Chairing Styles

Happy Hump Day, all! I am super happy today because I am all done with finals and have completed the quarter. Fingers crossed for another 4.0!

While I fully intend on enjoying and making the most of my three week break, I am also super excited about next quarter. As I have mentioned before, I spent a significant amount of time applying for a really amazing program/class at school over the past couple months. The class is called Chairing Styles and is offered once a year.

Basically, the program accepts 10 textile design students, 10 fashion design students, and 10 interior design students. The textile students have spent the past quarter designing a fabric based on the theme or requirements of the particular year, which happens to be two-color woven cotton fabrics this year. During this break, the fabrics are actually going to complete the manufacturing process so that the students have a physical bolt of fabric to bring to the table. Then, the textile design students are each paired up with a fashion design student and an interior design student to create a team of three. The fashion design student will create a garment and the interior design student will create a chair using the fabric! Then, not only is it FULLY manufactured (so cool!!), but the chair and garment are presented at the annual FIDM fashion show in order to win scholarships!

Since this is an incredible experience and opportunity, there is always a lot of interest so the application process is very rigorous. The first step was to create a portfolio based on their requirements. Since the class is only offered once a year, I was applying with a lot of students who were much further along in the program and therefore had much more experience and portfolio material. However, the faculty made it clear that they are open to students that are “young in the program” if they have confidence in the student’s ability and skills. Here is a link to the portfolio I submitted for consideration (and a little preview below if you don’t feel like looking through the whole thing): Erika’s Chairing Styles Portfolio


After the portfolios were submitted, we each had to have a preliminary interview with the faculty. Since my portfolio projects were probably more basic than other students due to being only two quarters in, I knew I had to wow them with my portfolio design and in-person enthusiasm and dedication. The interview went really well and they told me that they would be narrowing the interior design applicant pool to 16 (from about 40-50 ID students that applied). I got an email the next day that I made it to the next round and was so happy!

A couple weeks later, we were given another assignment to complete over Memorial Day weekend. We received materials on the preceding Tuesday and official instructions on Thursday night (with a due date of the following Tuesday morning). The assignment was called a “charrette” and was basically to design a chair based on one of three provided inspiration words. We needed to submit 2-5 concept sketches, 3 orthographic views (to scale in AutoCAD — plan/top view, elevation/front view, and side view), a perspective view, and a 3D model to scale (all in black & white). I basically worked straight through all four days, since I had to teach myself a significant portion of AutoCAD! Here is a link to the chair design I submitted (minus a few sketches since they were pasted in): Erika’s Chairing Styles Charrette Assignment


I used the word “dialogue” to create the “Quote” and “End Quote” Chairs. The chairs were fun and just a little bit off the wall so I was hoping they would stick in the judges’ minds in a good way. In case you didn’t read the charrette project, the gist is:

Inspired by the both the discourse of daily life and the famous quotes that transcend time, the “End Quote” chair is truly a conversation piece! Right at home in a contemporary, pop-art-inspired space, this chair makes a bold, graphic statement. The striking “End Quote” chair is crafted with large upholstered quotes and a clear molded acrylic seat. Perfect with its sister chair, the “Quote Chair,” these fun chairs allow you to be truly enveloped by and involved in the dialogue of the moment.

Once it was submitted, I anxiously awaited an email the next day. Finally, at 5 pm, this showed up:ChairingStylesEmail

YAYYYYYYYY! I GOT IN! I really couldn’t be more excited to take on this amazing, challenging adventure! In fact, the head of my program told me that I have the biggest challenge coming in since I am the only second quarter student that they accepted (in fact, everyone else is graduating now or in one quarter so I am way behind). So I may have to work a little harder, but that’s my style anyway! I like being the underdog so I can really blow them out of the water with my work! ;)

In preparation for the start of the class, we have an assignment over break. While it seems like a bit of work, it also seems like a lot of fun! Once the class starts, hopefully I will be a diligent enough blogger to keep you all involved in my design process. :)

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12 Responses to "Chairing Styles"

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  1. Ainhoa@ALittleBite

    June 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Congratulations!!!! What an awesome experience you’ll be having!!

    • Erika

      June 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks so much!! I am so unbelievably excited! :)

  2. Courtney

    June 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    congrats lady!! this is so exciting! go you! :)

    xo, Courtney

    • Erika

      June 19, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      Thank you so much, Courtney! I am so pumped!! :) xoxo

  3. Cindy P

    June 20, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Yay! Congratulations! That’s so exciting Erika!!!

    • Erika

      June 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Thank you Cindy!! :)

  4. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication

    June 20, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Congrats! You go girl! :)

    • Erika

      June 22, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Thank you Ashley! :) xoxo

  5. Jeanette @ This Dusty House

    June 21, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Yay! Congratulations! I love the design. So unique and fun!

    • Erika

      June 22, 2013 at 9:30 am

      Thank you Jeanette! It is a little wacky and certainly not for every home. But I kept thinking that they would look great in a bright color at a cool pop art hotel lobby or something! haha

  6. Amy@BR

    June 21, 2013 at 8:28 am

    That’s AWESOME!! Congrats lady!!

    • Erika

      June 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Thank you so much, Amy! I am super pumped! :)


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