Design Connexion Hosts First Annual Vendor Fair

Interior Design students network with industry suppliers and raise funds for future events.

Interior Design students confer with distributor at 2008 Vendor Fair

Interior Design students confer with distributor at 2008 Vendor Fair

On Tuesday, Apr. 1, DCTC Design Connexion, a student group in the Interior Designprogram, hosted the program’s first annual Vendor Fair on campus in the west commons of Dakota County Technical College.

The event took place from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. and featured an array of vendors, including Herman Miller, Holdahl Company, Designer Sign Systems, Fluid Interiors, Bongard Corporation, Rubble Tile, Hallmark Building Supplies, Odegard, St. Paul Linoleum & Carpet Company, GHC Associates and The Morales Group.

Brian Cain, vice president of Design Connexion, reported that participating vendors were excited about meeting the college’s interior design students on top of contributing to the fundraising effort.

“Design Connexion has around 45 members,” Cain said. “We represent student interior design chapters in a number of professional organizations.”

Cain added that Design Connexion is all about teaching students to get out and network with industry professionals. “Our students need to get involved and really get to know the industry,” he said. “The Vendor Fair gives us the chance to learn about new materials and products, particularly the FFE—furnishings, fixtures and equipment.”

Megan Peterson, 20, of Northfield, sat on the Design Connexion committee that planned the Vendor Fair. She noted that the event offered a perfect opportunity for interior design students to connect with distributors.

“The Vendor Fair is an awesome resource,” she said. “The vendors were more than willing to participate in the event. They have exceptional knowledge regarding their products and are really good at conveying that knowledge to students just starting out in the industry.”

The Interior Design program prepares graduates to become professional interior designers. Students acquire the knowledge base and skill set needed to design interior environments that are both functional and beautiful. Versed in design theories, interior materials, building codes, and manual and computer aided drafting, students conceive and execute high-quality design solutions for residential and commercial projects.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment for interior designers is projected to grow faster than average, increasing 19 percent between 2006 and 2016. The BLS also states that the median annual wage for interior designers in the U.S. reached $48,000 in mid-2006.

According to the official Minnesota Internet System for Education and Employment the median wage is currently more than $22 per hour for interior designers in the state. As of February 2008, put the median annual salary above $51,300 for top earners in the Twin Cities metro area.

Lolita Nikolai, secretary-treasurer)

Design Connexion VP Brian Cain, board members Sarah Richards & Amy Peterson, Pres. David Adair with Interior Design Instructor Anne Farniok (not pictured: Lolita Nikolai, secretary-treasurer)