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High Point University Students Compete To Create Plan For Designer Resource Center

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Aspiring interior designers at High Point University are taking on a project at the International Home Furnishings Center, where thousands of professional designers from all over the world roam the corridors twice a year at the High Point Market. Approximately 16 students, all college juniors in a commercial interior design class, will divide into four teams and compete for prizes by developing plans to renovate IHFC’s Designer Resource Center. Professional designers will judge the entries and select a winning design that will be announced at the March High Point Market. The winning team will be awarded tuition grants and be asked to supervise the implementation of their design, which will be showcased at the following market in October. The budget for the renovation will be substantial, and, based on the design specifications, selected IHFC exhibitors will be invited to provide furniture, lighting, decorative accessories, rugs and artwork to the project. "University President Nido Qubein and I were looking for an opportunity to collaborate and engage students in a meaningful way at market," said IHFC CEO Tom Lindh. "This exciting project provides the perfect opening for what President Qubein and I are confident will be a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship." The Designer Resource Center, just around the corner from the multi-million-dollar renovation of the Commerce Wing lobby that will open this month, is a 4,000-square-foot refuge for card-carrying interior designers. The center is packed with amenities and helpful tools in a comfortable lounge setting. The university has a strong bond with the home-furnishings industry. Participating students will be interior-design majors in the Knabusch-Shoemaker International School of Home Furnishings and Design, named after La-Z-Boy founders. The school, housed in a building bearing the name of La-Z-Boy Chairman Patrick H. Norton, has approximately 125 students majoring in interior design and home-furnishings marketing, the only program of its kind in the nation. "To be invited to design a major space at the world’s largest furniture showroom building is both a tremendous honor and an enormous challenge for our students," Qubein said. "We are very grateful to Tom Lindh and his outstanding team at IHFC for making this possible. I’m confident our students will rise to the challenge and make them proud." Opening in 1921, IHFC was the original showroom building in High Point and after 85 years of expansion remains the centerpiece of the world’s largest home-furnishings trade show that attracts more than 90,000 participants twice a year to 2,600 showrooms covering 11.5 million square feet. As "Market Central," IHFC alone is home to 650 of the leading home-furnishings manufacturers, including 13 of the top 20 companies, and covers 3.5 millions square feet.

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