Amy Lau, Martha Stewart, Margaret Russell, and John Saladino will receive Honorary Doctorate degrees in Fine Arts from New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) at this year's commencement ceremony.
Lau will be the keynote speaker for the college's 175 graduating candidates. “We are so pleased to have Amy Lau as our commencement speaker this year,” said NYSID Acting President David Sprouls. “She is a shining example of a successful interior designer and entrepreneur and brings great enthusiasm and expertise to the field. We are also thrilled to be honoring Martha Stewart, Margaret Russell and John Saladino—three powerhouses of design and style.”
About the recipients:
An Arizona native, Lau founded her interiors firm Amy Lau Design in 2001. She also currently serves as an independent advisor to collectors of 20th Century decorative arts. Before founding her firm, Lau was the director under founder Thomas O’Brien at Aero Studios and design director of the Lin-Weinberg Gallery, which specializes in international mid-century modernism.
In 2005, she co-founded the prestigious Design Miami fair, which assembles the most significant galleries specializing in design from the post-war period to the present. Established to run in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach, the Design Miami fair has expanded to become a vital forum for exhibiting, discussing, creating, and collecting design.
Her work has been featured in LUXE, Metropolitan Home, Elle Decor, The New York Times, New York Spaces, Interior Design, Gotham, House & Garden, and on the HGTV show “Top Ten.” New York magazine included her as one of this year’s “Next Garde” and House Beautiful named her a young designer to watch.
From her award-winning magazine, Martha Stewart Living, to her bestselling product lines, Martha Stewart shares the creative principles and practical ideas that have made her America’s most trusted guide to stylish living. Millions of consumers rely on Martha Stewart as their arbiter of style and taste and their guide to all aspects of everyday living - from cooking and entertaining to decorating and gardening, and much more. Martha's unique business sense and creative vision is the framework for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and the expansive multimedia portfolio that encompasses award-winning media and merchandise, including Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food magazines, the marthastewart.com website, the Emmy Award-winning Martha Stewart Show, the Martha Stewart Living line of home-improvement products at The Home Depot, the Martha Stewart Collection of home products exclusively at Macy’s, the Martha Stewart Home Office line with Avery at Staples, Martha Stewart Pets products at PetSmart, Martha Stewart Crafts, and more. The company recently entered into a strategic alliance with J.C. Penney Company, Inc., which includes a merchandising agreement to build distinct Martha Stewart stores in jcpenney department stores, and to jointly develop an e-commerce site, both of which are expected to launch in 2013.
Margaret Russell is the editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest and archdigest.com, a position she has held since August 2010. Russell spearheaded a highly regarded redesign of the magazine and is the creative force behind its evolution in the digital space with a recent website re-launch and upcoming tablet editions. Prior to joining AD, Ms. Russell served as editor-in-chief of Elle Decor, a publication that she helped launch in 1989. During her tenure, Russell also created elledecor.com and produced the best-selling Elle Decor book series.
Ms. Russell is committed to promoting the design community through charitable work both locally and nationally and is a trustee of God’s Love We Deliver and the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, having previously served on the boards of DIFFA and the Alpha Workshops. She has been instrumental in raising millions of dollars to support HIV/AIDS preventive education and direct-care programs.
Russell lectures frequently on interior decoration and is a regular guest on numerous television programs to discuss design-related topics; she was also a featured judge on both seasons of Bravo’s reality-competition show Top Design. She is the author of several books, including So Chic and Style & Substance.
John Saladino is a graduate of Notre Dame and the Yale School of Art and Architecture. He worked in Rome with the architect Piero Sartogo before returning to New York where he opened his own architectural and interior design practice, The Saldino Group, over 35 years ago. The business has grown into a full service architectural, interior design and landscape design firm with a multinational staff of 25.
Saladino has won numerous interior design and furniture awards (including the prestigious Daphne Award) and he is on the Board of Directors of the John Soane Museum in London. His interiors regularly appear in international magazines including House Beautiful, House and Garden, The New York Times Magazine, Architectural Digest, Vogue Decoration and the World of Interiors. He lectures worldwide and appears regularly in books, magazines and on television in the US, England, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. He is also the author of two design books, Saladino Style and Villa.