This summer I am interning at Brandstetter Carroll, located in Lexington, Ky. The company specializes in architecture, engineering and planning for public, private, institutional and educational projects throughout the United States. I am especially excited for this internship opportunity because they currently do not have an interior designer on staff. I will have the opportunity to exhibit the value of specifically having an interior designer on staff.
As an interior design major I have been helping a lot with finish material schedules, working on concept designs for clients in Photoshop, as well as attending lunch and learns and other events held at the office. I started working on May 18th so I have had time to adjust and get to know the other people I am working with.
Through my observations I have learned managing time is very important, just as it is in studio. I have observed how managing time will decrease work related stress in the long run as well as set up the project for success. Managing time will allow the project to remain on time when unexpected issues arise.
Working directly with architects has opened my eyes to a different design process. So far I have observed that brainstorming is less conceptual and more job oriented. The process begins with through listening to the client’s needs and wants and then sketching spaces that will best fit the criteria from the information gathered. Client directed design varies from my previous experience in the classroom and is a valuable learning experience to capture from some very experienced and well respected architects.
I have also learned that the designers/ architects relationship and communication is important to be prompt, organized, and ready to take notes. These learning experiences I have faced this past week will impact my academic studies by giving me a better understanding of how the “real design world” handles projects and how they work with other team members.
I have gained more familiarity and knowledge with Excel and construction documents. I regularly use Excel to organize the finishes that will be used in the building. This document will be given to the constructors and used during the building process. The process requires sorting through the construction documents to find the finishes and correlating those to the correct manufacturer, color, name and number. This process made me more familiar with manufacturers and types of finishes, such as paints, carpets, doors, acoustical, and material finishes. Prior to this assignment I did not know about this side of the design process.
Additionally, during this assignment I have learned a lot more about construction documents and how to navigate my way around such a large document. I have also met with a few sale representatives familiarizing my self with different finishes that are available on the market. Furthermore, I have become much faster with Photoshop which will be of great help in the classroom in the fall but even more importantly in my professional practice.
I have improved my communication skills over this past week by improving how I ask questions and being very thorough and specific to ensure the information that is provided on the final documents is correct. This also confirms that I am on the same page as others whom I am working for. Also meeting with different sale representatives and all of the people in the company are just small steps in networking.
Along with everything I have learned this week something that I will carry with myself from this experience is that everyone’s unique design process and how creativity is unique and the importance of this is the factor that shows results. Creativity keeps people, including myself interested and unique.