June 28, 2016

Be Original Fellows Visit Carnegie, Designtex, and Flavor Paper

Carnegie Visit by Be Original Fellows
The Be Original fellows visit Carnegie.

You can see the first post in this series here.

Last week, we brought you a first look at the experiences of Sarah Ahart of Virginia Tech and Karina Campos of Syracuse University, the first-ever fellows in Be Original Americas‘ new summer fellowship program for taking students behind the scenes at leading design companies and Be Original Americas members across the U.S. What follows is our second post, courtesy of Ahart—stay tuned for more updates from both fellows!

Only two weeks have gone by in the fellowship and we have already done so much! This week we had countless amazing experiences! We started the week off at Carnegie and got to truly become a part of their team for two days. As soon as we arrived, the entire studio was friendly and welcoming, and we fit right in! We got the low-down on how all of their teams work together to make their product stand out in the market. They even put us to work by giving us small projects to work on and present to them!  

We then moved on to Designtex where we got to learn all about the Cradle-to-Cradle design initiative and how Designtex strives to be environmentally friendly. While meeting with many different branches of their company, we were able to learn about the products and services that they offer to the end-user. We were even able to be a part of the bimonthly potluck that they host out on their terrace overlooking the city.

A close-up at Designtex.
A close-up at Designtex. 

The next day, we visited Flavor Paper in Brooklyn. This screen-printed wallpaper is unlike anything I have seen before. Experiencing the hand-printing process at such a large scale made me realize and appreciate how much work goes in to producing a flawless handcrafted product. We were told the story of how Flavor Paper started and persevered even after a fire, flood, and train wreck destroyed their studio on three separate occasions, and it was truly inspiring.

I have learned an incredible amount so far on this journey, and have been exposed to real-world situations that I would never get the chance to see in a classroom environment. I am more than excited to continue growing my pool of knowledge as we move forward in the fellowship! Next stop, Michigan!

The Fellows visit Flavor Paper.
The fellows visit Flavor Paper.

About the Fellow

Sarah Ahart is a top-ranking student in Virginia Tech’s industrial design program. The Sterling, VA native is an accomplished student designer: she currently has a toy design in production and on the market through Swiss company Naef and recently participated as a finalist in the Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge 2016 for her in-home workout station design for the elderly. She also works as lead designer at start-up Park and Diamond Incorporated, where she is creating an ultra-portable bicycle helmet for college commuters.

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