chest thumping bellowing bikes they are all beloved in the eyes of the SF team. Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro - Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategies, design research, industrial design, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, and packaging. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiate their products and experiences increasing their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advancing strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Website: www.sundbergferar.com Contact: hello@sundbergferar.com Twitter: @sundbergferar Instagram: Sundberg-Ferar LinkedIn: Sundberg-Ferar Company
  • SF Takes the Stage at MD&M East Medical Technology in New York City

    June 14, 2017


    The Vice President of Strategic Growth at SF was invited to lead a session in the MD&M East MedTech educational symposium in New York City; Jeevak participated in the MedTech track of the conference called Disruptive Design Strategy. He gave a presentation and led a conversation using a case study about Obi, a robotic feeding device for quadriplegics that has been one of SF’s most transformational design collaborations for families who are still discovering this product. This robot not only accomplishes the task of serving a meal, but more importantly restores independence and dignity to its users. This case study inspired the title of the talk, Infusing Emotions and Meaning into a Robotic Dining Device, which drew a robust and curious crowd. The room was packed and the questions were lively and challenging. It was a great and familiar experience for SF to be immersed in the medical device world where much of the past 20 years of our work has been focused. From this conference emerged many new friends and fascinating research to watch as it unfolds over the next year or two. Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro - Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategies, design research, industrial design, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, and packaging. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiate their products and experiences increasing their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advancing strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. www.sundbergferar.com Contact: hello@sundbergferar.com Twitter: @sundbergferar Instagram: Sundberg-Ferar LinkedIn: Sundberg-Ferar Company
  • SF Team Rolls up their Sleeves & DeBoer Family Honored During Yankee Air Museum Bomber Buffing

    May 20, 2017


    Each spring the Yankee Air Museum kicks off its summer air show season with a very unusual tradition –Bomber Buffing! The museum hanger is opened to the general public and aircraft lovers of all kinds are encouraged to role up their sleeves and buff a high polish shine onto the museum's prized possessions and historical crafts of war. SF Industrial Designer, Matt Korich (not pictured) has a deep commitment to the Museum as an aviation and history enthusiast and regular volunteer who spends countless hours contributing to restoration, development, care and all around good times at the airfield. Korich and his wife even celebrated their marriage in the hanger with a full reception including dinner and dancing on the floor among the aircraft. To add a bit more SF involvement to this year’s event, SF Partner and VP of Innovation Strategy, Jeff DeBoer escorted his father, Herman Russell “Russ” DeBoer, through a Rosie the Riveter line up to pay tribute to his bravery, service and contribution to our country in WWll. Russ DeBoer held the rank of Pilot, 2nd Lieutenant Army Air Corps, European Theater of Operation in 1945 and happened to fly the very plane being showcased that day. DeBoer was thrilled to take a flight in the C-47 he used to command and surely had incredible memories spurred by the day. Industrial Designer Matthew McPhail ventured out with his family to take part in the buffing as well as peruse the Aviation and Collectibles Show, family activities, music and carnival fare. McPhail and his wife and daughter (pictured) joined between 300-400 people that day in the pleasure of breaking down the traditional ‘look, but don’t touch’ aspect of museum going. Among the crowd were special groups who attend each year including many Boy Scouts of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, plane fanatics and many more. In addition to giving the public this inside look (and feel) into historic aviation, the crowd participation prepares the crafts with a beautiful, mirror like shine that will make them look great for summer shows and guard the metal against atmospheric impurities and tarnish. This event is a real win-win for our community and for these historical crafts.



    Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro- Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in product design, innovation and design research, engineering, and prototyping. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiated their products and experiences which increases their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advances strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. SF Capabilities: Innovation Strategies Design Research, Industrial Design, User Interface, Ergonomics, Engineering, Model Making, Packaging Contact us at hello@sundbergferar.com
  • Washtenaw International Middle Academy, SF Visit

    May 12, 2017


    The SF team had fun talking about Industrial Design and the Michigan Design Council (MDC) competition at the Washtenaw International Middle Academy (WIMA) in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Jeevak engaged with 125 middle school students from several classrooms gathered in the cafeteria - especially considering it was the end of the day on a Friday, the group was impressive in their attention and curiosity. He shared images of Industrial Design, innovation research, engineering, prototyping, model making, 3D examples and props, and rendered drawings of all sorts. This generated a lot of great questions from the students and the inspiration in the room was tangible. The WIMA IT crew was on point and the video come off great. The students were presented the MCD video of last year’s winner and encouraged to apply to the MDC’s Michigan Design Prize themselves, either this year (applications here) or to plan for next year. The WIMA teachers, staff and administration were efficient in their planning and warm to work with. Special thanks to Katrin (Katie) Oddleifson Robertson and Diane Tamblyn from Wholemindesign who were particularly helpful, and who also both serve as Board Directors on the MDC. SF can’t wait to come back!! Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro- Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in product design, innovation and design research, engineering, and prototyping. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiated their products and experiences which increases their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advances strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. SF Capabilities: Innovation Strategies Design Research, Industrial Design, User Interface, Ergonomics, Engineering, Model Making, Packaging Contact us at hello@sundbergferar.com
  • The Jury is Out: 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards

    May 5, 2017


    We have been anxiously awaiting this exciting announcement just released by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Because SF is the second longest standing independent industrial design firm in the United States, we are deeply indebted to the Cooper Hewitt for their 120+ years of commitment to historical design preservation, contemporary design advocacy and awareness building. It is with great pride that SF VP of Strategic Growth, Jeevak Badve, was invited to serve on this prestigious committee to select this year’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Award winners. SF would like to congratulate all of the applicants on their gifts and contributions to the design field; it was an excruciating process and one the judges emerged from having gleaned great insights into what is next in the vast array of design categories.
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    The 2017 jury was composed of a diverse group of designers and educators from around the nation: (not in order)
    • Jeevak Badve, Vice President, Sundberg-Ferar • Rafael de Cárdenas, Founder, Rafael de Cárdenas / Architecture at Large • Ray Huff, Director, Clemson Architecture Center • Randy J. Hunt, Vice President of Design, Etsy • Mia Lehrer, Landscape Urbanist, Mia Lehrer + Associates • Lisa Perry, Designer, Lisa Perry Style • Sandy Speicher, Partner and Managing Director of Education, IDEO • Lisa Strausfeld, Principal, InformationArt • Robert Wong, Vice President, Creative Lab, Google, Inc.
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    Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro- Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in product design, innovation and design research, engineering, and prototyping. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiated their products and experiences which increases their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advances strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Contact us at hello@sundbergferar.com
  • Spring BBQ & (Baby) Showers

    May 4, 2017

    Each spring we dust off the grill and open the SF doors to the pine forest out back to mark the official start of summer. This year the skies provided a steady but gentle shower and on that theme, we added a best wishes surprise baby shower to our fantastic Office Manager, Holly Barr who is expecting this summer. Needless to say, Holly, who plans all of our special events, was taken a bit off guard when we co-opted her party!
    There were poems, and unexpected recognition and rewards from the leadership team for the past two months of intensive late nights and staving off foosball and lunch hour jogs in order to get a record amount of great design work back to our clients. Not to mention two extended, successful research trips to China.
    President and Grill Meister, Curt Bailey, braved the rain with a smile and handed off his Bailey branding iron to (vegetarian) designer, Ian Cobb, who torched the metal rod and branded burgers inside, practically on the Business Development desk! It was a Thursday that felt like a Friday and a great launch into our spring design season.




    Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro- Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in product design, innovation and design research, engineering, and prototyping. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiated their products and experiences which increases their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advances strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Contact us at hello@sundbergferar.com
  • Plastics News Marketing Summit: The Creative Revolution

    May 1, 2017


    By the time you are headed to work in the morning you have likely utilized 15 or more plastic products (toothpaste, shampoo, yogurt cup, coffee pot handle, car key, etc). Plastics contain our world and shape our day. The Plastics News Marketing Summit put on by Plastics News, is committed to examining this ubiquitous material and the industry that creates, markets and advances its related technologies. The 2017 conference in May kicked off with the inaugural Women Breaking the Mold Networking Forum, then the audience spent the remainder of the conference exploring marketing strategy and approaches geared toward plastics processors, resin and machinery companies and others interested in staying relevant with a focus on successful business-to-business communications. Speakers presented on topics such as successful marketing in a competitive environment, trends in graphic design and a talk on the market as a harmonious extension of your product brand promise by Jeevak, SF VP of Strategic Growth. In the industrial design/product innovation field plastics will only grow in importance and sophistication and the SF team is excited to be a part of this marketing and innovation dialogue. Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro- Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in product design, innovation and design research, engineering, and prototyping. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiated their products and experiences which increases their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advances strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. SF Capabilities: Innovation Strategies Design Research, Industrial Design, User Interface, Ergonomics, Engineering, Model Making, Packaging Contact us at hello@sundbergferar.com
  • Jeevak Badve Presents at IDSA Midwest: Radical Concepts

    April 29, 2017

    SF would like to congratulate Marianne Grisdale, IDSA, Midwest District Vice President and IDSA member of the Board of Directors on an inspiring conference at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD). The crowd of 400 plus was engaged in high level design conversation with many esteemed guests for two days leaving the SF team with new friends and a lot of energy. Jeevak Badve, VP of Strategic Growth, spoke to the audience on the conference topic, Radical Concepts, and examined it through a complex design lens. With a daily design practice it is easy to fall into a rut and SF’s guiding philosophy is, No More Porridge – or no more lukewarm design solutions. Every day we are tasked with the challenge of helping our customers identify and claim the freshest, uniquely differentiated territory in their category, and with making sure we help them stay at the leading edge each time they innovate on a product, service or process. Badve helped to emphasize this central principle for the audience and illustrated the complexity of overlapping disciplines that continually nudge industrial design, strategic innovation and the business of design forward. More info on the IDSA conference here http://bit.ly/2ql9ECv
    Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro- Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in product design, innovation and design research, engineering, and prototyping. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiated their products and experiences which increases their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advances strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development. Contact us at hello@sundbergferar.com
  • SF Engineer Takes Volunteering to the Next Level with FIRST Robotics Students

    April 28, 2017

    The FIRST Robotics Competition is a high adrenaline, time-limited technology challenge launched globally to high school students and their volunteer mentors in January each year. Students and mentors have 6 weeks to design, build (and rebuild, and rebuild) their robot to complete a series of mechanical obstacles for the opportunity to compete on the world stage against the top global teams. This year’s challenge, FIRST STEAMWorks, had a steampunk theme and required these student-built robots to fulfill three activities: shoot a ball at a high and low target, climb a rope, and deliver gears that would then be placed into interlocking formation. The most exciting aspect as a spectator is to see the incredible variations and uncanny similarities that teams come up with to fulfill these challenging tasks with accuracy and speed though they may be continents apart. This FIRST organization founded by Dean Kamen 20 years ago has proven to be one of the most powerful cognitive and self-discovery youth programs in the world. Students, ages 6-18, are introduced to technology in 4 age brackets. Mechanical and electrical engineering and mechatronics is the culmination of the high school learning but marketing, fundraising and communications are a vital roles held by each team. Twelve years after becoming a FIRST Robotics Competition mentor, Lisa Savage, now a mechanical and robotics engineer at Sundberg-Ferar (SF) product innovation studio in Walled Lake, MI, has mentored upwards of 250 students and coordinated FIRST Robotics Competition events large and small for the past 7 years. As an industrial design firm, SF also stands to benefit from this investment in young design minds. Lisa Savage attributes her career in engineering to Team 573, the Mech Warriors from Brother Rice and Marian High Schools, “My teammates put a drill in my hand and said, ‘Go make this part’ and I messed it up several times but I was hooked. That was it.” It changed her life so dramatically that she has been giving back to her home team and others since high school graduation in 2005.

    Students often sign up for FIRST as an extracurricular activity in elementary school with FIRST Lego League Jr. and FIRST Lego League, then progress to FIRST Tech Challenge in middle school, and then graduate to the king of youth robotics—FIRST Robotics Competition. Lisa mentors at all levels except for FIRST Lego League Jr. This year, more than 450 Michigan teams (the most of any state in the United States) competed at 23 district events and the top 160 teams after those district events descended on Saginaw to battle for points to attend the World Championship, which took place in St. Louis in April and hosted teams from 60 countries. To attend ‘Worlds’, as it is called, is like attending the robotic United Nations full of kids who can’t drive a car, but could likely build a small rocket. It is a mindboggling scene to watch unfold – high-tech, colorful, and joyous. Lisa shared her deepest satisfaction in the program. “What I enjoy about being a FIRST mentor is watching the kids learn from their mentors and then applying this knowledge directly to their projects.” Her eyes light up when she speaks of this transformation, but also the long-term nature of these relationships between student and mentor as well as between the students themselves. Often, students will join as freshmen and stay through their senior year, and they will see exponential social and technical learning. This work is more than a hobby to Lisa and her husband (who is a mechanical engineer and also mentors), it is a life-long quest to open doors for young people.

