Recent School of Visual Arts 3D Design graduate, Benjamin Chu, has fond memories of relaxing on Swan Boats in a reservoir in his native Singapore. So, when challenged by his professor to come up with a unique footwear design, he developed Swan Boat Shoes with the help of some pillow feathers.
What You Need To Know
- School of Visual Arts students have their designs on display at eight storefronts on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side
- It's part of "Windows Open to the Sky," an end-of-year student design showcase presented by Design Pavilion
- The Madison Avenue storefronts feature work from 3D Design and Interior Design majors
- The storefronts were made available by property owners - some vacant before the pandemic and some became available during the pandemic
They are among a grouping of other unique styles created by classmates, displayed in the window of a vacant storefront on Madison Avenue between 62nd and 63rd Streets. They’re drawing attention in the well-known shopping destination.
“I think that's the really fun part, that your work is able to stop someone from doing whatever they're doing and grabbing their attention and staring at your project that you created,” said Chu, who noted that ironically, the famous Jimmy Choo’s shoe store is located across the street.
It’s all part of a display of student designers from SVA on Madison on the Upper East Side - part of "Windows Open to the Sky," an end-of-year student design showcase presented by Design Pavilion. SVA 3D Design Chair Kevin O'Callaghan says, in many cases these designs were created by students working remotely during the pandemic.
"This represents work from students from all around the world and their need to still create, and their need to find that inner spirit inside of them, and to move forward after these trying times that we have been through,” said O’Callaghan.
SVA Interior Design Graduate Fuad Khazam's plans for a philosophy center in his native Syria are on view at another storefront. He is bound for Yale to study architecture and considers the exposure on busy Madison Avenue a plus.
"I mean I love this street, I always thought that it's interesting to pass by here and look at the stores but when having your work displayed is kind of exciting too,” said Khazam.
The storefronts were made available by property owners along Madison Avenue. Business Improvement District President Matthew Bauer says bringing artwork to these available storefronts has created a sense of wonder on this stretch of the Avenue.
"Having storefronts active really makes tremendous difference to the existing businesses that are here on the street,” said Bauer, who added that it makes a big difference to the people who live and visit the neighborhood.