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Fisker’s ex-VP of global design, Alexander Klatt, has joined the College for Creative Studies as MFA Chair of Transportation Design.
The College for Creative Studies (CCS) announced the appointment earlier this week.
As Vice President of Global Design at Fisker Automotive, Klatt led the development team for the Karma platform, among the world’s first luxury hybrid electric cars.
“Alex has the expertise and sensibilities of a creative professional and the acumen of someone who has navigated the world of business,” said Joanne Healy, Dean of Graduate Studies. “It’s a combination that is a core driver for the MFA Transportation Design program at CCS, so we’re especially excited to have him join us.”
The CCS said as MFA Chair of Transportation Design at CCS, Klatt will be responsible for the oversight and evolution of the graduate curriculum in educating successful designers who can think critically and strategically about transportation and innovate in response to current and future opportunities.
As MFA Chair, Klatt will work collaboratively with a number of departments across the College. In conjunction with the Deans of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies and the BFA Chair of Transportation, Klatt will have to build a cohesive strategic mission for the MFA Transportation Design department. The CCS also said Klatt will work with Institutional Advancement and Career Services to expand the CCS network of industry relationships, project sponsorships, and internship and employment opportunities for students.
A busy Klatt will also lead the development and implementation of MFA-specific marketing and promotional strategies, summer programs, and workshops and courses for graduate students.
“I thought, ‘How can I influence the industry most?’ Now is the time in the transportation industry to focus on educating the new generation of designers,” Klatt explained to justify his decision to leave the auto industry in favor of higher education. “I want to take the time. I want to focus on students as individuals and find out what their interests are. With my background I want to develop, with CCS’ existing strengths, a program where designers with other backgrounds can become that new generation.”
CCS explained that as a designer and engineer with a varied creative and business background, Klatt helped build and motivate an interdisciplinary working culture at Fisker Automotive. As Vice President of Global Design, he led a team of 32 exterior, interior, color and materials and user experience designers, clay and digital modelers, and fabricators to develop three variations on the Karma and Atlantic platforms.
Klatt joined Fisker in 2008 as Director of Interior Design, Color and Materials Design and User Interface Design and not only oversaw all design activities for each vehicle platform but also designed the interiors of the Karma, Sunset and Atlantic himself. Prior to his work at Fisker, Klatt also held design leadership roles at BMW DesignworksUSA and BMW Group in Germany, among others.
“The designer is typically the only one in the car industry who thinks holistically about the product,” said Klatt. “I see technology coming up where there will be dramatic changes. Designers need to be ready for this challenge. It will be a great learning process for students to learn to reinvent and to come up with more visions for the future of mobility.”