Interior Design Students Make Finals in International Competition

Date: 
Monday, February 4, 2013
Out of more than 200 entries from ten countries, two students in Cazenovia College’s Interior Design Program have placed in the top 12 of the 2012-13 PAVE the Way 3D Design Challenge. Amanda Jones, of Granville, N.Y., and Courtney Wallach, of Binghamton, N.Y., collaborated on the design of a free-standing kiosk to display and market a brand of headphones.
The competition sponsor, Van Stry Design, a display fixture company in Massachusetts, will build prototypes of the finalists’ kiosks, which will be judged at GlobalShop, an international retailer’s conference to be held in Chicago in April, 2013. Jones and Wallach hope to attend the conference to hear first-hand the results of the judging.

Both students are seniors, set to graduate in May. They have collaborated on several projects during their years as design students. Wallach says “Amanda is the creative one, I handle the technical details.” Jones responds with a laugh, “My mom thinks we should go into business together.”

For this project, to “design and create a 3D model or rendering of a store fixture that communicates an existing brand of headphones,” Wallach says, “We spent a long time coming up with the concept for the kiosk. We both like country music, so that was our starting point.”

They chose JBL Tim McGraw Artist Series™ headphones, and based their concept on country music. “We began to brainstorm about all the things ‘country’ means to us,” Jones continues. “We’re both country girls, and the Artist Series slogan, ‘show your country,’ is meant to evoke all the aspects of ‘country.’ To us it meant a whole range of ideas – home - where we come from, to the idea of patriotism. And finally, the inspiration for the shape of the kiosk came from an image we saw of a microphone.”

Professor Josef Ritter, who teaches in Cazenovia College’s Interior Design Program, says, “This is one of three projects I assigned in my “Retail and Exhibition” class. In addition to internships, this kind of competition is an excellent way to measure the quality and depth of programs similar to ours in the United States and around the world. Needless to say, we are proud to add this 3D Challenge achievement to a growing list of awards the program has garnered. Having students’ design produced and presented at an international conference like “GlobalShop” provides an excellent opportunity for the program to engage students in the real world of interior design.”

As Ritter noted, internships play a large part in giving students’ real world experience. Wallach interned at PKB, a small design firm in Owego, N.Y., and at The Barn (Decorated to Sell), in Cazenovia. “I had an opportunity to assist with many projects at PKB, including helping with AutoCAD drawings, and work in the materials library,” she says. “At The Barn, I helped with staging, arranging the merchandise, primarily antique furniture and accessories, into groupings so customers could see how pieces might be arranged in a home.”

Her next step is researching the job market. She says that she’s most interested in residential design, but has not begun applying to design firms. “I plan to focus my search on the eastern seaboard,” she says, “starting in North Carolina, because I like the weather there. Of course if something turns up in another part of the country, I’ll certainly consider it. I’ll probably start in contract and office design; I think there may be more jobs in that area, but I love designing kitchens, that is ultimately my passion.”

Jones interned at Design Network Interior Planning and Design, a commercial design firm in Queensbury, N.Y. “They design for different types of healthcare facilities, corporate and commercial spaces, and several college and universities. From my first day on the job I was part of one of the firm’s large projects, working on AutoCAD drawings. It was a great experience and expanded my knowledge of interior design.”

Jones says, “We’re looking at ways to fund the trip. We have to be careful with our money because of expenses related to our upcoming graduation.” Wallach notes, “We both really want to attend the conference, and hope there may be funds from campus groups that will help us make up the difference between the total cost and what we and our families can afford.”