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Students and alumni from the Savannah College of Art and Design furniture design department will get international exposure to some of the biggest names in the furniture and interior design world April 9-14, when their work is shown at the prestigious Salone Internazionale del Mobile's SaloneSatellite in Milan.
SCAD is the only university from the United States invited to participate in this year's event.
"As an invitation-only event, the SaloneSatellite represents the 'best of the best' in terms of fresh, innovative design," said George Perez, program coordinator and professor in the SCAD furniture design department. "It's truly an unparalleled opportunity for our designers to be recognized by global leaders in the design community, and a big stepping stone for their professional careers."
The SCAD work on display includes eight finely handcrafted pieces ranging from lamps to benches to stools, plus four large, highly detailed digital images.
"The design aesthetic and craftsmanship found in these pieces is admirable," said SCAD furniture design professor Sheila Edwards, who mentored many of the designers. "And while they are beautiful, they also open up a dialogue on what luxury means in today's marketplace. This 'new luxe' seeks to strike a balance between artistry and a better way of living."
Among the pieces are:
SCAD student representatives Mary Hannah Jones and Angie Ngoc Tran will also attend the event but will not exhibit work.
The Salone Internazionale del Mobile is recognized as the world's premier furniture design event and brings together the most promising young designers from around the globe with the most important business leaders and talent scouts in the industry. According to event organizers, many of the pieces presented as prototypes in previous years have gone into production, and many of the participating designers have become important figures in the design industry.
Poised to celebrate 35 years of excellence in education later this year, the SCAD School of Building Arts includes the allied disciplines of architecture, urban design, historic preservation, interior design, architectural history and furniture design.
"This distinct collaborative environment promotes interdisciplinary learning that fully prepares our students for professional careers after graduation," said Christian Sottile, AIA, dean of the School of Building Arts. "At SCAD, students learn to become architects, designers and preservationists who are strategic thinkers, global communicators and ethical practitioners of the building arts."
In addition to participating in the SaloneSatellite, the SCAD School of Building Arts has seen a number of other honors over the past year. Legendary designer Dakota Jackson was recently named honorary chair of furniture design. During his two-year appointment, Jackson will work to enhance the program's emphasis on the business of design as well as mentor students in the classroom as they master technical skills and develop a unique design aesthetic.
The university's interior design program also made history in 2013; DesignIntelligence, a leader in industry-driven rankings in design disciplines, ranked SCAD's undergraduate and graduate programs as No. 1 in the nation, for a second year in a row.
At SCAD, furniture design students foster creative problem solving by learning to speak the integrated language of design, art, technology, culture and history. Students explore the entire process through which furniture is conceived, developed, fabricated and marketed. Their designs become full-scale prototypes through the use of leading industry resources and software that guide the creative process from sketch to final product. Additionally, furniture design students participate in industry-sponsored, real-world projects, including recent partnerships with Urban Outfitters, Steelcase, Brown Jordan and Herman Miller. As a result of sponsored projects, furniture design students may see their designs prototyped and produced.
In an effort to encourage accountability for the broader impact of their ideas, students are taught to transform traditional practices by infusing sustainable approaches. The SCAD furniture design department is also the only academic member in the United States that belongs to the Sustainable Furnishings Council, a nonprofit group that promotes sustainable practices among manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
SCAD offers Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in furniture design.
The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor's and master's degrees at distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in more than 40 majors.