Brandstetter Carroll

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.

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Regency Interiors by Gail Moses

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1. I have learned many things from working with Gail at Regency Interiors. Time management is defiantly one of the biggest hurtles that Gail faces. Sometimes she has to stay and work into the night to get projects done for clients. A lot of the time she has to rely on many other people in dealing with one project, this can also set her behind. You have to constantly check to see if products are available and make sure they are not discontinued. This all has to be done in a matter of a week, depending on how large the project is.

Design process is used a lot. There are usually thousands of bumps in the road just with one project alone. There are many times in which I have had to start from square one. For instance, I had matched a piece of satin fabric perfectly to another fabric that was to be used for drapery. However, once I called on that fabric I soon found out that it was discontinued and I had to start all over again. Another example was when I was working on a paint schedule for Transylvania University and they decided that they wanted a different color after it was already painted. They thought that a red elevator was a little much and perhaps gave off the wrong vibe.

Designer/ Client relationships are very important as are Designer/ Rep. relationships. I have learned that through good relationships with clients brings on more business. Gail gets most of her business through word of mouth and the people that she knows. For example, she is the lead designer for Transylvania University and she got the bid, because she knew a lot of people on the board and they knew that she produced quality designs. Designer/ Rep. relationships are very important too, because your Rep can do a lot for you and can give you a lot of deals. For example, our rep. from Phillip Jefferies wall coverings has helped out tremendously. We were shorted two yards of (very expensive) wallpaper and the wallpaper, when unrolled would rip because it was stuck together. Our wallpaper hanger had to charge a very large amount, because he had to manually piece back the wallpaper. We called our Rep. and he managed to give us 50% discount on the wallpaper and on our next order.

This will all impact my studies, because I now realize how important other people are in my designs. You as the designer are important, but in order to make a successful design you have to rely on a lot of other people.

2.Gail’s office is completely covered from wall to wall with material samples and books. It is my job to file books away, keep books current, order materials, etc. I have become very familiar with different companies. I know who responds the fastest, the easier ones to work with, what materials are needed for different things, etc. I know there are different terms for different things. For example, I now know what a COM fabric is. I had to have a COM fabric shipped to Canada to a different furniture company for Transylvania.

3 & 4. I am in charge of placing orders, calling for quotes, Invoices, Purchase orders, proposals, CAD work, Faxing, I answer the phone, I do sales and reuse and I am in charge of sending the taxes over to the accountant. I deal with every person that calls into the office, every company, and I Know a lot of the Reps by name. I am building connections as well as my skills. I feel as if I know how to run my own business already. Gail gave me the reins and I am in charge of running this business for the most part. I feel as if this internship will fully prepare me for the job market. I have met a lot of people and called a lot of people over the phone. I have met with large clients and am getting my name out there.

 Shannon Knoch