“Nurturing Creativity is Essential to the Future Success of our Youth” Jeff DeBoer, Chairman Michigan Design Council


The Michigan Design Council believes the greatest gift we can give to our youth is the ability and confidence to create. Each year, at the Michigan Design Prize Celebration, the MDC awards Aspiration sculptures to outstanding Michigan teachers, administrators, and institutions who embrace this principle.


The Aspiration sculpture represents the creative journey that begins with a raw idea, and through creative discovery and mentoring, the raw idea is transformed into a refined creative vision. “Aspiration” is a symbol for nurturing creative confidence in our youth.


Annual Governor’s Award for Design Excellence -  Recognizing the individual or school with the highest degree of commitment to the design process and to design excellence in the Michigan Design Prize competition.

AspirationCreating the Sculpture by Dan Genord, Michigan Naturalist Sculptor and Industrial Design Manager at Sundberg-Ferar, Inc.


Artists Profile: Dan was born in Michigan and has lived most of his life in the Midwest. Surrounded by beautiful lakes and rivers he has always been a lover of the outdoors. Since his childhood it’s been weekends fishing or hiking to explore. Combine all of this with a love for creating art and you have someone doing exactly what he loves to do; telling stories with sculpture of the things he has so much passion for.


Dan knows what he sculpts because it is his own experiences that he pulls inspiration from. It is the tapping into the soul of an experience and creating a sculptural form that tells the story of that experience or the capturing of the spirit of a creature’s moment in time that Dan sets out to do with every sculpture that he creates.


Clay Sculpting

Making the Mold


the Mold

Lost Wax


Pouring molten stainless steal

into the mold

Metal clean up

and polishing