- College for Creative Studies
College for Creative Studies
Established 1906 Type Private President Richard Rogers Undergraduates 1,358 Location Detroit, Michigan, United States Campus Urban Colors PMS 109 (Gold), PMS 276 (Deep Purple) Mascot Watson Peacock Website CCS Website
College for Creative Studies (CCS) is an art education institution in the United States and was cited by BusinessWeek as one of the 60 best design schools in the world. It is a private, fully accredited, four-year college located in Detroit, Michigan. CCS is credited with having one of the world’s most recognized programs in transportation design and for placing possibly more graduates in automotive design than any other school. The school is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of thirty-six leading art schools in the United States.
The college had its origin in 1906 with the formation of the Society of Arts and Crafts. In 1926, the society became one of the first Arts and Crafts organizations in America to offer an educational program in the arts. In 1962, when the Michigan Department of Education authorized the granting of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design, the school officially became a college. In 1975 the School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts changed its name to the Center for Creative Studies-College of Art and Design and in 2001 it assumed its present name.
Currently CCS offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in 11 majors: Advertising Design, Entertainment Arts(Character and Expiremental Animation, Video and Live Action, and Game Art), Art Education, Crafts, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design, and Transportation Design.
On January 8, 2006, Richard Rogers, President of the school, announced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show that Josephine Ford, the only granddaughter of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, bequeathed $50 million to CCS upon her death the previous June. This gift stands as the largest single gift ever made to a private arts college in the United States, and the largest gift to any private school in Michigan.
The official mascot is the Screaming Peacock and the school colors are cardinal and eggshell.
The university has many unique facilities such as extensive studio space, art gallery for student exhibitions, foundry, computer studios, wood shop, metals shop, glassblowing studio, ceramic studio, fiber studio.
CCS MFA Master of Fine Arts
Fall 2009 is the inaugural year for CCS graduate programs. The two year MFA degrees in Design and Transportation Design are terminal degrees that prepare students for leadership in the design industries. The MFA degree programs share core curriculum, with variations in technology components, and the focus and content of industry sponsored projects.
The MFA program’s focus on business is directly related to CCS roots. Founded as part of the Arts and Crafts movement a century ago, CCS has always been practical, professional and business oriented. Students will experience the basic “Boot Camp” immersion required of MBA’s as well as courses in marketing, within an environment steeped in business culture. The objective is to give students the tools and vocabulary necessary to think in business terms and to communicate effectively in the business world: verbally, in writing and through quantitative research thinking. Learning will be applied and tested on team-based, client-sponsored projects in studio classes.
The CCS graduate program is directed and taught by professionals with extensive experience in design and the business of design. CCS' approach starts with designers: talented, trained, experienced professionals interested in deepening their theoretical and practical design knowledge and competence, and learning the business of design at a management level. The College's goals are to give graduates the knowledge and skills to advance their careers as innovators in the field of design, shorten the time frame typically required to learn business practices on the job, build and lead creative teams that drive business results, and become active participants in corporate strategy and decision making.
CCS MFA graduates acquire the background for integrating design into the corporate planning stream that connects market research, engineering, finance, production and marketing. MFA core study areas are design, business and culture, structured in a systems approach designed to relate and integrate learning across disciplines. While other programs tend to focus on the analysis of research and the verbalization of criteria and concepts, the CCS MFA focuses on doing. The designer as Maker is at the heart and soul of this institution. Students will learn to take research findings, new knowledge about the human/technology interface, basic business principles, and an understanding of social, economic and cultural contexts, and transform them into applicable results.
CCS Expands to Argonaut Building (A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education)
The College for Creative Studies (CCS) launched a major expansion that transformed the institution while providing new educational opportunities for Detroit youth and advancing the renewal of the City’s New Center, Detroit area.
In a project totaling about $145,000,000, the world-renowned College redeveloped the historic Argonaut Building in 2009 as a second campus site and reorganized and upgraded its existing campus in the Cultural Center. The Argonaut Building houses undergraduate and graduate programs in design, community outreach activities, student housing, research and professional activities in the design fields, and a charter middle school and high school with a special focus on art and design.
General Motors, which built the 760,000-square-foot (71,000 m2) Argonaut Building as its first research facility, has donated it to the College and provided substantial assistance in planning the project. GM has also donated three adjacent pieces of property. The building was designed by Albert Kahn in 1927, and an addition was constructed in 1936. The first design department in the history of the auto industry, directed by legendary designer Harley Earl, was located in the building.
CCS programs and departments occupy approximately 70 percent of the Argonaut Building (now known as the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education) with other partners making up the remainder of the facility. The campus will be home to all of CCS’s design-based majors - Transportation Design, Product Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, and Advertising Design. When they launch in 2009, CCS’s Master of Fine Arts degree programs in Design and in Transportation Design will be housed in the facility. These innovative new programs prepare students for leadership in design industries by building upon CCS’s strong tradition of educating highly skilled designers. In addition to a full design curriculum, MFA students take business courses through a partnership with University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The New Center site will be home to CCS’s Community Arts Partnerships program, which serves approximately 3,000 Detroit youth annually in partnership with local schools and community organizations, as well as the Continuing Education department, which provides youth and adult art and design programs.
The new campus also allows the College to meet the housing demands of current and incoming students, with the addition of 300 beds of student housing, added to the 265 beds at the Cultural Center site. A conference center with a 400-seat auditorium, which will be available for public use, and a 360-seat dining hall are included in the project.
