Industrial design students Sarah Ahart of Virginia Tech and Karina Campos of Syracuse University began the first-ever Be Original Americas Summer Design Fellowship program earlier this month. Through the fellowship, the two undergrad students are getting acquainted with a number of design companies across the United States, in the process learning about “all it takes to make, distribute and sell authentic design.” The program explores each part of the design process via various Be Original member companies, including Bernhardt Design, Carnegie, Chilewich, Designtex, Design Within Reach, Emeco, Flavor Paper, Herman Miller, Ligne Roset and Vitra.
“This program hits at the core of our mission to inform, educate and invest in the future of authentic design,” said Sam Grawe, Be Original Americas president and global brand director for Herman Miller. “We’re excited for Sarah and Karina to see what it takes for our companies to create value through the design process, and to bring what they learn back to the classroom and into their careers.”
Funding for the fellowship was provided by an online design auction, which also had a presence at the WantedDesign Manhattan show in May; 80-plus people bid on items donated by members and friends of the organization, raising over $12,000 to support the program. Modern Design Market, a luxury design e-commerce site, is also raising funds by selling donated items, such as a Vitra Grand Repos Chair signed by Antonio Citterio.