Interior design and architecture students participate in PAVE 2016 Challenge

Students competing for opportunity to have their design built by manufacturer Chandler and presented at GlobalShop 2016

Dakota County Technical College’s Interior Design and Architecture programs have teamed up with Chandler Inc. and Under Armour to participate in the PAVE the Way Student Design Challenge for 2016.

PAVE, also known as Planning and Visual Education Partnership, is an organization that enables young talent to build careers in the all aspects of the retail industry.

Specifically, this design challenge provides an opportunity for DCTC students in the architectural and interior design programs to work with professionals to develop a creative project for Under Armour.

Instructor Meghan Hendrickson said “This is an unbelievable opportunity for our students.  They get to work hand-in-hand with a real manufacturer/design partner for a real client, who they are familiar with, and is very popular.”

In November, Under Armour presented a creative brief to students. The brief outlined the company’s needs for the project. After that meeting, students paired off to create 10 teams.

Chandler, the manufacturer for the project, has provided guidance throughout the process. In December, Chandler employees and an Under Armour Account Manager met with each team at DCTC. The teams presented their concept and received feedback on how to better fulfill the creative brief.

Chandler employees reported that they were impressed with the diversity and unique approaches students were headed towards.

Midway through the competition, Hendrickson said she feels students have done a great job accessing the client’s needs, trend seeking to come up with the next greatest thing and presenting to the client.

In January, students will present their final concepts. Under Armour will choose one project to be featured at GlobalShop 2016, the world’s largest annual visual merchandising trade show. The expo will be held in Las Vegas, March 23-25.

Hendrickson said the winning students will get to be involved in the process where Chandler takes their design from conception to reality, building a tradeshow booth.  Furthermore, students will get to go out to Vegas to watch the installation of their product, and then market themselves to the design firms during the show.

“Is there a better way for a student to market themselves than to have an entire structure that was built by a professional manufacturer to display your design talent?” Hendrickson said.

Three other design colleges will have displays at the expo as well and attendees will choose a winner.