Parsons Paris

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Parsons Alumna Creates Business Out Of Found Treasures

Parsons graduate Amelia Cunard is in the process of launching Re-Fab, an innovative company that focuses on the local and sustainable manuracturing of furniture. Cunard first developed the idea of the product line as her product design thesis project, which was part of Parsons 2008 A Good Life. Through A Good Life, students design products that address a range of social issues, working in partnership with nonprofit organizations. Cunard’s inspiration came from picking up pieces left on the side of the road in the West Village and re-creating new pieces of furniture from her findings.

Last fall, following graduation, Cunard was chosen to participate in the Milano course Social Entrepreneurship Through Design. In this course co-taught by Milano and Parsons Product Design Faculty, Milano students develop business plans for products that address social needs, including Good Life projects.

Cunard has established partnerships with a New Jersey furniture company and a group called Build it Green which takes waste from construction sites and gives it to craftsmen to work with rather than sending these materials to a landfill. Re-Fab was a finalist in New York’s Green Business Competition that focuses on emerging green business in the area and rewards them with investment funds.

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