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  • 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.