    The core skills are based in science, technology, engineering and math, but the FIRST mentors specialize in teaching broader approaches to problem solving, prioritization, time management, the value of iterations and failure, communication of complex ideas, collaboration as part of a team, leadership skills, resource management, and how to create and execute business and marketing plans – all essential skills in successful businesses of all kinds. Looking back on the past decade, Savage is impressed by the investment made by the State of Michigan and Governor Rick Snyder, whose financial investment in teams has catapulted Michigan to the state with the most robotics teams, the second state being California. Corporate sponsorship has also increased significantly as companies feel the growing talent-pinch and are starting to see themselves as part of the solution. Because of volunteers like Lisa Savage, talented, passionate graduates are entering the job market each year and the future for STEAM fields is looking bright.


  • SF Senior Designer Leads Class Collaboration: College for Creative Studies and Xenith Join Forces

    April 25, 2017

    In January of 2017 SF Senior Designer, Matt McPhail marked his alumnus return to the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit as adjunct faculty in the Product Design (PD) department. PD Department Chair, Vincenzo Lavicoli invited McPhail to lead a class sponsored by Xenith, an innovative Detroit-based football helmet and equipment manufacturer focused on reducing football related head injury through cutting edge helmet research and design. Xenith COO, David Selby, President, Ryan Sullivan, and Director of Product Design, Kyle Lamson decided to invest in a CCS class sponsorship as many product design companies do to help develop next generation talent for the design industry at large and also to maintain a vigorous design conversation within their own company. The design brief challenged the students to research and design football safety equipment from head to toe. Though most fixed their sites on helmets, there were also proposals for women’s football gear, shoulder pads, and knee and midsection safety design solutions. Selby reflected on the collaboration, "The sponsored studio activity was a phenomenal experience for the Xenith team throughout the project. The opportunity to work with the top caliber students from an institution such as the College for Creative Studies opens all of our minds to the possibilities of what the future can hold. The interaction and participation between the CCS students, Cass Technical High School students, world-class athletes from the Detroit Lions along with our team from Xenith highlights the strength of community we have here in Detroit and the results of these projects showcase the innovation that comes from that community."

    The class of 14 Product Design students, some with minors in accessory design, made practiced professional presentations to the crowd of 85 plus peers, sponsors, family members, and CCS administration. Special guest, Tahir Ali Whitehead, American football linebacker for the Detroit Lions was in the audience paying close attention to each design. Designers and marketing professionals were also present to offer feedback between sessions. CCS President Richard Rogers watched the presentations and was presented a CCS customized Xenith football helmet, appreciated by President Rogers who did not himself play football, but who has been a committed life-long athlete.





    As a newcomer to the conversation it was evident that the Xenith team had made deep personal commitments to frequent class visits and incremental milestone critiques. Rather than a final report, the energy in the room was that of an adventure that had been accomplished with both teams pulling for the other. The SF crew was in-house to cheer on Matt and celebrate the students’ ideas and masterful prototypes through our own design eye. With direction from Krista Gilley, Associate Brand Manager and Kerrie Zagata, Executive Assistant, Xenith, a member of the Quicken Loans family of companies, put on a generous dinner spread during the event hosted on the top floor of the Madison Building - which doesn’t get much hipper in the Motor City. The crowd was still fulsome at the end of the four-hour presentation/critique – a testament to the strength of the projects. It was an inspiration and has the SF studio completely energized, and looking forward to seeing what the next CCS/Xenith collaboration produces.





  • SF Selected to Join 2017 Clio Award Product Design Jury

    April 28, 2017

    SF is proud to have been selected to serve on the 2017 jury for the Clio Awards Product Design category. Founded in 1959, the Clio Awards celebrate high achievement for creative sector businesses. These esteemed annual international awards recognize the work, the agencies and the talent that push boundaries and move the creative bar higher. Joining the jury from Sundberg-Ferar is Jeevak Badve, Vice President of Strategic Growth. Jeevak brings energy, passion & curiosity to his role at Sundberg-Ferar, a full service Industrial Design (ID) Studio supporting the product and vehicle industries, since 1934. Special thanks to Product Design Jury Chair, Roshi Givechi, Partner and Executive Design Director at IDEO, for her contribution and leadership.

    Jeevak is proud to be an industrial designer and also earned his EMBA, to comprehend and correctly position the discipline of design in the entire arc of business design, to prudently leverage the impact of design – products, services, experiences and systems. He relentlessly rallies for the alignment and optimal inclusion of end user’s un-met needs, unspoken wants and un-articulated desires to the crafting of the value proposition to generate significant sustainable business growth. He is actively involved as a volunteer in raising the awareness and importance of ID in the everyday world and lectures in design & business schools. He has served on the board of IDSA.org for two terms and been a conference chair for numerous design conferences. He enjoys taking his two notoriously curious kids on bird watching safari and camping, loves origami and owns more shoes than his wife.
    Clio Award Categories Product Design Print, Print Technique & Out of Home Film Direct & Events/Experiential Digital/Mobile, Digital/Mobile Technique & Social Media Branded Entertainment & Branded Content Brand Design Brand (Brand Partnerships & Collaborations, Innovation, & Integrated Campaign)
    Sundberg-Ferar at a Glance Sundberg-Ferar (SF), located in Metro- Detroit, is a product innovation studio specializing in product design, innovation and design research, engineering, and prototyping. For decades we have spearheaded the cross-category design trend by specializing in multiple categories, namely consumer products, medical equipment, and vehicles of all types. SF’s innovation process cross-references multiple user experiences with competitors’ vulnerabilities to reveal uncontested market spaces for our clients. We exist to help our customers uniquely differentiated their products and experiences which increases their profit margins, market share, and ultimately advances strong brands. This creative diversity is our defining strength – a gift that allows us, with each unique project, to improve people’s quality of life and daily experience through impactful “concept–to-completion” product design and development.
    Contact us at hello@sundbergferar.com
  • SF Hosts Michigan State University Executive MBA Program

    April 26, 2017

    A group of 24 MBA candidates dropped by the SF studio for a conversation and tour, but this was no ordinary group. First, SF host Jeevak Badve, VP of Strategic Growth, is a proud graduate of the program and was able to offer incisive insights having been on both sides of the experience.

    null What also makes the Eli Broad School of Business group unique is they are pursuing an Executive MBA, meaning they are working full-time in significant leadership positions in various industries for companies such as Ford Motor Company, Henkel Corporation, Snap-On Business Solutions, BASF Corporation, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the US Army and Meritor to name a few. This 50-year old MSU program offers classes in three locations, flexible schedules, access to highly accomplished colleagues, and the promise of turning high potential into high performance. Badve attests to the power of this program and was pleased to learn more about what each of these participants are focused on in order to funnel their concerns into a talk about how the design process and innovation principles in the design world can be applied across sectors. There is a lot of current thought and research going into the impact of design thinking to enhance innovation, creativity, company culture, productivity and profits, regardless of category. Greg Janicki, Director of the program and long-time colleague curates company tours and establishes the larger framework for these conversations. One of the most successful aspects of the program is the exposure the cohort gets to these major companies and their leadership team as they tour the state and also trek internationally on business sojourns. This year SF joined Shinola, Bissell and Steelcase on the same tour bill for some heavy-hitting ‘business of design’ content. Looking forward to seeing the class of 2018 next year!
  • SF Presents Keynote at Women in Automation Conference

    April 24, 2017

    On April 24, 2017 the Women in Automotive conference heard insights from thought leaders Jan Griffiths with Inteva Products, Jackie Chizuk with Varroc Lighting Systems, and Elizabeth Griffith with Faurecia North America. Industry experts Ginger Ruddy, additive manufacturing consultant, Jeevak Badve with SundbergFerar.com, Product Innovation Studio, and Elizabeth Barron with Ford Motor Co., shared timely automotive tips and trends. The conference hosted 200 automotive professionals and remains one of the regions most critical platforms for this important dialogue.



  • SF Automotive Research Trip to China

    Apr 6, 2017

    SF Senior Designer, Dan Genord, just returned from two weeks in China where he toured outdoor locations from Dongying to Jinan and then on to Guangzhou toward the south researching automotive support equipment. Dan’s discoveries were multiple, not least of which is always an enormous sense of cultural immersion that informs SF’s differentiated product design. These design clues are more difficult to discern looking online, in books or at product specification sheets- nothing beats onsite observational research and customer interaction. For instance, density and traffic negotiation inform Chinese product innovation in a way that is distinct from the spacious outdoor product use in most US cities. Chinese cuisine and fantastic hospitality provided a great backdrop for getting to know our clients and their needs even better. What intensive research and travel abroad often reveal is the unexpected such as, “we need to add another continent to the research plan!” So don’t unpack your bags, Dan - you are headed back out in a couple of weeks. The SF team is circling the globe in search of the illusive design unicorn – a universally, beautifully and functionally balanced product for this project. We know the answers are out there on the highways and byways!
  • SF Promotes 2017 IDSA International Conference

    Apr 3, 2017

    SF VP of Strategic Growth, and 2017 IDSA International Conference Chair, Jeevak Badve, presented at the Rhode Island School of Design to 200+ IDSA NorthEast District Design Conference participants in late March to help encourage participation in the 2017 IDSA International Design Conference. Badve is a major champion of Industrial Design awareness. He speaks frequently at industry conferences, and to design and business schools across the country to highlight the interconnectivity between the design and business fields, and the benefits that can come from an in-depth understanding of both realms. Register here for the 2017 IDSA International Conference.
  • Flipping the Genesis Mirror – SF Leadership Team Strategic Innovation Session @ Junction440

    Mar 31, 2017

    There are times to reap and there are times to sow. This month our leadership team went off site to take time out at the member-based Junction440 at Detroit’s fantastic co-working space and incubator, TechTown, to revisit the strategic goals of the firm and put development of all kinds under the looking glass. Every time we facilitate our Genesis Innovation Research strategy process with companies from Fortune 500 to start ups, watching them dissect their vision and goals, struggle through roadblocks, then flourish, reminds us to reverse the mirror and become even more clear about what SF is doing, how we are focusing our human and capital resources, and how we are moving actively each day toward our goals and aspirations of improving people’s lives through uniquely differentiated products and growing a staff who is productive and fulfilled in our work. Our leadership team resists the trap of busyness and reactive management in place of a highly focused, mindful approach to maintaining the creative, strategy and outcomes-minded culture of a top-tier design studio. Imagine how careful one must be to create an atmosphere of discipline and delivery without crushing the creative lightness and agility needed to generate landmark design. This doesn’t happen over night. We credit these carefully balanced priorities and atmosphere to our firm’s characteristic longstanding staff of committed people who join and stick around. We pride ourselves on this and believe it is because we present clear aspirational direction, we listen, promote people’s strengths, give them space to imagine and support them in the personal endeavors as well. Our people are the bedrock on which we have achieved excellence in multiple capabilities. Our planning day resulted in a few major decisions and a couple needed changes so we can charge into Q2 and beyond with refreshed energy and clear focus. Feature Image: (left to right) Grey Parker, Senior Engineer David Thimm, Partner, VP Design Studio Manager Jeevak Badve, VP Strategic Growth Jeff DeBoer, Partner, VP Chief Innovation Officer Curt Bailey, Partner, President Above Images: TechTown and Junction440 interior images
  • West Michigan Design Week - Look Behind Design: A Process Gallery

