NYIT at the 2012 SaloneSatellite in Milan

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 Student Blog: Daily Updates from Milan

April 23, 2012

Free Day in Bergamo, Italy

The fair is over, and we have a free day to enjoy the city and region. I spent it with NYIT faculty and students visiting the nearby medieval hill city of Bergamo, 45 minutes east of Milan. As pointed out by Judith DiMaio, dean of the School of Architecture and Design, Bergamo was originally settled at the base of the hill in a Roman Castra Camp, and because of defense concerns during the Middle Ages, a wall and fortress were later built on the hilltop.

reflector in lion's mouth

After touring the lower part of Bergamo, we ascended to the Citta Alta or high city. The beautiful urbanscape is full of narrow alleys and sloping streets lined with cafes, bakeries, and shops. The bakeries have the most exquisite pastries, and we stopped at one for a quick cappuccino.

We ventured across the hilltop town and encountered architectural wonders. Italians incorporate new and old building techniques, and put much time into the details. There is the local university, churches, and monastery, where the preparation for some kind of festival was evident by streamers flowing from the windows. Another interesting feature was the city's funicular or a kind of ski-lift gondola transportation system used to move between the lower and upper towns.

During this outing, we continued something we began doing in Milan a few nights earlier—capturing photos of our graffiti badges throughout the city. We found spots to place and photograph them, either with existing graffiti, over logos, or in front of historic sites. It is a fun approach to photography. We even placed some over the beautiful vista by the countryside, along the old city's walls, and in the mouth of a Venetian lion statue.

reflector on ledge

Later, we met with Dean DiMaio; Martha Siegel, associate professor and chairperson of the Department of Interior Design; and Frank Mruk, professor and associate dean of the School of Architecture and Design, for lunch at a local enoteca (wine-tasting) restaurant. There, we tasted many varieties of polenta (historically a peasant food in Italy), including with beef, portabella mushrooms, and octopus. All were delicious.

Finally, we visited the main square, where Dean DiMaio gave a great lecture about architecture. She said Bergamo was once taken over by the Venetian empire, which branded the square. Venetian lion statues, the symbol of Venice, were placed everywhere, and the main piazza was made to replicate St. Mark's Square in Venice, with a building of the latter's same styling and marble. Hauling the marble up the hill was a huge effort during that time. We also toured the main church and adjacent duomo (or cathedral). Again, it is wonderful to have the time periods explained. The paintings and architectural and interior details tell the story of how the buildings were constructed and used over time.

-Alex Alaimo, NYIT B.Arch Student, Class of 2013

April 22, 2012

Around Town in Milan - Last Day at Fair, Renaissance Art, SAIC Exhibition

We are down to seven bags of reflectors for the last day of the fair. We will have to break down NYIT's booth later today. From what I've seen and heard, the SaloneSatellite Exhibition has been the most experimental and innovative part of the larger Milan Furniture Fair. Professional designers from the main fair often come inconspicuously to view the Salone for ideas and to see what's new in interior and furniture design.

I have spent time meeting young designers under age 35 and viewing work by other schools. I made friends with students at our neighbor booths, including Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Cambridge, and an industrial design school from Mexico City. They are all want to visit NYIT's campus in New York. It is interesting to see each school's approach to the fair. Some show themes of products, while others showcase a single project. In talking to RISD students, I found they had an entire year to develop their project. The Cambridge project uses moss to create bacteria, which actually was used to produce electricity; it has great potential for future research. Meeting students from around the world is a unique, amazing experience.

crowds

After the fair, we went back to Milan to see The Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci at Santa Maria delle Grazie church and ate lunch. Then I walked to the nearby Rosanna Orlandi gallery, once an old tie factory, to see a show by my sister's school, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). It was a real treat to see this gallery, where the show was attached to a wonderful courtyard exhibition. I entered through a beautiful portico into a stunning courtyard. There were wonderful small projects for sale and each item told a story. The space was filled with people viewing and buying works, and of course, drinking espresso and wine. I proceeded to give out NYIT reflectors, but most of SAIC crew had visited our booth at the Salone and already had them! They loved our project. I even found out that Spanish architect, designer, and Milan resident Patricia Urquiola was there with her daughter and had a piece on display. This has been a great excursion to experience design in a different venue from the fairgrounds and to meet other American design students.

