HPxD hosts SCAD interior design students for Immersive High Point Experience

After a successful High Point Market, High Point x Design (HPxD) shifts gears and hosts 30+ interior design students from the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for an Immersive High Point Experience that took place October 30-November 01, 2022.

The visit was designed with SCAD to bring interior design students to the creative and innovative design ecosystem that exists in High Point. Led by HPxD’s managing director, Jane Dagmi, and supported by High Point Market Authority (HPMA) and Visit High Point, HPxD members and others. The three day’s itineraries exposed students to manufacturers and their design processes, trade showrooms, and creative design professionals that make High Point entirely unique, while providing inspiration and resources including custom upholstery, furniture, finishes, textiles, lighting and art – all of which interior design students will be able to utilize in their class projects and in future design careers. 

Attracting university-level students to High Point in between Markets is an HPxD initiative. “High Point is an amazing learning lab, and when we at HPxD speak about an open and activated High Point year-round, the education piece is vitally important to our vision,” says HPxD managing director Jane Dagmi. “Our city is an amazing destination with opportunities to see how products are created, to engage with the manufacturers and makers, and to understand how all the parts of the design industry work together.”  

Professor Kia Weatherspoon, who teaches interior design at SCAD’s Atlanta campus and is also the principal of Determined by Design and advocate for designequity™, reached out to Dagmi this summer and expressed an interest in bringing her Interior Materials class to town. “HIgh Point has always been the intersection of interior design, manufacturing, artisans, creatives and makers!” she says. “For me it was important that my students experience the diversity of creative practices and understand how it translates into production and manufacturing. And there’s only one place that can happen – High Point!” 

Stops on HPxD’s SCAD tour included Gallery on Main, Verellen and Baker manufacturing facilities, Davis, Sherrill Furniture, Stabb Design, Herzog Veneer furniture showrooms, plus Kravet and Culp textiles showrooms. The students also had a chance to tour Otto & Moore’s  furniture design studio that is hired by national brands Universal, Bernhardt, Jonathan Charles and others for product development and furniture design. Additional tour stops at Barbour Spangle Design, enabled the SCAD students to see how an award-winning design firm is organized and operates, and meeting with the founders Christi Barbour and Christi Spangle.

Splashworks, who was also on the tour, showcased their company’s designs and manufacturing of acoustic panels and art in High Point. Splashworks owner Tom Van Dessel, and president of HPxD shares, “We are excited to host this tour and to welcome and meet each of the design students. Engaging our community and connecting students with our members is vital to HPxD’s mission, and to the future of our industry.”

One of the tour highlights was created in partnership with HPxD and Cohab.Space, where they announced a special activity in the form of a visual merchandising competition where SCAD students were tasked with designing Cohab’s street-facing windows on English Road. Breaking the students apart into groups of four sets of designers, with only 1 hour to conceptualize and install a finished visual design by pulling merchandise from Cohab’s variety of categories including: furniture, decor, lighting and vintage salvaged finds. Judging for the competition was made up of HPxD members and industry pros and announced at a group dinner later that same night at Ziggy’s Music Venue.  The Johnny Davis Digital team of professional photographers and videographers were on hand to cover the 3 day’s tour and to film this event’s engaging and creative contest.

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