    Mar 28, 2017

    Grand Rapids, MI is hosting some of the industrial design field’s best and brightest this month at the West Michigan Design Week hosted at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Valley State University, ArtPrize HQ and surrounds. This conference includes an expansive look at design, but this exhibition, Look Behind Design: A Process Gallery, dials it in close to explores the mysteries of design from A-Z that takes place before your favorite products hit the shelf. From our collaboration with Wiss, SF has selected a dozen steps in the physical life of a prototype from the first sketch laid over foam, to the looks- like, feels- like model that is ready to head toward the manufacturing floor. This process allows the designer to quickly shift into user-mode and identify aspects of the design that are or are not working. It also allows customers, stakeholders, and feedback groups to be an active part of a tangible process from day one encouraging concrete visual and functional feedback. Nothing compares to the (almost) real thing, so our design team gets ‘out of drawing’ and into the model shop as fast as possible. Our vibrant model shop also makes for an exciting work environment. On a given day one might hear proposals being discussed, design presentations going on, and the sound of saw blades and sanding in the background! This team is deeply invested in the 360-degree design experience and making is the beating heart. About the exhibit.
  • Michigan Design Council Design Prize Video World Premier

    Mar 23, 2017

    Since January of this year, significant progress has been made toward fulfilling the Michigan Design Council’s (MDC) mission to: 1) promote the organic development of Industrial Design talent among Michigan youth and adults; 2) establish Michigan as THE destination for individuals in Industrial Design and related design professions to help Michigan based businesses prosper; and 3) encourage businesses to locate to Michigan by virtue of its robust industrial design talent base. The keystone initiative for 2016 was the Michigan Design Prize. The Michigan Design Prize is an annual competition celebrating exceptional Michigan industrial design talent; it is open to ALL Michigan residents and is unique in the Country. Participants tackle a singular design challenge linked to Michigan and larger societal issues. The 2016 Challenge was: Design a physical product solution that allows people to safely enjoy the benefits of Michigan's diverse water resources. Entries in the 2016 Michigan Design Prize were judged by MDC members, based on four key criteria: 1) Creativity: Level of originality of the discovery, approaches and solution; 2) Significance: Level of meaningfulness and relevance to the topic; 3) Quality: Level of design thinking and visualization; 4) Value: Level of potential impact on industry, economy, society and individuals in Michigan, and around the world. Finalists and grand prize winners were selected in three categories; K–5th grade, 6th–12th grade, and collegiate/professional. One example of this novice/expert engagement was 7th grader Jillian Distelrath from Surline Middle School (West Branch–Rose City School District) collaborating with Ian Cobb, Senior Industrial Designer at Sundberg-Ferar, Inc. (Commerce Township based industrial design and innovation firm). Jillian and Ian worked intensely for a day- ideating, sketching, brainstorming, and ultimately creating the “Light Jacket” product concept. This concept, designed to illuminate on contact with water, used technology and an understanding of youth fashion trends to provide a safer alternative to traditional life saving gear, in a form factor that would drive higher usage rates, thereby improving water rescue and reducing drownings. Jillian was awarded the Grand Prize in the 6th–12th grade category. Judges noted that: “..the finalist considered versions for both adults and very young children- great thought process!”. All of the finalists’ designs have commercialization potential. Enjoy the MDC Video here!
  • International Home and Housewares Show

    Mar 20, 2017

    Just when you thought you knew everything about cooking and cleaning!! The Sundberg-Ferar team is just back from the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago. It was a sea of cooking demos, fragrances and color. We are totally inspired after meeting so many creative people with innovative approaches to our ancient basic needs and how these innovative companies continue to reinvent classic form and function with bottomless variety. It was also noteworthy the exceptional booth design. With home, atmosphere and interiors at top of mind, these companies created spaces that far outstrip other sectors in their conference presentation and sense of hospitality. It was hard to keep moving through the venue as there were so many appealing upholstered mid-century modern couches and chairs, plush rugs, juicy and soft lighting, vaulted or split-level booth spaces with elegant conference rooms. All of this steeped in the aroma of gourmet coffee brewing in every direction. The urge to return home, cook rice, steam some milk, cut a red pepper and light up the gas heat has never been so great. Well done exhibitors, we look forward to designing for you!
  • Michigan Modern @ SXSW: Design That Shaped America

    Mar 11, 2017

    Michigan was the home and destination of modern designers and architects throughout the mid-20th century. Attracted by the state’s thriving post war economy, Michigan offered a place where creativity was celebrated and ideas could actually be put into production. As a result, Michigan's design community became one of the most nationally influential in the postwar world, and today Michigan employs more industrial designers than any other state. This session explores Michigan’s design legacy, which ranges from natives like Alden Dow and Ralph Rapson to European artists like Louis Redstone or Ruth Adler Schnee to imaginative minds like Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen and Minoru Yamasaki. *A question posed to Jeff DeBoer, VP and Chief Innovation Officer, and the panel for discussion at SXSW When you're talking about design and Michigan to those who are outside the field, what parts of the legacy surprise people the most? “Most people I talk to don’t really know where anything comes from or who creates the things we use in our everyday lives- let alone the fact that Michigan’s designers and manufacturers are the source of many of the products we own and cherish as “special”. Michigan was also a magnet for design pioneers from around the world- another fact most people don’t know- which runs counter to the popular current narrative that Michigan is a place people run from, not to! My presentation will look back at Sundberg-Ferar’s role in defining the Industrial Design profession during the formative years of the 1930’s, show examples of SF’s work intersecting with and defining key points in our country’s history. Show how SF is designing and innovating on the global stage today, and then talk about our role and responsibility in creating the next generation of Michigan Industrial Designers- highlighted with a world premiere of a video commissioned by the Michigan Design Council (MDC)- that follows the design journey of a 7th grader in mid-Michigan, as she tackled the Michigan Design Prize competition; it’s a powerful reminder of how mentoring can change the life of a student, and prepare them for a lifetime of creative expression and professional success.” MDC Video Panelists Jeff DeBoer, Partner, VP Chief Innovation Officer, Sundberg-Ferar Brian Conway, State Historic Preservation Officer, Michigan State Historic Preservation Office Amy Arnold, Preservation Planner, Michigan State Historic Preservation Office Susan Skarsgard, Global Industrial Design Manager, General Motors Design
  • SF Welcomes Senior Industrial Designer, Matt Korich

    Mar 3, 2017

    Growing up with a love of American History, all things mechanical, drawing and art in Milwaukee, WI led him to Industrial Design through a chance magazine article at a young age. Later studying at the College For Creative Studies in Detroit, MI, Matt discovered a fascination for product development as an outlet for problem solving. After graduating he worked with specialty automotive firm, Classic Design Concepts and implemented the full design process into their business model. Being involved in a cross-section of creative responsibilities gave him an integral knowledge of the product development process- taking new products from sketch through production tooling and marketing campaigns. Matt can be found most weekends at the Yankee Air Museum chasing his passion for history and WWII war birds while volunteering strategic development, exhibit design and static aircraft restoration support.
  • SF and the Michigan Design Council Host STEAM Leader 2 Leader Collision

    Feb 24, 2017

    On February 24th the Michigan Design Council (MDC) hosted the first Leader 2 Leader meeting and incited a creative collision between educators, designers, industry professionals (and a couple of resident student observers!) for a visionary conversation and progression into the next phase of the MDC’s non-profit’s mission to help generate a groundswell of design talent in Michigan K-12 schools. MDC and WholeMindesign Co-directors Katrin (Katie) Robertson and Diane Tamblyn arranged this meeting-of-the-minds in the stately backdrop of the mid-century-modern home of Katie and Bill Robertson of Ann Arbor with communications support from Michelle Zurowick, SF Senior Design Researcher from Sundberg-Ferar. To represent SF boots on the ground, Senior Industrial Designers Dave Byron, Ian Cobb and Josiah LaColla were on hand to speak about their experience receiving a design education and two of them spoke to their role in teaching the design at the College for Creative Studies. The core work of this meeting was to join these creative leaders with on the ground educators to identify alignments and gaps in the creative education continuum. This conversation occurred with a strong Lansing presence in order to keep the conversation vibrant at the State governance level as the mission becomes clear and initiatives start to roll out. Jeff DeBoer, SF VP/ Partner, Chief Innovation Officer and Chair of MDC stated that, “Our goal is to accelerate the advancement of arts and creative skill development in our classrooms...Industrial Design is the intersection of art and technology- we create functional solutions to design challenges that improve people’s lives in beautiful and emotionally fulfilling ways. Tonight- we are crashing together Educators and Designers- an intersection of necessity!” This initiative joins many impactful STEAM initiatives, but the MDC is differentiating their efforts by leveraging the richness of industrial design practice to introduce a multiplicity of creative opportunities in design related business endeavors. Fabled captains of design history from all over the state have joined the SF team to contribute intellectual input and structural insights as programs and initiatives evolve. The evening included a design-thinking activity, dinner, the premiere of the MDC video and a detailed conversation about the Michigan Design Prize. The group was charged to encourage participation across school systems at the superintendent level and imagine large-scale educational structures in need to deep reformation through design.
  • SF Innovation Roundtable Conversation

    Feb 23, 2017

    At SF we take one day each month to pitch a curated tour and conversation for the innovation-inclined whom we’ve met along the networking trail. This past February we hosted 15 guests across the most amazing variety of sectors – psychology, manufacturing, non-profit, marketing, education, architecture and more. Led by our VP of Strategic Growth, Jeevak Badve, the conversation and tour was a two-hour in-depth discussion about the practice of industrial design and the multiplicity ways it impacts our daily lives across these sectors. Design is at the core of every experience we have, for better or worse. Just imagine your favorite restaurant. Chances are it is equally about atmosphere (lighting, flatware, chair comfort) as it is about cuisine. We kick off the meeting together by filling a whiteboard with innovation questions and spend the afternoon seeking answers and generating more questions.
  • Farm Machinery Show Through the Designer’s Eye

    Feb 16, 2017

    The SF Design team, David Thimm, VP, Studio Manager and Industrial Designer, and Dave Byron, Senior Industrial Designer, packed off to Louisville to see the 2017 National Farm Machinery Show and the images they brought back tell a very specific story. Flipping through more than 500 images (which included some fabulous Louisville bar atmosphere and record of Bourbon Flights at 21C museum hotel- viva Kentucky!) it was impossible to miss that in addition to the incredible capabilities of these impressive utility vehicles was an fascination with color, texture, scale, rhythm, surface and form. Open up this portfolio of images to explore farm machinery in a completely unique way – through the designer's eye. This category is inspiring to the SF team because of the way it turns the stereotypes about 'farming as simplicity' on its head. Despite this outdated and inaccurate notion some impose on farming as a sector, these stewards of our land have been at the leading edge of technology since the first seed was intentionally planted. Their vehicles reflect this savvy innovative spirit, driven by the biggest societal responsibility – sustainability of human life. The fact that farming equipment can also be beautiful and a pleasure to use, gets us out of bed in the morning. We currently have a few projects in this category in house and we are having a blast with our site research!
  • Ditch Witch Launches JT40 Horizontal Directional Drill

    Feb 11, 2017

    The JT40 is a completely re-imagined industry-leading Horizontal Directional Drill and is an extension of a continued design relationship with Ditch Witch in their recent visual brand language across several product lines. Input from Ditch Witch’s experienced Drill Operators and knowledgeable Engineering Department was distilled and refined by the SF designers and engineers to create a striking new engine body with design features that simplify machine maintenance and an operator’s cab with unparalleled ergonomics & un-compromised sight lines. The cab is equipped with full climate control, a full suspension seat, multiple LED monitor layouts, optimized leg-room, and curved tinted glass to reduce vibration & operator fatigue. The cab telescopes along a rail system allowing visual access to all pertinent movement points on the drill, and clear visibility in the drilling direction allowing diligent monitoring. Positioning the operator at this optimum angle takes advantage of floor space and headroom giving the cab an ample feel. Using best ergonomic principles, all the necessary controls are arranged at arm’s reach, and equipment monitors are placed “downline” so movement isn’t needed to switch vantages from the spotter to the monitor. The standard open operators station includes a uniquely designed integrated security/weather shade that covers the operator while sheltering the control and seating layout of the fully-optioned cab. The engine body was designed from the ground-up to make the Ditch Witch brand recognizable from a mile away, with a powerful body-color division that draws the eye straight from the drill motor to the drill site in front of the machine. Extensive considerations were made to allow access to all necessary maintenance points while still keeping a high level of machine security when not in operation. The new engine body is tightly wrapped around a new Tier 4 Diesel engine, and together with industry-leading hydraulic pumps is capable of exerting an awesome 5,500 foot pounds of down-hole torque, and 40,000 pounds of thrust in pull-back.
  • SF Welcomes Award Winning Senior Industrial Designer, Scott Stevens