-Alex Alaimo, NYIT B.Arch Student, Class of 2013

April 21, 2012

10,000 Pitches for NYIT Architecture and Design

It's another busy day at the fair. Again, from opening to closing our booth was the busiest at the SaloneSatellite Exhibition. Word has spread about our graffiti bicycle reflectors, and people are swarming to get them while they last. The reflectors are a great project on many levels. Some people ask: "Where is the original art?" We reply: "You are holding it." A fashionable Italian came over and told us: "You are the biggest fashion trend in Milano now," a great compliment. A Japanese person came up to me and asked about the reflector's material (acrylic) because he was looking to use a new material for the interior of an elevator. I explained that acrylic is a good choice because it can be laser-cut into any shape or pattern and comes in all colors. Also, the thermal printing process for the image on the back of the reflector can be applied to full sheets to print any pattern on a panel.

Our booth exploited a clear marketing strategy with the reflectors. Giving out a free sample was a big draw and allowed us to pitch NYIT nearly 10,000 times, spreading our school's name and reputation around the world. The integration of freedom, technology, interaction, and marketing made these badges a perfect representation of NYIT, New York, and America on the world's stage.

reflector

I finally had time to walk around the main show to see some of the exhibition spaces. One memorable exhibit was by Kartell, a global company that displayed furniture designed from the last 40 years. The display showed original pieces from the past and modern reinventions as well as prototype models with cuts and markups alongside the finished products. This illustration of process was excellent and is what I, as a young designer, pursue.

Danish House was also an excellent exhibition. I actually met someone from their team at the copy center and checked out their display later. It had many interesting pieces, including a reclaimed wood dining set and a dresser consisting of a metal frame with removable drawers. The drawers slid out of the frame and could them be thought of as mobile and moved to any room in the house.

-Alex Alaimo, NYIT B.Arch Student, Class of 2013

April 21, 2012

Villa Necchi Tour

Villa Necchi Exterior

Team NYIT visited Villa Necchi Campiglio, a historic house museum constructed in the 1930s in Milan for an upper-middle-class industrial family. The villa includes a garden, pool, tennis court, and rooms filled with antique furniture, a collection of 20th century art, and decorative flourishes and paintings dating to the 1700s.

While talking with other design professionals about the function and beauty of a piece of furniture, I have started to think about some important questions, such as how do I get a piece on the market? How many pieces are sold and who is my buyer? The business and marketing aspects are on my mind. They are just as important as the creation of a design concept.

This experience has been fascinating because I have met a new group of people with professional skills in varied crafts, thorough knowledge and experiences, and an eye for true beauty in furniture manufacturers. It is certainly true—Milan is the city of design!

Villa Necchi Interior

SaloneSatellite has also been a unique opportunity for cultural exchanges about the creation and human needs of function and beauty. Thank you, NYIT!

-Barbara Schoenenberger, NYIT B.F.A. Student, Class of 2012

April 20, 2012

Day 4 at SaloneSatellite

As the team wrapped up day 4 at the SaloneSatellite exhibition, we are all still in awe of the immensity of this fair. We feel stimulated and inspired as we mingle and discuss our projects, programs, and future aspirations with other students and designers who share our passion. The most exciting aspect of the fair has been the "global mosaic" or "global puzzle" we are crafting by handing out bicycle reflectors, which are a hot item at the fair. They have been so widely received that visitors have stopped me as I'm walking through the fair to ask where they can get their hands on one! The greatest part about the reflector project is the global Web it weaves. For example, we are tracking who takes the reflectors and where in the world they are from, with the intention of creating a map pinning their locations. The diversity we have seen each day is enormous—not even a language barrier is keeping our visitors from understanding the project. Visitors have expressed their love and fascination for the reflectors, and have congratulated us on our work. We started the exhibition with 10,000 reflectors, and with two days remaining, we only have a few hundred left! Needless to say, today I feel great pride in NYIT's School of Architecture and Design.

