Posts Tagged ‘interior design college’

We can’t get enough of great design at Harrington: our faculty, students and alumni are frequently involved in the vibrant design world of Chicago. Recently, about 50 interior design graduate students, alumni, Harrington Advisory Board members, faculty and guests were invited to the renowned Luminaire showroom for an evening of beautiful contemporary design, exciting furniture, great food and stimulating conversation.

A great thank you to the staff of Luminaire for organizing this and having us as their guests!

Also, Attention Harrington Alumni: You are invited to attend the Harrington Alumni Holiday Event!

Thursday, December 15th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm
G-Cue – 157 N Morgan St. Chicago, IL 60607

Join the Harrington Alumni Association for a fun filled Holiday Event! Come meet and connect with fellow Harrington alumni while playing pool on one of our reserved tables. We will be collecting and donating toys for Toys for Tots. We will raffle off an iPod Shuffle to all party goers! Light appetizers will be served. Drinks will be available for purchase. A toy or a $10 donation to Toys for Tots serves as the entry fee for all Harrington Alumni


Toy Donations should be new and unwrapped, appropriate for ages 1-13 years and should cost $10 or more. Please, no food or candy of any sort. Please keep child safety in mind when you make your selection.

Must be 21 or over to attend. RSVP as soon as possible to Camille Harris at charris@harringtoncollege.com


Photos courtesy Peter Klick

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In Interior Design, the issues you are forced to design around often become the very inspiration for the ultimate design. In Harrington Interior Design instructor James Smith’s class, students were awarded the opportunity to put their design skills to the test in downtown Chicago for a real client when Management from the 215 West Washington Apartment building requested that Harrington students provide a creative design solution to solve the following two goals:

  1. Increase Awareness of the Apartment
  2. Increase Foot traffic into the building

Students visited the site for field investigation, and then looked at similar entry conditions in nearby areas. They then split off into teams of two and were invited to provide the design solution in an 11” by 17” book and present it to the apartment owner for consideration. The designs included the students’ field research, proposal, etchings and cost analysis.

The results were creative indeed! Check out a few concepts below; one features blue globes created by team members Frank Botello and Isabel Wolf while another showcases a gorgeous re-imagined metallic entrance by Sanja Kerr and Ashley Beaumier:

The winning concept came from design students Erin Costello and Justin Junsuk Ko, who were awarded a $500 cash prize! Their design called for the installation of bright exterior banners showcasing the apartment name and a dynamic giant gobo light “welcome mat” shining across the ground near the entrance of the apartment:

Many thanks to 215 West Washington Apartments for the opportunity and big congrats to Erin and Justin! The entire class of student designers that participated are shown below.

Photos courtesy Peter Klick, all designs courtesy student teams indicated above in feature.

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In the Spring of 2012, we have a class at Harrington College which is bound to stand out from your typical college courses: DSN 426 Experimental Design/Furniture Design.

First, we teach you all the basics – tools, joinery, material, finishes and upholstery are taught along with practical exercises with hand tools. Students will learn how to build small furniture by actually building their own – such as the 2×2 chair, a chair made out of only 2’ x 2’ lumber plus one material of choice.

Students are then taught about business within the furniture industry all the way from manufacturer production to showrooms and the ultimate end user. Once you learn all the big names in furniture design, you’ll begin to research the furniture market, learn about ergonomics, and understand how furniture can transcend the ordinary.

And best of all, it is an experimental design class: you are encouraged to break the rules and design the furniture from your wildest dreams! From pricing to marketing, you’ll even create a sales catalogue for it. And along the way, you’ll also be visiting leading Chicago furniture dealers on field trips, allowing you to network with the very people you may one day be buying from or designing for.

Definitely not your typical College class – but just one example of the types of courses we have at the Harrington College of Design! I would love to hear what your dream design course would be – share it in the comments section below!


Epoxy chair “La Meduse”  by Christian Oleksiak

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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.


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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

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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.

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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!

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