The School of Interior Design at Anderson University and its chapter of the American Society of Interior Design on April 3 is hosting The Gathering, an annual networking and industry trade show that allows interior design students to meet and learn from some of the most accomplished architects and designers in the industry.
The Gathering’s keynote speakers are esteemed Atlanta-based architects Pierluca Maffey, principal and vice president of design for John Portman & Associates; and Lockie Brown, vice president of design for Studio Dewberry, The Dewberry Group’s in-house design team.
“The Gathering is the premiere platform for our students to engage with industry professionals,” said Anne Martin, dean of the Anderson University School of Interior Design.
This year’s theme for The Gathering is hospitality design, which includes design for hotels, resorts, spas, dining and country clubs. Martin said hospitality design is currently among the leading demands in interior design, making this year’s theme especially important for students.
Martin met Maffey and Brown at a design summit she attended in Charleston and invited them to AU for The Gathering.
Maffey’s design firm, John Portman & Associates, is an innovative and internationally recognized firm with hospitality design projects reaching from Atlanta to Shanghai. Maffey is originally from Rome, Italy, and has been practicing since 1994. His project experience includes the Savannah Convention Center Hotel, Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, Expo Hotel Complex in Shanghai, StarLiving Waterfront in Dubai and more.
Studio Dewberry, Brown’s firm, also has an impressive and ever-expanding portfolio that includes renowned hotels, office buildings and living spaces. Notably, Brown helped design the Dewberry Group’s first hotel, South Carolina’s own industry award-winning luxury hotel in Charleston, The Dewberry.
Vendors will be at The Gathering to provide further networking opportunities and allow students to see hospitality design products—such as carpet, furniture and lighting—that they can use in their own design. Additionally, students will interact with speakers, vendors and peers at a sponsored luncheon.
The Gathering serves as a day of professional development. Martin said the event is pivotal for career and internship opportunities. In past years, students have made connections at The Gathering that have led to career opportunities. Many AU interior design graduates are now employed by companies who will be present.
"The Gathering allowed me to engage in candid conversation with those doing the job I was preparing for, to ask questions, gain wisdom and foster relationships with industry professionals that would carry into my future career," said Nan Prouse, a 2010 AU interior design graduate who benefitted from The Gathering and now works as a Product Application Specialist at OFS.
The event has been held by the School of Interior Design for over two decades, and it continues to benefit students and bring influential architects and designers to campus.
“We are looking for our students to learn about hospitality design and the global context of it from the masters in the industry,” Martin said. “They will make relationships with premiere professionals such as Maffey and Brown. They will also come away with an enhanced knowledge of products they can use in hospitality design. The Gathering will increase their overall professional preparedness.”