Be Original Americas Marks 10th Anniversary with Year of Celebrations
Exciting partnerships, unique events, new leadership, and educational programming make for a riveting 2022.
Established to educate, influence, and inform on the value of authentic design in 2012, the non-profit organization Be Original Americas celebrates a decade of advocacy this year with a rigorous agenda and new leadership. From new initiatives to maintaining momentum, here’s what’s in store for Be Original Americas’ 10th Anniversary:
2022 Programming and Events
Be Original Americas started off the year at Toronto’s Interior Design Show and will continue its return to programming at ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan, May 15 -17th at the Jakob K. Javits Center, NYC.
On May 15th at 3:00 p.m. at the Talks Stage #863 at the Javits Center, Be Original Americas will be presenting, “Where Originality Begins: Inside the Creative Mind”, a panel of true creatives will share their secrets to creating works that stay true to their unique perspective.
- Amy Auscherman, Archivist, Herman Miller
- Gabriele Chiave, Creative Director, Marcel Wanders Studio
- Georgie Stout, Founder, 2×4
- Stefano Giussani, CEO, Lissoni US
- Eric Mutrie, Sr. Associate Editor, Azure
Be Original Americas’ members will also be providing the ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan Talks area with seating; supplied by Blu Dot, Emeco, Kartell, and Herman Miller. Kartell will also provide the furnishings for the stage.
On Earth Day 2022, Emeco generously offered to donate their twenty supplied 111 Navy Chairs, made from 111 recycled plastic bottles, to Pratt Institute following the Talks. Anita Cooney, Dean of Design at Pratt Institute states, “We would love to say yes to this classic design now in upcycled PET plastic. What a generous gift to receive on Earth Day. Impeccable timing.”
Additionally, these Be Original Americas’ members have graciously volunteered to mentor students over the three days of ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan. Each student will be allotted 30 minutes to ask questions and show their portfolio to their assigned mentor, giving them the opportunity to get valuable feedback and advice.
- Coleman Gutshall, Bernhardt Design
- Brad Bray & Mac Plumstead, Loll Designs
- Amy Auscherman, Herman Miller
- Chris Paulsen, Gubi
- Jerry Caldari, Bromley Caldari
- Sherri Simko, Carl Hansen & Son
- Rebecca Dorris Steiger & Ricardo Nabholz, TPG Architecture
- Simone Vingerhoets, Ligne Roset
For its 10th year anniversary, Be Original Americas will collaborate with Ace Hotel in four cities for a series of exhibitions, talks and events, beginning with a celebration in July 2022. The exciting details to follow.
The manifesto which was created to be the basis of the advocacy group in July 2012, has been updated to reflect the world today and as it should be.
New Leadership and Partners in Advocacy
As the newly inaugurated President of Be Original Americas, Sherri Simko will lead the organization’s renewed commitment to supporting original, ethically made design in its decennial year. Says Simko, who is also the Director, North America, of charter member Carl Hansen & Søn, of the non-profit’s plans for 2022:
“I am delighted to put my passion for design to work by contributing time and energy engaging with our members, and creating even greater membership value through outreach and resources. We see signs of more respect for authenticity, including a “less is more” mentality and disdain for knock-offs, whose substandard quality and short life spans contribute to landfills.”
2022 Officers of Be Original Americas include:
- President: Sherri Simko, Carl Hansen & Son
- Vice President: Coleman Gutshall, Bernhardt Design
- Secretary: Paolo Cravedi, Luce Plan
- Treasure: Jakob Mose Olesen, Georg Jensen
Be Original Americas is proud to announce the 2022 officers and several new charter members; Ken Baker, Gensler, John Christakos, Blu Dot, and John Edelman, Crypton and now, Heller. In addition, Elle Décor magazine joins the family of media sponsors. Elle Decor Vice President Bill Pittel states, “We see the great work Be Original Americas is doing to educate the professionals and the public about the values of original design, and we are so pleased to support it.”
Student Design Fellowship
Member companies Louis Poulsen, Georg Jensen, and Bernhardt Design have committed to supporting the Fellowship and educational initiates directly. Louis Poulsen is donating a percentage of sales from the Panthella Portable Lamp in White & Gray on their U.S. e-commerce site from May 1 – July 31. Georg Jensen is donating a percentage of sales from their Sky Water Bottle between March – December 2022 and Bernhardt Design will make a generous one-time donation.
The annual fellowship has grown from a hands-on experience for two students into an accessible digital program for thousands of participants across the globe as the result of a pandemic-related move to online programming. This year, the organization plans to maintain the accessibility and inclusivity that defined the success of the digital program in the last two years.
Be Original Americas – The Resource
Be Original Americas Membership List has become a resource for many individuals and design firms seeking to specify or buy original designs. In 4th quarter 2022, Be Original Americas will restructure and organize its membership lists by market segment categories, including manufacturers, retailers, and firms. President Simko hopes this new endeavor will “create a source for easily finding firms that support authenticity and originality in design, and bring every participant in the product lifecycle into conversation to achieve our common goals in supporting the future of design.”
This reimagining of the organization’s member list follows the successful revitalization of Be Original Americas’ visual identity last year. The new logo, website, and brand guidelines have been instrumental in concisely and evocatively communicating with new and existing members alike, and are designed to dovetail with the diverse brand identities of the membership body.
As Be Original Americas celebrates the completion of its first decade of advocacy, strong membership growth, cultural resonance, and the enrichment of design’s future leaders through educational initiatives suggest an even more original ten years to follow.
Be Original Americas is a 501(c)6 non-profit committed to informing, educating and influencing manufacturers, design professionals and consumers on the economic, ethical, and environmental value of authentic design.
With thanks to our media sponsors: Architonic, Architect’s Toy Box, Azure, Business of Home, Core 77, Cottages & Gardens, Cultured, Design Applause, Design Milk, Designythings, Doble Altura, Deco, Elle Décor, Hospitality Design, Interior Design, Interiors & Sources, Metropolis, PINUP, Surface, Wallpaper*