Rudolphi Takes Third in National Competition


By placing high in a national interior design competition, Maryville University junior Kate Rudolphi will live every artist’s dream from June 11-13 by having her work seen by thousands during an industry show in Chicago.

Rudolphi of Noble, Ill., snared third place in the student division of the Delano and Adagiato Design Challenge sponsored by Kimball Office, a division of Kimball International, which manufactures a diverse array of products including systems furniture. By virtue of her award-winning entry, Rudolphi’s design of a a high-end women’s shoe store will hang in the Kimball Office Chicago showroom throughout NeoCon, a three-day trade fair for interior design, facilities management, and workplace communications professionals.

According to contest judges, Rudolphi used her materials “to give visual energy to a long, narrow and architecturally unremarkable retail space.” More than 100 entries were submitted in the student category,

Prompted by her studio teacher, Kathy Clark, an adjunct interior design faculty member who made entering the competition a class assignment, Rudolphi used a 17×24 board to create a space of 2,000 square feet or less, using two furniture lines from Kimball- Adagiato. “I chose to do a high-end women’s shoe store because when I looked at the pieces of furniture I had to work with, I saw smooth, soft lines, and delicate forms,” Rudolphi said. “I could see this in a space where women would be.”

In designing her “shoe store,” Rudolphi was able to rely on information she gleaned from a class trip to Kimball’s showroom in Jasper, Ind., during the spring semester. “Visiting Kimball and seeing the furniture firsthand really gave me a feel for what I would be working with in this competition,” she commented. “I developed my own floor plan from scratch and, using skills that I have learned in my classes, began to plan the space, thinking about how people move through retail spaces.”

When Rudolphi received a voicemail from a Kimball employee regarding the competition, she assumed it was a perfunctory greeting, thanking her for her entry. “I called them and told them who I was and they were like, ‘Congratulations, you’ve won second runner-up in the Design Challenge!’ I couldn’t believe it!” Rudolphi mentioned that in situations like this, she remembers advice from her parents about the importance of trying, even if you don’t win. “I’m so glad I did it because there is always something to learn out of every situation,” she said. “If you don’t go out and try new things or do something you aren’t comfortable with, you’re not going to experience what could be great!”

Darlene Davison, assistant professor of interior design and program director at Maryville University, said Rudolphi’s achievement is typical of the success enjoyed by interior design students at Maryville, one of the few universities in the Midwest to have an interior design program fully accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Maryville University, founded in 1872, is a private, coeducational institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,300 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers by offering programs that integrate liberal arts with professional studies.

Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.