Interior Design Student takes home honors in International PAVE competition

Emma Morris, a senior enrolled in the Department of Applied Design’s interior design program, has received top honors in the Planning and Visual Education 2017 student design competition. Morris, who faced a competitive field of more than 400 entries, was awarded $2,500 in scholarship funding as one of three competition winners and was recognized at the annual PAVE gala on December 6 in New York City in front of an audience of more than 700 designers, retailers and suppliers.

Morris prepared her design for the competition as part of Assistant Professor Dr. Hessam Ghamari’s fall 2017 senior studio. This year’s competition sponsor, Chick-fil-A, asked students to re-invent the restaurant experience on a college campus by expanding the way they engage guests beyond food transactions.

Students were encouraged to think outside the box while drawing inspiration from a variety of sources. Morris designed her project, the Chick-Fil-A Hub, to be sustainable, customizable and technology-driven. The concept is unique — a modular restaurant created from shipping containers — that can be disassembled, transported to various campus locations, and reassembled. Food and beverages will be packaged in recyclable paper or reusable insulated cups, and students will order through a Hub app on their devices or through an electronic menu at the Hub location.

“I have always been inspired by Appalachian’s emphasis on sustainability and wanted to try my hand at a design that had recycling and modularity at heart,” she said. “My inspiration came from the idea of creating a prototype that could be used anywhere and could be customizable to any college campus.”

Both Ghamari and Applied Design Department Chair Brian Davies are thrilled with the outcome and opportunities provided by the competition.

“PAVE has been an exceptional opportunity for our students to shine and showcase their creativity and deep understanding of design a retail environment,” said Ghamari. “It has also opened doors to connect our students to retail industry.”

Davies agreed. “Ms. Morris and Dr. Ghamari put Appalachian on this national stage for the second consecutive year,” he said. “The Department of Applied Design is establishing a reputation for fostering future design leaders.

Morris, who attributes her success to the program’s community-centered environment and the faculty support, is especially grateful for the relationships she has with her professors.

“It’s truly special that we can call our professors by first name,” she shared. “Some stay late and go out of their way to make sure we are amounting to our true potential on every project, and all have a genuine interest in our lives and in our futures.”

About the Department of Applied Design

One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, theDepartment Applied Design at Appalachian State University fosters excellence in design education, design research and professional placement. The department balances theoretical and pragmatic approaches while exploring an awareness of impact through design decisions on the global community. Faculty focus on a holistic approach to creative problem-solving by integrating sustainability and ethical responsibility in teaching and practice. The department offers bachelor’s degrees in apparel design and merchandising, industrial design and interior design.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Emma Morris, a senior interior design major, took home top honors at the 2017 PAVE student design competition. Photo submitted
Published: Feb 1, 2018 12:15pm