Interior Design to hold 2017 Senior Show April 7-8

March 29th, 2017 Comments Off on Interior Design to hold 2017 Senior Show April 7-8

Alumna Cindy Simpson makes ‘2017 Most Powerful Business Leader’ list

March 23rd, 2017 Comments Off on Alumna Cindy Simpson makes ‘2017 Most Powerful Business Leader’ list

Cindy Simpson

Via Natalie Esfandiary | Gensler
Cindy W. Simpson, Mississippi State University alumna and co-managing director of Gensler’s Dallas office, has been named one of the Dallas 500 Most Powerful Business Leaders in Dallas and Fort Worth for 2017 by D CEO Magazine. Divided into over 60 different categories, the prestigious standalone publication recognizes the most influential business and civic leaders and entities in the DFW Metroplex. A result of exhaustive research and interviews, the Dallas 500 is coined the ultimate “business bible;” Simpson shares this platform with such iconic powerhouses as Ross Perot and Charlotte Jones Anderson. Simpson is one of six powerful leaders awarded within the Architecture and Design subcategory of Real Estate – and the only woman in her group. Within the Real Estate category as a whole, she is one of only nine women out of 54 awardees. In dealing with her toughest challenges, she emphasizes, “In the male-dominated profession of architecture, it is imperative that women in the industry are professionally confident, intellectually valiant and mentally agile.” Since joining Gensler in 2002, Simpson has emerged as a visionary leader, inspiring confidence in her clients, respect among her peers and loyalty from her staff. Promoted to managing director in 2013, she is now supported by nine principals and a co-managing director in the Dallas office with over 200 passionate designers and architects. A design-centered, research-focused, business-minded architecture firm, Gensler works with clients to deliver bold solutions that meet the constantly evolving demands of a changing workforce and rapidly growing city. A dedicated client advocate, Simpson serves on the Firmwide Client Relationships Management Committee, working across the firm to strengthen client partnerships. As both an accomplished project leader and designer, she offers her clients and project teams strategic solutions that also respect and advance design excellence. Her leadership style, breadth of experience, knowledge of the market, effective communication skills and intense focus on her clients’ business drivers have merited her a reputation as a strategic partner and trusted advisor. Simpson graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Interior Design from Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design in 1996, and was named Alumnus of the Year by the College in 2010. Dedicated to numerous philanthropic initiatives, at MSU she established the Cindy W. Simpson Loyalty Scholarship, providing scholarships to incoming freshmen who exhibit academic excellence and leadership potential; she also supports the advancement fund for the Interior Design Program and in September 2016, established the Cindy W. Simpson Endowed Scholarship in the Interior Design program of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. In January 2015, she became a member of the MSU Foundation Board of Directors. She serves on the Executive Committee for MSU’s Foundation Board, is a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and is Chair of the Fundraising Committee.

MSU Interior Design program heavily involved with national educators’ council

November 18th, 2016 Comments Off on MSU Interior Design program heavily involved with national educators’ council

All of the Mississippi State University interior design faculty are members of the national Interior Design Educators Council Inc. (IDEC), and several hold leadership roles with the organization. Assistant Professor William Riehm serves as regional chair for the Southern Region and was responsible for organizing the recent conference in conjunction with the host institution, Middle Tennessee State University. In the role, Riehm coordinated sponsorships and logistics for the conference as well as logistics and communications with IDEC members. He also set the standards for acceptance to the conference and criteria for the awards. Director and Professor Beth Miller sat on a panel on the conference – “A is for Advocacy; Educators Making the Grade.” Associate Professor Amy Crumpton serves as the national abstract coordinator for the organization. In this role, she is responsible for the coordination and logistics of the national abstracts. She also serves as the regional national student design competition coordinator and is responsible for collecting entries and organizing reviews in this role. Crumpton is also on the National K-12 Interior Design taskforce, studying how interior design education is integrated into K-12 education across the nation. Assistant Professor Lyndsey Miller is the regional creative scholarship coordinator. In this role, she recruits design professionals from the Southern Region to engage with IDEC in reviewing and encouraging creative scholarship. IDEC’s mission is the advancement of interior design education, scholarship, and service.
During the convention, Beth Miller and William Riehm had the opportunity to tour ESa (Earl Swensson Associates Inc), which has been ranked the largest architecture firm in Nashville by The Nashville Business Journal. The tour guide was an alumnus of the program, Isaac Holman. Holman interned with the firm while a student at MSU and has been working there for 14 years. Numerous alumni also work at the firm, including Misty Seeley, who has been there for 16 years. Haley Haverstock and Kindyl Black also both interned with the firm and are now employed. “It was really fun to have designers pop up to say ‘hey’ to us that were our students,” said Riehm. “We were the only ones on the tour that happened to,” he proudly stated.

