Union Grad Learns ‘Ins,’ ‘Outs’ Of Design

DESIGN RECOGNIZED: Union graduate Laura Wolfe and fellow student Andrea McCurdy recently participated in a furniture design competition. They created a rocking chair made from seatbelt material and received an honorable mention for their design.


Laura Wolfe has always had a particular eye for design.

As a child, she was captivated by the fashion industry’s ornamental fabrics and eye-catching bodice lines. During her senior year at Union High School, she enrolled in Tulsa Tech’s apparel design program to jumpstart her career in the fashion industry. Instead, Tulsa Tech helped her draw a new design career.

“I chose the apparel design program because it was closely related to fashion design,” explained Wolfe. “But during the classes I realized that designing apparel wasn’t what I wanted to do after all.”

She knew she wanted to stay in the design field; however, toward the end of the program, the class focused on interior products. That’s when Wolfe discovered interior design.

“It wasn’t that difficult of a change for me because I’d always had an interest in studying architecture as well,” she said. “The hands-on education was extremely beneficial and the instructor was very knowledgeable and a great mentor. Tulsa Tech helped me make the right decision to pursue interior design.”

After Tulsa Tech, Wolfe earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts at Tulsa Community College and then transferred to Oklahoma State University. She will graduate this December with honors. Her bachelor’s of science degree will be in human environmental sciences (from the department of Design, Housing and Merchandising) with an emphasis in interior design and facilities management.

Wolfe also completed an internship last summer with Interior Spaces Design, a Tulsa design firm. She is a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society, International Interior Design Association, and is ranked on the National Dean’s List and the Dean’s Honor Roll.

In addition, she and fellow OSU student Andrea McCurdy participated in a furniture design competition hosted by Beam’s Industries, Inc., a leading seatbelt manufacturer. For the project, Wolfe and McCurdy created a rocking chair made from Beam’s seatbelt material and received an honorable mention for their chair design.

With her impressive resume, Wolfe’s future is looking bright. She intends to obtain an entry-level position as a commercial designer and hopes to design interiors for hospitality facilities such as hotels and restaurants. She also plans on becoming a certified designer in Oklahoma, a job that requires four years of nationally accredited education, two years of field experience and successfully passing a national exam.

“Tulsa Tech made me feel more independent and ready to face the challenges of the real world,” said Wolfe. “Attending Tulsa Tech offers high school students new scenery and a refreshing change from their regular classroom. I think it’s a great opportunity for high school students, and I would encourage others to consider a vocational school before going straight to college. It’s an amazing experience that you can’t put a price on.”

Updated 10-26-2006

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