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SCAD Furniture Design Department To Host Furniture Design Summit 2011

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The Savannah College of Art and Design’s furniture design department announced that it will host the first-ever university-sponsored furniture industry conference, “Furniture Design Summit 2011: Re-Defining American Design,” May 9-10 at SCAD Savannah. The American Society of Furniture Designers and Metropolis magazine are partnering with SCAD for the summit.

The goal of “Furniture Design Summit 2011: Re-Defining American Design” is to establish the first summit focused on bringing designers and manufacturers together to discuss the present and future of the furniture industry. Antonio Larosa, chair of SCAD’s furniture design department, says, “SCAD is proud to bring to Savannah cutting-edge thinkers to exchange ideas and plan for the future of this multi-million dollar industry. Our students will also have the great opportunity to experience the summit firsthand, which will give them one-of-a-kind career preparation.”

ASFD and Metropolis magazine are also looking forward to the new ideas and fresh approaches that will come out of the conference. Dudley Moore, Jr., ASFD president, says, "When ASFD was approached by SCAD's Antonio Larosa to partner on the design summit, we were thrilled. The conference will be a significant event for furniture designers as we look to the future of our field from all aspects of the industry, from manufacturing to design and education." Christine Evans, ASFD executive director, adds, "SCAD's commitment to hosting the summit is a great opportunity to generate new ideas that will propel us forward, not only with industry leaders but also with students, tomorrow's leaders in furniture design."

Metropolis editor-in-chief Susan Szenasy, who will moderate all of the panels during the summit, says, “Furniture design and manufacturing, like every other human endeavor in an age of climate change, is experiencing major reassessments by all its protagonists. From the safety and efficiency of manufacturing to facilities, to how marketers sell new products to whom, to the kinds of research that needs to upgrade the industry, to how design students learn what’s coming, the SCAD furniture design summit promises to put a spotlight on these and other pressing questions. I’m eagerly anticipating what will be seen and heard there. And I can’t wait to engage speakers, guests, faculty and students in my role as moderator.”

The summit will launch on Monday, May 9 and will begin with individual presentations from Gregg Buchbinder, owner and CEO of Emeco; Jay Reardon, president of Hickory Chair; and Alan Heller, founder and president of Heller Inc. The day will close with a keynote panel with Buchbinder, Reardon and Heller, moderated by Szenasy. Day two, Tuesday, May 10, will begin with individual talks from designer, author and filmmaker Eames Demetrios and Szenasy, followed by a closing panel with Demetrios, Jenny Heinzen York, editor-in-chief of Home Accents Today, and SCAD’s Larosa, also moderated by Szenasy. All events will take place at SCAD’s River Club, 3 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Savannah.

At SCAD, furniture design students master the fundamentals and learn the design processes through which products are conceived, developed, fabricated and marketed. Student designs are evaluated for style, comfort, utility and durability through the creation of computer renderings, scale models or prototypes. SCAD is the only academic member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, a nonprofit group that promotes sustainable practices among manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Furniture design students are encouraged to seek new applications for traditional practices and consider issues of sustainability in materials, process and practice.

For more information, visit scad.edu/furniture-design. Media may contact Emily Belford at 912.525.5210 or ebelford@scad.edu for interview and image requests.

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