CCS Appoints Sally Erickson Wilson as Chair of its New Master of Fine Arts Degree Program in Color and Materials Design

Sally Erickson Head Shot 2The College for Creative Studies (CCS) has appointed Sally Erickson Wilson as Associate Professor and Chair of its new Master of Fine Arts degree program in Color and Materials Design. Prior to joining the College, Erickson Wilson was Design Manager at Johnson Controls where she was responsible for leading the North American fabric design team.

The College’s Color and Materials Design program is the first master’s program of its kind in the United States and focuses on the use of color, new materials, finishes and processes in various design applications. CCS created the program in response to the growing need for qualified specialists in color and materials in a wide range of industries. Graduates of the program will possess the expertise necessary for a successful career in color and materials design in many fields, including fashion, interior design, consumer electronics and mobile devices, automotive, toys and video games and numerous other industries that recognize the impact color and materials have on the human psyche.

“Our Color and Materials Design program will produce capable, strong, competitive, globally focused creative professionals who are ready to take the reins in industries ranging from transportation and product design to interior and fashion design — designers who are engaged with a real sense of what industry needs, who will already have experience, who understand the challenges of problem-solving in the workplace, and who can also lead and drive innovation,” said Wilson.

As Chair of Color and Materials Design at CCS, Erickson Wilson will be responsible for the oversight and evolution of the graduate curriculum and will educate students to develop an “eye” for color differentiation, materials craftsmanship and quality assessment with the highest professional standards.

“The College for Creative Studies has long understood the importance of offering educational programs that are innovative and meet industry needs and our Color and Materials Design program continues this tradition,” said Richard L. Rogers, president of CCS. “We are delighted that Sally will lead this new program because her background and international reputation in this area will ensure that our students are equipped with the necessary tools to succeed in this growing discipline.”

Erickson Wilson received her BA in Textile Design at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England. After earning a postgraduate diploma in Marketing at Kingston University in Surrey, she received her master’s degree in Textile Design from the Royal College of Art in London. Erickson Wilson began designing interior color and material proposals for Peugeot and Citroën brands at Peugeot S.A. in Paris, France. She then went on to Ghia SpA in Turin, Italy, where she worked on several concept vehicles including the Ford Focus and the Aston Martin Lagonda Vignale.

These foundational experiences led to successive stints as chief color and materials designer—first for Fiat and then for Ford Motor Company in England and Michigan—where Erickson Wilson led design teams responsible for color and materials programs.

Erickson Wilson also has served as a color and materials consultant for Tata Technologies, Chris Bangle Associates (CBA) of Torino, Italy, and Global Auto Systems, Inc., in Seoul, Korea. Wilson was an adjunct faculty member at CCS from 2005 – 2011 where she taught design theory and history of modern among other courses.

“CCS will give students a place to advance their skills,” said Wilson. “We’ll give them a platform and an environment for inquiry—a place that will encourage research and learning about processes and manufacturing opportunities. CCS’s Color and Materials Design program is well suited and placed geographically to access Detroit’s vast range of expertise and local resources.”

For more information about the MFA in Color and Materials Design visit here.

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