November 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
This is a friendly reminder post that the annual IARc Thanksgiving Potluck by IIDA will be tomorrow 11/24! Here’s a list of what each year needs to bring:
First Years: Drinks
Second Years: Desserts
Third Years: Side Dishes
Fourth Years: Entrees
Graduate Students: Plates and Utensils
See you all there and Happy Thanksgiving!
Contributed by: Torrey Orlopp [4th] year
November 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
Time is almost up! This semester’s design project is coming down to the wire as Stephanie and Maruja‘s [3rd] year studio students rush to finalize their entries for the Steelcase Student Design Competition. The first level of the competition, among the [3rd] year IARc students here at UNCG, will end this coming Wednesday! And by Friday, the top two students from our department will have been selected for submission to Steelcase, who will judge their work against that of thousands of other entrants. With the deadline fast approaching, students have been scrambling to develop, implement, and communicate their best design solutions for their cutting edge hypothetical client, Next University.
Students have used Revit and other modeling software to aid in the development of their designs. Among other tasks, students modeled a variety of furniture configurations to create the best possible learning environments, and created spatial arrangements driven by heavily researched concepts. At this point in the process, students are putting their final touches on the space, maximizing the “wow” factor in hopes of gaining a competitive advantage, and preparing their final presentation boards for Wednesday’s gallery style presentation, which will be held from 2pm – 4pm in Room 401, Gatewood Building. Please come by! They would love to show off the culmination of their efforts in studio this semester, and I am sure the class will be full of potential winners.
To read more about the [3rd] year students’ competition progress this semester, click here.
Contributed by Chelsea Green, [3rd] year
November 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
Our last update left us divided into three groups, all working on very different projects. Since then, the art supply store group has moved in two very distinct directions. We have decided upon two approaches to this involved project of re-imagining the current Southern Photo Print & Supply Company building and business. There is now a “Demo” group and a “Reno” group. The demo group is thinking in terms of taking down walls, adding to the structure both exterior and interior as well as changing the purpose of the existing space. The reno group is focusing on how to modify and improve the current retail space and other areas within the building along with a big portion of effort in fixture design and circulation with smaller modifications to the exterior.
Friday was a day for mid-point critique and group presentations to fill the other two groups working on the Soft Lab and The Guest House in on our progress. The scope of this project has really challenged us in terms of how to work as a group with such varying approaches and the process that is involved in completing a design that entails everything from exterior to interior, branding, fixture design, structural integrity, materiality, building codes, form and function and providing a realistic business model for a feasible future art supply store.
We all have agreed upon one common idea, that the face of retail is changing so quickly in today’s society, a business must think outside of the standard brick and mortar retail model and involve a much more interactive experience for the customer in order to be successful. Look out for more to come.
Contributed by Kim Wypasek [2nd] year
November 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
Not a lot of us give thought to the differences between “traditional” and “non-traditional” classification of students in our college, that is, unless you are “non-traditional” then there exists a level of realness to this topic. The commonly thought of differences between these two groups of students are age, financial dependence, family responsibilities and, what I will be focusing on, employment. As we all know, IARc can be challenging without any other outside factors intermixed. This is especially evident to those who then add a job to their list of responsibilities. I questioned a few students who manage to balance this demanding major with employment to see exactly how they cope.
Where do you work?
Tarra Cotton: I work in retail in a children’s clothing store. I am a Store Lead or Key Holder. I manage the store when our managers aren’t there, so I’m in charge of the store, money, safety, theft, associates, everything.
Tyson Lamm: ID Collaborative
Taylor Ghost: Sitzer Spuria Studios and sister company LIGHT art + design in Chapel Hill, NC. My official title is production manager. I handle design job logistics, orders as well as finishing details. I also help on the admin side of things like reporting, website, social media, etc. With smaller companies you can end up doing whatever needs to be done!
How did you get into this line of work?
Tarra Cotton: I needed a job to pay off student loans so I could get back into school and they were the only people who gave me a chance. Retail is weird like that. They don’t want you if you don’t have experience but you can’t get experience if you can’t get hired.
Tyson Lamm: School email blast
Taylor Ghost: My fiancé’s business partner worked for my boss for awhile and put me in touch with her when I was planning on moving here
Approximately how many hours a week are spent at work or working?
Tarra Cotton: It varies from week to week. Sometimes its less than 20 and most times its more than 25.
Tyson Lamm: 15 hrs
Taylor Ghost: min of 17, max 30
How do/did coworkers react when they learn of your major? Do you ever talk about school to coworkers?
Tarra Cotton: They are confused about what Interior Architecture is. I try to explain that it’s sorta like Interior Design but more like Interior Design plus. My store manager actually went to school for the same thing. I talk about school all the time, when I’m frustrated with projects, when I’m feeling a time crunch and can’t do homework because I’m working. My co-workers even ask how my projects are going or how they turned out.
Tyson Lamm: Very good, they are in the same field I plan to work in.
Taylor Ghost: They love it and ask to see what I am working on regularly.
How do you manage your time considering the demands of IARc?
Tarra Cotton: It’s hard, especially with group work. All you can do is explain when you can be there, and why you weren’t when you aren’t. It takes a lot of late nights, early mornings, and long days to get everything done. It’s not easy and most days you feel like giving up or saying “Screw it! I’m not doing anything”. But you keep going. And sometimes you have to sacrifice creativity to get a finished product. You just have to try to get as much done as you can as early as you can. Most of my work gets done on breaks between class and work, my days off but usually from 9pm at night when I get off work to 8am the next morning.
Tyson Lamm: Schedule, I work every day except Thursday after studio. I have time at work to do studio work and other class work.
Taylor Ghost: I get a lot of homework done on Tuesday and Thursday nights as well as on the weekend. I try to space out late nights to maintain sanity.
