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Students display unique built environments

Thursday, April 21, 2016

'Our Place' by Meagan Bittner

A dozen graduating seniors in Mercyhurst’s Interior Architecture and Design program will unveil their senior thesis projects in a new exhibit opening Wednesday, April 27, in the university’s Cummings Gallery. The students will be honored at an artist reception on Thursday, April 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the gallery.

The program, formerly titled Interior Design, recently changed its name to better reflect the curriculum offered at Mercyhurst and the manner in which it teaches interior design, as opposed to interior decoration.

Department Chair Kathy Weidenboerner annually asks each senior to identify a problem that can be addressed through the design of a unique built environment. Often students choose currently relevant social problems, like this year’s projects that address PTSD in the military and the inadequacy of classroom design for the growing population of students on the autism spectrum. They’re challenged to find new and better ways to create interior environments that support health, safety and well-being.

Students and their projects include:

  • Erica Andrews – Excursion Within, a recreation facility for those with physical differences

  • Meagan Bittner – Our Place, a creative and recreational youth center

  • Randall Farber – KOA ‘OHANA Resiliency Center for active-duty military

  • Candace Gonnella – Turning Point, a center for academic advancement of individuals with cognitive disorders

  • Caryne Healy – Blue Lagoon Resort & Spa, designed user control technology and sustainability

  • Cuong Nguyen – Avi Royale, a luxury private airliner

  • Roxanne Oglesby – SEMPER FI Retreat Center for post-deployment Marines and Marine veterans

  • Taylor Schaffron – The Valor Estate, a therapeutic camp for post-deployment military personnel

  • Alexis Theuret – Tree Top Resort, hospitality tree houses powered by nature

  • Maggie Trott – Steelhead Brewing Company, designed for sustainable crafting practices

  • Richard Vanhorne – Campus Care, a center for student interaction

  • Sarah Ziccardi – A World Within Reach, a cultural exchange learning center

The exhibit continues through Commencement Day, Sunday, May 22. Cummings Gallery is free and open to the public weekdays from 9 4 p.m. and weekends from 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, contact gallery director Heather Dana at 824-2092.