Zi “Elva” Ye ’13 was recently named the recipient of the Eric Cohler Internship and Travel Award, which will provide Ye with the opportunity to travel to Glasgow to study the city’s architecture before spending two weeks at Eric Cohler Design, Inc. in New York City.
Supported by gifts from Eric Cohler ’81, the annual award supports one student interested in design and/or the arts through internship and study abroad experiences. Through off-campus study, recipients of the award gain valuable insight into the world of architecture and a look at the wide range of career opportunities.
Ye, an architectural studies and studio art double major, is looking forward to her time in Scotland, where she will spend two weeks studying the evolution of the Glasgow Style of architecture and interior design.
“The city has a very interesting history of urban renewal and it reinvented itself from the industrial revolution,” explains Ye. “My main goal is to outline the process of how the Glasgow style was developed from the Gothic Style – especially in interior design.”
Throughout the course of her trip, Ye will keep a visual journal for every site she visits – working to connect the dots while in Scotland and then more closely upon her return to the States. “This experience is a perfect opportunity for me to get to know the industry – both nationally and internationally – and learn from one of the top interior designers in America,” says Ye. “I’ll benefit from the large amount of new interior design knowledge I will gain, while having a hands-on experience in the design process.”
From a young age, Ye found herself deeply interested in interior design, constructing dollhouses and creating intricate rooms in each. When Ye first entered the Colleges, she intended to pursue a career in education, but quickly realized that architecture was a passion deeply ingrained in her.
“I can’t wait to visit all the designs of my favorite architects – Charles Rennie Mackintosh in particular,” explains Ye. The leading architect in the development of the Glasgow Style, Mackintosh was also a major figure in the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movement in Scotland. Ye hopes to study the development of his very simple, elegant style. “I have always wanted to see his designs in real life – and now my dream has come true.”
Cohler earned his B.A. in English and art history from Hobart in 1981. He holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from the Columbia University School of Architecture and Urban Design, and a certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Established in 1991, Eric Cohler Design, Inc., specializes in interior design and restoration. The firm is led by Cohler, dubbed the “Mixmaster” by magazine editors for using classical elements juxtaposed with contemporary materials for a jolt of unusual color or texture. His projects have included houses, apartments, and commercial spaces, across the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. This past semester, Cohler instructed a Readers College at HWS, which examined art and architecture in cinema.