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Design Excellence Dinner features innovation expert


April 17, 2007

Few people have Tom Kelley's depth of experience managing innovation and design. Kelley is the featured speaker at one of ASU's premiere events, the 2007 Design Excellence Dinner presented by the College of Design and its board of advisers, the Council for Design Excellence.

The dinner takes place April 19 at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale .

The College of Design has been playing host to this dinner for more than 10 years as a fundraiser for student scholarships and college programs. Last year's dinner featured former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros and drew more than 500 people.

The college is expecting another large audience – up to 1,000 people – for Kelley's appearance.

Kelley is the general manager of IDEO, ranked by global business leaders as one of the world's most innovative companies. IDEO is the design and development firm that brought forth the Apple mouse, Polaroid's I- Zone instant camera, the Palm V, and hundreds of other cutting-edge products.

Kelley's newest book, “The Ten Faces of Innovation,” reveals 10 unique strategies for making sure that good ideas make it to the market. His previous book, “The Art of Innovation,” describes IDEO's “deep dive” approach to successful product creation, focusing on brainstorming and teamwork as invaluable tools. IDEO uses design thinking to help clients innovate and grow by identifying new opportunities for growth, designing new products and services, and enabling organizations to transform and build the capabilities required to innovate routinely.

Continuous innovation is a skill required by the college's students and members of the college's Council for Design Excellence, many of whom are in the architecture, design and real estate development industries.

“The most important thing that our Council for Design Excellence members, for the most part, sell is ideas, whether it is for products, buildings, or developments, says Wellington Reiter, dean of the College of Design. “We wanted to bring Tom Kelley to our audience to help them stay at the leading edge of the marketplace.”

Top supporters for the dinner include Maroon + Gold sponsors Hidden Meadow Ranch and RED Development, and Gold sponsors DDB Ventures, Steelcase Inc. and Urban Land Institute Arizona . Dinner sponsors support the college's fundraising but also provide two seats at each of their tables for faculty to share ideas with design industry leaders – and for students to participate in the dinner and network with design, real estate and planning colleagues.

Proceeds from the dinner help the College of Design stay at the leading edge of its mission to provide a transdisciplinary design education to its students, and to prepare them to be designers, while strengthening links to the professional and university communities. The college comprises a dynamic grouping of disciplines – including architecture, design studies, housing and community development, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, real estate development and visual communication design – and is at the forefront of the global, regional, economic and environmental design questions that are shaping the 21st century.

The college is supported in its research efforts by the Phoenix Urban Research Lab (PURL), InnovationSpace and the Herberger Center for Design Research.

For more information about table sponsors or attending the 2007 Design Excellence Dinner, visit the college's Web site at design.asu.edu, or contact Sharon Haugen at (480) 965-6384 or sharon.haugen@asu.edu.