At this year’s IIDA STITCH event, Harrington College’s concept ‘Big Spender’ hit the runway in a big way! Modeled by Emily Wiegel from Harrington’s Interior Design Masters program, the dress was inspired by Chicago’s historic Carson Pirie Scott building (read more about the concept in yesterday’s post). See the dress on the runway below!


Big kudos go out to the designers on the Harrington College team: Elizabeth Campbell, Lauren Handman, Natalie Malik, Jaclyn Moser, Timothy Naus and Shauna Sherman, as well as to the faculty mentors who helped with the project, Interior Design instructors Elizabeth Wersells and Demetra Vartzikos.

Photos by Rob Hart Photography


What greater inspiration than the very city that surrounds you? Over the past several years, Harrington College of Design has enjoyed participating in IIDA’s annual STITCH event. This year, Harrington design students were sponsored by Interface FLOR and came up with their theme “Big Spender” inspired by Louis Sullivan’s Schlesinger & Mayer building in Chicago constructed in 1898-1904 (shown below – and located only a few blocks away from Harrington!).


Team members for the concept included Elizabeth Campbell, Lauren Handman, Natalie Malik, Jaclyn Moser, Timothy Naus and Shauna Sherman led by the Harrington faculty mentors Elizabeth Wersells and Demetra Vartzikos.

See an exclusive shot of the concept below:


On their concept, the team shared “Our three-piece ensemble combines flourishing architectural enrichment with powerful geometric masses and pays homage to the upscale shopping Mecca that is State Street.

The retail heritage of the building, from its years as Carson Pirie Scott, provides a natural cohesion between fashion and architecture. ‘Big Spender’ reflects the meticulous ornamentation and mimics the organic color palette of beige, charcoal and deep green. Gold represents the shimmering sun across the building and reminds consumers to keep their pocket books open!”

Visit tomorrow to see the Harrington concept turn into reality and hit the runway as well as some of the other runway designs!

Building photo by Beyond My Ken on Wiki

Are you or someone you know interested in finding out more about Harrington College of Design and our undergraduate programs? Next Tuesday we’re hosting an Open House where you can learn more about all three of our design disciplines: Interior Design, Communication Design and Photography! Enjoy a warm Harrington Welcome and campus tour followed by dinner. Program specific information, scheduling, tuition and scholarship information will all be shared.

Harrington College Information Session
Harrington College of Design, 200 West Madison Street, Chicago IL
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

To find out more or to RSVP, please call 888-406-4777.  We hope to see you there!

In September of this year, Communication Design students in a Logos and Corporate Identity Class started work on an important logo project for Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS). The class was guided through the creative process by Communication Design instructor Dan Elliott and teaching assistant Cari Hogan (a Harrington alumna) while also being coached on working with clients.  At the conclusion of the project, the RAILS Board approved a logo which kicked off the resulting logo and style guide produced for RAILS at no cost by the students.

Bill Coffee, Vice President of the La Grange Public Library Board and Secretary of the RAILS Board, summed up the experience of working with Harrington College students: “They are so professional that you feel like you are working with a corporate design firm.”

Pictured above: Instructor Dan Elliot (back row) with his Logos and Corporate Identity class. (Left to right): Teaching Assistant Cari Hogan, Ilse Ortiz, Alejandra Cardona, Alice Nita, Jillian Cartwright, Shea Cahill, and Jessica Cairo.

Photo and information courtesy RAILS

The Windy City has a fascinating – and sometimes dark – past. The newly formed Harrington Design Book Reading Club met on Thursday, Nov. 17, to discuss its first book, “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson. Although novelistic, this book is entirely fact based and delves deep into the past of Chicago (review included below). It generated lively discussion among the book club participants about Chicago as a city at the end of the 19th century, the planning and execution of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the personalities of fair planner D.H. Burnham and serial killer H.H. Holmes, and the skill of Erik Larson in weaving all these threads into an exciting, suspenseful story.

The Harrington Design Book Reading Club will meet again to discuss the conclusion of their book on Dec. 8, Room 403, at noon. If you have already read the book or are doing so, please feel free to join!

A review found on Amazon of the “The Devil and the White City” shares:

“Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book’s categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair’s construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham’s challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous “White City” around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair’s incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison.

The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World’s Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.

Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson’s skillful writing.”

Information courtesy Leigh Gates, Director of Library Services at the Harrington College of Design

This feature is continued from yesterday…

Yesterday I shared what driving inspirations fuel Harrington College of Design’s own Peter Klick, Interior Design (ID) instructor and Program Coordinator. See below for a tour of his latest creation, a beautiful Swiss house with an interesting concept…

Peter shared, “The concept for the design of Haus S is centered on the rectangular band running along the interior in relation to the side of the lake outside: the design is intended to absorb this relationship as a common language.

The structure is separated from the internal components by indirect lighting that serves as a translucent connection from wall to ceiling, making the rooms exciting and interesting. The ceiling stands out visually from the wall and makes the room seem spacious and creates a floating effect.

Bathroom: LED lights can change color depending on client’s mood selection or time of day. I proposed LED color changes in the stairwell, dressing room corridor and the master bathroom for this project. To see the video of the LED color changing, click on the photo above.

Garage Design: Inspiration for the garage came from car tracks in the snow. Mirrors double the number of the cars and the size of the garage while car tracks lead into the entrance of the house and the elevator.  Lamps are in form of tires.”
To see some of Peter’s latest work, check out his website at PeterKlick.com or his collections on Flickr. Many thanks to instructor Klick for showing us your work outside of Harrington!

About Peter Klick:
Peter Klick received his education in Classical Furniture and Fine Wood Working at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basel, Switzerland after a four year hands-on apprenticeship. He continued his education at the legendary Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Stuttgart, Germany where he received a Master Degree in Interior Architecture. For the next five years, Klick worked as an Interior Architect for Venzin AG where he designed, constructed and remodeled more than 200 boutique and retail stores, offices, homes and restaurants in Switzerland.

Klick’s extensive experience led him to establish his own firm, Klick Interiors, which launched in 1985. Since its inception, Klick Interiors had enjoyed a wide range of international projects ranging from an innovative classroom design for a prestigious Catholic School in Chicago to the complete interior redesign and construction of a historic 100 year old villa in Switzerland. Klick Interiors’ clients have included Interhome, UBS, Swatch, Seipp, a renowned Italian opera singer and Swiss publisher.

Klick Interiors specializes in residential and commercial projects throughout Europe and the USA. Working closely with every client’s individual needs, Klick Interiors visualizes and creates creative interior design concepts. Every concept includes creative space planning, light concepts, color schemes, aesthetic contrasts, materials and customized furniture design. Working from hand-drawn sketches, Klick Interiors brings your personalized concept to life using the latest technology in 3D renderings and CAD drawings. With close, personal ties to industry contacts throughout Europe and the USA, Klick Interiors coordinates with local architects, contractors, freelance builders and international and local furniture stores to make the client’s concept a reality.

From a Swiss lake house to a stunning Lakeview house in Chicago, Harrington College of Design’s Interior Design college instructors’ superior craft is continuously demonstrated and built across the world.

Peter Klick, a Program Coordinator and instructor of Interior Design at Harrington College, is as passionate about passing on his experience to his students inside the classroom as he is to being a vibrant practicing interior designer outside of the classroom.  When I found out he had recently completed the contemporary design of a house in Switzerland (aptly called “Haus S”), I followed up with him to find out more…

Me:  What was your client like for this project and what were they looking for?

Peter: I usually work as a consultant or as an interior design advisor who delivers concepts, ideas and visualization. This project was that type of project – I provided the concept and the client built on the site with local architects. For this project, the client had many requests about the light concepts at first. However, before any discussions on lighting being created, we needed to first determine the space planning and furniture placements.

M: Outside of the clients themselves, where do you find inspiration for your designs?

P: I get a lot of inspiration for my designs from European design magazines, blogs and websites. I also follow up on furniture fairs in Milan, Cologne and New York and I check to see what designers are doing and what manufacturers have in their latest production lines.

Designers that inspire me are Jaime Hayón, Gaetano Pesce, Marc Newson, Patricia Urquiola, Arne Quinze, Bram Boo, Matteo Thun and many more…

Also, nature inspires me often… and the surrounding things I see during a day. I believe it’s important to learn how to see and then to use what you are seeing as inspiration.

Keep reading tomorrow to see more highlights from the house and learn about the concepts behind the work!