PhilaU Students Showcase Designs at International Furniture Fair

The student work on display came out of PhilaU’s multi-disciplinary Special Topics: 3D Textiles course.

Philadelphia University students showcased a collection of innovation design projects at the prestigious International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York this week.

The 24 students in four design disciplines presented projects ranging from a woven hanging lamp and knitted chair to a stool with hand-knotting and a bomber jacket.

“It’s the most important contemporary design venue in the U.S., with international furniture, lighting, textile and home-goods designers and manufacturers exhibiting,” said Lyn Godley, associate professor of industrial design, noting that only a handful of schools are selected to exhibit there each year. “Attendees include architects, interior designers and manufacturers who are looking for the latest in home furnishings design. The opportunity for the students to meet this large of an audience is unparalleled.”

The student work came out of Special Topics: 3D Textiles, a multi-disciplinary course last semester that included architecture and textile, industrial and fashion design students who learned to knit, crochet, weave and knot. Through exploration of a range of interlacing techniques, materiality, form and function, students collaborated to create three-dimensional products. Kihong Ku, associate professor of architecture, and Marcia Weiss, director and associate professor of textile design and Harold Neuman Textile Design Chair, co-taught the course with Godley.

Twenty-three PhilaU students had their work showcased at the prestigious ICFF, including graduate textile design student Yi Chun Liu ’16 and undergraduate architecture student Javier Villarroel ’16.

Twenty-three PhilaU students had their work showcased at the prestigious ICFF, including graduate textile design student Yi Chun Liu ’16 and undergraduate architecture student Javier Villarroel ’16.

For the architecture students, the course also served as a pilot offering in the Interdisciplinary Design and Experimental Architecture Studio program, which received the 2015 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Award. The program aims to facilitate and enhance design research of textile design and applications through cross-disciplinary collaborations and student-practitioner partnerships involving material investigations, theoretical discourses, physical and digital design, and prototyping.

“Through the ICFF, our students learned the importance of setting realistic goals, managing the process and production of their projects, and presenting and interfacing with a large international audience beyond the classroom,” Ku said. “Building on the success of this semester, we will continue to examine the potential of cross-disciplinary explorations between textile, fashion, industrial and architectural design.”

Speaking from the ICFF exhibition floor, Weiss said the students have garnered much interest from attendees due to the interdisciplinary nature of their work.

PhilaU’s ICFF participants include undergraduate architecture students Feras Alsaggaf ’16, Manny Eshun ’16, Rich Vilabrera ’16, Javier Villarroel ’16 and Clarissa Kelsey ’17; undergraduate industrial design students Austin Becker ’16, Ian Cooke ’16, Colin Heston ’16, Chloe Muller ’16, Nicky Topete ’16, Jacob Brosius ’17, Maria Cipolla ’17, Aria Lee ’17, Jasmine Mealy ’17, Louise Lotten Sandstroem ’17 and Shane Siever ’17; undergraduate fashion student Gabriella Hudson ’17; undergraduate textile design student Megan Onuskanych ’17; graduate textile design students Ananya Bevinakatti ’16, Yi Chun Liu ’16, Drew McKevitt ’17, Soumya Mohanty ’17 and Insiyah Shahpurwalla ’17; and graduate industrial design student Valerie Gibbins ’17.

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