Cranbrook Academy of Art, alma mater of Florence Knoll, announced Taryn Casella and Austin LeRoy Swick as the 2016-2017 recipients of the Kass Bradley and the Florence B. Knoll Design Scholarships, respectively.
Established in 2004 in partnership with Knoll, the Florence Knoll Scholarship in Design is awarded yearly to a graduate student with the aim of supporting the creation of art and design at Cranbrook Academy of Art. This year’s recipient, Austin LeRoy Swick, is a second-year student in the 3D Design Department. Originally from Claremont, California, he received a B.A. in Industrial Design from the University of Kansas.
Swick works primarily with wood as he has developed a deep respect for the material. Of his work, Swick writes, “The tree and its gift of wood has been my entry point and muse within my material work. Its use in furniture objects, beginning with the most basic and closest interaction with my hands and expanding to a fully computer-guided fabrication process, has taught me that good craft is a present gradient throughout.”
Swick’s designs seek to exist as moments where technology and craft seamlessly come together via a completely organic material. After Cranbrook, Swick hopes to start a business and maintain studio practice. Most of all, he hopes to carry on his family’s tradition of teaching.
In honor of Kass Bradley, former Knoll President and COO, the Kass Bradley Scholarship is awarded annually by the Cranbrook faculty to a student who is pursuing museum studies, a curatorial project or research related to connoisseurship in association with the Cranbrook Museum of Art. This year’s recipient, Taryn Cassella, is a first-year student in the 3D Design Department. Originally from Elkhart, Indiana, she received a BFA in painting from the Herron School of Art and Design in 2013.
Prior to Cranbrook, Taryn completed a residency as a prop stylist at Harpa, a concert hall in Reykjavik, and worked as a studio assistant at LUUR, a transdisciplinary design studio in Carmel, Indiana. She works primarily with found objects, but will occasionally return to painting if inspired to do so. Taryn’s work is an ongoing exploration into consumerism, focused on deconstructing systems that drive consumption and learning how they shape lifestyles.
After Cranbrook, Taryn would like to move to Berlin, where she plans on beginning a studio practice, and would like to debut her work at art fairs around the world. She comments, “the US market will want me but won’t know how to have me. My work is both upsetting and confusing to them because it denies their ideals.”
In addition to Florence Knoll, Cranbrook alumni include Knoll designers Harry Bertoia, Ralph Rapson and Eero Saarinen, whose father, Eliel Saarinen, directed the school's architecture program, as well as Masamichi Udagawa of Antenna Design.