Date: December 11, 2018 | Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm - 2 AIA HSW Credits

AIAD:COMMONS | Automotive Design, Mobility, and the Built Environment

The December installment of our AIAD:COMMONS monthly program will feature the fifth episode of the Netflix-produced “ABSTRACT: The Art of Design” series, focused on Automotive Design, and viewed through the lens of a case study on Fiat Chrysler Global Head of Design and CCS graduate, Ralph Gilles.

– Free Event
– Earn 2 AIA HSW CEUs


Following the screening, a panel of experts representing a range of design disciplines, including Mr. Gilles himself, will explore the deeply interrelated frontiers we’re currently approaching in the areas of mobility and automation, placemaking, the future of work, and more. The technologies and innovations taking root in the mobility sector now will inevitably make their way into the world of architecture and the built environment before long—these advances are reshaping our very lifestyles, so both ‘places-that-move’ and ‘places-that-stand-still’ will have to adapt. The ultimate hope for this interdisciplinary cross-fertilization would be to help individual design practitioners, regardless of their discipline of choice, to inform a more intelligent future for our urban environments.

Join us in the conversation as we weave through concepts of design at many scales and scopes, from product and industrial design, through automotive design, interior design, landscape design, architecture, and urban planning, and seek out the parallels and interdependancies from which we can inform a more intelligent future for our urban environments.

Ralph Gilles | Head of Design, FCA North America
Ralph Gilles was named Head of Design in April 2015 and is responsible for shaping and directing design across the Company’s entire brand portfolio. He was also appointed to the Group Executive Council for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. during the same time period.

Gilles has also served as the Senior Vice President – Product Design and President and CEO – Motorsports, FCA – North America; President and CEO – SRT Brand and President and CEO – Dodge brand for FCA US LLC. He was named Vice President – Design in September 2008.

He is extremely active inside and outside the Company. He serves as the executive sponsor of the Fiat Chrysler African American Network (FCAAN) in addition to playing a supporting role with The Chrysler Global Diversity Council. He also serves on the board of the Michigan Design Council. At his alma mater, The College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, Gilles is a member of the CCS Board of Trustees and the CCS Capital Committee.

An avid car enthusiast who enjoys spending time at the track, go-karting and watching Formula 1 auto racing, Gilles has participated in the Targa Newfoundland Rally, the Car and Driver One Lap of America and the SRT Viper Cup Series. In addition, he has frequently served as a judge at various Concours d’Elegance events across the country including Pebble Beach, the Inn at St. John and Cranbrook, along with the EyesOn Design car show.

Gilles has earned numerous academic and industry awards, including: The Michigan State University Eli Broad Graduate School of Management Young Alumni Achievement Award, The Automotive Hall of Fame Young Leadership & Excellence Award, NV Magazine Innovation Award, Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award and N’Digo Foundation N’Design Award.

Since first joining the Company in 1992 as a designer, Gilles has put his extensive academic background in industrial design and business administration to use, holding various positions within the Company, including:

• 2015 – current, Head of Design
• 2015 – current, Head of Design, GEC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.
• 2011, President and CEO – Motorsports, FCA US LLC
• 2011, President and CEO – SRT Brand
• 2009, President and CEO – Dodge Brand
• 2009, Senior Vice President – Product Design, FCA – North America
• 2008, Vice President – Design, Chrysler LLC
• 2006, Vice President – Jeep®/Truck, Color and Trim Studios, and Specialty Vehicles, Chrysler LLC, DaimlerChrysler
• 2005, Director – Truck Exterior/Interior Design Studio
• 2001, Director – Design Office, Large Car Studio, Family Vehicles
• 1999, Senior Manager – Design Office, Studio 3
• 1998, Manager – Design Office, Jeep Interiors, Chrysler Corporation
• 1992, Designer – Design Office

Gilles holds a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University (2002) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroi(1992).

Gilles was born in New York City.

Brandon L. Faurote | Head of Precision Design Studio and Partner Programs, FCA North America
Brandon L. Faurote was appointed Head of the Precision Design Studio and Partner Programs on January 1, 2017. In this position, Faurote oversees exterior and interior design execution for the FCA North American design studios. This includes leading the exterior lighting, badging/graphics and under hood design teams. In addition, he has responsibility for managing Partner Programs and FCA’s historical collection. He reports to Ralph Gilles – Head of Design, FCA.

