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Interior Design Students Take Their Skills to the Runway

By: Abby Shaffer

April 24, 2018

The Art Institute of Indianapolis Interior Design students created a stunning symbolic garment for the IIDA (International Interior Design Association- Indiana)  2018 Fashion Show called Modern Masters.  Female architect Zaha Hadid inspired the garment with her unique angles, metallics, and success.  “We wanted to honor her as she passed last year,” said team captain Schae Freshwater, a senior Interior Design student.  “She was a successful female in a male-dominated industry.  Also, we love how she never used ninety-degree angles in any of her designs.”  The rest of the Ai Indy team included Interior Design Bachelor of Science students Shanna Seay (Senior), Abby Kerns (Junior), Courtney Flynn (Junior), and Kaitlin Kowalski (Senior) , and Interior Design B.S. 2018 alum Julissa Nova. 

Decontructed Laminate Material

Each team at the show created a garment consisting of 75% building/designing material provided by a local distribution representative.  Ai Indy team paired with Interior Design B.S. 2012 Alum Sarah Budreau who is a local representative of Aetna Plywood.  Most of the material she had was the finished product.  Then Sarah remembered she had strips of deconstructed laminate.  These strips, along with chips of their paint colors, created a dazzling design.  “I was so proud of the students and what they put together using Wilsonart materials,” exclaimed Sarah.  “They hit the nail on the head using inspiration from their designer Zaha Hadid and the final piece was such a work of art! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to sponsor and work with the team and I know both Aetna and Wilsonart were grateful for the opportunity as well.”

Ai Indy Final Garment

The students extended their education from their classroom work. Courtney Flynn said it was a challenge that she enjoyed.  “It was stressful at times, but I enjoyed using my Interior Design skills in a different industry.”  Schae seconded the idea that it was a challenge.  “The tiles were not flexible and the process seemed a lot longer when we started building the garment.  You can write something on paper but once you get your hands on it, it turns out differently.”

Ai Indy Interior Design Team

Thirty-three professional teams competed along with the four student teams.  There were no awards for the student teams but the experience and rubbing shoulders with the leaders in their industry.  Interior Design instructor Mia Farrell observed the benefits as she assisted the group.  “Time management was the biggest lesson.  This was outside of class work and a lot more difficult to construct than they first thought.  But I am impressed and proud of the students as were the judges at the show.”



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By: Abby Shaffer

April 24, 2018