Rachel Addison, Harmony Tague and Katrina Hanson attend KBIS
Students from the Interior Design program headed for Chicago, Ill., in mid-April to tour the 2010 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, or KBIS, and help recognize a 2009 graduate, Piper Walters, who took third place in the kitchen project portion of the 2009–2010 National Kitchen & Bath Association Student Design Competition.
Three students Rachel Addison, 38, of Hastings, Minn., Harmony Tague, 19, of Rosemount, Minn., and Katrina Hanson, 20, of Lakeland, Minn., took time out for an interview and reported having a wonderful time at the show, which was held at McCormick Place and drew an estimated 35,000 visitors to roughly 700 professional exhibits.
“KBIS was very energizing,” said Rachel Addison, a working student with some 20 years of experience in the banking and insurance industries. “We drew a ton of inspiration from seeing all the different competitors showcasing their products.” With plans to graduate in 2012, Addison is looking forward to a career in commercial interior design, specifically in the realms of restaurants and casinos, working at a smaller firm where she can follow a project from beginning to end.
A 2009 graduate of Rosemount High School, Harmony Tague was particularly impressed by the focus on sustainability and green product lines at KBIS. “I liked learning about how companies are using green ideas right now in their products to help the planet,” Tague said. “Attending the show was eye-opening and allowed us to realize how fast the interior design industry is moving toward green.” Also looking to graduate in 2012 with a future in commercial design, she sees her profession as an ideal way to harness her natural creativity and love of art.
Katrina Hanson is attracted to the practical and logical aspects of interior design. With a background in fine art, but unable to see a profitable career path in that direction, Hanson understood how she could match her strong artistic side with the high technical demands of interior design. She praised the KBIS visit as a great way to touch and see the real-life possibilities of her future profession in person and not through a computer monitor.
“We were able to interact completely with other students, designers and vendors,” said Hanson, who is open to a career in either residential or commercial design. “We were all amazed that so many awesome products are already practical, readily available, functional and cost-effective.”