aerial view

I have been impressed with the amount of innovative and talented schools I have seen at the fair. We have been introduced to schools with large industrial design and furniture design programs, something that our department looks to explore in the future. There are dozens of schools and programs with thousands of designs represented here—it is thrilling to experience it all in one space, at one event. We're motivated by what we've seen to continue to learn and grow in our studies as future architects and designers. There are countless opportunities for exchange and study abroad programs out there, and simply being in Milan has instilled a desire in me to return to Italy one day to study. We have learned there is such a need in design for interaction with other students in other countries, who are also making incredible work. Soaking up the city and the fair will make it difficult to leave Milan next week. This cultural experience is something we are discovering is vital to design. We can't wait to watch NYIT grow.

-Ashley Sarazen, NYIT Interior Design Student, Class of 2014

April 19, 2012

Sightseeing in Milan

NYIT at Il Duomo

Today we had the opportunity to visit the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan and see other students across the world working hard on their designs just like us. Afterward, we took a tram (my first time riding one) to see Il Duomo, the breathtaking cathedral in the heart of Milan, and right next to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a landmark glass-vaulted arcade known for its shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Pictured at the cathedral are NYIT interior design students Ashley Sarazen, Melanie Li Foo Wing, and Barbara Schoenenberger; Robert Allen, associate professor of interior design; Brendalyn Stempel, a member of the advisory board of the School of Architecture and Design; Frank Mruk, associate dean of the School of Architecture and Design; and interior design student Liz Cuadrado.

I was in awe standing next to these incredible buildings that have stood the test of time and still manage to impact their surrounding culture and environment. Even better, we actually saw a person near Il Duomo wearing one of our reflectors—the NYIT spirit is spreading already! After walking around a little more, we enjoyed a delicious dinner. If this is just day two for me, I can't wait to see what the rest of this week brings. Viva Italia, viva NYIT!

-Liz Cuadrado, NYIT Interior Design Student, Class of 2013

April 18, 2012

Going Global at Salone

Innovation! Inspiration! Incredibile! These were some of the thoughts going through my head as I first entered the furniture fair in Milan. I arrived today and went straight from the airport to the fair, where I was immediately impacted by the emerging designers and design schools at the SaloneSatellite exhibition.

booth

Our booth is successfully up and running, and it has been simply amazing to meet so many people from countries all over the world. I am in love with all of the intriguing and creative designs presented here, and I can't wait to enter the larger Salone fair site. For the past two days, along with my fellow students, I have been speaking to students as well as designers and visitors about our program and handing out reflectors with artwork by NYIT students. The reflectors are popular. It's awesome to know these buttons are traveling to Denmark, Italy, Holland, New Zealand, and so many other places—we can't even count them!

Pictured is interior design student Ashley Sarazen at NYIT's Salone booth providing bicycle reflectors to fairgoers.

-Liz Cuadrado, NYIT Interior Design Student, Class of 2013

 

 

April 17, 2012

Salone Opens Its Doors to the Press

Milan booth

The first day at the Salone was both intimidating and fascinating. Different groups of people visited our booth, namely students, professionals, artists, and journalists. Our team proudly talked about the School of Architecture and Design at NYIT, particularly our furniture design program. Architecture and interior design students in the program collaborate and design innovative and creative pieces of furniture, such as the prototype chaise lounge exhibited at the fair, which was designed by fellow student Barbara Schoenenberger.

We are also happy to see that our graffiti bicycle reflectors (pictured at left) are popular, and everybody seems excited to have souvenirs from New York. I had the chance to visit the "Modern" section of the Salone with Robert Gardocki during my lunch break, and as an interior designer in practice, it was an incredible exposure to the latest trends in designs, to see the new technologies and materials being used, and how they vary from region to region.