    Feb 11, 2017

    A love of drawing, building, and sculpting led Scott to pursue a career in industrial design. After graduating from CCS in 2006 Scott started his career working with TRW (an American aerospace and automotive company) to design key fobs for Toyota & Chrysler. Prior to SF, he invested 10 years at The Master Lock Company where he designed products for Master Lock, Ford, Craftsman, Waterloo, Dudley, and American Lock. His expertise is in designing retail/commercial products for the US & European markets that range from smart products for the home to safety products for manufacturing facilities. He holds 30+ patents and has won multiple design awards. In the past decade, he has built relationships by delivering on time and on budget. College for Creative Studies.(B.F.A. in Industrial Design) Best Product award by Master Locksmiths Association, IDEA Silver Award, Edison Silver Awards 2011 & 2016
  • DrinksXDesign, The Pit Crew Hosts

    Feb 9, 2017

    SF is a proud partner in the Detroit design collective called The Pit Crew. The Detroit Creative Corridor (DC3) event series, DrinksxDesign (DXD) and the fabulous coordinator, Kiana Doggan Wenzell, invited The Pit Crew to host the February DXD at Atwater Brewery on the historic Detroit riverfront. The sold-out crowd kept the conversation flowing and Atwater made sure the beer and sausages were at the ready. There were guests from fashion, design, law, museum, educational, and manufacturing communities – a true Detroit cultural cross-section. DC3 really knows how to convene a group of thought and generational diversity. Also, when three of four creative partners are in the marketing space, it’s no wonder the word got around. Special thanks to all of DC3’s funders for making their good work possible, and to Atwater for in-kind donations and to all who joined in to explore the curious world of marketing strategies, print, graphic design, coding, video and industrial design. Special thanks to Heather Saunders, photographer.
  • The Pit Crew Picks Up Speed

    Feb 1, 2017

    SF is excited to announce the revamped Pit Crew website. One year ago, SF helped to found a design brain-trust in the Detroit Metro area to address a phenomenon we discovered independently. Each partner realized our clients were leaving our studios with great creative work and then hiring a new firm to fulfill their next project phase. For instance, SF may design a fantastic product, then another firm is would create the website or video with no access to the intense research the client just paid SF to produce. In the process design consistency are often lost and duplicative research costs can pile up. Each Pit Crew design firm is operating at the top of their field and has a deep respect for the work of the other so bridging expertise seemed natural. The partnership is a non-financial, altruistic referral based partnership that provides day-one design cohesion for complex product development and marketing platforms. The Pit Crew has more than 100 years of collective experience and has exciting projects on the horizon. element H - Digital Strategy, Audience Engagement SundbergFerar - Product Design, Design Research and Strategy Octane Design - Graphic and Interactive Design, Brand Development iwerk - Custom Software Development, Information Technology Visit The Pit Crew.
  • Jeevak Badve's CALL FOR SPEAKERS - IDSA International Design Conference 2017: Design IS Business

    As chair of the IDSA International Design Conference 2017, I invite you to join us Aug. 16–19 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis for Design IS Business. ID is among a handful of disciplines that really, really values and strives to improve the human condition. Not just intrinsic value—but fundamental, instrumental value. Whatever the world throws at us—digitization, electrification, sensorification, autonomy or connectivity—industrial designers surmount barriers, leveraging them as elements. We make “design at scale.” Even if your product/solution is the most meaningful, it has to sell on the fair, open market—giving businesses the confidence to invest in and continue the growth of their portfolios. Now, the business world is taking note of the strategic advantage brought by ID to the table. The world’s most innovative companies are declaring solidarity with design—reserving a seat on the board for a chief design officer; assimilating design strategy; or making room for design to influence business strategy significantly. Business model patterns essentially research the target audience’s desires and meticulously develop meaningful product solutions and relevant ecosystems of experiences to improve the end user’s life—while profiting and—in many cases, keeping a watchful eye on our planet. From Harvard Business Review to Fast Company to The Wall Street Journal—the media, too, has newfound affection for the impact of ID on business—and on a greater scale—the global economy. Where better to make the case with Design IS Business than in Atlanta, GA—with some of the most compelling speakers at the intersection of design and business; studio and other offsite tours; great parties; and family-friendly attractions.“Among the nation's fastest-growing cities, the Georgia capital is attracting newcomers from around the country and people are looking to this part of the country for culture and commerce like never before,” declares US News & World Report in 2016. Atlanta means business—with a population of five and a half million; 150,000 businesses including some of the most iconic brands in the world; the fifth highest job growth rate in the United States; and quite an emphasis on higher education—with nearly 60 colleges and universities. Follow the journey to the IDSA International Design Conference 2017 using #IDSA17Atlanta @IDSA on Twitter; Industrial Designers Society of America on Facebook and LinkedIn; and @IDSAdesign. Apply here. Jeevak Badve IDSA Chair, IDSA International Design Conference 2017 Vice President, Strategic Growth, Sundberg Ferar
  • SAVE THE DATE – Pit Crew (with SF) – Featured at Feb 2017 DXD

    Mark your calendars to come see what the combined talents of four top-notch Detroit Design Firms, Pit Crew, have to offer when they join forces to provide front to back design services to customers. The first Detroit Creative Corridor (DC3) DrinksXDesign event of 2017 is coming up and the theme is "Design Strategy and Innovation," featuring this cutting edge Detroit Design collective. In addition to SF, Pit Crew includes iwerk, Octane Design, and ElementH Solutions. Registration is free and is going to be maxed - so register here!
  • SF Blown Away by 2nd Graders from Roosevelt Elementary

    Jan 19, 2017

    SF VP of Innovation Strategies, Jeff DeBoer, SF Senior Design Researcher, Michelle Zurowick, Engineer, Lisa Savage, and SF Designer, Ian Cobb, spent the day hosting three stellar second grade classes from Roosevelt Elementary School. A huge congratulations is on order for Principal Dennis Rapal, and classroom teachers, Ms. Jeannette Cuda, Ms. Juliann Obrien, Ms. Kathryn Knighton and their accompanying assistants and chaperones for their obvious success with these young developing citizens. In mind and spirit they inhabited the studio with curiosity and zeal and asked some show-stopping questions. Where do you buy your computer chips? How do you get this manufactured? May we start to draw with the computer? And more. It was so fun to see how the classes had been prepared by their teachers to hear about Industrial Design and the technical and creative aspects that can be employed in this career. T
  • Jeevak Badve Returns from Indian Tiger Safari

    Jan 18, 2017

    During the month of December, 2016, VP of Strategic Growth, Jeevak Badve, returned to his beloved Pune, India, to enjoy Tiger watching with his wife, children and extended family. If you know Jeevak, you know that a restful vacation with the family might entail waking a 4 and 7 year old at 3:00am after a 36 hour trip to drive into the Indian outback, unarmed, and in an open-sided Jeep from which you can’t disembark for 5 hour stints! Vacation? NO! Adventure? YES! Family affairs like this are not for the faint of heart but Jeevak seems to take great joy in pursuing thrills of the great outdoors. What is better, is how he brought the trip alive for many of us (who will never attempt such a thing), describing the waiting, the sounds, the herds and flocks and gaggles and batches of monkeys, birds and more that surrounded them as they tracked with a native guide, the mere sighting of a tiger. Three days and 5 safaris in, they achieved their goal. A few breathtaking minutes with two 8-month-old cubs (larger than Great Pyreneese), and a tiger named Maya, distinguished by the trackers from 82 other tigers by her stripes alone. This reserve is distinct in its natural approach. No weapons, no flares, only cameras and stillness. We missed Jeevak for four weeks, but this presentation, some sweet Indian desserts, and a staff lunch was an apt concession—he brought us back a true experience of India.
  • 2017 Michigan Design Prize Challenge Announced at NAIAS During STEAM Conversation with Square One Educational Network

    Jan 12, 2017

    SF's VP of Innovation Strategies, Jeff DeBoer, shared the mic with Karl Klimek, Executive Director of Square One Educational Network, to make a compelling case for hands-on and unconventional approaches to increasing the pipeline of young industrial designers and STEAM talent coming out of K-12 programs. The SF founded Michigan Design Council (MDC) has joined Square One and many STEAM organizations dedicated to the STEAM effort in their respective sectors to create access, raise awareness and locate resources for Michigan children in STEAM. By creating new channels to enhance experiential learning for students, their teachers are getting trained as well. Greater investment in teacher training amplifies STEAM exposure for students – train one teacher and that skillset and confidence jumps to hundreds of students annually. During the conversation, DeBoer announced the much-anticipated 2017 Michigan Design Prize challenge. The 2016 participation blew past all expectations and is expected to surge this year. The 2017 challenge is to design a physical product to help people safely enjoy Michigan winters (apply here). The SF VP also acknowledged the enormous support given by the MEDC to launch the MDC and played a video endorsement by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. DSC08546
  • SF Senior Engineer, Grey Parker at 2017 Plastics in Automotive Conference. Bridging the Gap: the Powerful Alliance of Design and Engineering.

    Jan 12, 2017

    Too often, the automotive design and engineering communities operate in silos with little communication and a disconnect between ideas and execution. Grey Parker, the lead engineer at SF, discussed how new product development can offer greater impact by leveraging a design and engineering partnership. With specific case studies of successful projects and the use of new tools that can help bridge the disciplines, Parker argued a convincing case. Grey Parker spent seven years in the automotive industry sharpening his design skills as a seat engineer for American Honda Motor Co. Grey acquired excellent project management skills while leading complex systems with hundreds of components; for example, the design of all three rows of the 2013 Acura MDX. He joined Sundberg-Ferar Inc. in 2013 and leads the company’s engineering department and specializes in innovation engineering and mechanical concept development. Grey graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. See the Conference agenda here.
  • NAIAS Annual EyesOn Design Award

    Jan 10, 2017

    SundbergFerar’s VP of Strategic Growth, Jeevak Badve was pleased to serve again as a docent to the judging process during the 2017 NAIAS EyesOn Design Award judging process. Dr. Philip Hessberg, Founder and Director of Henry Ford Institute of Opthalmology, introduced the ceremony sharing the impressive 29-year history of the Henry Ford Health System’s relationship with automotive design. Marcus Shelley,Executive Director of EyesOn Design Award and Head of Business Development at ASC, Inc, and Lisa Miree-Luke, Head of Corporate Affairs/Communications at Axalta were distinguished MCs. Awards were determined by leading automotive designers and sponsored by various leading companies in the areas of concept car, production car, concept truck, production truck, graphics and materials, interior design, user experience, and The Designer Catalyst Award presented by HenryFord Health System Department of Ophthalmology. Our partners and staff extend heartfelt congratulations to the 2017 EyesOn Design Award winners.
  • Governor Rick Snyder Auto Show Gathering

    Jan 10, 2017

    Governor Rick Snyder hosted a Detroit Auto Show gathering in Planet M Hall to celebrate the recent accomplishments of Michigan designers, technologists and entrepreneurs. The SF team was inspired by the evening of visionary remarks, delightful small eats and testing of tiny portable bikes, among other great tech and STEAM Education displays. It was a great chance to catch up with friends in auto we see this time of year and to see the breakthrough designs they have been incubating. Present also were new esteemed Directors of the Michigan Design Council (MDC), Katrin Robertson and Diane Tablyn. Enjoy the Governor’s video message in support of STEAM and the MDC- thank you for your continued support, Governor Snyder!
  • SF Designers Research Chinese Domestic Vehicle Industry

    Sundberg-Ferar designers David Thimm and Josiah LaColla recently returned from a series of trips through the Shandong, Zheijang, and Guangdong provinces of China. Over the course of three weeks, they embarked on a quest to collect primary research to gain insight into a particular segment of the Chinese domestic vehicle industry. These findings provided direction for the design phase of a vehicle, currently underway in the design studios of Sundberg-Ferar. Immediately following the research trip, Josiah participated in the launch event for a commercial truck recently designed at Sundberg-Ferar. He returned full of colorful tales of mind-blowing cuisine, warm and compelling exchanges with industry professionals, and a freshly recharged drive to complete design activities in Phase II.
  • Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas

    Jan 5, 2017

    VP of Genesis Innovation Strategy, Jeff DeBoer, Senior Industrial Designer, Dave Byron and Business Development Manager, Addie Stone-Richards, enjoyed three days in Las Vegas at CES meeting with great clients, seeing outrageous new technologies and opening new creative conversations. In addition to seeing the birth of the next decade in augmented reality and connected vehicle and home products, they enjoyed some of the best Italian and Korean cuisine-ever. The crew wrapped it up celebrating Dave's landmark birthday over a flight of bourbon from the US, Ireland and Japan! Our Kentucky colleague was shocked off her chair that bourbon with "coffee notes" from Japan was her favorite of the selection! A new take on an old tradition—that's good design.
  • White Elephant Party

    Dec 21, 2016

    This year's White Elephant party really showed our rookie status at the game - a few too many gifts worth having (huge telescope, unscratched lottery ticket, sunscreen tube flask set, moose head nog stein), which made for a robust stealing battle but defeated the hilarious ‘terribleness’of the experience. Next year we intend to lower that bar and up the groan factor!!! Our Office Manager, Holly Barr, continues to cook up hilarious events to keep the team bonded and spirits light amid the fast pace of projects and travel. Thank you Holly, and thanks to all of the sneaky SF elves!

