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Hagopian sponsors student rug design competition

In collaboration with College for Creative Studies, Birmingham’s Hagopian held its annual student scholarship competition.

On Tuesday, February 18, experienced instructors and designers in the local community met at Hagopian’s Birmingham location to judge the 31st annual Student Rug Design Scholarship Competition. Sponsored by Hagopian World of Rugs in collaboration with College for Creative Studies (CCS), this contest was open to all CCS students.

At the beginning of the fall semester, an announcement of the competition was e-mailed out to the faculty and student body with an entry packet. The 2019-2020 theme was “Color, Culture, Design.” Using the psychology of color and culture, students were asked to choose a color, relate it to a culture and then create a design based on both, keeping in mind current market appeal. Computer-generated designs were allowed, and suggested techniques included water colors, pencils, gouache, pantone paper or acrylics. In addition to the design, a written description was also required for submission, answering the questions of 1) why that color?, 2) why that culture?, 3) why that design? and 4) where will the rug be used?

“Hagopian believes it is fundamentally important to encourage new generations to pursue studies and careers in fields involving the arts and specifically the textile arts, and this project actually started to mentor students in the field of interior textile design,” Executive Vice President Suzanne Hagopian explained.

She said the project started with her dad, Edgar Hagopian, who always loved young energy and art-minded students. He reached out to CCS’ textile/fiber head at the time and worked together to create a design project for students. Even today, 31 years later, Hagopian gets CCS faculty members involved with the contest, working together to choose the theme.

“The contest has really evolved over the years, but year after year, the students who enter are just so passionate, making it really hard to judge,” Hagopian said. “We got around 30 entries this year but have had more in the past. There is such a diverse group of students at CCS, and some discussed their own backgrounds, which was really neat.”

The first-prize winner received $1,500, the second-prize winner won $1,000 and the third-prize winner took home $500. Additionally, the winning design is being made into a finished rug and will be displayed at the 2020 CCS Student Exhibition in May. “It was a wonderful evening with a great group of people, probably one of the best,” Hagopian said. “Donald Tuski, President of CCS, actually shared with us that this is the longest-running collaborative project they still have.”

With locations in Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Grand Rapids, Clarkston, Novi, Oak Park, Plymouth and Utica, Hagopian World of Rugs celebrated its 81st anniversary in March. Services offered include in-home cleaning, rug repair, rug cleaning, air duct cleaning, commercial cleaning and cushion cleaning. Additionally, Hagopian sells flooring and rugs. For more information about Hagopian or to read about its impressive 81-year history, visit

Why Hagopian supports wool carpet:

An environmentally-friendly choice: Wool carpet locks up carbon dioxide, rapidly regenerates and is biodegradable and versatile. Sheep grow wool continuously and can be shorn every 9-12 months, thus making wool rapidly and readily renewable.

A safe choice: Approximately 80% of all U.S. fire deaths occur in the home. Wool is a safe choice, as it self-extinguishes and will not melt, drip or give off noxious fumes like synthetic fibers.

A healthy choice: Wool carpet fixes harmful pollutants, there’s no off-gassing and it’s inherently flame retardant. Wool carpet absorbs moisture, is hypoallergenic and does not lay host to bed bugs or dust mites. 

An affordable choice: Most synthetic fibers are petroleum-based and have gone up in price steadily in recent years, making the price difference small especially when you consider all the advantages of wool.

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