All posts by sally erickson wilson

Materials Studio

This series of vessels made from eggshells by 2017 Color & Materials graduate, Roma Rupani began by looking at discarded food  ingredients  as a source for innovating surface, appearance and texture.   The project  led by Kelly Slank introduced the work of Laurence Humier, in her project Cooking Material.   By contrast Ying Zhang focussed on using a variety of Chinese food ingredients; peppers, shaved coconut and beans to create playful and interesting results, captured in resin with a range of gloss levels, she speculated possible applications.



When Traditions Become Trends

I was looking for some resources on cultural inspirations. We have students who are looking to their cultures for inspiration and translating to a range of material samples and artifacts. This is a thought provoking conversation with some excellent questions and ideas around the topic “Where do you draw the line between appreciation and appropriation? and ” When is borrowing designs disrespectful? “

Johanna Blakley

Yesterday, I joined “Project Runway” finalist Korto Momolu on an episode of “The Stream,” an innovative multimedia show on al Jazeera English. The topic? Cultural appropriation. Turns out that Momolu has gotten a lot of heat for incorporating African designs and textiles into her work . . . despite the fact that she’s from Liberia. I was part of the mix in order to clarify some of the ownership rules around cultural remix practices in fashion.

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Color & Materials Design student Shabnam Hosseini installs her work at ArtPrize Eight

One of our first year students Shabnam Hosseini installs her work for ArtPrize Eight in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her sculpture  standing over six feet tall and made from paper and gold thread hangs in the cavernous  Calvin College Gallery  from September 21 – October 9 .

One Can Be Constant

One Can Be Constant. Paper and gold thread. 2015, 9″x9″x74″

ArtPrize is recognized as the most-attended public art event on the planet according to The Art Newspaper, and was recently highlighted in The New York Times’ 52 Places To Go in 2016.

For 19 days in the early fall, around 400,000 attendees descend upon three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown in over 160 venues—museums, galleries, bars, restaurants, theaters, hotels, public parks, lobbies, buildings, walls, bridges, laundromats, and auto body shops—and it’s all free and open to the public.


2016 IDSA International Conference: Making Things Happen

Witness Color, Detroit

Last week designers arriving early for the IDSA 2016  International Conference in Detroit  participated in a range of workshops at CCS.

Color and Materials Design MFA hosted Witness Color, Detroit Workshop,  invited participants to research Detroit and it’s brand though a personal branded color palette. 14066429_10154161671418891_7561578733819690337_o

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2016 Color and Materials Design Graduates

Congratulations to our 2016 Graduates who have now begun their careers in a range of studios including Ford, Nike, Karma, Teague and Rivian.


Tara Ellis, Robert Beyer, Haodi Xue, Sanchari Mahapatra, Stacy Evans, Eunice Kim and Sophia Park (Clockwise from back row LHS)

Tara Ellis, Robert Beyer, Haodi Xue, Sanchari Mahapatra, Stacy Evans, Eunice Kim and Sophia Park
(Clockwise from back row LHS)

Color and materials play key role in BMW’s MINI Vision Next 100 concept car

mini-concept-vehicle-bmw-transport-design-autonomous-driverless-technology-car-digital-intelligence-system-_dezeen_936_9Mini interior concept

The subject of vehicle sharing  and autonomy is close to heart and frequently the topic of collaborations between CMF designers and Transportation designers here at CCS.  MINI and the team at BMW are testing concepts where different configurations are built in to suit user’s preferences, treating the interior and exterior as a “blank canvas” for customer personalization.  Another question  that is on everyone’s minds is how to manage the materials aspect of shared ownership. Here is Mini’s approach recently reported by

” Sharing cars intensively would increase the general wear and tear of vehicles, so MINI has investigated the use hard-wearing materials for the interior.The vehicle’s floor, roof lining and side-panel trim would be made out of recycled plastic and aluminium.The storage net behind the steering wheel would made from lightweight basalt and the lower section of the seat would be finished in a recycled cellulose material similar to paper.

The novel use of materials included deliberately allows a patina to develop through use, ensuring they retain a long-lasting and sophisticated appearance,” said  MINI design chief Anders Warming.


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