  • No More Porridge Awards

    Dec 3, 2016

    The SF tradition of the No More Porridge Awards is years old and is meant to maintain an internal challenge to our design team and researchers to continue to gently challenge our culture and customers with radical or uniquely differentiated design options. Why not throw some blue-sky in there and remember to imagine! The team members split a generous monetary reward for the victory they earn through popular staff vote. The No More Porridge PRODUCTION Award this year went to Senior Engineer, Grey Parker, Researcher, Michelle Zurowick and CAD Specialist, David Wilson, for their aesthetic refinement and mechanical design support on Obi, a robotic feeding companion designed/invented by Jon Dekar and Tom Dekar from DESiN. Obi blends cutting edge technology, elegant design and intuitive controls for a dignified dining experience. Learn about Obi here. The No More Porridge CONCEPT Award for Senior Industrial Designer, Dave Byron, and Engineer, Grey Parker, for their out –of –this-world design for a never-before-seen vehicle of sci-fi proportions - still under wraps in development with an international auto company. Congrats to all and keep pushing in 2017!
  • SF Celebrates the Holidays and a Job Well Done in 2016

    Dec 3, 2016

    The SF partners pitched an amazing holiday party for the entire staff and their loved-ones at the Big Rock Chophouse. It was a warm and generous atmosphere and President, Curt Bailey, delivered his legendary annual roast-poem! We mingled with former partners, new and seasoned staff, and enjoyed great cuisine and festive flowing libations. Great accomplishments were acknowledged and the party set the perfect tone for a 2017 launch!
  • College for Creative Studies Product Design Students Visit SF

    The College for Creative Studies (CCS) Product Design Chair, Vincenzo lavicoli, introduced another talented group to the SF design methodology, history, and vision. SF has a unique relationship with CCS as much of our top design talent throughout our history are CCS graduates. Currently, designers, Dave Byron, Ian M. Cobb, and (soon to be) Matthew McPhail also teach in the CCS Product Design department. Hosted by President, Curt Bailey, lively discussion included design opportunities in Detroit, approaches to portfolio presentation and a day in the life of a designer. The group lobbed heavy-hitting professional life questions and if they are a testament to next-gen design talent, the world is about to become a more exciting place. CCS Product Design Vincenzo lavicoli’s IDSA Award in Teaching Excellence 2016-11-17 16.17.07 2016-11-17 15.54.57 2016-11-17 14.27.05
  • SF Chili Cook-off

    November 19, 2016

    This year we added a chili cook-off to our line-up of annual in-house challenges. With multiple nationalities and more than one chef under our roof, this contest proved more competitive than our in-house design competition! The winning trophy was claimed by VP of Strategic Growth, Jeevak Badve. With roots in India, Jeevak brought a palate finely tuned to rich simmered dishes and added an array of mystery spices that no one could identify — magical to our panel of four guest judges! Congrats Jeevak. But watch out, we are planning for next year. Featured image: Michelle Zurowick finishes in the top three. Check out a few more images below:

    IMG_7287 1st place: Jeevak Badve, 2nd place: Michelle Zurowick, 3rd place: Dan Genord
    Chili Cook Off Trophy and Big Cash Prize The Chili Cook-off Trophy and big cash prize!
  • SF 2016 Halloween Celebrations

    October 31, 2016

    The 2016 Sundberg-Ferar Halloween Party marked the next chapter in the hilarious ways we put the daily grind on hold and keep tabs on the crew’s creative sprit, and a good measure of the overall studio whack-o-meter. Costumes were great this year and lunch was tasty, but we must tip our hats to SF’s newest engineer, Will Koederitz, for the studio good sportsmanship award. Will came to his first day of work in full costume. This raised the bar in the area of being a team player and shored up the team’s commitment to creative risk-taking!
  • Jeff DeBoer Announces the MDC 2016 Michigan Design Prize

    October 28, 2016

    The MDC hosted its first annual Michigan Design Prize awards ceremony at the Broad Museum in East Lansing on Friday, October 28th. It was an evening full of fun and inspiration - to look around and see the plethora of amazing contestants from all the 3 groups: K-5, K-6 to K-12, and the professional categories. The second graders came up with some fascinating ideas to solve the contest challenge. The Michigan Design Prize is an annual competition celebrating exceptional Michigan industrial design talent. Participants tackle a singular design challenge linked to Michigan and larger societal issues. The competition is administered by the Michigan Design Council, a Michigan non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the development, attraction, and retention of industrial design talent in Michigan. The Michigan Design Prize curriculum guideline is a project-based structure to nurture future industrial design talent. The guideline is based on the Michigan Design Prize 2016 Challenge Statement. Featured in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's November 10th bulletin. Learn more about MDC here. IMG_0208 IMG_0228 IMG_7854 IMG_7857 IMG_7863 IMG_7867 IMG_7870 IMG_7896
  • Jeevak Badve – Panel Presenter and Speaker – WARDS Auto UX Conference

    October 4, 2016

    Panel : ELEVATING MOOD, PROMOTING HEALTH AND WELLNESS Jeevak, from SF, was invited to the inaugural UX conference by WARDS Auto, this fall, to join the industry experts in the field of UX, to bring more clarity and distill the real fundamentals behind the elusive expected ideal human experience; what the end user / the litany of multi-users really expect to get things done at the end of the day. He presented and unfolded the 5 elements constructs of “Meaningful Design”, the elements one needs to be grounded in, to make sure the design & development team is always aligned to that single point of truth SPoT, and never ever dilute that. He used a very valid and relevant example from one of his clients, OBI, a robotic dining device, which is obviously smart in feeding people who are physically challenged, but also infuses the basic expected humanistic emotions in the basic gestures and behavior. Read Live in Moment for UX Success by James M. Amend of Wards Auto here. View the 2016 Speaker List. Visit the User Experience Conference site.
  • SF in Michigan Modern Book

    September 2016

    Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America is an impressive Hardback coffee table book, collection of important essays touching on all aspects of Michigan’s architecture and design heritage. The Great Lakes State has always been known for its contributions to twentieth-century manufacturing, but it’s only beginning to receive wide attention for its contributions to Modern design and architecture. Brian D. Conway, Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer, and Amy L. Arnold, project manager for Michigan Modern, have curated nearly thirty essays and interviews from a number of prominent architects, academics, architectural historians, journalists, and designers, including historian Alan Hess, designers Mira Nakashima, Ruth Adler Schnee, and Todd Oldham, and architect Gunnar Birkerts, describing Michigan’s contributions to Modern design in architecture, automobiles, furniture and education. It is an privilege and honor to see Carl Sundberg and Monte Ferar’s design studio, Sundberg-Ferar, featured in it. We are so proud! More about the book. More about Michigan's State Historic Preservation Office. More about the Michigan Modern project.
  • Jeevak Badve – Eastman Innovation Lab, Featured Designer

    October 2016

    Eastman Innovation lab, one of the most inventive materials companies on this globe, does an interview every month with one of the design industry's experts and distills the conversation in to a brief, 10 questions format. It’s a pretty quick way to get to know a designer and their relevant views on the materials and positioning it in context. Read Eastman's 10 Questions with Jeevak here.
  • Jeevak Badve – Creative Mornings

    September 23, 2016

    Jeevak Badve was a recent speaker at Creative Mornings, aligned with the DDF: Detroit Design Festival. Venue: Detroit Lives! in the Penobscot building, Downtown Detroit Title: The Magic of Meaningful Objects   Have you ever thought about the assortment of objects you surround yourself with? In your kitchen, in your garage, on your worktable, in your living room, in your handbag: literally everywhere. We are inherently surrounded by a sea of objects... and you handpick them from various channels: from a mall or from a big box store or from Amazon and some how they all magically seem to work together (well most of the time).   Now have you ever wondered how all these objects seem to fit together, to work in unison, like a well-choreographed performance? If you are curious, let's go behind the curtains of the second longest standing independent industrial design studio of the nation, born right here in Detroit in 1934, to understand, to discover, and to feel the design philosophy and structured methodology it takes to put forth these beautiful objects, to seamlessly fit in your personal lifestyle, in the most meaningful way. And if this is done in a human-centric way, respecting your needs, wants, and desires, and to deliver you the expected “ideal user experience”, then folks... it's basically indistinguishable from magic. Watch the video. Learn more about CtreativeMornings/Detroit.
  • Jeevak Badve – Clarkston School – Industrial Design Awareness

    September 27, 2016

    Laura Kalinowski, one of the forward-design-thinking teachers from Clarkston High School wanted her multidisciplinary classes of students to get together and get exposed to the fascinating world of ID. Jeevak took on the task to inspire and motivate the new emerging talent to understand and consider the challenges and opportunities that ID has to offer. The presentation was well attended and accepted and resulted in a very curious and fearless battery of questions, which one should expect from the new Generation Z. It was mutual fun to do this. Laura Kalinowski also works on a project called "Maker Girl Mania" that encourages girls ages ~7-12 to explore the idea of engineering and manufacturing as an educational pursuit and potential career. Learn more about Maker Girl Mania and visit their Facebookpage.
  • SF Featured in DC3 Newsletter

    August 2016

    Meet Sundberg-Ferar: An Industrial Design studio founded in 1934 in the Guardian Building, downtown Detroit. As one of the longest operating independent design firms, we have been enhancing and advancing the spirit of innovation globally. We design ordinary objects for everyday use, from kitchen utensils, medical equipment, to machinery. Our robust research-based design methodology uncovers and identifies the unspoken needs and unarticulated desires of the user.  By creatively using the fundamental principles of aesthetics, ergonomics, usability and usefulness, we infuse emotion into our design to enhance the user experience across the entire customer journey.  Jeevak Badve brings energy, passion, and curiosity to his role as Vice President of Strategic Growth at Sundberg-Ferar. With his unique blend of industrial design, mechanical engineering and business education, he relentlessly rallies for the design community on raising the awareness of the ID discipline: How a meaningful and beautiful product itself is at the very core for a strategic and significant growth for a business.   If you are curious to see if industrial design is applicable to your product or service, or want to tour our studios, give Jeevak a ping at jeevak@sundbergferar.com or 248.360.5590. Learn more about DC3.
  • Jeevak Badve – Eastman + Shift Article

    September 2016

    A wonderful recap of Day 5 @ Shift Design Camp, where Jeevak was invited to speak about how an industrial designer should always strive to be different, compelling and unique from all other designers. That onus is on us to provide that proper distinction, either as a staff designer or as an independent consultancy. Thanks Eastman for all your kind words and appreciation. Read the article here. More about Shift Design.
  • Jeevak Badve – Panelist at GMF Event

    September 22, 2016

    Jeevak was invited to speak on a special panel focusing on the re-vitalization of the D, from a creative perspective. The panel discussion ignited a conversation of what the creatives, especially in the industrial art and design community, are doing and should be doing to further re-vitalize design in this area; putting the “D” back on the map as the creative and innovation center of the Western hemisphere. Detroit’s path from bankruptcy to newly regained solvency, as well as its thriving creative economy that is attracting global attention, is a testament to the power of civic leadership, cross-sectoral coalitions, and strategic global engagement. GMF’s fifth Marshall Seminar examines leadership insights into how to lead change in your city or organization. The seminar convened the American and European alumni of GMF’s transatlantic leadership initiatives in Detroit from September 21 to 23 to explore strategies to build powerful coalitions, achieve inclusive growth, inspire creative breakthroughs, reinvent one’s image and brand, and leverage global trends and networks for sustainable success. Learn more about the seminar here.
  • SF – Proud Partner for DxD

