UNI sophomore wins national carpet design contest

A strong idea and successful execution was the key combination in Emily Riebkes winning carpet designs.  Riebkes, a sophomore interior design major from Wellsburg, won the student grand prize in the Durkan D*scover Design Competition for her work and received a $3,000 scholarship and trip to Las Vegas for the Hospitality Design Exposition.

While enrolled in the Design 1 Studio class taught by Jillissa Moorman, UNI assistant professor of interior design, Riebkes entered the carpet design contest.

Emily with her winning carpet designRiebkes said she immediately knew the inspiration for her project.  The inspiration for her ideas came from nature, specifically water ripples and reflections.  She created four different carpet patterns for a pre-function space, a ballroom, a corridor pattern and a border pattern.  A concept statement and inspirational images were also included with the project.

When Moorman was notified of Riebkes' award, the Durkan representative said her designs were unique, inspiring and had a well-written and developed concept.

It was this strong foundation that helped make Riebkes' design project successful, and her work was exclusively featured at the expo where top designers, manufacturers and speakers were all gathered to share the latest products and designs. 

Moorman said the presentation of the projects was done very well.

"Each of the winners were given certificates and introduced to a very large audience of top people in the design industry," she said.  "Emily's project, along with the professional design winner's project, was displayed on the main wall as people entered the expo, so everyone who came saw their work."

An experience that won't soon be forgotten, Riebkes said attending the expo was inspiring and opened her eyes to what she could accomplish in the design field someday. 

"I really got the chance to see what is needed to be successful in this field.  The whole experience was great, and I'm so thankful that Professor Moorman pushed us to do this." 


Photo: Durkan made Riebkes' winning design into actual carpet, and her work was revealed in front of the audience during the exposition.