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College of Visual and Performing Arts launches Golden Mean Series exploring relationships among design, business, society

October 30, 2008

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Erica Blust

Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) has announced the establishment of the Golden Mean Series in the School of Art and Design's Department of Design. The series, whose name references balance and harmony, will explore how critical good design is to good business. Each event will feature guests of national and international acclaim who will present their individual perspectives and then converse together and with the audience.

The inaugural Golden Mean event is based on the theme "Envisioning" and will feature Gianfranco Zaccai, president and CEO of the international multidisciplinary design consultancy Continuum, and Bill Mak, an interaction design professional and innovation entrepreneur. They will speak Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. in Watson Theater. The talk is free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots.

"Envisioning" refers to how the creative process is applied to nearly all human endeavors. Zaccai and Mak will share how their keen ability to envision solutions to societal needs has fueled their creativity and ultimately the needs of business. They will also offer highlights from their respective journeys down the many paths that took their ideas to reality.

Zaccai and Continuum's work has been acclaimed in national and international publications and received numerous awards from organizations around the world. Zaccai is a faculty member at SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy, and is a member of the VPA Advisory Council. He holds degrees in industrial design from VPA and architecture from the Boston Architectural Center.

Mak is chair of the Industrial Designers Society of America's Interaction Design Professional Interest Section. He works within IMI Studios, a global design collaborative that guides business leaders in envisioning and creating the future. Prior to 2007, he contributed to a wide range of products at Microsoft, including desktop and online emerging technologies, and concluded a 12-year run with Tablet PC and Windows Vista.

The Golden Mean Series is funded by a major contribution from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For more information, contact Don Carr at or Cookie Caloia at (315) 569-2808 or

VPA is committed to the education of cultural leaders who will engage and inspire audiences through performance, visual art, design, scholarship and commentary. The college provides the tools for self-discovery and risk-taking in an environment that thrives on critical thought and action. Learn more at

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