GRAND RAPIDS, MI (February 25, 2015)- After last year’s successful premiere event, Design Week returns to West Michigan April 6-11 with an exciting line-up of renowned speakers, workshops, tours, and more. The second annual event celebrates the diverse range of design capabilities in the area and builds connections between designers and the region’s cultural, educational, and business communities.

“Last year was a test run and we couldn’t have been happier with how well it was received,” says Sara Klele, AIGA West Michigan Design Week Chair.

“I believe it shows how important design is to the community. This time around, we have had the benefit of planning for nearly a year and have organized some really special events. We’re especially proud of the caliber of speakers we are bringing to West Michigan.”

The event is a collaboration among a variety of design organizations including AIGA West Michigan (The Professional Association for Design), Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD), American Institute of Architects - Grand Rapids (AIA), Industrial Designers of America (IDSA), International Interior Design Association (IIDA), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and Design West Michigan.

A robust line-up of studio tours, workshops, educational events and guest speakers pack the week, including keynote speaker Hugh Herr on Monday evening at Grand Rapids Civic Theater. Biomechanics pioneer Dr. Herr will share his inspiring story about transforming a personal tragedy—losing his lower legs in a mountaineering accident—to devoting his life’s work assisting the elderly and the disabled through innovative research and design. His research accomplishments as Director of the Biomechatronics group at The MIT Media Lab and Director of The Herr Institute for Human Rehabilitation have already made a significant impact on the lives of physically challenged people.

“We have been watching Hugh’s work for some time, and are pleased we were able to sponsor him as West Michigan Design Week’s keynote speaker,” says Kenneth R Krayer Jr., Interim Executive Director, Design West Michigan. “He has a broad definition of design that aligns well with Design West Michigan’s goals.”

Additional speakers include famous industrial designer Tucker Viemeister, Liz Sanders, founder of MakeTools, Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO of IIDA, and Claudia de Almeida. A full list of events and sponsors can be found at the Design Week website,


Emily Richett