Interior design show draws on history to reflect the future
Feb. 24, 2004
KALAMAZOO--Four Western Michigan University students are turning to the past as they focus on their future as aspiring interior designers.
"Exhibit A: Evidence of Our Past Four Years" is the capstone presentation of Michigan natives Melissa Anderson of Rapid River; Megan Loope of Stevensville; Jenna Reed of Wayland; and Bethany Schaefer of Jackson. More information about each student is available at the end of this story. The guiding philosophy of their show, which runs through March 13, draws on the work of 1960s Pop Art movement pioneer Roy Lichtenstein.
In choosing the theme for their show, the students examined the stark contrast between the once-stereotypical image of women as "domesticated, docile and dependent" and the way they see themselves.
"We are strong, motivated, independent, and creative," they explain in a statement about their show. "So, who better to take inspiration from when representing our work than Roy Lichtenstein? He mocked the image of the 'perfect' American woman through an ironic depiction of their smiling faces represented in popular comic style.
"Lichtenstein challenged everyday norms and represented everyday life in a whole new way," they write. "Here it is, decades later, and we are carrying on this philosophy of art and design."
Lichtenstein, a contemporary of icon Andy Warhol, is credited with moving popular culture into fine art.
The students' work is featured as part of the interior design program's annual Senior Design Showcase, an event that offers industry professionals, parents, friends and faculty a look at the most promising studio work of the program's emerging designers.
The free exhibit, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in WMU's Interior Design Gallery, Room 1221 of the Trimpe Building. The four-woman show concludes with a 2 to 5 p.m. closing reception Saturday, March 13. Other design showcases will follow throughout the semester.
Students organize their own exhibits and are responsible for everything from the work they choose to show to the show's presentation theme and design. The students also must be able to present and explain their work to gallery visitors, many of whom know nothing about interior design, except for what they see on television.
Wildly popular home decorating and residential makeover shows have been wonderful for raising awareness about aesthetics, says assistant professor Bernard Proeschl, who teaches interior design at WMU, but they also fuel preconceived notions.
"Those who don't know design never come to understand the process involved," he says. "They tend to think designers can solve a problem in half an hour. The reality is that months and years of study and experience go into what emerges."
In their senior showcases, WMU students present work that examines the critical process behind the final product. The exhibits illustrate their growth from their freshman through senior years, and the work they choose reflects many facets of design and decision-making. Available materials, sustainability, recycling issues, building types, lighting, space planning, fine arts-even philosophy, sociology, psychology and anthropology-influence their projects.
For more information, contact Proeschl at (269) 387-3724 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Exhibit A students
Melissa Anderson of Rapid River, Mich., is the daughter of Robert and Virginia Anderson. She will graduate from WMU in April 2004 with a bachelor's degree in interior design. She is a representative and Web designer for WMU's Interior Design Student Organization and is a member of Kappa Omicron Nu honor fraternity, the student chapter of American Society of Interior Designers and the International Interior Design Association. Anderson, who traveled to Europe in the summer of 2003 to study art and architectural history, completed internships with Savvy, a Kalamazoo company, and LothMBI of Cincinnati. She plans to move to Destin, Fla., to pursue a career.
Megan Loope of Stevensville, Mich., is the daughter of Dennis Loope of Wappinger's Falls, N.Y., and Carol Goodfellow of West Palm Beach, Fla. Loope will graduate from WMU this spring with a bachelor's degree in interior design and will relocate to Orlando, Fla., to pursue a career. At WMU she is an active member of the Interior Design Student Organization, Kappa Omicron Nu honor fraternity as well as the student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Her field experiences include work with Perspectives Design Company of Kalamazoo and Interior Elements of St. Joseph, Mich.
Jenna Reed of Wayland, Mich., is the daughter of Bill and Donna Reed. At WMU she maintains a 3.93 grade average and will graduate in April with a bachelor's degree in interior design. Reed, who wants to explore career options in Detroit, is president of WMU's Interior Design Student Organization and is a member of various honor societies. In the summer of 2003 she traveled to Europe to study art and architectural history. Her field experiences include work with WMU Campus Architecture and Design, SKP Design in Kalamazoo, and independent design consultation with area non-profit organizations.
Bethany Schaefer of Jackson, Mich., is the daughter of Pattie and Terry Schaefer. She will graduate this spring with a bachelor's degree in interior design and plans to pursue a career in hospitality/commercial design. At WMU she is an active member of the Interior Design Student Organization, Kappa Omicron Nu honor fraternity, the student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers and Pi Beta Phi sorority. She completed an internship at SKP Design in Kalamazoo and completed independent design work for the Vineyard Outreach Ministry.
Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, email@example.com