The Be Original Americas (non-profit 501C-6) Student Design Fellowship is an unparalleled, immersive program that provides two college students a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at the entire process from research, design, and manufacturing to marketing, sales, and distribution. Over 7-weeks (June 12-August 1, 2017) the fellows will travel across the United States to visit various factories, showrooms, and headquarters to learn firsthand all it takes to create innovative, high quality products. In addition to a life changing experience, each student will receive a $3,500 grant at the successful completion of the program.
The Be Original Americas Fellowship will provide a uniquely diverse experience and comprehensive exposure to the top players in the furnishings industry, offering insights from both iconic firms with global heritage to game-changing new brands. Throughout the program, discussion will focus on how each area of concentration contributes to the integrity and originality of designs that are intended to improve the quality of life, protection of our environment and foster creativity.
This year, students will gain valuable experience and make relationships to last a lifetime from these leading design companies, and others:
The Fellows will learn about Be Original Americas - its mission, members, and how the non-profit is making a difference. They’ll be introduced to the importance of authenticity in design and intellectual property, as well as gain unique industry insights through visits to local showrooms, design firms, and design-industry media.
The students will experience how companies develop innovative ideas, gain insights into the research process, and see how brands work with both outside designers and in-house design studios to develop new concepts.
During visits to various factories, the Fellows will shadow manufacturers as they work through design definition, prototyping, and full-scale production process. They’ll see how the connection between the designer, product, and client is established, and gain insights into the host company’s history of craftsmanship and authentic design.
They will get behind the minds of those creating marketing materials, navigate distribution channels, and get experience on the sales floor to see how it all comes together for the customer. They’ll learn how technology is impacting the experience of design.
To conclude the program, the Fellows will present a creative presentation to the Be Original Americas board summarizing what they have learned and share their thoughts on design authenticity after witnessing it firsthand.
ABOUT BE ORIGINAL AMERICAS
Be Original Americas, founded in 2012, is a 501(c)6 non-profit committed to informing, educating and influencing manufacturers, design professionals and individuals on the economic, ethical, and environmental value of authentic design.
With education at the heart of the organization, Be Original Americas produces a series of lectures, panel discussions, and round tables every year. For architects and interior designers, the organization developed a continuing education course, which is taught throughout the country and approved by the American Institute of Architects and the Interior Design Continuing Education Council. 2016 saw the launch of the first Be Original Americas Student Design Fellowship.
Be Original Americas and the United States Customs and Border Protection are working together to train officers and stifle the flow of knockoffs entering the country. In 2016, this initiative saw $4.2 million of counterfeit furniture seized which helped protect over 8,000 American jobs.
The organization boasts over 600 members, supporters, and followers with 26 media partners supporting the cause.
To learn more about the organization please visit beoriginalamericas.com
Risks and challenges
This year will be the second Student Design Fellowship. With a year of experience, many of the risks and challenges that the program faces have been identified and remediated. The most challenging aspect of the program is ensuring that the students are receiving the utmost value from their experience. To help ensure this happens, the organization is working with each hosting company to coordinate a thoughtful, cohesive schedule for the Fellows. In addition, the organization will have scheduled check-ins with the students to make sure they are receiving the most from this incredible experience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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