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Student recognized by furniture maker for her winning chair design

April 28, 2014 : By Melissa Skinner/Liberty University News Service

Lia Serapiglia receives an award from High Point Furniture Industries representative.
Liberty University senior Lia Serapiglia receives her contest award from Tom Carrigan, High Point Furniture Industries' vice president of marketing, during a ceremony on Monday, April 28, 2014.

In a special awards Convocation hosted by Liberty University’s College of Arts and Sciences on Monday, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS), in conjunction with High Point Furniture Industries (HPFI), presented senior interior design student Lia Serapiglia with a chair she designed as a contest winner.

The FACS department challenged students to design a chair for a commercial setting for the HPFI contest. Located in High Point, N.C., the furniture capital of the world, HPFI has been in business since 1958. HPFI manufactures and markets wood office casegoods and upholstered seating for a wide range of commercial markets and applications.

Serapiglia said her inspiration for the love seat design, “Gloria,” was the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain sunsets seen almost every day from Liberty University.

“I chose to design a love seat, and I added the curvature of the backrest to resemble the rise and fall of the mountains in Lynchburg. While this is a unique design element, it also helps to clearly define the two seats of the chair,” she said.

The love seat was designed with four separate pieces that have been screwed together. It was constructed of wood, padded with foam, and then upholstered. The design also calls for outlets on each side to conveniently plug in a computer or phone charger.

The winning design of a love seat fashioned by Liberty senior Lia Serapiglia.
Lia Serapiglia's winning chair design is called 'Gloria.'

“I chose to design my seat this way so that there are no removable cushions. Having a couch or love seat with removable cushions invites things to slip into the crevices and get lost, and dust and crumbs to gather beneath the cushions,” she said.

Tom Carrigan, vice president of marketing at HPFI, presented the award to Serapiglia and said he will be telling other companies that they should consider Liberty University for their future interior, industrial, and interior design needs.

“We are very grateful for Lia’s work in developing Gloria, and we are very pleased today to bring the culmination of her design from the inspiration of the mountains as she sees them in the sunrise and the sunset,” Carrigan said.

  • Liberty University’s FACS Department seeks to help students learn the values, knowledge, and skills necessary to be proactive in strengthening the contemporary family. Graduates from this program enter a variety of fields, including interior design, human development, food and nutrition, and clothing.