Universal Furniture welcomed 30-plus interior architecture majors from UNC-Greensboro to their High Point showroom during Fall Market as part of a collaborative partnership begun earlier in the semester. The furniture company challenged the students to redesign its corporate headquarters.
Students present their projects at Universal Furniture.
More than 100 interior designers at the Fall Market, as well as Universal Furniture employees, were asked to judge the resulting 17 project boards, displayed during market at the Steelyard Designer’s Lounge in Universal’s showroom.
Winners will be announced next week. Universal’s director of marketing, Neil Mackenzie, explains: “The implementation of the winning design will begin in Q1, and Janine Wagers, our in-house designer and creative manager, will oversee this project, but we anticipate that this will consist of more than a new coat of paint. We expect some flooring, ceiling changes and new seating configurations. In addition, we are looking to better incorporate elements of the Universal brand into the space to allow employees to stay more connected with the products and customers on a daily basis.”
Select student projects
MacKenzie reflects, “Our experience with local university interns inspired the project. We were impressed with the professional attitudes each brought to their tenure with us. The office renovation project was a great way to expose ourselves to new talent and provide them with a better understanding of our business and our industry. It’s challenging to attract and retain young professionals in home furnishings, and this gives us both an opportunity to experience something that can have a lasting impact for all involved.”