Be Original Americas™ Announces 2022 Global Virtual Student Fellowship

8 Design Companies Give Students Inside Knowledge & Expertise 

Be Original Americas, a non-profit advocacy group that educates, informs, and influences on the value of authentic design and invests in the future of the industry, is pleased to announce the 2022 global Virtual Student Fellowship program.

This year’s Fellowship program will run on an abbreviated schedule, due to the debut of Originality Deconstructed, the group’s first exhibition that opened October 19th at the Ace Hotel New York and will exhibit in both Palm Springs and Los Angeles, California in early 2023.

From November 7 – 11, 2022, 8 member companies will present through a series of webinars to a global audience of students. Each session will focus on different aspects of design and architecture, as well as issues facing global firms today. Students will experience an inside look into the factories, architecture and design studios, and headquarters of Be Original Americas’ member companies around the world.

The Virtual Student Fellowship will share valuable insights into the creative process, manufacturing, and the business and ethical side of design, through live, interactive sessions for future architects, designers, and entrepreneurs across the globe. Going beyond design, the program will also explore the world’s concerns on diversity, sustainability, and our lives in the future. The fellowship’s global nature allows for presenters across the world to connect with students anywhere through educational presentations, interactive Q+A’s, and lively discussions. Students will learn from leading brands, makers, and creators about working in an industry that shapes the way we live, work, and play.

There will be direct outreach to universities and students, as well as support from member organizations American Society of Interior Designers, the International Interior Design Association and via WantedDesign New York reaching out to their student members. Be Original Americas will be campaigning on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Those who register and attend three or more sessions will have the opportunity to win a portfolio or resume review session with one of the presenting companies.

The opportunity is available to currently enrolled university students worldwide. To register and receive updates, please visit

ALESSI: 100-001
Monday, November 7th, 10:00 a.m. ET | Direct from Italy
Francesca Appiani, Curator, Museo Alessi and Gloria Barcellini, Assistant Metaproject will explain how Alessi’s mission is to translate creative expression into real objects capable of fulfilling dreams and consumers desires.  Since 1921, Alessi has become the leading exponent of the “Factories of Italian Design”.  They will take us behind the scenes and show us how this came to be.

Monday, November 7th at 2:00 p.m. EDT | Direct from California
Gregg Buchbinder, Emeco’s founder & CEO and Jaye Buchbinder, his daughter and head of Product Development will show us how to move “true North” while navigating and working with some of the world’s most important industrial designers, maintaining the historical legacy and pushing the sustainable needle.  Emeco’s roots in California always been a catalyst for environmental concerns. Their roster of designers span from France’s Philippe Starck to UK’s Jasper Morrison to Japan’s Nendo always keeping the essence of Emeco.

Tuesday, November 8th, at 3:00 EDT | Direct from Illinois
Felicia Ferrone, the founder and designer of Ferrone Design will share her pathway which took her from Milan to Chicago and back, as a designer and design entrepreneur.  You will learn how she creates designs for her brand which challenge expectations and the importance original work plays in shaping culture.  Felicia is also Director of Undergraduate Studies, Industrial Design at School of Design, University of Illinois.

Wednesday, November 9th, at 10 am EDT | Direct from Copenhagen, Denmark
Join Stine Find Osther, Vice President of Design to learn about Kvadrat’s involvement in contemporary art and design as well as explore how long-term collaborations with international artists and designers have become an important part of the brand’s DNA.  Further, how Kvadrat has become known worldwide for their uncompromising focus on product aesthetics, innovation, quality and sustainability.

Wednesday, November 9th at 2:00 p.m. EDT | Direct from Connecticut
When you love design, how do you find your way to the company of your dreams.  That’s exactly what John Edelman got to do.  After being CEO of Design Within Reach, which he sold to Herman Miller, John was looking for something that would nurture his love of design and designers to a deeper level.  Upon the death of Alan Heller, who founded Heller back in the 70’s, Edelman bought it and is enjoying every minute of it.  Learn how after working with designs of Lella & Massimo Vignelli, Frank Gehry and Mario Bellini, he looks forward to the next generation of designers and bringing this iconic brand to a new audience.

Thursday, November 10th at 10 am EDT | Direct from their offices in New York City
Santa & Cole designs from 1957 to today and with its philosophy and their team, they look at design as a “pleasant” tool to improve our wellbeing.  From Samuel Ciaurriz, who worked in the Barcelona headquarters and now resides in New York City, we will learn about the history, creation methods and the human beings behind this iconic brand of Spanish design.

Thursday, November 10th, at 2:00 p.m.EDT | Direct from Michigan
The Herman Miller archives is always an adventure for our students, and since the purchase of Knoll, you will get to explore Knoll archives as well, with Amy Auscherman (@acid_free), Director Archives & Brand Heritage at MillerKnoll.  Amy will take you on a digital tour of the rarely-seen Herman Miller & Knoll corporate archives, both of which document the design processes of greats such as Florence Knoll, Alexander Girard, Charles & Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and others.  She will illustrate the ways these firms build, maintain and leverage their corporate archives in a global marketing organization.

Friday, November 11th, at 2:00 p.m. EDT | Direct from their US headquarters
John James Jenkin, CEO of Kartell US, will take us on a tour of the flagship store in New York City and delve into iconic and new products and bring to light their inspiration and that of the designers.  He will explain Kartell’s transformation for sustainability as well as some behind the scenes videos that is sure to inspire and enlighten us all.  We will get to see Museo Kartell, recipient of the Guggenheim Business and Culture Awards for best company museum has more than 8000 objects, 5000 designs and 15,000 photographs.

About Be Original Americas

Be Original Americas is a non-profit creative advocacy committed to informing, educating, and influencing manufacturers, artisans, design professionals, and consumers about the economic, ethical, and environmental value of authentic design.