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George Beylerian

Founder,
Material ConneXion

New York City, United States

I love change. Change is important. With change comes innovation.

George Beylerian Bio:

As Founder of Material ConneXion, George M. Beylerian remains an integral part of the company’s expansion by contributing to all international licensing operations. In addition, Beylerian continues to advise on design and marketing strategies and is particularly interested in start-up companies with innovative content. In 2010, Beylerian received the “Visionaries” Lifetime Achievement Award from the Museum of Art & Design (NYC). Crowning his lifetime dedication to all things design, George Beylerian was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Interior Design in November, 2011.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt to Armenian merchant parents, Beylerian emigrated to the U.S. where he graduated from New York University with a degree in marketing and business administration. In 1964, Beylerian opened Scarabaeus, an innovative retail gallery in Manhattan offering new ideas in home furnishings and decorative accessories. His next enterprise, The Beylerian Collection, was a wholesale line of colorful, luxurious, and exotic accessories designed by architects, industrial designers, craftsmen and artists. These products are now widely recognized as having awakened the American market to Italian design. Beylerian’s follow-up venture, Casa Idea shop, the first sophisticated lifestyle shop in the country, opened in 1970 at Bloomingdale’s and pioneered the “shop-in-shop” concept.

Beylerian then turned his attention to contract furniture, specifically focusing on high-end imports from Italy. Steelcase bought his company in 1987, beginning a long and fruitful collaboration between the two. When Steelcase established the Steelcase Design Partnership, Beylerian was named Creative Director and became responsible for creating the image of its boutique furniture, textile, and accessory companies.

Since its establishment in 1997, Material ConneXion has become the world’s leading global material consultancy and materials library with locations in New York, Cologne, Milan, Daegu, Istanbul, Seoul, Bangkok, Beijing, and Shanghai. Used by architects, designers, engineers, artists, manufacturers and entrepreneurs, the library features more than 6,500 materials. The consulting team advises clients in every area of design—from BMW and Target to Proctor Gamble and Steven Holl Architects—on materials strategy, sustainability, performance and aesthetics. Committed to educating the next generation of designers, Material ConneXion’s academic programs provide over 150,000 students worldwide with access to materials knowledge via Material ConneXion’s online database and libraries.

Widely sought out for his insights on design trends and product development strategy, Beylerian is a frequent speaker and media contributor on both domestic and international design issues. He is the co-author of Mondo Materialis, Chairmania (both Harry N. Abrams), Work, Life, Tools (Monacelli), Material Connexion: The Global Resource of New and Innovative Materials for Architects, Artists, and Designers (Wiley), and Ultra Materials: How Materials Innovation is Changing the World (Thames and Hudson).