Does IARc help you with any aspects of your job? Or vice versa?
Tarra Cotton: My job helps me with life in general, it’s helped me to become more patient and to hold my tongue and it teaches you to do things you don’t particularly want to do. School helps me to visualize things better at work with floor set because they give us a floor plan and we have to follow it and sometime we have to make up our own.
Tyson Lamm: Yes, it’s helped me develop my design skills.
Taylor Ghost: Of course! Because my boss is a product of this major, her work is strongly influenced by the sort of things I am learning everyday in my coursework. A graduate level materials course I took last semester was a huge help for the production detailing I do for our custom furniture.
Name the top 3 things that you feel are the most challenging part of working while in IARc
Tarra Cotton: Trying to get everything done within the time frame that you’re given. Sometimes I can’t go as far as I would like with a project because I can’t give the time I would like to give to it. So from time to time my projects may be simple or not extremely creative because I can’t explore the way I would like.
Being physically and mentally present in class or at work. Some days it’s hard to get up and go, and some days you’re there but are mentally caught up with work or vise versa. One always keeps me away from the other.
Having a life outside of work and school. IARc is demanding; one of the most demanding majors at the university. And once I’m off work I have to get straight on homework, that means no time for friends, my husband, sometimes even eating takes a backseat. That’s probably the hardest part, I barely see my husband and we live together. I don’t get out much or see my family because I have to work or complete homework.
Tyson Lamm: Managing time, priorities, & ability to utilize the CAM studio due to its hours
Taylor Ghost: I usually say “I just need more time” but I feel like the hardest part is prioritizing what needs to be done and when. I get inspired by something at work or school (or personal, like planning my wedding) and it’s hard to move from what you are currently dreaming about to something that is due. I think that’s something most creatives struggle with, and I’m certain if I focus on strategies that help me get work out faster, it will get better with time.
Contributed by Kim Wypasek [2nd] year
November 11, 2014 § Leave a comment
Laura Smith Cole is an Assistant Professor who has a passion for sustainability and going green. She is always looking to make the world a better place, and is finding ways to put the same drive in her students. She is a remarkable leader for the IARc community to have and we are lucky to get a chance to learn from her.
What is your educational and work background?
Laura: I got my undergraduate degree at the University of Missouri, where their program is similar to the IARc program with a mix of architectural and interior design. I interned with a group in Chicago which helped me get a job at Perkins and Will, Chicago. While working there on a variety of green projects, I became interested in researching green buildings. That led me to the University of Michigan to get my PhD in Architecture and Natural Resources.
What organizations are you involved in? Or what lectures do you give?
Laura: I am a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the Interior Design Educator’s Council (IDEC) and the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). I typically teach upper-level studios, research methods for graduate students and Professional/Business Practices for [3rd] year IARc students.
How do you tie in teaching with your other profession endeavors?
Laura: One way is hiring undergraduate students to help with research so they can get hands on experiences with faculty research. Teaching studio, I am always using my background for projects. This means that sustainability, social factors, and research are often tied into the studio projects I assign.
What made you want to start teaching?
Laura: While in design practice, I felt my day-to-day decisions were so small toward making a positive impact. I chose to teach because it helps me to keep learning and gives me the chance to work with emerging designers on issues of importance for a sustainable future.
Are there any achievements you are really proud of?
Laura: After finishing my undergraduate degree, it was a thrill to work for the firm Perkins and Will. The next major achievement, of course, was earning my PhD. Those achievements made it possible for me to be at IARc (my most recent accomplishment!) where I am using the totality of my previous experiences to teach and conduct research.
What has been the most challenging professional endeavors?
Laura: Everything I have done professionally has had its own unique challenges and its unique awesomeness. I think the toughest time of my life was actually surviving design school, so take heart that quality of life can improve after graduation!
Do you have any advice for the next generation?
Laura: Yes, more advice than I can capture here. Get as many different experiences as you can while you are in college. Work toward emotional resiliency by learning to cope with difficult situations. Take care of yourselves and each other. Go to office hours. Learn to be a steward of planet earth. We can’t keep expecting more and better while simultaneously degrading the natural systems around us. A beautiful, sustainable, and just future is in our hands, so learn what it means to be a designer who contributes positively to that future!
Contributed by Celeste Holley [1st] year
November 5, 2014 § Leave a comment
On Monday, 11/3, Stoel Burrowes hosted the fall 2014 internship fair. 14 students representing [3rd] and [4th] year who completed their internships during Spring or Summer 2014 showcased their hard work with posters and booklets. The internships represented fields covering interior design, graphic design, community engaged design, lighting design, marketing/branding, and hospitality design. The turnout was a success — younger years came out to ask questions and gather information.
November 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
The countdown is on! Stephanie and Maruja‘s [3rd] year studio has only two and a half weeks left to complete their entries to the Student Design Competition for Steelcase. Centered around a educational building remodel, the competition challenged students to think about educational space differently, to consider the best models for classrooms that suite all types of learning styles, and to research both modern and traditional pedagogies. This research has given students a strong basis for how they make each design decision. Schematic designs are being finalized and furniture placement only needs minor tweaking for most students. This past week, students in Maruja‘s IAR 334 Light and Sound focused on creating lighting plans for the building based on Tina Sarawgi‘s e-light resource. Although every [3rd] year student will create a finished competition entry worthy of submission to Steelcase, UNCG IARc is only permitted by the competition rules to submit the top two designs from the class. So as you can imagine, it’s very competitive and some students have bigger ideas than they’re willing to share during critiques. Everyone is gearing up for a big reveal, hoping to wow their classmates, professors, and the board of designers that will be selecting the top two.
Contributed by Chelsea Green, [3rd] year