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IIDA OHKY Students Take on NeoCon

Each year thousands of people descend on Chicago for the largest interior design trade show in the world and we don’t want our students to miss out on all this AMAZINGNESS! Fortunately, IIDA HQ hosts an all-day student design charrette giving us the perfect opportunity to bring together 5 students from our various Campus Centers within each of our City Centers in both Ohio and Kentucky.  Capitalizing on this opportunity to make connections between our students, our VP Student Relations created a 3-day program of events designed to get our students connected and be inspired by all things Interior Design!

To kick things off, Olivia Ryan (The Ohio State University), Maggie Stickly (University of Cincinnati), Brandi Green (Kent State University), Briana Wulfeck (University of Kentucky), Emmy Hitch (University of Louisville), and Rebekah Matheny (VP Student Relations) all found their way to the Freehand Hotel in Chicago where they met for the first time. They then headed off to Eataly to get to know each other, because what better a place to have a meet and greet that over Italian appetizers.

Monday kicked off by meeting with our chapter’s Past President, Tamra Fuslcado at Mohawk's showroom, one of our Chapter benefactors, for an in-depth discussion with Royce Epstein on how she and her team created their new sustainable carpet collection. After we explored some of the show, the students headed off to IIDA's amazing new headquarters where Brandi participated in the Idea Paint competition. Later, the group headed back to the Mart to meet up with Chelsea King, our incoming president, at the Haworth Showroom (another one of our amazing benefactors).

From there, the group party hopped, as one does on Monday night of NeoCon and our students couldn’t be left out of all this fun and craziness! Off they went to JSI, where one of the highlights for the students were the mini sliders and mac’n cheese cups - they were kinds obsessed! Onward to the Steelcase/West Elm party at the Chicago Athletic Club, where the view of Millenial Park was spectacular and the historical architecture and interior design was inspiring. Continuing their comradery, the students hit the town, and as they say, what happened in Chicago stays in Chicago.

Fortunately, they weren’t too exhausted by Monday’s activities because they were up bright and early to hit the ground running for their Charrette, and the coffee from the infamous Beatrix may have given them the extra edge because they rocked their day of designing! Our OH/KY students joined 55 other IIDA students from schools across the country where they were randomly places on one of the 12, five person, teams. Students had less than six hours to determine a design solution, develop a presentation, and pitch their concept to a panel of esteemed judges. To celebrate their big day, Dan Binford (an OH/KY benefactor) hosted for the second year in a row a pizza party at Lou Malnati's. Because what would a sponsored trip to Chicago be without trying the best deep dish in the city in all it’s butter crust glory.

Wednesday started out with a tour of Herman Miller, one of the sponsors of the charrette and one of our chapter’s benefactors, and ended at the Charette Winners reception hosted at the DIRTT showroom. Our OH/KY students were all on different teams, they were cheering each other on and hoping that the others would win, and all celebrated when Olivia Ryan’s (Ohio State) team was awarded third place. 

Congratulations to all of our amazing student’s and thank you for representing our chapter so well!

In their own words:

"My favorite thing was the student charette. I liked being paired with a group of students from other schools and competing together under a time crunch. It was exciting, fun, and a totally new experience for me!"

Olivia Ryan – The Ohio state University

“I think my favorite thing was getting the chance to meet so many people, including other students [from other schools]. School is super fun but also stressful, it was really cool to see that even though we are from different Universities we are all doing similar things and share some of the same struggles and stress! It made me feel better about some of my own fears and struggles about school, especially going into senior year!

I also loved all of the inspiration I gained from seeing so many new and interesting designs during our tours throughout the trip while inside Neo Con! This experience was so much fun for me and I am so grateful I was able to go. Especially with Rebekah being our fun leader!"

Emmy Hitch - University of Louisville



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