Local furniture manufacturer rewards design competition winner with prototype

November 17th, 2016 Comments Off on Local furniture manufacturer rewards design competition winner with prototype

(Photos by William Riehm)
Students in Assistant Professor William Riem’s furniture design class were recently presented with a challenge that came with not-your-typical trophy. Students were tasked with designing a piece of furniture that would be appropriate for use in a one- to four-star hotel. The winner would get the chance to have his/her design prototyped by a local furniture manufacturer, Eaton Custom Seating (ECS). Riehm said the goal of the project was for students to learn the various ranges of that market. “What’s trend and what’s style,” he said, “And for them to learn how to make the appropriate drawings so that their design can actually be made.” Students submitted digital drawings, 3D model renderings and a miniature 3D print of their designs. Riehm then reviewed the work with Susan Sublette with Maharam, who also donated the upholstery fabric to help make the project a reality. Maharam is a leading creator of textiles for commercial and residential interiors. Top designs were submitted to ECS, and the company selected the winner with the most appropriate design for the market place, which was created by senior interior design student Bobbie Rogers of New Albany. Rogers’s chair has since been fabricated and sits in the interior design building in Etheredge Hall.

MSU interior design majors receive national hospitality industry scholarships

November 14th, 2016 Comments Off on MSU interior design majors receive national hospitality industry scholarships



By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University Three Mississippi State interior design majors are being recognized by the nation’s premier networking resource for the hospitality industry. Seniors Mary Katherine “Katie” Hughes of Southaven and Caitlyn R. Fleming of Bartlett, Tennessee, along with junior Natalie E. Watson of Olive Branch, each are receiving scholarships from the Sunshine Chapter of NEWH: The Network of the Hospitality Industry. Hughes is one of four nationwide receiving a $5,000 scholarship, while Fleming and Watson are receiving $1,000.


“We appreciate scholarship opportunities from NEWH, and we are proud of our interior design students who were selected,” said Beth Miller, MSU professor and interior design program director. Through educational programs, seminars, and networking and career opportunities, the Shawano, Wisconsin-based NEWH works to facilitate cooperation and exchange of information among those in hospitality, food service, senior living and related industries. For more, visit


Accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and National Association of Schools of Art and Design, MSU’s interior design curriculum provides a broad background in interior elements, materials, sources and practical experiences. For more, contact Miller at 662-325-7689 or Additional information about the College of Architecture, Art and Design and its interior design program can be found at MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Interior Design students travel, network

November 7th, 2016 Comments Off on Interior Design students travel, network

Interior design students recently went on their annual field trips, designed to expose students to different design options and as a chance to network with various professionals in the industry. Sophomores in Assistant Professor William Riehm’s studio traveled to nearby Eupora to visit School of Architecture alumna Belinda Stewart, owner of Belinda Stewart Architects P.A. Stewart explained her work and talked with students about what it means to be in the design profession.
“She is such a great role model for our students and our alumni,” said Riehm.
(photos via Amy Crumpton and students)
Junior interior design students traveled to Chicago with Associate Professor Amy Crumpton and Assistant Professor Lyndsey Miller. On the trip, students enjoyed a walking tour and architecture boat tour of the city. They toured Merchandise Mart and visited firms - Workspring, Gensler and Perkins and Will. The final day, they were treated to a tour of Shedd Aquarium before traveling back to Starkville. Seniors visited New York with Director Beth Miller and Visiting Assistant Professor Jeff Fulton. The trip was jam-packed with activities, including:
  • A walking tour – Grand Central Terminal, Bryant Park, Time’s Square
  • MAD 46 Roosevelt Rooftop
  • St. Patrick’s
  • St. Andrew’s church service
  • Plaza, FAO Schwartz, lunch in Central Park and a tour
  • Zoo (feed the penguins)
  • Metropolitan Museum
  • Harbor Lights Cruise Pier 81
  • New York Design Center
  • D & D Building
  • Ted Moudis Associates, Michael Sinkew, Senior Design Director
  • New York Library, Highline & Chelsea
  • Tour: Trinity Church, Financial District, Ground Zero, 911 Museum, Winter Gardens, & Battery Park
  • Jed Johnson Associates, Arthur Dunnam, Design Director
  • MOMA
  • Guggenheim Museum

Olivia Alison gives lecture to Interior Design students

November 4th, 2016 Comments Off on Olivia Alison gives lecture to Interior Design students

