Recap: @Ford’s Design with a Purpose panel discussion @AIANational in NYC!

If you’re into fashion you’ll also have a thing for design, and this week saw a very unique and insightful panel discussion take place at NYC’s American Institute of Architects: Ford’s Design with a Purpose.

This discussion brought Ford designers and AIA architects together to discuss what it really means to “build tough” and how designs have evolved to meet the demands of a changing world—both in vehicles and iconic buildings.


“We are constantly challenged with surpassing our own reputation,” said Rick Bell, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and executive director of its New York chapter. “New York is one of the greatest cities in the world, and the work we create has global impact. Architects here have the privilege and responsibility of adding durable amenity to this tough, urban context. Millions of people live and work in New York. But it is also here that we dream and succeed. Our city combines form and function, fun and frenzy. Design provides the structure and inspiration.”

Design with a Purpose Built Tough Ford Atlas

Ford group vice president and chief creative officer J Mays was also at the panel discussion to talk about the similar challenges Ford faces in creating something that stands the test of time and lives up to the hype: “With trucks, every surface and feature must be crafted for utility while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough. Trucks are similar to architecture, in that a building must clearly convey its use. Once inside the building, its layout needs to be practical, with intuitive features to assist the person occupying it. A truck operates the same way, with intelligent design that can complement the lifestyle of the person driving it.”