Ford Aims to Enhance Innovation Through Boldly Reimagined Research & Engineering Center

Ford Motor Company has recently detailed a plan to completely transform it’s existing Research and Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan into a state-of-the-art, forward-thinking campus capable of housing thousands of designers, engineers, and product development workers.

Ford’s current master plan details a human-centered vision for creating new products and services. The revamped facility, which isn’t expected to be completed until at least 2025, is highlighted by a new central campus building which will sit on the site of Ford’s 66-year-old Product Development Center and will be the future home of Ford’s product development community. 

The central campus building will co-locate more 6,000 Ford employees with the intention of creating an inviting, walkable facility. Ultimately, Ford hopes to one day house more than 20,000 employees in a community-focused, flexible, high-tech environment.

“We are creating centers of excellence globally where talent can thrive,” said Ford Land Chairman and CEO David Dubensky. “These will be inviting places for our employees, partners, businesses, and entrepreneurs from around the world to come and work with us to create tomorrow together.”

Additionally, the new campus center will be paired with the restoration of Michigan Central Station in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. The updated station will serve as a collaborative space for creating future Ford-branded advancements in automotive mobility. Ford hopes the new facility will speed-up new product development and technological innovation by attracting world-class research and development talent. 

The new design plan also aims to transform community engagement by moving closer to Oakwood Boulevard in an effort to connect Ford to the surrounding neighborhoods more closely. The current plan details more public spaces and shared pathways that will bring Ford employees and local residents together. The new facility is also slated to include easily-accessible coffee shops and restaurants that can serve as meeting places and communal spaces.

A concern for employee health and happiness can also be plainly seen in the new plans, as the design, architecture, and landscapes of the new campus promotes natural light, high ceilings, and views of nature. 

“We envision a quilt of interconnected buildings, with Ford teams woven together in such a way that enables collaboration and innovation in its transformed workspace,” said Craig Dykers, co-founder of Snøhetta, the company handling most of the architecture and design. “[We envision] natural and built environments, employees and communities, moving in one Ford ecosystem, and connected with the world around it.”
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