    August 2016

    SF was proud to be one of the presenting partners for DC3's August Drinks x Design, which highlights an particular aspect of the city's economic activity. This month, DxD activated the venue at Focus: HOPE with a celebration of industrial and manufacturing design! Festivities took place at the Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) overlooking their 70,000 square feet of manufacturing space, used for assembling headliners and suspension modules for Android Industries. Programming included displays from industrial design firms that are working to enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity in Detroit and beyond. It’s always great to a part of the DxD and join the momentum of this SE region of Michigan when it comes to entrepreneurship and lots of new buzzing ideas. Learn more about DxD. Learn more about DC3. Visit the DxD Facebook.
  • SF Annual Baseball Game & Picnic

    August 23, 2016

    Time for the SF annual baseball game & picnic for the entire team and their families. As usual, a sumptuous spread of food and drinks welcomed everybody. When tummies were full, the cigars and chewing gum were broke out, and then a very passionate game of baseball between two surprisingly rival teams (“Monte’s Blue Ballers” and “Carl’s Ball Busters”) unfolded. There were a few home runs, a couple of catches, and lots of bravado and cheers! A fun afternoon and bragging rights to the winning team for the full next year. Thanks to Ian Cobb for the terrific planning and organizing the entire evening.
  • Jeevak Badve: Presented the Theme for 2017 for the IDC @ Atlanta

    August 20, 2016

    Theme: “Industrial Design is the best Business Plan”   We, Industrial Designers are from that very few handful disciplines on this globe that really really value and strive for achieving betterment of the human condition. When I say value, not just intrinsic value but the fundamental instrumental value.   We as a profession are not even 100 years old: We started with making everyday objects beautiful and meaningful, unique and compelling, memorable and desirable. And now we are conquering the evolving world of service design and experiential design.   See I believe that of all the human species, we Industrial Designers have that very peculiar attribute of being “relentlessly optimistic.” So what ever the new world is going to throw at us, we will find out a way. The forces of digitization, electrification, sensorification, autonomy or connectivity. We will surmount those barriers and actually leverage those as elements.   And that’s because of our inherent strength : Industrial strength design. Because we make “design at scale’ happen. It’s not “self expression” but we generate value for the stakeholders of that business.   Slice this any way you want, even if your product - solution might be the most meaningful, it has to sell in the open fair market ! Because that gives the Business the confident to invest and further continue the growth of their portfolio. The product - the solution has to be in perfect alignment with the core business capabilities and competencies.   And the good news is that business world is finally taking notice of the strategic advantage that we can and will bring to the table. You have seen and read the latest Harvard business reviews and Business News and Fast company articles and Wall street journals about their newfound “affection” for our discipline.   A few top most innovative companies are publicly declaring their solidarity to design, having a design seat at the board table, assimilating design strategy to significantly influence its business strategy. But it has to many more companies. And we should not just let this happen organically. We have to embrace it intentionally and consciously.   Its time now for a very relevant point of departure, to not just take a deep dive at the end user needs but to evangelize laterally to our own “industrial creative supply chain”, especially the business community to demonstrate them the bottom line impact of Industrial Design.   It literally comes a full circle. Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged said and I quote her from her 1957 book “If there is more tragic a fool than the business man who doesn’t know that he is an exponent of man’s highest creative spirit, it’s the artist (us) who thinks that the businessman is his enemy”.   Because, if you dissect the business model patterns of these current successful innovative companies you will discover that they are essentially: investigating, understanding the target segment needs and desires and then meticulously developing meaningful product solutions and relevant ecosystems of experiences to make the end user’s life better, while making financial profits and helping in the ecological safe-keep of our planet. And guys that itself is the very basic “tenet” of Industrial design.   And this is our next year’s theme for the IDSA International Design Conference, to be held in Atlanta, GA. Conveniently located near the cross roads of America.   There will be an assortment of speakers from the intersection of design and business. There will be awesome off-site tours and great parties. We also aim to design and build for a "bring your kids/family with you” program. As just within walking distance are some world renowned family destinations: the Georgia aquarium, the hands-on kids museum, the Olympic park, the delicious foodie culture and the shopping districts within reach by Marta!   It will be a fun experience like no other! Hope to see you in Atlanta. -Jeevak Learn more about the conference here. Learn more about IDSA. Connect with Conference ChairJeevak Badve.
  • Sundberg and Ferar honored with IDSA Personal Recognition Award

    This legendary design firm has been putting the ‘D’ in design since 1934. Sundberg and Ferar mentored many of today’s industrial leaders. They retired in 1975 and passed away less than a week apart in 1982—but their legacy endures,” said IDSA Board of Directors Chair John Barratt at the IDSA Awards 2016, as he honored the late Carl Sundberg and Montgomery “Monte” Ferar, founders of Sundberg-Ferar—a product innovation studio in Walled Lake, MI—with the IDSA Personal Recognition Award. The award was accepted on the firm’s behalf by Curt Bailey, IDSA, president of Sundberg-Ferar, and Jeevak Badve, IDSA, vice president of strategic growth at Sundberg-Ferar and the chair of the IDSA International Conference 2017. Badve took a trip back in time. "Travel to the 1930s. The economy was trying to crawl out of the Great Depression. The industrial revolution was about 100 years in making—big, clunky, gritty and greasy defined production. There were just bits and pieces of the Bauhaus wind blowing. And in this environment, these two young men, Sundberg and Ferar, standing on the basic training they acquired from Harley Earl himself at the then state-of-art GM Art and Color Section, decided to apply that aesthetic and ergonomic thinking to the rest of the product world.” “What a big, audacious move to bring industrial design thinking to the masses—to everyday ordinary objects—to the sea of objects surrounding us,” declared Badve. “It was a radical idea then, but steadily and strategically brought design to the common American household. Sundberg and Ferar were among the pioneers of ID who paved the path for designers to be brave and confident of our profession and leverage it to build a successful business; bring happiness to the end user; and be the custodians of the ecology of this planet.” Today, the studio—with Bailey at the helm for a quarter of a century—offers expertise not only in ID, but also in innovation strategy, design research, user interface, ergonomics, engineering, model making, packaging and more in a wide range of products from home appliances to medical devices; from tools to UX/GUI; and from automotive to mobility solutions. Clients include Hyundai, Sears, Chrysler, NASA, John Deere, Wiss, Arrow, Stryker, Wolverine, GE Appliances, Coca-Cola, Denso, Genze and numerous startups. “I’m really proud of the award, of Jeevak and our staff, and that I’ve been part of this legacy,” says Bailey. “It’s a great celebration of these pioneers, for us to wonder in awe and aspire to do something as radical and transformative as they did in their times,” says Badve. “Yes, even we designers need our own dose of motivation and inspiration! And I think leaders like these will guide us and future generations in understanding the context and delivering relevant and meaningful solutions. Sundberg-Ferar truly is inspired to push industrial design thinking beyond our perceived vision.” Read more here.
  • SF Hosted Party for IDSA

    August 17, 2016

    Venue: The Waterview Loft @ Port Detroit, on the riverfront SF welcomed the annual international IDSA conference attendees to Detroit and hosted an evening full of fun, games, drinks, eats, and live music! It was absolutely well attended and each and every one in attendance enjoyed the evening. View photos from the event below:
  • Curt Bailey in Mobility in the Future Documentary by WIND

    July 21, 2016

    Curt Bailey from SF was featured in the documentary Drive Tomorrow by WIND, an Intel Company. Wind River® presents Mobility in the Future, the third film in the Drive Tomorrow documentary series about the future of the automobile. This four-part series includes exclusive interviews with experts from Autoweek, Ford Motor Company, Sundberg-Ferar, Ricardo, Roland Berger, Michigan Department of Transportation, University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center, U.S. Senate, and Wind River. More about Curt. Watch the films here.
  • Sundberg-Ferar – RADIO INTERVIEW – What is Industrial Design?

    July 9, 2016

    It was a privilege for Jeevak to be interviewed on WOOD Radio of west Michigan, on the topic of “What is Industrial Design?” The interview was conducted by the TEC chairman George Satula from www.tecmidwest.com. The conversation revolved around the core question, what is industrial design and how it's applicable in our everyday lives. How does the average man get affected by it? It makes an attempt to put forth some light on the (not so understood) world of emotion, beauty, aesthetics and elegance which are a part and parcel of our daily lives. The dialogue also leads to the question of why do mature companies hire independent design studios and the advantages thereof. It also touches on Jeevak's personal journey so far, and also on the amazing 82-year long legacy of the 2nd longest standing design studio in the nation, Sundberg-Ferar. The discussion is about 45 minutes and it was aired on July 09th, 6:00pm EST. WOOD radio is a very renowned Radio station in Michigan, with live listenership of 50,000+. The broadcast was also simulcast on www.iHeartMedia.com which reaches a quarter billion consumers every month. Listen to the podcast here.
  • Jeevak Badve – FEATURED SPEAKER – SHiFT Design Camp

    June 16, 2016

    “It was one of the best speaking experiences ever—literally, under a star dotted sky, in front of a sparking fire. No power points, no visual cues—just primal, authentic storytelling. It was just out of this world.” says Jeevak Badve, IDSA, who spoke on “What’s Your Design Element?” at one of the ground breaking concepts launched a few years ago called SHiFT design. The camp fire conversation was a part of the week long design camp, conducted in the 3000 acres of pristine and beautiful forests in northwest Alabama, at the foot hills of Appalachian mountains. The question Jeevak posed was as simple as it was profound: What’s your design element? What makes you a one-of-a-kind industrial designer? Jeevak spoke about incorporating 7 fundamental constructs that one should always try to live in, to create that fertile ground of always being fearlessly curious and autonomously able to join the disparate dots, as an ordinary facet of life. Once you start to investigate, discover and feel 24/7 like a designer, it's just a matter of fact that “good” things are going to happen. SHiFT is an open community of makers, connector, designers, and creators. Learn more at shiftdesign.us. Find SHiFT on twitter #shiftdesigncamp #betheshift.
  • SF Goes to Africa

    June 12, 2016

    SF is proudly located in Detroit, Michigan, the gritty epicenter of creativity and innovation. But it often serves global brands in their industrial design initiatives, including conducting design research on site, wherever the sites may be! We had one of our design research groups visiting Ethiopia and Ghana, researching the real world use, and often misuse, of smaller trucks for their relevant needs. We as a studio fiercely believe in robust fundamental design research—how the product is actually consumed, the end user, the dealers, the middlemen, the service centers or lack there of, the management, the factory workers who produce it, the entire 9 yards of “multi-users” research and then synthesis. The team literally lives in the boots of the users with extreme sensitivity towards user-empathy and the context in which the design has to deliver the promised end benefits, while balancing the business viability, the market matureness and the ecological safe-keep.
  • Jeevak Badve – KEYNOTE PANELIST – LTU Summer Symposium

    June 9, 2016

    Jeevak was invited to be on the LTU annual summer Symposium keynote panel presentation and discussion “Future of User Experience in Mobility”. Jeevak Badve, VP Strategic Growth at SundbergFerar Jason Diehl, Design Manager of Advanced User Experience at GM Jason Vazanno, CEO and CoFounder at Vectorform TC Wingrove, Ford Pass Product Experience Manager at Ford Brad Gieske, Design Manager – User Experience at FCA It was a fascinating and beautiful day at the LTU annual summer Design Symposium. Jeevak presented and discussed about how we all have to be super conscious and make it an everyday practice to think and solve for the ideal user experience, across product categories. The thought was well received by the panel and together they discussed the various pathways to explore as a common team. Mobility now has reached new crossroads and every OEM is making an attempt to carve out its rightful place in the entire ecosystem. Jeevak says, the new world of the autonomous driving option is going to arrive, 100%, within a decade or two. The question is, are we all ready to take advantage of it: experience-wise and monetary-wise? More about the event here. Visit the main site.
  • SF Goes to China

    May 21, 2016

    SF is proudly located in Detroit, Michigan, the gritty epicenter of creativity and innovation. But it often serves global brands in their industrial design initiatives, including conducting design research on site, wherever the sites may be. We had two of our design research groups visiting Beijing and Qingdao, researching the real world use and misuse of trucks, from the minds of a global Tier 1 supplier, for their relevant needs. We as a studio fiercely believe in robust fundamental design research—how is the product actually consumed, the end user, the dealers, the middlemen, the service centers or lack there of, the management, the factory workers who produce it, the entire 9 yards of “multi-users” research. The team literally lives in the boots of the users with extreme sensitivity towards user-empathy and the context in which the design has to deliver the end benefits, while balancing the business viability, the market matureness, and the ecological safe-keep.
  • Nation's Report Card: Technology & Engineering Literacy First Release Event

