HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 20, 2015 – High Point University students Aria Real and Haley Daber will have the opportunity for their furniture designs to be put into production by Shermag Furniture after being named winners of the company’s design competition today.
Shermag, a Canadian furniture company, approached the HPU interior design program about hosting a competition amongst students to design a new crib and changing table to sell in America. HPU students regularly work with major furniture companies like this thanks to intense curriculum and experiential learning opportunities found at the High Point Market and throughout the Furniture Capital of the World.
“We have been coming to market for over 25 years and have seen the university grow,” said Alex Adimari, president and chief operating officer for Shermag. “We chose High Point University above all other schools because of their tie to the furniture market and the great reputation that the university and the interior design department have.”
Real, the first place winner, received a cash prize and trip to the Shermag factory in Montreal, where she will present her idea to the company as well as representatives from Babies R Us, which will potentially sell the product in its stores across the country after Shermag puts it into production.
Real designed a product that is multifunctional for a child as they grow. It is first and foremost a crib that can be transformed into a day bed, toddler bed and a full-size child bed.
“I wanted to design something that a child could grow with, something that was multifunctional and great for the customer,” said Real. “I am so grateful to participate in this competition. I have gained valuable experience from this and it is an opportunity that I got because I am a High Point University student. I wouldn’t have received this anywhere else.”
Daber, the second place winner, also received a cash prize and will possibly have the product she designed sold in America.
“This partnership that we have built with High Point University is wonderful and we do plan on doing another design competition next year,” said Adimari. “We were so impressed with what the students came up with for this task that we want to have them possibly design a dining room set for the next competition.”
“Our connections with the furniture industry are driving the education for our students into the 21st century,” said Dr. John Turpin, dean of the School of Art and Design. “It is great to have many companies just like Shermag partner with us to give our students real world experience. It is truly invaluable.”