Be Original Americas 2019 Design Fellows Begin 5-Week Program

Nino Chambers, an architecture major at Tuskegee University, and Claire Lin, an architecture and engineering student at Brown University, have begun their immersive in-the-field program after their selection as Be Original Americas 2019 Student Design Fellowship recipients. Between June 17 and July 22, they will visit leading interior design and architecture companies in eight cities across six states, touring showrooms, manufacturing facilities, and headquarters and speaking with design professionals.

Claire Lin and Nino Chambers. Photography courtesy of Be Original Americas.

This is the fourth year that Be Original Americas, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting original design, has sponsored the Student Design Fellowship. Companies participating in the 2019 program are Blu Dot and Hennepin Made in Minneapolis; Herman Miller in Zeeland, Michigan; Carnegie and Flavor Paper in New York City; Design Within Reach in Stamford, Connecticut; Niche Modern in Beacon, New York; Emeco in Hanover, Pennsylvania; and Bernhardt Design in Lenoir, North Carolina. The students will also visit architecture and design member firms, including Gensler, Rottet Studio, TPG Architecture, and others.

Chambers, who will graduate in 2022, says he is passionate about sustainability and furniture design and believes inclusivity and education are vital to the future of original design. Lin, who graduates in 2021, says she is interested in the role of design with architecture/planning, entrepreneurship, and the digital sphere.

Previous Be Original Americas Design Fellows have successfully launched industry careers: Sarah Ahart, a 2017 Virginia Tech graduate is now an exhibition designer at 42 Design Fab Studio; Karina Campos, a 2017 Syracuse University graduate is now employed at IBM as a user researcher; and Irene Lee, a 2018 Cornell University graduate is working as a business analyst at Deloitte.

“The visits to countless design companies and conversations I has with industry professionals helped me develop a new perspective on the importance of design and originality,” says Lee of her experience in the program. “The fellowship reached beyond my design education by giving me hands-on experiences that I could not have gotten otherwise.”

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