Don’t let the photo below, taken at HGTV headquarters, mislead you. We didn’t get a new row of cubicles. What we did get is a cool new design installation from Laura Ostendorf and Monica Blair, students at the University of Cincinnati‘s prestigious design program and our latest HGTV Home Studio interns. In addition to mentoring from world-famous Vern Yip and traveling to Chicago to check out his work on the Urban Oasis 2011 high rise pad, Laura and Monica collaborated on two vignettes for their final internship project. While Monica pinpointed the iconic design of the revolutionary and timeless Panton chair, Laura focused on the pervasive “interactive” trend with materials like an iPad, thermochromic paint and molo softseating. Take a look at their displays, and find out what they had to say about interning at HGTV.
Hilary: As part of your deep dive into the interactive design trend, you incorporated thermochromic paint in your vignette. What is thermochromic paint, and why did you choose to use it ?
Laura: The way that thermochromic paint works is the pigment is temperature sensitive. So basically, thermochromic paint changes colors when it reaches 83 degrees Fahrenheit. I wanted to use it in my vignette since it’s a newer product that not a lot of people know about. As a design student, I study cutting edge design, and here was a perfect opportunity to get hands on experience in this area. I was able to share with HGTV staff what some might view as an off-the-wall concept in actual use.
H: Can people at home use thermochromic paint?
L: Well, it’s already in use in mood rings, thermometers and those sweet 80′s t-shirts that change color when you wear them. I’m not sure about how practical it would be to paint an entire room with thermochromic paint, but it is UV sensitive. So, in a sunroom, it would be cool to see the movement of the sun change the color of the space. It could also be fun in a child’s playroom—they can touch the wall with their hands or whole bodies and see the difference.
H: If you could go home with a piece of your vignette, what would it be?
L: Ah, I want to take home the whole thing! But if I had to pick, I would take the molo softseating fanning stool + bench home because this sturdy paper furniture can scrunch down to fit easily into my tiny car. (Or even my giant purse, for that matter.) And because the design makes an excellent footstool/makeshift table/addition to my desk. I will be bringing a copy of my video home but that’s purely so I can show my mom.
Hilary: What does your display say about you as an up-and-coming designer?
Monica: I tried to make sure that every element communicates exactly what I wanted the viewer to take away from the Panton chair more so than my personal design style. Verner Panton’s design was the first chair constructed from a single, continuous piece of material. I spent a lot of time researching the Panton chair, and I really wanted the qualities of the chair embodied in every aspect of my display. Most importantly, I hope the display communicates the chair’s unique fluid movement with its simple yet sophisticated style.
H: What have you taken away from this internship at HGTV?
M: I learned so much during my internship with HGTV, and I feel so privileged to have worked with all the talented people here. I would say my biggest takeaway is my understanding of the HGTV brand and HGTV’s commitment to bringing the world of interior design to viewers so they can create spaces in their own homes they can be proud of.