Domestic Pride , Foreign Intrigue

The Department of Interior Design recently had the exciting opportunity to host a group of interior designers from China and show them what our department and the City of Richmond have to offer to the design community.

On Wednesday, January 4, Christiana Lafazani, Chair of the department, welcomed our guests and gave them a tour of our facilities in the Pollak Building. Following that introduction, Professor Roberto Ventura led them on a tour of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, with the assistance of Andrea Quilici of BCWH. After lunch at the VMFA, Professor Camden Whitehead then led the group on a brisk walking tour, starting at the Manchester climbing wall and moving over the James River via the newly-opened Potterfield Pedestrian Bridge, named in honor of Tyler Potterfield, a senior planner with the City of Richmond whose vision and passion led the effort to build the bridge. The walking tour proceeded along the Canal Walk and eventually to mOb studio at 205 E. Broad St, where they were treated to a storytelling session.

On Thursday, January 5, the group congregated in the morning at the Pollak Building for a presentation on office solutions by Ryan Matton of Creative Office. Afterward, they were led on a hard hat tour of the under-construction Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) by Michael Lease, the ICA’s Interim Director of Facilities. The group then walked to Quirk Hotel for a tour of the interior of the new hotel with Professor Emily Smith before returning to the Pollak Building for a final meeting and certificate presentation by Christiana Lafazani.

The tour group then made their way to Washington, D.C. to continue their adventure in the United States. We are honored to have had the opportunity to share our program and city with our new friends from China and look forward to hosting more and diverse groups in the future.

Photos by Rob Smith, Department of Interior Design