Striving for improvement has been central to what makes design in the US so great and what has inspired craftsmen, manufacturers, and inventors to keep pushing for what’s best, biggest, next. Even in an age of cloud-enabled, computer-aided design solutions, American grit wins out.
Run an Internet search on “designing the workplace of the future,” and your results will yield designs that include everything from solo workers surrounded by virtual touch screens and Alien-inspired chairs that spin you from task to task to floating mini cubicles united only by a wireless connection.
Mike Ford—a forward-thinking designer dubbed the “hip-hop architect”—didn’t meet an African American architect until his fourth year as an undergraduate architecture student at the University of Detroit Mercy. This was in inner-city Detroit, where 85 percent of the population is African American.