Growing up in Basking Ridge, NJ, Conn was drawn to design and woodworking after a high school woodshop teacher instilled in him a passion for making things with his hands—so much so that he first began to consider furniture design as a career, according to a news profile by Rich Kiley of his furniture design and building education at RIT's CIAS.
“I took some college-level math and physics courses in high school when I thought I might pursue a mechanical or aerospace engineering degree, but when I applied for college I knew I had to work with my hands and I couldn’t sit behind a desk for the rest of my life,” he told Riley.
Conn entered RIT’s woodworking/furniture design program, and credits furniture design professors Rich Tannen and Andy Buck as well as their Materials and Process furniture studio course for furthering his passion for design and refining his woodworking skills. He secured a Furniture Society Educational Grant that he will apply toward the cost of enrolling in the artist-in-residency program in SAC’s furniture design studio. Conn plans to develop a furniture line under Byron Conn Design during his time there.