Innovative Middle and High School Educational Community
The Argonaut building is the home of an art and design-based charter middle school and high school for Detroit students. CCS is partnered with the Thompson Educational Foundation and Henry Ford Learning Institute  to develop high-performance schools that will provide a pathway for artistically-talented Detroit students to careers in the design fields and the creative economy. They also address the need for more minority students at CCS and other art and design colleges around the country, and for greater minority representation in the design professions. Both of these partners have built successful models for education and are considered leaders in changing education in the city of Detroit and the region.
Black Artists Researching Trends (B.A.R.T.)headed by Cliff Harris - CCS Advisor and Director of Multi-Cultural Affairs B.A.R.T. focuses on the work of artists outside the mainstream. All students are welcome to join. The group sponsors lectures and local exhibits, and performs community service work.
Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) The GSA is composed of students, faculty, and staff. The main goal of this organization is to provide a forum for the CCS community to discuss Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender (GLBT) topics in a safe place. The group also organizes campus wide events to provide educational opportunities for the entire community on GLBT issues.
Innovative, Diverse Educational Activities (IDEA) This student group meets with the Student Programming Coordinator to provide input on activities held on campus. It offers opportunities for students to learn event planning processes and leadership skills.
English Conversation Group International students are paired with English Speaking students to improve their conversational skills and assist them in acclimating to the United States and Detroit in particular.
Multicultural Student Collective The Multicultural Student Collective is a committee of students who work closely with faculty and staff to develop culturally diverse programming for CCS students. From workshops conducted by guest artists and designers, to exhibitions featuring the work of multicultural CCS students, programs highlight minority involvement in disciplines represented at CCS.
Student Budget Committee This student group meets with the Vice President of Administration and Finance to learn more about the CCS budgeting process and provide student input.
Student Government The Student Government is the formal link between CCS administration and students, and provides students a forum in which to voice opinions and concerns. Meetings are held once a week. Student Government takes on special projects as necessary.
Departmental Organizations American Society of Interior Designers(ASID) The CCS student chapter of this national design organization focuses heavily on careers in interior design. Members design show houses, raise funds for charities, tour manufacturing facilities, and attend trade shows and career events held at the Michigan Design Center. Members serve on various boards, with one student serving as representative to Michigan's A.S.I.D. board.
Children's Book Society The Children's Book Society promotes the profession of children's book illustration by providing informational resources, organizing exhibitions of student work, and bringing professionals to campus to speak about the business, review portfolios, and conduct workshops.
Glass Odyssey Organized Society for Enrichment (G.O.O.S.E ) This group aims to further students' education through its meetings with glass artists outside CCS. Members have the opportunity to promote themselves through networking, while gleaning new information and learning about current techniques and materials used in the glass world.
Industrial Designers Society of America (I.D.S.A.) The CCS student chapter of this national design organization sponsors regular visits to national galleries and corporations, ensuring students are well-informed about current events and developments in the industrial design profession.
SIGGMO The CCS student chapter of the national SIGGRAPH organization links students with the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's oldest and largest educational and scientific computing society. The Association's mission is to promote the exchange of ideas and theories and advance information technology, while promoting professional standards. SIGGMO focuses on building a sense of community among animation and graphics students on campus, and on linking students with industry professionals. The group also sponsors guest speakers and social events.
- Harry Bertoia - Italian-born artist, sculptor, and modern furniture designer.
- Bob Boniface - Director of Design for the Chevrolet Volt
- Doug Chiang - American film designer and artist
- Ralph Gilles - President and CEO of the Dodge and Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler Group LLC
- Tyree Guyton - Noted artist behind the Heidelberg Project
- Kevin Hunter - Vice President of Design and Studio Operations at Calty Design Research
- Tom Kearns - Chief Designer of Kia Design Center America
- Taru Lahti('88?)
- Bill Morrison - co-founder of Bongo Comics
- Ryoji Okazaki('93)
- Camillo Pardo('85)
- Joel Piaskowski ('90)
- Patrick Schiavone - Vice President, Design, North America Region for Whirlpool Corporation
- Kevin Siembieda - co-founder of Palladium Books
- B. K. Taylor - Illustrator and writer noted for his Odd Rods trading stickers, illustrations for Sick magazine and National Lampoon, and his writing for Home Improvement.
- Crystal Windham('94)
- Wyland - Artist famous for murals of whales
Past and Present
- Dale K. Myers - award winning computer animator.
- Harvey Ovshinsky - journalist, story consultant media producer, film maker.
- Syd Mead - concept artist and visual futurist.
- ^ "BusinessWeek: Best Design Schools in the World". http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07/10/1005_dschools/source/1.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- ^ Higher Learning Commission Listing for CCS
- ^ NASAD's Member List
- ^ Great Automotive School Rivalry
- ^ Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design member listing
- ^ Detroit history on the Society of Arts and Crafts
- ^ Detroit News Article on the Society for Arts and Crafts
- ^ Michigan Department of Education
- ^ About Detroit Community Arts Partnerships
- ^ Ford makes gift to college article
- ^ Crains article about the Argonaut renovation
- ^ Thompson Educational Foundation site
- ^ Henry Ford Learning Institute site
- ^ Bob Boniface and the Volt
- ^ Gilles as Dodge Brand Chief
- ^ Kevin Hunter Bio
- ^ Interview on Kia site with Tom Kearns
- ^ 1992 Ghia Focus Concept Car by Taru Lahti
- ^ Who's Who in Automotive Design Europe 2008 Okazaki
- ^ Camillo Pardo with Ford GT Concept
- ^ Motor Authority on Pardo
- ^ Joel Piaskowski leaves Hyundai for Mercedes
- ^ Patrick Schiavone resigns Ford for Whirlpool
- ^ Crystal Windham Director of GM Passenger Car Design
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