Whether they specialize in stylish and sustainable interiors or cutting-edge couture, students in West Virginia University’s Division of Design & Merchandising have honed their crafts. The public is invited to share their vision at the Day of Design Monday, April 23, at the Erickson Alumni Center.

“The Day of Design is the culmination of work from our junior and senior students,” said Holly Lentz, assistant professor and chair of the fashion design and merchandising program at WVU. “They all work so very hard for this event, and it’s a great time for their families, the university, and the community to see what they’ve accomplished.”

Junior and senior students in WVU’s interior design and fashion design and merchandising programs will display their work and share their study-abroad experiences from 2 to 7 p.m. Junior and senior students in fashion design will stage a runway show at 7 p.m. with a reception to follow.

Beyond sharing and celebrating student work, the Day of Design gives them more opportunities to hone their skills. Lindsey Matre, a senior student with an emphasis in fashion merchandising with her eyes set on a career as a creative director, will serve as director for the fashion show event.

“A creative director is the eyes and ears of a company, overseeing a store’s merchandise, advertisements, windows, displays and catalogues,” said Matre, of Middletown, N.J. “They must be organized, but have a creative eye to make sure the company is being representative with the best and current trends.”

The opportunity to be the fashion show director for the Day of Design Show gives Matre a taste of the responsibilities of a creative director.

“For the show, I must be involved with all of the committees and their coordinators – staging, models, public relations, merchandise, commentary and the program editor,” she said. “I am also in contact with the designers, as well as the interior design program.

“The experience will prepare me for the next stage of my career, and give me valuable hands-on experience you can’t learn from a book,” Matre said. “I am a senior expecting to graduate December 2012, and this experience gives me the confidence that I’m on the right path to reach my goals.”

Stephanie Mansberger, senior interior design student from Morgantown, will coordinate the interior design exhibit.

“The seniors in interior design have worked hard over the last four years and have grown together, learned a great deal, and traveled all over the world,” Mansberger said. “This exhibit will allow us to showcase our journey over the past four years and illustrate how our travels, real-life projects, internships, and experiences in the interior design program have helped to develop our own personal design philosophies.”

Senior projects on display will include adaptive re-use buildings such as designing concepts for a community library in Ronceverte, W.Va., and a sustainable consignment shop for the use of WVU students to run. Interior design students have worked on remodeling a cabin in southern West Virginia that incorporates “smart-home” technology and are currently working on a commercial building of their choice for their capstone project.

As interior design seniors prepare to graduate, many seek jobs in the commercial and residential design fields such as restaurant, furniture and hospitality design, commercial space planning and yacht design. Some are continuing their education through graduate school to pursue architectural and sustainability degrees.

According to Cindy Beacham, associate professor and academic coordinator for the Division of Design & Merchandising, the Day of Design is “a wonderful opportunity to showcase the presence of design at WVU. Interior design students have created a senior exhibit for many years, but the expansion of the event to include the fashion show and other design and merchandising activities is very exciting for us all. Design is a critical component of every part of our lives, and we really want to begin to communicate that message through the Day of Design at WVU.”

The event is free and open to the public, though organizers request that attendees RSVP for the evening runway show. To do so, please contact Lauren Cipperly at lauren.cipperly@gmail.com.



CONTACT: David Welsh; Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
304.293.2394;, dwelsh@wvu.edu

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