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NewSchool of Architecture and Design

April 5, 2013

NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) announced the formation of the Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD Advisory Board, which will provide counsel on globally inspired design-related curricula and its application to professional practice. Board members are renowned, award-winning designers from around the world whose collective experience has influenced many recognizable international and local design projects.  The Board will provide guidance to NSAD’s Bachelor of Interior Design program, which launches this fall, and the school’s academic offerings in design. The creation of this Board advances NSAD’s mission to provide global educational experiences that prepare students for practice in a diverse and global work environment in the design field.

The Board members are:

  • Viveca Bissonnette (FIIDA, Assoc. AIA, CID, LEED AP), design principal and vice president at Hollander Design Group in San Diego
  • Robin Wilson Carrier (ASID, CID, LEED AP), president of the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and principal of Robin Wilson Interior Design in San Diego
  • Dante Donegani, director of the Design Department at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano in Milan, Italy, and former director of the master’s program in design at Domus Academy
  • John Mills Davies (ASID, CGBP, CAPS I, CAPS II), who established the design program at Marrokal Design & Remodeling, a prominent San Diego design build/remodeling firm where he worked for nine years prior to launching his own practice
  • Ezequiel Farca, one of Mexico’s most prominent designers and the chief creative and executive officer of EZEQUIELFARCA, an international design firm in Mexico City
  • Paolo Giachi, an Italian architect and interior designer who has more than 16 years of experience designing retail stores for luxury fashion brands such as Prada, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo in locations around the world
  • Claudia Salazar (Assoc. AIA), design director of the San Diego office of Gensler, a global design firm that has 42 offices and 3,500 employees worldwide

“These leaders in the design field bring expertise from all over the world and are passionate about preparing a new generation of students to work in design-related fields in a global and diverse society,” said NSAD President Steve Altman. “We are pleased to announce their participation in the Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD Advisory Board as we develop new and exciting educational opportunities through our collaborations with renowned international design schools.”

The Bachelor of Interior Design program is available through Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD, a collaborative effort to bring the quality and innovation of Domus Academy in Milan, Italy—one of the top-ranked design schools in the world—to the United States. Future board members will include members of the product design community, reflecting NSAD’s focus on developing an integrated approach to global design education.

For more detailed information on board members, see the Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD Advisory Board page on the NSAD Web site. 



Elena Pacenti will join NSAD as director of the newly created Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD

(NSAD) announced that Elena Pacenti will join NSAD in August as director of the recently created Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD. Pacenti comes from Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, which is one of the top-ranked design schools in the world. She will lead the development of new global design education programs, such as NSAD’s Bachelor of Interior Design, that prepare students for careers in international design. The interior design program launched last fall, and classes begin in October 2013.

Pacenti currently directs the Design School at Domus Academy in Italy, and she brings the Domus Academy emphasis on advanced design methodologies for anticipating needs and trends in a continuously evolving society.  The academy has received recognition from around the world, including being nominated three times by Businessweek magazine as one of the best design schools in the world. The academy also received the prestigious Compasso d’Oro award for the quality of its academic and research approaches, and it was included in the 2012 publication of Masterclass: Product Design: Guide to the World’s Leading Graduate Schools from Frame Publishers.

Pacenti brings to her new position both professional and academic expertise in design-related fields. She was director of the Domus Academy Research Center from 2002 through 2009, where she oversaw the development and coordination of design innovation research projects for the European Union and for government and private groups in Italy. In 2011, she established the Master in Service and Experience Design program at Domus Academy. Pacenti has an undergraduate degree in architecture and a PhD in industrial design, both from the Politecnico di Milano. Throughout her career, she has focused on research and application of theory and practice in the areas of service and product design.

“I am honored to join NSAD and to have the opportunity to enhance and expand its offerings in global design education,” said Pacenti. “The role of the designer in our contemporary society requires an increasing ability to view design from many different perspectives. I look forward to helping NSAD students prepare for professional practice in design-related fields and learn to adjust and respond to the evolving challenges of this industry.”

In November 2012, NSAD announced new global design education offerings developed in collaboration with both Domus Academy and Media Design School (MDS) in New Zealand. NSAD, Domus Academy and MDS are all institutions within the Laureate International Universities network. The new programs, beginning in the 2013–2014 academic year, include the Bachelor of Interior Design program and an opportunity for students enrolled in NSAD’s Digital Media Arts program to obtain a certificate of study from MDS.

To mark the start of these collaborations, a visiting professor from Domus Academy, Paolo Giachi, taught an architecture studio course on retail interior design at NSAD last fall. Giachi, an Italian architect and interior designer who designs retail stores for luxury fashion brands around the world, was named one of the “13 Must Know Luxury Boutique Designers” by Luxury Society in 2011.  NSAD also recently announced the formation of the Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD Advisory Board to provide counsel on globally inspired design-related curricula and its application to professional practice. Board members are renowned, award-winning designers from around the world whose collective experience has influenced many recognizable international and local design projects.

Ongoing scholarship opportunities are available for NSAD’s Digital Media Arts program and Interior Design program for 2013–2014. Some of these opportunities involve contests, such as the Digital Media Arts “Cut It Out” Scholarship Competition and the Bachelor of Interior Design Scholarship Competition


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