    May 17, 2016

    On May 17 at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, Jeevak was invited to speak to the National Assessment Governing Board at the release of the first-ever results of The Nation's Report Card: Technology and Engineering Literacy.  Jeevak's main focus was to add to the dialogue about how we should be adding and stressing on “A” (for arts) to be added to the 'STEM' education to make it 'STEAM' education, to make it well-rounded and more robustly suited for the future of work. It was a diverse panel of experts put together by Stephan Harris, (comprised of experts from OEM, consultants, tier 1 and start-ups) to engage and share their insights and perspective with the audience, at the curiosity filled venue at Michigan Science Center. Read the report here. Visit the Main NAEP report site for TEL.
  • Jeevak Badve - PANEL MODERATOR - WardsAuto Interiors Conference

    May 11, 2016

    Jeevak was one of the invited moderators for Panel 6: New Visions of Utility – Advanced Truck/CUV Interiors at the super well attended and manful conference put together by WardsAuto. With consumers favoring trucks and CUVs of all shapes and sizes over conventional cars, designers and engineers will talk about appealing to this growing consumer demand for utility. Discussion topics include how challenges were solved and weight was reduced; new materials, surfaces and textures; ergonomics and special features that create a memorable interior, and great user experiences. Find more information here.
  • Jeevak Badve - FEATURED SPEAKER - 2016 IDSA South Conference

    April 15, 2016

    Jeevak was invited to speak at the 2016 IDSA South Conference at Auburn. Read about his talk below: The True "Vehicle" of Design Experience Our combined collective “experience” as modern humans has helped us to survive as a species for 200,000 years. Those ingrained emotive forces were/are on autopilot to “protect” us. But Jeevak Badve, IDSA, believes we might be bracing for the second “regress” of a very fundamental trait of what makes us uniquely human. And that might be connected to our newer appetite of experiencing life—both natural and manmade— around us. Badve will delve into the business of design and the placement of that elusive experience in design. The fundamental design of the objects and the product systems becomes the primary channel of delivering the overarching experience. It’s systematically uncovering, identifying and understanding the characteristics of that future ideal user experience and then expressing, articulating and injecting them in the product line attributes— optimized for the business goals. On Twitter: #SDDC16 Find more information here. View photos of the event here. More about Jeevak + IDSA.
  • Jeff DeBoer - FEATURED SPEAKER - SAE World Congress TECH HUB

    April 12, 2016

    Jeff gave a talk at the entitled: Design with Consumer Acceptance in Mind in the Tech Hub at the 2016 SAE World Congress. The SAE 2016 World Congress assembles the best talent in the automotive industry; experts, management teams, engineers, and executives alike gather to collaborate and address current challenges, seek new windows for discovery and exploration, and promote the multitude of opportunities fundamental for a successful future. This year's theme, Powering Possibilities, represents a world of untapped discoveries in the automotive industry. Learn more here.
  • Jeevak Badve - FEATURED SPEAKER - SAE World Congress TECH HUB

    April 12, 2016

    Jeevak was invited to talk about the five elemental constructs of Industrial Design for a designer to be comfortable with the everyday life in a studio; the balance and the fine interplay between beauty, behavior, culture, context and value. The SAE 2016 World Congress assembles the best talent in the automotive industry; experts, management teams, engineers, and executives alike gather to collaborate and address current challenges, seek new windows for discovery and exploration, and promote the multitude of opportunities fundamental for a successful future. This year's theme, Powering Possibilities, represents a world of untapped discoveries in the automotive industry. Learn more here.
  • 2016 IDSA Central District Design Conference

    April 1, 2016

    Jeevak was the conference chair and keynote speaker of the 2016 IDSA Central District Design Conference: Industrial "Strength" Design in Pittsburgh. It’s almost a century since the birth of Industrial Design as a profession. It’s time to revisit the fundamental tenets of the vision and attempt to understand what’s working and what’s not. Times have evolved. Markets have transformed. User expectations are changing. We are indeed experiencing an amazing intersection of mighty forces: connectivity, digitization, mobility, autonomy, sensorification and electrification in almost all product categories. Is ID still the art of observation and discovery; the synthesizing of human needs and wants; the ability to formulate new world solutions and aligning with them with the business purpose to create beautiful objects or something more? On Twitter: #CDDC16 Read more here. Download the at-a-glance brochure here. More about Jeevak + IDSA.
  • Curt Bailey - FEATURED INTERVIEW - WIND Documentary

    March 2016

    Wind River® presents THE AUTONOMOUS CAR, the first film in the DRIVE TOMORROW documentary about the future of the automobile. The documentary is a four-part series that includes exclusive interviews with experts from Autoweek, Ford Motor Company, Sundberg-Ferar, Ricardo, Roland Berger, Michigan Department of Transportation, University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center, and Wind River. For more information and to watch the films, visit windriver.com/drive-tomorrow.
  • Featured Video on Oakland County PROSPER

    February 26, 2016

    Sundberg-Ferar was established in 1934 and is the second longest standing industrial design company in the United States. The Walled Lake company is an industry leader with a product roster that includes home appliances, automotive products, industrial electronic products, mass transit vehicles, vending machines, aircraft interiors, medical tools, and concept models for the NASA space station. Take a look inside Sundberg-Ferar with this Oakland County Prosper video by Matthew Stanton. Prosper is a free electronic newsletter about economic development in Oakland County. Watch the video here.
  • Jeevak Badve - GUEST LECTURER - Michigan State

    February 2016

    Jeevak is a proud Spartan, a 2009 EMBA grad from MSU Broad Business School. Go green. Go white. Go further. He was invited to give a lecture to the Brand Strategy & Product Innovation class at Michigan State University in Lansing. Jeevak was also honored to serve two terms on the EMBA alumni board. The Executive MBA Alumni Advisory Board is comprised of alumni of the Broad School’s Executive MBA Program. This board seeks to help promote networking, continuing education and information sharing amongst EMBA Alumni, create support for socializing and raising funds for Executive MBA alumni programs, and to increase the visibility of the program and its alumni. More info can be found here.
  • Jeff DeBoer - Interview on Michigan Radio's The Next Idea

    January 11, 2016

    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. Founded early last year, the Michigan Design Council has been tasked with a mission to change all that. Made up of representatives from the state’s leading design schools, as well as from top companies like Whirlpool, Herman Miller, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler, the Council is also looking for ways to encourage the next generation of Michiganders to consider careers in industrial design. This week, the Council announced its first initiative: The Michigan Design Prize. The inaugural competition is open to any Michigan resident, regardless of age or skill-set. Each contest, which the Council expects to hold annually, will be focused on a specific design challenge. For this first one, the Council chose “water.” Here’s the official prompt: Design a physical product solution that allows people to safely enjoy the benefits of Michigan’s diverse water resources. “We wanted a topic that everybody in Michigan – man, woman, or child – knows about, and it’s our amazing water resources,” says DeBoer. In addition to the competition, the Council has developed a curriculum guide to help teachers foster the creative development of our state’s youth. The competition accomplishes two goals, says Matt Clayson, vice president and general counsel for Detroit Trading and a Design Council member. “You’re really elevating the discourse about the role that designers play, in not only making products that are novel, useful, all of that, but in addressing issues that can benefit our society,” says Clayson. The other piece is to help Michigan’s future generations see design as a strong career path. “We need to keep [Michigan’s] pipeline full to stay at the top, and the best way to do that is to show students, K-12, that there are meaningful careers in the creative industries,” says Clayson. Listen to Jeff DeBoer and Matt Clayson discuss the Michigan Design Prize here.
  • Jeff DeBoer - Roosevelt School Lecture

    January 2016

    In an attempt to bring design thinking to K-12 domain, Jeff, as an board member of MDC, took an immersive workshop to the second graders at the Roosevelt school and demonstrated the methodology and approach on Industrial design by doing an hands on “shoe design” exercise! The vision of the Michigan Design Council is to establish Michigan as THE destination for individuals in Industrial Design and related design professions to help Michigan based businesses prosper, and encourage businesses to locate to Michigan by virtue of its robust industrial design talent base. More info can be found here.
  • Michigan Design Council: Detroit is Where the Action is for Design

    January 2016

    Jeff DeBoer sees industrial design as something the public probably doesn’t know about, even though most products they own both work and look better because of industrial designers. “If you think of an automobile, everyone knows what Ford is, but not too many people know who the industrial designers are that created a cool look for a particular vehicle,” said DeBoer, who is vice president of the Michigan-based industrial design firm Sundberg-Ferar. The lack of public knowledge about Michigan’s rich industrial design history is one of the reasons DeBoer and other thought leaders in the profession created the Michigan Design Council. Along with DeBoer, the group includes multiple members of academia and heads of design for several global companies, like Teckla Rhoads, who is General Motors Co.’s executive director global industrial design, and Ralph Gilles, who is head of design for FCA Global. Sundberg-Ferar has deep roots in industrial design, having worked for a long list of different companies, including many in the automotive industry. Founded in Detroit during the 1930s, Sundberg-Ferar is the second oldest industrial design firm in the nation and has continued to call Michigan its home... Read the rest of the article here.
  • Jeevak Badve - FEATURED SPEAKER - TEDxDetroit

    October 8, 2015

    Jeevak was invited to speak in front of 2,500 strong audience, about his design journey, especially about the passion of his life being an industrial designer. He expounded on the basic 7 dimensions of industrial design and how it's applicable to the design of everyday objects that we use: Each object we use evokes an emotional response and so the meticulous crafting of the positive emotional journey across the various touch points is the key, by charting the myriad latent needs of humanity in this ever-changing world and innate understanding of the multi-facets of human behavior and psychology. Its basically artfully responding to these identified needs in the most optimal and authentic way. To make every object we design to be useful, beautiful, ergonomic and meaningful. TEDxDetroit is an independently produced offspring of the annual TED gathering of big brains and cool creators. Watch a video Jeevak's talk here.
  • SF Highlighted in “Detroit: City of Design”

    September 28, 2015

    “Detroit: City of Design” is a film by Stephen McGee. See Sundberg Ferar at 1:09. Produced by Detroit Creative Corridor. Jeevak sits on the DC3 board. Watch the film here. Learn more about the Detroit Creative Corridor Center.
  • Jeevak Badve - FEATURED SPEAKER - Design Management Institute Conference

    September 27, 2015

    Jeevak was invited to speak at DMI’s 40th anniversary Design leadership Conference in Boston, on the "Design Your Own Future: Agile Career Strategies" panel. He talked about the fine balance between the design of objects and the context of business it sits in and how both are intricately connected with each other. Jeevak sits on the DC3 board. DMI celebrated their 40th Anniversary in 2015; 40 years of experience connecting design, business, and society in a changing world. Learn more about the conference here.
  • Curt Bailey - FEATURED SPEAKER - Creative Many Seminar

    September 23, 2015

    Creative Many Michigan brought together some of the most notable experts and presenters in the state for a one-day important policy summit on the Strategic Growth Opportunities for Michigan’s Creative Economy. Curt participated in the "Cultivating Creativity through Creative Education" panel which discussed the imperative of providing all students with a creative education to develop critical thinking, collaborative and creative skills in preparation for an ever-changing, diverse global economy. More info (and a video of the event) can be found here.
  • Jeevak Badve - FEATURED SPEAKER - CAR Management Briefing Seminars

    August 5, 2015

    Jeevak was invited to talk about the world of Industrial Design why and how to leverage it in the strategic growth of the company. He talked about the quest of designers to discover, identify and build on the end user ideal user experience and successfully translating those in the design of the physical durable objects. CAR Management Briefing Seminars, is one of the industry’s “must-attend” events. CAR MBS showcases valuable automotive insight, analysis and commentary on a wide variety of topical issues, including manufacturing, policy, economics, technical and economic development and labor. More info about the event can be found here.
  • Jeff DeBoer - FEATURED SPEAKER - CAR Management Briefing Seminars

    August 5, 2015

    Jeff spoke about the foundational parameters for the formation of MDC, Michigan Design Council, the nature and scope of Industrial design in the great state of Michigan and why and how we are attempting to nurture and attract more industrial designers here. CAR Management Briefing Seminars, is one of the industry’s “must-attend” events. CAR MBS showcases valuable automotive insight, analysis and commentary on a wide variety of topical issues, including manufacturing, policy, economics, technical and economic development and labor. More info about the event can be found here.
  • Jeevak Badve - FEATURED SPEAKER - SAE World Congress

    April 21, 2015

    Jeevak was invited to speak at the SAE World Congress on the topic of how to create positive emotional response for the products you design and want to sell and how important it is to meticulously craft that process. He also explained the differences between the world of “art” and the world of “industrial design” while also emphasizing the common elements that are flexed in the psychology of human thinking and cognitive behavior. The SAE 2015 World Congress assembles the best talent in the automotive industry; experts, management teams, engineers, and executives alike gather to collaborate and address current challenges, seek new windows for discovery and exploration, and promote the multitude of opportunities fundamental for a successful future. This year’s theme, Leading Mobility Innovation, expresses the dawning of a new day in the automotive industry.
  • SF Team joins the Michigan Design Council

    Curt, Jeff and Jeevak are honored to be the foundational council members of MDC. The vision of the Michigan Design Council is to establish Michigan as THE destination for individuals in Industrial Design and related design professions to help Michigan based businesses prosper, and encourage businesses to locate to Michigan by virtue of its robust industrial design talent base. More info can be found here.
  • Action 7 News features the newly formed "Pit Crew" solutions group.