-Melanie Li Foo Wing, NYIT Interior Design Student, Class of 2012

 

April 16, 2012

Exploring Italy

Brion Cemetery

Since we managed to finish the booth set-up last night, we took the day off and drove to the famous Brion's family cemetery (pictured) in San Vito d'Altivole, three hours east of Milan. Surprisingly, we did not get lost (that much) and the scenery was breathtaking all along, with the white peaks of the Alps in the distance. Carlo Scarpa, one of my favorite architects, designed the Brion Cemetery, and the site was even more beautifully intricate than I had imagined. It's exactly the architecture that I love. The attention to detail is unbelievable, and Scarpa's thought process and design intent is clear throughout the entire site.

On our way back, Adam, Robert, and I continued our adventure in Bergamo, a gorgeous village on top of a hill, where we enjoyed dinner and a great view.

Bergamo

-Melanie Li Foo Wing, NYIT Interior Design Student, Class of 2012

April 16, 2012

One More Day Until Salone Debut

Day two of the Salone setup has gone without a hitch. Everything is operational and in place. We owe a lot to Margarita and Massimo, our Italian production team, for helping us put the final touches on the booth. They have been fantastic.

Chair

Pictured is the chaise lounge designed by NYIT B.F.A. student Barbara Schoenenberger. The chair will be on display in NYIT's booth.

Melanie Li Foo Wing, Adam LoPorto, and I celebrated with a phenomenal dinner at a small restaurant south of Milan's Duomo, the main church in the city center. There is nothing like a three-hour meal of fantastic cuisine. You know a dinner is great when it has outlasted the life of the candle on your table. Tomorrow, we'll see Carlo Scarpa's Brion Family Cemetery, then off to the Salone!

-Robert Gardocki (B.S. '09)

April 15, 2012

Countdown to SaloneSatellite

Students Working

After some challenges, I am happy to report that NYIT has successfully set up a booth for the SaloneSatellite exhibition. Although we have a few more finishing touches to put on our space, such as finishing our canvas-clad walls and installing a few media pieces, the booth looks good. Across from schools with renown industrial design programs, NYIT students should be proud to know their fellow peers are making a strong debut with work from the interdisciplinary studio programs. Thanks to our team's leadership, poise, and vision, NYIT will undoubtedly make an impression in Milan.

Pictured are Barbara Schoenenberger (B.F.A. student), Adam LoPorto (B.F.A. '11), Melanie Li Foo Wing (interior design student), and Robert Gardocki (B.S. '09).

-Robert Gardocki (B.S. '09)

April 13, 2012

The Dry Run

All went well with the dry-run setup. The booth is functioning with few hiccups. Tomorrow, everything will be relocated to the fairgrounds for installation. I spent the afternoon hopping puddles in the city, followed by a light dinner of pasta and affettati misti.

-Adam LoPorto (B.F.A. '11)

April 12, 2012

Ciao, Milan!

Rob Gardocki and I arrived at 9 a.m. in Malpensa, Italy, and drove to our hotel. After checking in with the team, we went into Milan to enjoy the weather. My family is from just north of Milan. Here is a city with beautiful streets, ancient architecture, a strong sense of community, and wonderful (clean!) public services. Even after many visits, I am still humbled by it.

Charles Matz

Charles Matz (right), assistant professor of interior design, at work in Milan.

We met up with Professor Matz in the late evening and got an update on the status of the NYIT display. I have been to the SaloneSatellite exhibition before, and it's an overwhelming experience. The sheer size of the event is incredible. One can't help but be inspired by the brilliance of many of these visionaries. NYIT is proud to have been included in this group for the first time. For current students, it can only serve as a reminder that one must work hard and work smart to stand out in such a robust and competitive global marketplace. Many ideas can be derived from the forms and systems on display at the exhibition.

-Adam LoPorto (B.F.A. '11), senior project manager, Turner & Townsend Ferzan Robbins