The Best Future Recognizes the Best of the Past

Committee Aims to Name New MassArt Center After Bill Hannon, L/IDSA

Mar 17 2015 - 3:58pm

There’s a movement underway to name the new Design and Media Center at the only public freestanding college of art and design in the United States, after William J. Hannon, an IDSA Life member and a founding member of IDSA’s Boston Chapter.

The Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) was founded in 1873 out of the belief that art and design are essential for intellectual, social and economic growth, and that people of all backgrounds should have access to such an education. Its new state-of-the-art facility is expected to open next year and serve as a gateway to the campus.

Hannon was born in Boston in 1934, attended Boston Technical High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from MassArt. He was among the founders and the CEO of Corporate Design Consultants—which at the time, became Boston’s largest design consultancy—with clients including Sheraton Hotels and Polaroid. He served as the chair of MassArt’s Design Department and was tasked with developing initiatives to reach out to the larger ID community. Out of Hannon's proposal came the Design Management Institute, which still connects design to business.

“We at DMI owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Bill Hannon. His insight, persuasiveness, collegiality, good humor and deep appreciation of the interplay between good design and good management gave birth to DMI, and they will forever be a part of our DNA,” says Carole Bilson, DMI president, IDSA member and Hannon Recognition Committee member.

If the Committee raises $1 million in contributions, members will go with MassArt before the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education to recommend MassArt’s new Design and Media Center be named after Hannon.

The committee also plans to promote the campaign, named "The Best Future Recognizes the Best of the Past," at IDSA's Northeast District Design Conference, set for April 24-25 in Boston.