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Press Release

Eric C. Sloss

For immediate release:
March 29, 2006

Carnegie Mellon School of Design Appoints Ben Fry as Nierenberg Chair for 2006-2007

Ben Fry
PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has appointed Ben Fry as the Nierenberg Chair of Design in its School of Design for 2006-2007. The Nierenberg Chair of Design is a visiting professorship that is widely regarded as the most prestigious and significant appointment in design education in the U.S. The chair was established through the generosity of Carnegie Mellon alumnus and Emeritus Life Trustee Theodore D. Nierenberg, a founder of Dansk International Designs.

Fry received an undergraduate degree in graphic design from the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon with a minor in computer science. In 2004, he earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, where he was a member of the Aesthetics and Computation group. Fry's research focuses on methods of visualizing large amounts of data from dynamic information sources, and he's currently involved in "Genomic Cartography," a study into new methods of representing data found in the human genome. In addition to his academic work, Fry has spent time as a designer and programmer at Sun Microsystems and Netscape Communications.

"We look forward to Ben's presence in the School of Design as he brings his expertise in computational information design to our students," said Dan Boyarski, head of the School of Design. "Ben represents a new breed of designer, one who is adept at mapping complex information with visual and computational means. It's going to be an exciting year!"

Fry was named one of I.D. magazine's "Forty Designers Under 30 Years of Age," and his work was shown at the Whitney Biennial in 2002 and the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial in 2003. Other work has appeared in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, and in the films "Minority Report" and "The Hulk." Fry is currently collaborating with Casey Reas of UCLA on "Processing," an environment for teaching computational design and sketching interactive media software.

The School of Design is one of five schools in Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts, a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into schools of Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs. For more information on Fry, the School of Design or the College of Fine Arts, visit or contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or


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