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Education Foundation Announces 2018 DesignEDGE Keynote Speaker

Furniture World News


Furniture designer Nolen Niu, the IFDA Educational Foundation's designated keynoter at DesignEDGE.

The Educational Foundation, the scholarship- and grant-awarding arm of IFDA, recently announced the keynote speaker at DesignEDGE. Nolen Niu, CEO of his own Los Angeles-area industrial design firm, is scheduled to be the keynoter on July 29th, opening day of the five-day Las Vegas Summer Market.

"I think the key to success in the world of design is self-promotion, whether it involves designing interiors, architecture, lighting or, in my case, furniture," says Mr. Niu, whose firm has attained a significant global reach.

In addition to the morning keynoter, this year's DesignEDGE will include a comprehensive introduction to the Las Vegas Summer Market, with all its scheduled events and activities, plus an afternoon panel discussion on how to advance design ideas from creation to consumer.

"Nolen Niu's philosophy is that the nature of design is problem solving, creating an experience and producing timeless designs with quality and craftsmanship," says Wilma Hammett, co-chair of EF's DesignEDGE committee. "The Nolen Niu brand is a testament to that philosophy." Selecting Mr. Niu as keynoter reflects EF's recognition of not only his design achievements but also his success in establishing his company's carpentry and upholstery skills within its own internal production facility.

"Made in America," the company slogan, is a true reflection of the fact that, though the firm engages suppliers country-wide, its products are fully manufactured in Southern California. Established in 2005 as a custom furniture design and fabrication firm, Nolen Niu, Inc., won early recognition of its products' craftsmanship, top quality and timelessness.

By 2011, the firm had developed the capacity to manufacture as well as design its products competitively, thus becoming one of the few American furniture-design firms that is wholly vertically integrated. Despite its growth and expansion, all of the company functions remain under the keen-eyed supervision of its founder.

Born in Washington, D.C., 43-year-old Nolen Niu moved to California to attend Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Today he remains an active faculty member while advancing his holistic approach to design through clean, provocative aesthetics. Over time, his firm has developed and marketed mass-production furniture, custom one-of-a-kind pieces and private furniture lines, plus retail and residential spaces for private, corporate and celebrity clients.

"Success in the world today," he believes, "is based on strong communication skills—mainly how well you interact with people. Thus it's really about building the proper story around who you are and what you're trying to achieve with your life and career," a conviction shared by Mr. Niu's industry colleagues in the International Furnishings and Design Association.

More about the IFDA: Established 71 years ago, and with chapters countrywide plus Japan, IFDA maintains a significant link to all facets of the design industry. For details about DesignEDGE programming and accommodations at the Las Vegas Summer Market—a keynote sponsor of the 2018 DesignEDGE—check the Educational Foundation website, www.ifdaef.org. Note that the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC) will offer 3.5 credits, upon application, to designers attending the daylong DesignEDGE event.


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