NEW YORK, NY – The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum invited high school students throughout the United States to the Times Center in Manhattan to learn about careers in design. Thirty professionals in the fields of architecture, interior design, fashion, multimedia, product, and graphic design were likewise invited to share their experiences and answer student questions. Ransolina Sawyerr, LEED AP, Intern Architect at JGRA, had the privilege of representing the office at this year’s annual Teen Design Fair.

The afternoon began with presentations by speakers. Among the professionals were Coren Sharples and Kim Holden of SHoP Architects, Malan Breton from Season 3 of Project Runway, and Dennis Hwang, head of the Google Doodle team. After a brief introduction, students from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Kansas had an hour and a half to converse with professionals on various subjects. Design schools such as Parsons, Pratt, and FIT also had representatives on hand to answer questions about admissions and
financial aid.

Afterwards, students and professionals alike gathered in the auditorium for the highlight of the event. Keynote speaker Tim Gunn shared valuable lessons he has learned as Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne Inc., as Dean, Director of Admissions, and Chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons, and throughout his career. Gunn also answered questions about his life experiences and encouraged students to bring a positive attitude to the world of design. “It’s so exciting to know that events such as the Teen 4 North Main Street, South Norwalk, CT 06854 T 203 354 5200 F 203 354 5201
Design Fair exist,” remarks Sawyerr. “This experience is a wonderful opportunity for all the students involved to gain a better understanding of what designers do and determine if they want to pursue design as a career.”

The Teen Design Fair was started with the founding of the museum’s National Design Week in 2006. National Design Week’s mission is to enlighten the general public about design and to honor leaders in the field. Additional events during this week can be viewed online at the Cooper Hewitt’s website.

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