Interior architecture students design their future at High Point Market


Third year interior architecture students (from left to right) Brenna Heller, Gina Nolan, Teagan Ingalls and Julia Taylor took their designs public at the High Point Market’s fall show.

Emma Rushworth, Contributor

Third year Marywood Interior Architecture students Julia Taylor, Brenna Heller, Gina Nolan and Teagan Ingalls were selected to attend the High Point Market to showcase their designs and learn from industry professionals about furniture design and the intricacies behind it.

According to its website, the High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world. It is held twice a year in High Point, North Carolina where more than 75,000 people attend during the fall and spring exhibitions.

Every year, Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture and Design Stephen Garrison poses a question to his students that serve as the basis of their designs for the market. This year, he asked students “What can you do with a single piece of plywood?”

Throughout the design process, the students were not only paired with industry mentors to guide them, but were also given the ability to upload their progress in a private Facebook group.

“We encourage the students to not only take the feedback but to ask questions,” said Garrison.

At High Point, the students display their scale models and a product board explaining their vision for the product. A popular vote is taken by those in attendance and the top four vote-getters from each school get to create full scale products and return to the exhibition in the spring.

Garrison said he has one primary goal for the market each year.

“If students can be exposed to the potential of what they can do with a design degree then I think we’ve succeeded,” said Garrison

Garrison said he’s proud of his students for taking pride in their work and having the passion to openly demonstrate their work. He also said he receives compliments regarding the students about not only their work, but their insights and passion for what they do as wall.

Nolan said she was not disappointed with her experience at High Point.

“I [saw] a lot of different designs [and] a lot of different furniture. I was very happy I went,” said Nolan. “I’m going to school for interior architecture but there’s so much more I can do with that degree. Seeing every aspect of what I’ll be doing, you get the full scope of the industry.”

Garrison said he hopes the experiences from this event will trickle down to inspire underclassmen so that they may work harder in an effort to broaden the culture of the Interior Architecture program.

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