Cranbrook Hosts Launch for Book Detailing History of GM Technical Center

Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research in Bloomfield Hills, Detroit-based General Motors Design Archive and Special Collections, and Princeton Architectural Press are hosting the book launch of “Where Today Meets Tomorrow: Eero Saarinen and the General Motors Technical Center.”
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“Where Today Meets Tomorrow: Eero Saarinen and the General Motors Technical Center”
A book launch for “Where Today Meets Tomorrow: Eero Saarinen and the General Motors Technical Center,” which details the history of the GM Technical Center, will take place Nov. 10 at Cranbrook. // Photo courtesy of GM Design Archive and Special Collections

Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research in Bloomfield Hills, Detroit-based General Motors Design Archive and Special Collections, and Princeton Architectural Press are hosting the book launch of “Where Today Meets Tomorrow: Eero Saarinen and the General Motors Technical Center.”

The lecture, presentation, and book signing will take place with Susan Skarsgard, author, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Cranbrook Art Museum deSalle Auditorium.

The book is an account of the early days of GM, the initiation of the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, and the acclaim the campus has received since its opening in 1956. The center was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2014 and was the first major commission awarded to celebrated modern architect Eero Saarinen independently of his father, Eliel Saarinen, architect of Cranbrook’s campus and the first president of the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Saarinen’s design was planned to create a cohesive environment. He invited many of the leaders of midcentury modernism to collaborate on the project as consultants or artists, including Alexander Girard and Alexander Calder, as well as Cranbrook designers Harry Bertoia, Maija Grotell, and Florence Knoll.

Skarsgard was a GM designer for 25 years and is the founder of the GM Design Archive and Special Collections, the official repository for the history of design at GM. She is known internationally for her work in calligraphy, artist books, commercial lettering, and graphic design.

The book is presented in photographs, architectural drawings, interviews, documents, and ephemera. It features a forward by Kevin Roche (1922-2019), who served as the lead architect for the Saarinen office on the GM Technical Center campus. It is published by Princeton Architectural Press.

Admission to the book launch is $10 for adults and $5 for full-time students. Lecture admission plus a copy of the book is $70 for adults and $65 for full-time students. Prepaid copies of the book will be available for pickup at the lecture, and orders must be received by Monday, Oct. 28.

A limited quantity of the book will be available for purchase at the lecture for $60 plus tax. Proceeds from the book sale in conjunction with the launch will benefit Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.

Registration is available here or by calling Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research at (248) 645-3307.

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