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Students Prepare for the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show

Feb 15, 2019

Students Prepare for the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show

Credit: Michelle Glitzer ’20. Assistant Professor Howard Eyre guides his students through the building process for Delaware Valley University’s Philadelphia Flower Show display.

By Michelle Glitzer ’20, marketing and communications intern

The students in Flower Show Design/Build Studio (Tyler Bruseloff, Robert Cavallero, Austin Daniels, Ariana Dioguardo, Emily Endres, Zachary Harkcom, Luke Hendricks, Luke Hurley, Charles McDonnell, Quinton Paulsgraf, Vincent Rothbort, Alexander Warner, and Tyler Woytas) have been preparing for the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show since September. The show will run from March 2 to March 10 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The theme for this year’s display is “Launch.”

“The exhibit is designed to launch people into the understanding that you can create aesthetically pleasing spaces that are environmentally appropriate,” said Howard Eyre, an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sciences.  

Eyre has been a mentor to his students, coaching them through both the design and construction process of developing a successful exhibit.  Eyre has been participating in the Flower Show for the past 29 years, and each year his students have managed to create award-winning displays.  

“Launch” will include a tunnel for visitors to walk through with natural stone textured walls.  It will take some experimenting to figure out exactly how to create the layers of Styrofoam and paint to give the illusion of natural stone.  There will also be a pond with a beaver dam and a boat.  The class will be testing the boat in Lake Archer, which is located on the University’s campus, to make sure the boat floats and the paint withstands the water.

The display will also include a bridge and tracks of a mine shaft on the floor. Students developed all of the design elements based on their research. 

“If they aren’t excited about it, it’s not worth doing,” Eyre explained. 

The goal of DelVal’s exhibit is to have visitors understand that they can apply some of the concepts from the display in their own yards.  DelVal’s display is focused on promoting sustainability and encouraging people to use native plants in their landscaping.

Eyre explained that one of the most important aspects of creating a Flower Show display is educating the visitors.  Students design signage that is visually appealing, creative, and educational. The signs help share information with the public about ways they can maintain a healthy relationship between themselves and nature.  The students also plan on creating a character “Bizzie the Beaver” who lives in the beaver dam that will be featured in the display.  Bizzie will lead visitors through the exhibit and teach them how to apply DelVal’s techniques to their own backyards.

Students are working in the Design Studio to create signage for the display.

Credit: Michelle Glitzer. Students are working in the Design Studio to create signage for the display. 

Students in the Flower Show Design/Build Studio course are gaining a hands-on education as they participate in every aspect of preparing the exhibit.  They designed the display in the fall. To understand the space they would be working with, students drew out the preliminary design in the parking lot to see which parts of the design needed adjustments.  The group then moved on to building the display. 

Austin Daniels ’20, a student in the course, said that the construction process is his favorite part of the class.  

“Transforming the building plans into a real life, three-dimensional exhibit is challenging but rewarding,” said Daniels. 

“This is the only course that brings students from concept to installation,” said Eyre. “And, it keeps them involved during every step in between." 

Flower Show Design/Build Studio is the essence of hands-on learning, which is one of DelVal’s highest priorities for its students.

Follow DelVal’s Instagram (@delawarevalleyuniversity) to see a student-run Instagram takeover during installation day on Feb. 25 in Philadelphia.