    March 6th, 2015

    Action 7 News in Detroit shared how a group of Metro Detroit companies are coming together to collaborate and innovate. The Pit Crew is a unified group of innovators, designers and developers ready to deliver distinctive client solutions and insightful technology. This group brings the horsepower of best-in-class, industry defining organizations with more than 100 years of combined experience and Sundberg-Ferar is proud to be on this team. News Story www.pitcrewdetroit.com
  • Jeff DeBoer presents at the NAIAS

    January 13, 2015

    Jeff DeBoer was the featured speaker at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. press conference at the 2015 NAIAS, where the Michigan Design Council was introduced. Sundberg-Ferar will lead this advisory council, whose goal is to enhance Michigan's position as the top spot in the nation for industrial and product design. With the automotive business in Detroit, and the furniture and appliance businesses on the west side, Michigan already has the most industrial designers of any state in the country. Council members will come from design industry leaders such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Newell Rubbermaid, Whirlpool, University of Michigan, College for Creative Studies, and Continental. The council will meet quarterly at various locations around the state. One of the first orders of business is to select a location for a concentrated 1-10 square mile "Design Zone" for creatively focused business activity. Maybe a "District 313" in Detroit and a "District 616" on the west side. Related Article 1
  • Sundberg-Ferar 80th Anniversary

    October 5, 2014

    On October 2nd, in a gala celebration at The Henry Ford Museum, Sundberg-Ferar looked back at a remarkable history and toasted to the prospect of an equally remarkable future. Over 200 clients, friends, recent alums, old-timers and family members attended the event. Many Michigan dignitaries were in attendance and Governor Rick Snyder supplied a videotaped congratulations message, reminding the audience that there are more industrial designers employed in the state of Michigan than in any other state. The evening was kicked-off by current SF President, Curt Bailey, who guided the audience through an historic overview of SF’s rich contribution to design in America. A group of fascinating people shared anecdotes: Jeff DeBoer, VP/Principal of Sundberg-Ferar; Susan Sundberg Riley and Bob Riley, Carl Sundberg’s daughter and son-in-law; Karl Heck, son of Dick Heck (SF’s second President); MaryEllen Dohrs, Sundberg-Ferar alum from 1953-1958; Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator at the International Housewares Association; Jeevak Badve, Director of Strategic Growth at SF; and Dan Martinage, IDSA’s Executive Director. The Henry Ford museum maintains an archive of Sundberg-Ferar designs and many SF–designed products were on display. Guests mingled amongst decades of designs ranging from scale models of mass transit cars to the Club Car Precedent golf car, to the soon-to-be-introduced Mahindra GenZe two-wheeled electric vehicle. Carl Sundberg and Montgomery Ferar founded Sundberg-Ferar in 1934 in Detroit with a handshake in the parking lot of General Motors Headquarters; the same building that now is home to the College of Creative Studies. Sundberg-Ferar is the second longest standing independent design firm in the United States and Carl and Monte have taken their place amongst the founding fathers of Industrial Design. In the course of their history, Sundberg-Ferar has designed thousands of products in almost every category imaginable. In addition to 70+ years designing major appliances with Whirlpool Corporation and Sears, including the iconic 1959 Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen, Sundberg-Ferar is well known for the design of mass transit train cars (BART in San Francisco, MARTA in Atlanta, the Washington DC METRO, many of the MTA trains in New York, and DART in Dallas). Sundberg-Ferar designed the original interior for the Lockheed L-1011 airliner, and has created concept cars for the automotive industry. They even worked on the international space station for Lockheed and NASA. Today, Sundberg-Ferar continues to innovate consumer, medical and transportation products for multi-national corporations and startups alike. Following their motto of “No More Porridge,” SF de-commoditizes products and creates unique and compelling value propositions for customers. Design strategy has also become a significant component of their business with their Genesis™ offering. Sundberg-Ferar’s relationship with the automotive industry has expanded and they now work with many OEMs and tier-one suppliers. Detroit has become the gritty epicenter of an American manufacturing resurgence, and Sundberg-Ferar is proud that they’ve survived and thrived here for 80 years.
  • Sundberg-Ferar 80th Anniversary Celebration - at The Henry Ford Museum

    October 2, 2014

    On Thursday evening, October 2, 2014, Sundberg-Ferar will be hosting a party at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. We will be celebrating the anniversary of our founding in Detroit in 1934. We are excited to be able to host this event at The Henry Ford Museum as many of our historical works can be found in their collection and will be on display, as well as full access to the entire museum. This will be a fantastic evening to celebrate Industrial Design and the role Sundberg-Ferar has been fortunate enough to play over the last eighty years.
  • Curt Bailey - FEATURED COLUMNIST - Henry Ford Magazine

    June, 2013

    The Henry Ford Museum publishes a annual magazine that offers insights, behind the scenes stories and opportunities to gain perspective, get inspired and make history. Curt Bailey, Sundberg-Ferar’s President, was asked to write a guest column for the magazine’s “Innovation Nation” section. If you do not receive the magazine in printed form, you can read it here on your PC... Related Article 1
  • Curt Bailey – FEATURED SPEAKER - IDSA Central District Conference

    April 12, 2013

    Curt’s talk, titled “Is My Washing Machine Selling Me Detergent?” was a hit. Here’s a synopsis... It started with embedded touch screens that were just fancy, sexy control panels, but now controls have an associated Web app, mobile device app, connectivity, infotainment, advertising, television channels, social media links, remote upgradability and connected service diagnostics. Screens are getting larger and the processors are getting faster. Larger screens are driving changes to traditional form factors on products. Some products advertise media first and foremost, and second be what they are supposed to be (washing machines, gas pumps, exercise equipment). Purchase decision criteria and product pricing strategies are changing as alternative revenue streams emerge. Because of this user experience is a whole new game. In the past, we recruited industrial designers and engineers. Now we need advertising professionals, app developers, filmmakers and event marketers. The products we design still need to do what they were originally designed to do, but it is becoming increasingly important to decide what else they do or don’t do. More info (and a video of the talk) can be found at... Related Article
  • Curt Bailey – KEYNOTE SPEECH - DIGITAL SIGNAGE 2020: EYES ON THE FUTURE

    February 28, 2013

    The DSE 2013 thought leadership panel features four prominent experts with backgrounds ranging from computer science to industrial design sharing their visions for the future of visual communication and the integration of digital displays in the physical world.

As the panelists and their companies are engaged in both current cutting-edge display applications and future-forward planning — involving everything from appliances to stores to cities — their anticipated insights, some of which are expressed below, will provide a thought-provoking framework for now and future discussion on the challenges and opportunities to be found along the road of digital signage industry growth. Related Article
  • Chrysler’s Uconnect recognized for Excellence

    January 9, 2013

    Sundberg-Ferar assisted the Chrysler Corporation with the development of their automotive touch screen interface, uConnect. SF designers worked closely with the Chrysler team to create a system that supports the brand personality and styling of each vehicle. uConnect is intuitive to use, beautiful, and can be applied across many new Chrysler vehicle platforms. “The Garmin system fitted to the Dodge Charger ranks highest in owner satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems and performs particularly well in the navigation display screen, ease of use and speed of system factors.” _autoblog.com “The big news in terms of visible interior changes is the uConnect Touch connectivity system. With its 8.4-inch touch screen, uConnect Touch is so important that the Journey’s interior was designed around it.” _Family Car Guide Related Article 1 Related Article 2 Related Article 3
  • This Old House magazine has named KraftMaid’s CoreGuard™ sink base as a “TOH Top 100″ product for 2012.

    November 1, 2012

    Sundberg-Ferar conducted a Genesis™ strategic innovation exercise to identify new product opportunities in the kitchen cabinet category. As a result of extensive research, SF observed that a significant number of U.S. homes had water damage in the under-sink cabinet. Bucking traditional wisdom and manufacturing paradigms, SF created an entirely new cabinet construction methodology. CoreGuard offers a smart solution to help homeowners protect their investment by keeping their cabinetry beautiful inside and out.
  • NuStep T5XR Recumbent Cross Trainer Wins 2009 Medical Design Excellence Award

    June 9, 2009

    NuStep, Inc., maker of the Recumbent Cross Trainer models, won the prestigious 2009 Medical Design Excellence Award (MDEA) for the T5XR Recumbent Cross Trainer. The MDEA recognizes the achievements of medical device manufacturers and their suppliers who are changing the face of healthcare with innovative medical products. The T5XR Recumbent Cross Trainer, which won a MDEA in the Rehabilitation and Assistive-Technology Products category, was launched in September 2008 after a four-year collaborative effort that drew on the expertise of exercise physiologists and ergonomic specialists and the input of NuStep customers. NuStep Vice President of Research and Development, Mark Hildebrandt, led the T5XRdesign and development team. He says, “Everything our NuStep and supplier teams did was focused on meeting or exceeding the needs of our rehabilitation customers.” He adds, “Winning the Medical Design Excellence Award highlights the exceptional efforts of our teams and we are so honored to be recognized.” S-F worked closely with the technical and marketing teams at NuStep to develop an appearance and feature set that was uniquely differentiated from the competition and was flexible enough to adapt to multiple models and trim levels. Related Article
  • Winner of the Silver rating Cradle-to-Cradle 2009 award

    March 13, 2009

    The Design Finders recognized Casabella's eclipse™ line of new products as the first to receive a Silver Cradle-to-Cradle(SM)  rating. No longer merely coloring a new product a shade of green and adding marketing “feel good” language on the packaging; companies are now serious about this commitment to the environment and their customers."

    “The purpose of the Design Defined program is to bring attention to those companies that have placed a premium on quality design,” said Phil Brandl, president of IHA.

    Casabella Eclipse

    Casabella, a manufacturer of premium home cleaning products, asked Sundberg-Ferar to develop a line of environmentally friendly cleaning tools. The result was eclipse™, combining improved functionality with dramatic styling and cradle-to-grave sustainability. S-F conducted extensive consumer research to understand perceptions about “green products”. These findings led S-F to design a line of products that are made from recycled soda bottles (giving them their distinctive green color). eclipse™ is also designed to be long-lasting, require fewer chemicals for cleaning, is 100% curb-side recyclable, and is made in the U.S.A. cool.
  • Stryker wins a 2008 MDEA for the Intouch™ Critical Care Bed.

    June 10, 2008

    The InTouch critical-care hospital bed combines advanced connectivity technologies, intuitive operation, and BackSmart ergonomics. Caregivers can access patient data and protocol reminders via the bed touch screen interface. Stryker asked Sundberg-Ferar to help them set a new standard for the appearance and fit & finish for the high acuity hospital bed market. Stryker had developed multiple new state of the art technologies that needed to be tastefully integrated into the new bed. The InTouch critical-care hospital bed combines advanced connectivity technologies, intuitive operation, and BackSmart ergonomics. Caregivers can access patient data and protocol reminders via the bed�s touch screen interface. The new athletic styling, integration of new technologies and the world class fit and finish have driven tangible market distinction. Results include a prestigious 2008 Medical Design Excellence Award and extraordinary sales growth in a tough competitive market. Related Article