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Laura Golly

Sean Solley SEAN SOLLEY joined the full-time faculty at NESAD in 2005 as assistant professor in the Interior Design Program. When he’s not teaching, Solley is designing “small, smart spaces” with his wife, business partner, and fellow designer, Katrin Boening-Solley. Sean, a native of England, and Katrin, a native of Germany, trained as interior designers in London, Berlin, and Singapore before coming to the US in 1999. In 2005 they started Solley Design Inc. in Barrington, Rhode Island. “Our work provides imaginative, user-centered solutions to the adaptation of existing environments, covering all stages of this process from analysis through to the design of lighting, materials, and furnishing,” says Solley. The Solleys have been commissioned to design homes, commercial properties (such as Tazza Caffe in Providence, Rhode Island), and marine interiors. “The most recent of these has been Panacea, our first marine design commission. Working within the marine community has convinced us that our design process can play a role in coordinating a complex fit out,” says Solley, especially as owners are considering repurposing their vessels rather than buying new ones. In renovating the craft (sketches above), they found new ways to use outdoor products in a marine environment. As a result of the outstanding marine interior design, the US Small Business Administration awarded Solley Design the 2009 Joseph G.E. Knight Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Online gallery:



LAURA GOLLY came to NESAD after 20 years in a design career ranging from corporate branding to advertising and freelancing. Golly, director of the Graphic Design Program, started out teaching a class she calls “the bread and butter of design”—typography. Acknowledging the difficulty of the subject to beginning designers, Golly says, “The reason I like it is that it’s the hardest thing to teach. It’s not as sexy as Photoshop. And that’s what makes it so satisfying: when they get it, they get it.” Golly painted the watercolors pictured below during visits to the Lake District of England, Nantucket Island, and Nelson, New Hampshire, and while not thought of as a traditional aspect of graphic design, painting and drawing quietly influence the graphic design curriculum at NESAD. “Graphic design is usually thought of as more professional, the money-making side of art,” says Golly. “But the fine arts is still something I enjoy and practice. When I travel, I draw: old fashioned, pen and ink, watercolor, en plein air. I always did it, and didn’t really share it with the world. But then I realized other faculty were doing the same thing, and students saw it and said, ‘We want to do that!’” From this common ground, Golly and fellow faculty founded the study abroad program in Italy and annually exhibit their work, showing students that being well-rounded can be very rewarding. Says Golly, “It’s not the main part of what I teach, but it’s become an important part.” Online gallery: nesad/21269_21289.htm

Suffolk Arts+Sciences IMAGINE  
Suffolk Arts+Sciences IMAGINE  

Issue No. 3 // 2010 IMAGINE