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Sport car designer receives Distinguished Alumnus Award; exhibition showcases ‘A Life in Design’

Taubman College will launch its fall exhibition program on Friday, September 5 with a retrospective exhibition of the work and life of automotive designer Tom Tjaarda (B.Arch.’58). The designer will receive the College’s Distinguished Alumnus Award on September 26, 2014.

Tom Tjaarda is one of the world’s most innovative and distinguished designers. A legend in European automotive design circles, he is best known for his imaginative, exciting sports cars of the 1970s and 80s that include production, prototype, custom, modification, and show cars. Of particular note are the Fiat Spyder, later versions of Mustangs, and his signature car, the Pantera. The Pantera (’71-’78) built in Italy by De Tomaso and distributed in the U.S. by Lincoln-Mercury, is a two-seater, dynamic car with powerful, direct steering aimed at the sports car driver of moderate means and is collected by car enthusiasts everywhere. An example of the ’71 Pantera, generously lent by a local collector, will be included in the exhibition. The exhibition will run in Taubman College’s Liberty Gallery, September 5-28, 2014.

While being primarily interested in the design aesthetics of cars, he has also designed industrial and domestic objects such as typewriters, dialysis machines, and motor scooters. The exhibition will feature all aspects of his design work through photo-panels of his most important designs, design drawings, related videos, and a timeline of his career.

Taubman College Distinguished Alumnus event details:

  • Tom Tjaarda: ‘A Life in Design’ Exhibition:
    September 5-28, 2014; Liberty Gallery, 305 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, MI
    The exhibition will be open Thursday to Sunday, 3:00-7:00 pm
  • Tom Tjaarda Opening Reception:
    September 25, 2014 from 6:00-9:00pm; Liberty Gallery, 305 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, MI
  • Tom Tjaarda Lecture:
    September 26, 2014 at 6:00pm; Chesborough Auditorium, 2121 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI. The talk will chronicle his life and work, with particular emphasis on the function of his design studio and its work with manufacturers.

All events are free and open to the public.

Sep 5, 2014

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