By Kelsey Brownlee On Thurs., Nov. 3, the interior design students gladly welcomed Olivia Alison.
Alison is a native of Selma, Alabama, who has earned art history degrees from Hollins College and the University of Delaware, as well as a certificate from the Sorbonne in Paris. She began her career as a field representative for the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem and worked at the Smithsonian, the National Gallery, Winterthur Museum and the Birmingham Museum of Art. In 1989 she became Curator of Decorative Arts for Savannah’s Telfair Museum of Art. Alison was also the director of the Telfair’s Owens-Thomas House museum and its multi-million dollar architectural conservation project. In 1999, she joined Colonial Williamsburg as Director of Major Gifts for Collections, Conservation and Museums. In addition she was co-founder and the Director of the Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections. For six years she worked with Williamsburg’s curators, conservators and development staff to attract world class objects and collections to the Foundation and to garner support for the Foundation’s museums, trade shops, architectural restorations and educational programs. She then worked at Monticello as the Vice President of External Affairs for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and at Old Salem in Winston-Salem, NC, as a consultant. She returned to her native state in 2007 and became the Director of Development for the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. In 2014, she joined the Birmingham Public Library to help strengthen its funds development program. She is currently the Director of Development for the Birmingham Public Library system, and her office is in the historic Linn-Henley Research Library.  She is delighted to be associated with the largest public library in Alabama, which is also the most visited cultural institution in the county and the official repository of the city of Birmingham’s history.

Lighting Course now part of Interior Design curriculum

November 2nd, 2016 Comments Off on Lighting Course now part of Interior Design curriculum

Images via Robin Carroll (Students working in last spring’s Integrated Lighting Solutions course) A course started with funds from a national grant has been added to the Interior Design Program’s curriculum. ID 4673, Integrated Lighting Solutions, was started last spring with funds from the 2015 Nuckolls Fund Grant. (Read more here.) The course, which is co-taught by Instructor Robin Carroll and Assistant Professor William Riehm, was recently approved by the University Committee on Courses and Curricula (UCCC) to be added to the program’s curriculum and will be offered again this spring. An interdisciplinary effort across four academic units – interior design, architecture, building construction science and industrial and system engineering – the course addresses the principles of lighting design, incorporating lighting analytics and the understanding of lighting as an integrated part of building systems. The course utilizes a hands-on, problem-based approach to help students understand the principles and techniques of lighting design as an integrated material. It also addresses changes coming to the lighting industry in the future. Last year’s course included a variety of hands-on projects:
  • Students were challenged to analyze and document the lighting qualities of an existing space both functionally and aesthetically. They measured the footcandles in the space and evaluated their findings as well as documented the interaction between light and space.
  • They explored the different lamps and lamp positions and the relation to a variety of different textures and materials.
  • Students also studied a variety of filters and translucent materials and analyzed how filters and translucent material types change the lighting conditions of a space.
For more information about the course, contact Robin Carroll at

MSU Interior Design Program again offers dual enrollment course with Jackson Prep

October 26th, 2016 Comments Off on MSU Interior Design Program again offers dual enrollment course with Jackson Prep

Interior Design is offering a dual enrollment course for Jackson Preparatory students, ID 3603 Digital Design, for the second time this year. Taught by MSU interior design alumna (2012) Rachel Lantz, NCIDQ, ASID, the semester-long course focuses on Adobe's "big three" software programs – Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. "We have planned this class as a generic way to teach the software programs without having an emphasis on interior design," said Lance. "As the students develop design skills in each program, they are introduced to various career paths that utilize this knowledge." Recently, the 6 seniors and 5 juniors in the course were tasked with using Photoshop to create move posters featuring themselves as the lead actor. Check out some of the work: NICE GIRLS MOVIE POSTER Weekend on Mars pjs copy  

CAAD professors part of 3D printing panel discussion

October 21st, 2016 Comments Off on CAAD professors part of 3D printing panel discussion

Michael Berk

Michael Berk

F.L. Crane Professor and School of Architecture Director Michael Berk and Interior Design Assistant Lyndsey Miller participated in a panel discussion about 3D Printing on Fri., Oct. 21. The discussion took place in the Templeton Room of the Mississippi State University Library and also included John Wyatt with Instructional Systems and Workforce Development, Charles Freeman from Fashion Design and Merchandising and Santanu Kundu from the Chemical Engineering Department.
Lyndsey Miller

Lyndsey Miller

The discussion included how to get faculty on board with incorporating 3D printing projects into their curriculum, methods for increasing student access to the tools they need and ideas on how to expand the university’s current offerings and abilities.