Interior design senior exhibition on display in Cummings Art Gallery

Dane Rimko: Senior interior design major, Lauryn Donikowski, stands in front of her “Ohana” project, a cancer recovery center.Dane Rimko: Senior interior design major, Lauryn Donikowski, stands in front of her “Ohana” project, a cancer recovery center.

It’s that time of year again. All seniors are preparing to graduate and probably couldn’t be more excited. Who wouldn’t want to finish their senior thesis and move on to work in the big-kid world?

The senior interior design majors have recently finished a year and a half long process to complete their senior thesis.

The process starts in the spring of their junior year until the end of their senior year by taking three consecutive senior seminar classes.

The seniors whose talents are showcased include Megan Apa, Rebecca Cratty, Lauryn Donikowski and Brady Heseltine. Their works can be seen in the Cummings Art Gallery from May 2 to May 18.

The challenge is “to make a difference by breaking a design paradigm, finding a new way of building and designing, finding ways to make something better, or completely creating something new and unique,” says Interior Design Department Chair Kathy Weidenboerner.

Each project was inspired by a social problem or something a student is passionate about. These projects are often used in employment portfolios and can exemplify specialties in different industries such as healthcare, hospitality, retail, corporate, educational, and more.

The goal was for the designs to help solve the problem by identifying a design problem to research.

Apa’s project, titled “Horizons,” is a virtual retail store; Cratty created a modular university housing titled “Octa-connect,” and Donikowski created, “Ohana” which is a cancer recovery center for women.

Heseltine’s “Church Adaption” is a renovation of an old church turned into two apartments.

Donikowski describes the process as “intense schematic/preliminary and design development solutions.”

She also reported that there were three critiques that occurred during the year-and-a half long period. The critiques were given by local professional architects and designers. Projects are presented to these juries roughly five times throughout the process.

Donikowski said they “spent many hours refining our design solutions to be both creative, innovative, and practical.”

The project display includes and showcases all design elements and techniques that they have learned through studies and design studio classes while here at Mercyhurst from the research stage to the final design.

There will be an artist reception held in the gallery on the opening day of the exhibit on May 2 from 7-9 p.m. Admission for the reception and exhibit are free during the gallery’s normal business hours.

Cummings Art Gallery is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from 2-5 p.m.