Previously, he held the position of Head of Chrysler Design since 2009. In this position, Faurote was responsible for all design activities for Chrysler brand vehicles.

Since joining the company in 1993 as a designer, Faurote has held a variety of increasingly responsible positions in the Product Design Office, including:

• 2017, Head of Precision and Partner Programs Design, FCA North America
• 2009, Head of Chrysler Design
• 2007, Vice President – Advance Design, International and Color/Trim, Chrysler LLC
• 2006, Director – Passenger Car Design
• 2005, Director – Advance Design
• 2004, Chief Designer – Advance Design
• 2001, Senior Manager – Passenger Car Design
• 1999, Manager – Passenger Car Design, DaimlerChrysler
• 1996, Senior Designer – Passenger Car Design
• 1993, Designer – Jeep® Design, Chrysler Corporation

Faurote holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

Kelly Slank | Associate Professor, Department of Interior Design, College for Creative Studies
Associate Professor Kelly Slank has over 20 years of trend forecasting, design and CMF experience across a range of industries that include, interiors, exhibit, automotive, footwear and apparel. She has worked for industry leaders such as General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Nike. Since 2013, Kelly’s consultancy firm, Slank Design has worked with companies like BASF and Harley-Davidson to develop and implement color, materials and finish strategies.

Kelly holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Wayne State University. She is a full-time professor in the Department of Interior Design at CCS. Additionally, she teaches in both the Fashion and Accessories Design and Color and Materials Design departments.

Kelly believes in leveraging the power and emotion of trend, color and materials to create thought-provoking design.

Paul Snyder | Chairperson, Transportation Design Department, College for Creative Studies
Internationally recognized automotive designer and CCS alumnus Paul Snyder’s experience spans four continents and encompasses both exterior and interior development for a number of automotive brands, including Ford, Lincoln, Renault, Honda and Acura. For Ford Motor Company, he designed exterior and interior solutions for the Taurus/Sable and Explorer production vehicles and later oversaw projects for the Taurus X, Ford Five Hundred, and Flex production vehicles.

Prior to joining CCS in 2015 as the Paul and Helen Farago Chair of Transportation Design, Snyder worked at Honda Research and Development in California where he was Assistant Chief Designer, overseeing production and concept projects for the 2012 European Civic, 2015 Accord, and the 2018 Odyssey.

Snyder previously taught transportation design and visual communications at Pratt Institute as well as a range of undergraduate and graduate courses at Wayne State University and CCS. In addition to his work as car designer, Snyder is an accomplished figure painter, sculptor, and collagist, having earned a Master of Fine Arts degree cum laude in fine art and cultural studies from the New York Academy of Art in New York City, where he has also shown his work.

Dan Kinkead, AIA | Principal, SmithGroup
As a design architect and co-leader for SmithGroup’s national urban design practice, Dan brings nearly 20 years of experience in urban design, adaptive reuse, and mixed-use development. His work integrates intuitive creativity and analytical methods to yield transformative impacts for clients, stakeholders, and cities across the globe. From strategic plans, to the design and implementation of mixed-use, hospitality, adaptive reuse, and institutional projects, Dan works closely with his clients to ensure outcomes that are as enduring as they are beautiful. Dan has served as an advisory member for the U.S. State Department’s submission to the 2016 Venice Biennale, and was a chapter author for the book, Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe, published by Carnegie Mellon and Routledge, UK (2016).



Angela Wyrembelski | Associate, Quinn Evans Architects
Angela Wyrembelski is an associate at Quinn Evans Architects. She received her Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan and her Masters in Architecture from Boston Architectural College. Angela’s professional and educational focus in architecture has been dedicated to the sustainability and preservation of the built environment. She appreciates the challenges and opportunities inherent in complex restoration and adaptive use initiatives, approaching these projects with a creative eye and discerning perspective. Angela has contributed to the renewal of iconic civic landmarks as well as commercial properties that have reinvigorated urban communities and spurred economic growth across the country, including Detroit, Buffalo and several east coast cities.

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