Document Sample
150 Powered By Docstoc

                      TO RE-IMAGINE AN ITALIAN CLASSIC

    Parsons Students to Develop Fashion and Product Design Concepts for the Vespa

New York (December 7, 2004) – Piaggio USA Inc, the manufacturer of the renowned Vespa
scooter, is partnering with Parsons School of Design to re-imagine this incomparable icon of
Italian style within the context of 21st century American culture. Restricted only by the limits
of their imaginations, Parsons students in the Fashion Design, Product Design, and Design
and Technology programs will create new concepts for a lifestyle collection, ranging from
clothing to wearable technologies, accessories, and even new features for the scooter itself.
The designs will be unveiled at the Parsons Benefit and Fashion Show on May 9, 2005.

“It was important for us to select a partner that we felt could come up with creative solutions
using the Vespa to address important issues such as the emerging traffic problems in the
U.S.,” said Paolo Timoni, CEO of Piaggio USA, Inc. “As scooters become an integral part of
the American and global cultural landscape, we feel that Parsons is the right design school to
look at how young people will adopt scooter culture and how the scooter will change the way
people think of transportation. We’re combining the heritage of design and manufacturing of
Italy with the progressive ideas fostered by this quintessential New York design school.”

The partnership between Parsons and Piaggio is a project of the Parsons Design Lab, which
brings together corporations, nonprofit organizations, and Parsons students to develop design
solutions for real-world business challenges. Students were charged with developing new
fashions, accessories, and product ideas and concepts to integrate Vespa into the values and
lifestyles of the U.S. teenage and 20-to-30-year-old markets, and to broaden and “futurize” the
Vespa in the context of modern urban living, the economy and eco-sustainability in light of
increasing traffic congestion.

“The Design Lab is an innovative way for corporate and nonprofit leaders to tap into Parsons’
creative energies across a range of disciplines,” said Carol Moore, director of the Parsons
Design Lab. “In turn, students are provided with the rare opportunity to develop design
solutions that can be applied in the real world. The idea of transforming a design icon such
as the Vespa for today’s youth culture was a challenge that students were excited to tackle.”

Established in August 2003, the Design Lab has coordinated interdisciplinary projects with
corporations and nonprofit organizations that span the range of design disciplines taught at
Parsons, including architectural design, communications design, design and technology,
fashion design, and product design. In addition to Piaggio, current and recent partners include
Siemens, Fossil, PETA, Daimler Chrysler, NASA, Origins, Microsoft, UNICEF and Samsung.

                                           - More -

“Parsons has a longstanding reputation as a design school that produces real, tangible
solutions to societal issues,” said Paul Goldberger, the new dean of Parsons School of
Design and one of the nation’s most eminent critics and writers on architecture and design.
“The Design Lab is a perfect example of our increased commitment to engaging students
and outside partners to create new paradigms in the field of design.”

About Vespa
Manufactured by Piaggio in Tuscany, Italy, the first Vespa was designed by Corradino
D’Ascanio in 1946 for Enrico Piaggio as a solution to transportation following the destruction
caused by World War II. Combining the best elements of aeronautics, automobiles and
motorcycles, it instantly became an icon of design and economy. In 2000, after a 15-year
hiatus, the fabled Italian scooter returned to the United States to entice new generations with
its efficient, entertaining and still nostalgic nature.

Piaggio USA is an active member of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and
encourages riders to always wear a helmet, appropriate eyewear and proper apparel. The
company suggests that all scooter owners/operators attend a motorcycle/scooter rider-
training course to learn how to safely and skillfully operate a Vespa and recommends the
MSF RiderCourse (800-446-9227) as the best introduction to riding. For additional
information, or to locate a Piaggio dealership in your area, visit the Web site at

About Parsons School of Design
Located in the heart of New York City, Parsons School of Design, a division of New School
University, is one of the largest degree-granting colleges of art and design in the nation, with
more than 3,000 students in degreed programs, and 2,500 non-degree students from all 50
states and approximately 60 countries. The School’s Dean is Paul Goldberger. In addition to
its New York campuses, Parsons has affiliate schools in Paris, France; Kanazawa, Japan;
Seoul, South Korea; and at Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic. Undergraduate
degrees are offered in Architectural Design, Communication Design, Design and
Management, Design and Technology, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Illustration, Integrated
Design, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design. Graduate degrees are granted in
Architecture, Design and Technology, Lighting Design, Fine Arts, Photography, and the
History of Decorative Arts and Design Associates (AAS) degrees are offered in Fashion
Marketing, Fashion Studies, Graphic Design, and Interior Design. For more information
about Parsons, please visit

Parsons BFA and MFA Design and Technology programs explore the design implications
of emerging technology and the evolving connections between technology, design, and the
human experience. The chair of the program is Colleen Macklin. The program’s 100
undergraduate and 150 graduate students develop design technologies such as games,
mobile technologies, animation, interactive experiences and physical computing as a context
for innovation, community, culture, entrepreneurship and social action.

                                            - More -

Established in 1906, Parsons BFA Fashion Design program is on the leading edge of
American fashion. The chair of the program is Timothy Gunn. From Claire McCardell to Donna
Karan, Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez, and Marc Jacobs, five generations of alumni have
contributed more to fashion design in this nation than any other institution. The program's 450
students confront the challenges of the real world of the fashion industry while cultivating a
personal design philosophy that is fully realized in a senior year thesis collection.

Parsons BFA Product Design program trains over 130 students each year to become
flexible, intelligent, innovative, technologically savvy designers. The chair of the program is
Anthony Whitfield. Graduates from this program are skilled collaborators and researchers
whose interdisciplinary approach distinguishes them from among their peers. The program
provides students with a broad-based education that reflects a spectrum of professional career
directions. Students learn to conceive thoughtful and innovative consumer products that
address domestic environments, meet specialized needs and facilitate activities in daily life.

                                            # # #

Contact: Deborah Kirschner
         Director of Public Relations
         Parsons School of Design

Shared By: