Alum Highlight: Katy Brandt

March 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo by Kara Kooy.

Katy Brandt is an alum of IARc’s undergraduate program and recently finished her Master’s degree in Interior Architecture with a focus on Interior Product Design at UNCG. IARc students know Katy as the Digital Director in IARc’s digital lab. Always willing to lend her time and expertise, Katy has been an invaluable resource to students in need of technical help, particularly during the hectic days and hours before projects are due.

Katy is also an adjunct instructor at High Point University, teaching “Material Finishes, Calculations, and Estimates” to the university’s junior year of Interior Design students. “It’s a very practical application class,” she says. The course focuses on life cycle cost, sustainable aspects of materials, researching materials and their different elements, and specifying materials for installers. Students learn how to estimate materials for interior spaces using manual calculations as well as Revit’s capabilities. High Point University’s Interior Design students play a significant part in the High Point furniture market, volunteering for market weeks in both the spring and the fall. In contrast to IARc students, High Point students focus more on residential design, traditional applications, and hand-rendering.

Katy’s association with Interior Architecture began in high school. “I saw commercial furniture design, and that’s what first peaked my interest,” she says. She did an internship with an interior designer and really enjoyed it. Also in high school, she learned about UNCG’s IARc program when students received booklets full of information about various colleges and programs. After researching the program, Katy knew that she wanted to pursue Interior Architecture at UNCG.

What are Katy’s hobbies? She admits, “That’s a good question. I enjoy photography… Right now I don’t have a lot of hobbies that I’m active in, because with two jobs I don’t have the time. I kind of think of design as my hobby – the never-ending look at what’s new in design. I’m very interested in design technology and pushing that forward in my career.”

She is inspired by “innovative design using different methods like laser cutters and CNC machines.” She adds, “I’m also inspired by handcrafted techniques implemented in new ways – seeing how people look at existing techniques or products and come up with innovative ways to reuse products or use traditional techniques to create new types of products.” She mentions an example of an artist who knits and then casts his work in porcelain to create vases with unique texture. Katy also enjoys tongue-in-cheek design with a sense of humor.

Her advice to students: “Don’t be afraid to try new things – to learn new computer programs, to think outside the box with your designs and the techniques you use to create them.”

As a final thought, Katy adds, “I’ve really enjoyed my time here at UNCG. I’ve been here cumulatively almost 7.5 years now. I would recommend UNCG to anybody. The program offers a wide variety of areas that students can explore. We have a great faculty [team] who encourages students to think about design as a holistic experience, and this sets UNCG [IARc] apart from any other program.”

Contributed by Kara Kooy, [3rd] year.
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