Innovative Teaching Ideas
Interplay of Design Roles Senior and Junior Designers
Each student, as the designer, interviewed a classmate “client'' who had written a program and selected a house plan. The designer planned the interior, presented ideas to the client; and after concept approval from the client, instructed a junior designer to prepare drawings for the final presentations.
Introduction to Interior Architecture
Primary emphases of the course were programmatic development, methodological problem solving, communication media, and a survey of the creative possibilities within the dynamic realm of interior design. Orchestrated studio activities were supplemented by selected reading assignments, research and documentation, multi-media presentations, field trips, and visiting professionals.
This project is to design a furniture joint that acts as its own decoration. It is to be a “point” where one, two or three materials come together and the construction of this joint should “celebrate” the union of those materials.
Light Fixture Design or Retrofit
Students were required to design a light fixture or retrofit an existing fixture. Students used community resources to seek technical assistance for the wiring, material selection and fabrication of the fixture.
Movie Set Analysis Project
Historically based movies are assigned to two-member teams for analysis of the accuracy of the set designs. Library research on architectural and interior styles provide a knowledge base from which to work. Specific questions concerning the architecture, surface treatments, furnishings, textiles, and accessories are answered for each movie.
Nature as Inspiration for Interior Ambience
A picture of a natural setting is used as inspiration for creating similar ambience in an interior setting. Materials and furnishings are selected and a concept board is prepared as might be done for further discussion with a client for an interior design project.
Following a series of lectures/discussions regarding the design process and particularly the Post Occupancy phase, students work as a team to conduct a "Post-Occupancy-Evaluation" of a given campus building. They perform a variety of research tasks to evaluate the space and then present their findings in a written report.
Preschool Play Space
The project involved the design of a small preschool. As the interior design students were in their first semester of design studio, the emphasis was on concept development, design process, and finding creative solutions. Students visited a preschool to observe and learn how children use space.
The Product Analysis project requires students to research interior products by contacting manufacturers/distributors/installers. In person contact is ideal but when not practical, telephone or written correspondence is acceptable. The information is then evaluated based on function, cost, maintenance, replacement, codes, and installation. These factors, along with previously made creative/aesthetic considerations, are tied together. A formal rationale is then developed and presented for specifying these products in the Senior Thesis Project.
Promoting Awareness of Multicultural Diversity
As the United States becomes increasingly diverse, it is important for students to develop a multicultural understanding of interiors and interior design. This report identifies a term paper as one means of emphasizing multicultural diversity within a survey course on historical interiors.
Replication of the Human Body
This project required students to construct full-scale replicas of their own bodies. Work was completed entirely outside the classroom, while instruction was given on human factors in class. Evaluation determined the project generated increased creativity, reduced stress, and integrated well with traditional drafting instruction as students gained intimate knowledge of human dimensions.
A small (approximately 120 square feet) retail kiosk was located in an enclosed shopping mall. Each two-person design team drew a client/product line from an available group, i.e. mail order catalogs. The project program requirements, including mall regulations/codes, were to be integrated. A strong graphic identity was desired, as well as a modular approach.
Right Down to the Cups and Saucers
The gesamkunstwerk (or "total work of art") concept involves the design of, all aspects of and elements within an interior space, no matter how minor. In order to carry the project to a level of development, which can approximate a true gesamkunstwerk, students designed custom dishes for a restaurant. These dishes were to reflect significant design concepts and act as attractive and functional eating utensils. Full-scale mock-ups of the dishes were produced and presented with the project at the final review.