Chattahoochee Technical College student Patricia Wilson is sitting pretty with her winning chair design. The Interiors Program student was one of eight who were asked to design a chair that would be suitable for a lobby as part of a classroom project. After being viewed and evaluated by several judges, the Marietta resident’s design was chosen to be featured by High Point Furniture Industries.
The winning chair design is being developed into a prototype and considered for a future space at CTC. Additionally, HPFI will be showcasing the design on a large banner at NeoCon in Chicago in June. NeoCon is the largest trade show in North America for commercial design and furnishings.
Wilson, whose classes take place at the Mountain View Campus, designed her chair to feature the popular programs of that campus, including Culinary, Interiors and Television Production. Named Patrice, the design is described as being simple in line, yet complex in design and detail. The chair also uses a cylindrical leg in a brushed stainless or chrome finish.
“The layering of textiles creates a bold graphic statement,” said Wilson. “I layered 2 solid color fabrics with a bold, geometric, retro print for a modern edge. A gentle curve softens the rectilinear shape of the back and echoes the most unique feature; the Art Deco inspired half arm.”
Wilson is currently working with HPFI and her instructor, Ginger Burton, on the technical drawings for the chair. Using AutoCAD software she will be working on proportion and specifying the actual dimensions. From there it will go to the engineers at HPFI to evaluate for production.
Burton described her student’s design as both practical and creative. “The Patrice Chair won unanimously among eight top executives at HPFI from a perspective of sales, marketing and manufacturability,” said Burton. “We hope to see it in the lobby of this campus soon.”
Offered at the both diploma and degree level, the Interiors Program provides a foundation for career opportunities in such areas as the retail sector, architecture and design firms, sales of specialty products, visual merchandising and in several niche areas. Both options provide education in the basics of design fundamentals, color theory, floor plan arrangement, window treatments, material selection, drafting and drawing and lighting. There is also an emphasis on business practices for entrepreneurial students wanting to start a business after graduation. Students focus on both presentation and technological skills before taking part in internships within the industry.
As a part of their studies, students have offered suggestions for enhancing the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce building, designed the new interior for the Community Bank of Pickens County, presented re-designs of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and the rental space of the Earl Strand Theatre in Marietta remodeled the Appalachian Campus Student Center and participated in both the Bent Tree Tour of Homes and the Woodstock Holiday Tour of Homes.
Wilson said she’s always had an interest in interior design, but put aside plans to study it in college when she chose to pursue a business degree at the University of Wisconsin. After working in the world of personal finance, which included traveling and even living in Europe for seven years, Wilson settled down in the Atlanta area where she and her husband are raising their children. Still the call of something more creative kept coming up in her life.
“Now over 50 and the mother of 2 teenagers, I became preoccupied with what I will be doing in the next stage of my life and how I could be a productive member of the workforce again,” said Wilson. “I came to Chattahoochee Tech because I wanted to find a way to marry my acquired business skills with the more creative field of Interior Design. Working with HPFI on this project is the perfect match to my career goals and a very exciting opportunity.”
In April Wilson’s design skills earned additional honors. In a furniture design competition by the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art, Wilson swept the competition, winning best chair design, best table design and the “grand” overall design award. She will be recognized at an award reception at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, where her design will be on display through May. She is working with local companies who will be fabricating and assembling the prototype.