History | Leadership
George M. Beylerian
For over 40 years, George M. Beylerian has created and enriched design awareness in the United States in his roles as retailer, curator, author and founder of some of the most foreward thinking design companies of the 20th century. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, he spent his apprenticeship in Germany and graduated from New York University with a degree in business.
He is a businessman who has spent most of his career creating and marketing design related products for the consumer and the contract markets. Initially trained in architectural hardware, Beylerian's first business, renowned design store Scarabaeus, was one of the first in New York to launch the new “Italian Look.” Known for its colorful mix of contemporary Italian furnishings, unusual art, and experimental objects, it launched smaller versions of the store, Beylerian at Home, in department stores. The stores contained an exciting ensemble of utilitarian home furnishings produced in America with the Kartell brand.
Following, Beylerian launched Beylerian Limited, a contract furniture collection that was specified by architects all around the country. Soon after, Steelcase bought the company and the brand, and incorporated it into its newly formed division called the Steelcase Design Partnership. Beylerian became its VP of Marketing and the Creative Director.
In his ten years of involvement at Steelcase he produced several exhibitions, including Edible Architecture, Women of Design, Chairmania, Mondo Materialis, and several others. Mondo Materialis, an experimental exhibition with materials, became the impetus for creating Material ConneXion, which Beylerian founded in 1997.
Beylerian is the author and co-author of books such as Mondo Materialis, Chairmania (both Harry N. Abrams), Work Life Tools (Monacelli), Material ConneXion and - most recently - Ultra Materials published by Thames & Hudson.
A visionary chief executive officer, Adam I. Sandow, leads Sandow Media Corporation. At the age of 20, Sandow created his first publication for Celebrity Cruise Lines. By the age of 25, he launched his first national consumer magazine, Honeymoon, which quickly became the best-selling travel magazine on newsstands nationwide.
Sandow successfully acquired five separate adventure travel magazines and merged them into Adventure Journal. After selling his publishing business in 1999, Sandow became a principal in the Internet start-up The Knot. In 2001 Sandow left The Knot and founded Sandow Media Corporation.
Using Sandow’s vast experience with public and private media companies, Sandow Media Corporation takes on the challenge of reinventing the business model for national consumer books and magazines and, in addition, builds uniquely positioned publications that thrive in both print and online.
Sandow Media acquired Material ConneXion in May, 2011.
Michele Caniato is a founding executive associate of Material ConneXion who has grown with the business to become President and shareholder. He is credited for collaborating with founder George M. Beylerian to turn ideas and inspiration into tangible success stories and solutions for the design industry and its partners.
A graduate of the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, he brings a Master’s degree in architecture and industrial design together with close ties to the business of the design world. Bridging the creative and the financial, his strength lies in his ability to identify opportunities and then connect the assets required to turn those opportunities into realities. From implementation to delivery, he looks at both vertical and horizontal solutions to make every project a success.
Under Caniato’s aegis, Material ConneXion has established seven international affiliates, Bangkok, Thailand; Cologne, Germany; Daegu and Seoul, Korea; and Milan, Italy; Istanbul, Turkey; and Beijing, China.
Caniato is also President of Culture & Commerce, a sister company of Material ConneXion, a design management consultancy that represents designers such as Yves Béhar, Dror Benshetrit, Sami Hayek, Piero Lissoni, Philippe Starck, and Marcel Wanders.
Andrew H. Dent Ph.D.
Vice President , Library & Materials Research
Dr. Dent received his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Cambridge in England and plays a key role in Material ConneXion’s expansion of its technical knowledge base.
Dr. Dent’s primary function is to direct research into innovative products and processes. His role includes coordinating the monthly jury selections that vote new materials into the our libraries in New York, Bangkok, Cologne and Milan as well as management of the physical library team and our online database. Dr. Dent is also charged with guiding the implementation of research in consultancy projects for our clients.
Prior to joining Material ConneXion, Dr. Dent held a number of research positions both in industry and academia. At Rolls Royce PLC, Dr. Dent specialized in turbine blades for the present generation of jet engines. He has completed postdoctoral research at Cambridge University and at the Center for Thermal Spray Research, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY. Other research projects, during this period, included work for the US Navy, DARPA, NASA, and the British Ministry of Defense.