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For a college steeped in a strong tradition of superior interior design, it takes an outstanding individual to lead the Interior Design department as Chair. Dr John Martin-Rutherford is just such an individual. When we recently found out that Dr. Martin-Rutherford was selected as President-Elect of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) we couldn’t be more proud! IDEC is an internationally recognized interior design organization whose mission is the advance interior design education, scholarship and service.

Within his candidate statement for the position, Dr. Martin-Rutherford stated, “I believe that we become stronger as a profession when we increase the professional practice skills of our graduates, giving them the lead in attaining those positions in firms where they can rise to their greatest potential. Strengthening our educational requirements and expanding students’ views of the profession and what that brings to more successful architecture and urban environments is one means of giving us greater clout in the tough economic situation of the 21st Century. Interior Designers deserve positions of power based on education and experience. If we must battle against incursions from stronger professional groups, let us do it from strength that comes from great educational environments and professional programs.”

The Harrington College of Design is proud to have our instructors affiliated with IDEC and honored to have hosted the Mid-West IDEC Conference at our College for the past few years (organized in great part with the help of Elizabeth Wersells, a Harrington Interior Design instructor and IDEC Member).

You can learn more about Harrington College’s Interior Design College program in this great short film Dr. John Martin-Rutherford was recently featured in:

About Dr. John Martin-Rutherford:John Martin-Rutherford is Harrington College of Design’s Interior Design Department Chair and newly selected President-Elect of IDEC. With an extensive design background, John began his education with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Art from The Centre College of Kentucky. From there, he continued his educational journey with a second Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and a Master’s of Interior Design from University of Kentucky in Louisville where he also taught and worked at an architecture firm for several years. Soon after, he relocated to Austin, TX where he had the opportunity to work with the renowned Dr. Charles Moore at the University of Texas, where he also attained a Master’s Degree in Architecture. After working with Dr. Moore on several projects, John moved to San Francisco where he worked as the Director of Interior Design and architectural project manager for Leo A. Daly Co. He also pursued a PhD from Berkeley in Architecture, but returned to his home state of Kentucky to attend University of Louisville and obtain the last of his six degrees–a PhD in Urban Design.

From urban think tanks to running his own practice, the JM-R Studio, to teaching, Dr. John Martin-Rutherford has led a vibrant role in the interior design industry and is also a huge promoter of the arts in all areas of his life.

 

The interior design Competition Studio at Harrington College of Design began this year with a challenging problem of large interior proportions: how to design a 14,000 square feet residence penthouse for the Trump tower in Chicago. The competition quickly began to create a buzz in the corridors of the school as teams of students and individual competitors tackled the problem and submitted their designs on Monday November 28th. Since 2002, the Harrington Studio under the direction of Constantine D. Vasilios AIA, NCARB, IIDA, NCIDQ has tackled real problems throughout the Chicago that range from band headquarters at the Metro, to housing developments and this year’s Trump tower competition.

The sponsor for the competition this year is award-winning designer John Robert Wiltgen, a 30-year veteran of the design industry who currently practices in the US and internationally. Mr. Wiltgen leads a highly acclaimed design team that has created extraordinary homes for clients in locales ranging from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile to LA’s fashionable Wilshire Drive as well as Acapulco, Toronto, the south of France and Africa’s Ivory Coast. Wiltgen embraced the idea of offering the Trump Tower penthouse project to Harrington College’s Competition Studio because it is an unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in an absolutely surreal space. While the level of living in the Trump penthouse space is beyond the realm of many, it is for some a very real world. This project created an opportunity for design students to see and work in that other world.

Wiltgen chose to sponsor this year’s competition class because he is a staunch advocate of education and believes that exposure to this type of experience is critical for those interested and involved in interior design. Also involved in the student competition is Sara Martens, Executive Director of the Trump Organization, who will be serving as the client. Together they visited the site and the classroom to provide students the reality necessary for the project.

This is the second project Wiltgen has offered Harrington’s Competition Studio, having previously presented an opportunity to design a penthouse at Emerald, a West Loop condominium where a green lifestyle is encouraged. Winners of the competition will be announced soon on December 13th at the Trump Tower, followed by their respective cash prizes being awarded, interviews and publication opportunities for all of those involved.

Photo courtesy SolarWind


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!