Prof. Leslie Speer

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Prof. Gerhard Reichert

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Leslie Speer’s career has been dedicated to using design to improve the world, combining her experience gained in corporate, consulting, and academic environments. For the last two decades she has focused on teaching others how to use design strategies and methods to improve their lives, and the lives of others.

She has a BS Industrial Design, an MDes in Product Design, Innovation and Management, and over 30 years of experience designing products on 6 of the 7 continents on the planet. Her experience in medical product design, and functional craft design in rural communities, have coalesced in the formation of the Simple Limb Initiative.

In academia, as the Co-Chair of the Industrial Design program at California College of the Arts for a decade, followed by a tenured position at San Jose State University’s Industrial Design program for another decade, she has developed curriculum, teaching strategies, and connections from around the world. Her research has focused on designing for all abilities and more importantly for affordability without compromising on good design.

Currently she is Professor and inaugural Chair of the Product Design Department at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, and Founder and Director of the Simple Limb Initiative.

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Gerhard Reichert studied and received his first diploma in mechanical engineering. He then studied integraldesign at the SADK Stuttgart, where he took his second diploma. Upon graduating he worked at the Fraunhofer Institute IPA and Siemens Design Center in Munich. He was project manager at MH Design Engineering in Switzerland and Germany and worked for 7 years with Michele De Lucchi in Milan. He then he founded his own studio, Reichert Design.

Gerhard focuses on the integral development of products and product systems that reconcile utilitarian, ecological functionality and integral emotionality. His expertise is design and engineering in complex global contexts and alternate branches of industry and markets such as office furniture, interiors, lamps and industrial and medical products and more. He is collaborating with national and international companies such as Airbus, Artemide, AAT, ALS, Brunner, iGuzzini, Interstuhl, Koleksiyon, Leifheit, Molteni, Mauser Office … and quite a few of his products were awarded.

From 2004 to 2007 he was appointed Professor for Design at the University of Applied Science Aachen. Since 2007 he is Professor and Head of Department Product Design at the University of Applied Science Schwäbisch Gmünd. In  2013 he was guest professor at the San Jose State University in California and just returned from a sabbatical in Costa Rica where he worked with students and faculty at TEC (Tecnológico de Costa Rica).

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