At the end of every project, there is always some form of aftermath. There is always some form of reorganization or regrouping that needs to occur. One of the designers recently finished up a project, which means all these books could return to their original locations. It’s simple little tasks such as this that help the everyday flow of the office. While I may not always be highly involved in every project, I understand that the little tasks that I do to help on the administrative side of things helps the designers to focus more on each project. There also have not been too many new projects lately because of the size of some of the current projects. In the end, I just do what I can to help and hopefully will be able to have more involvement in the actual design for some of these projects here soon.
This week I worked on a couple breakout office designs for Awesome Inc. Since Awesome Inc is fairly small, they have no private places to talk individually or privately on the phone. As the only Interior Designer who interns there, they had asked me to come up with a design of what the space could look like. The design is simple because they can only hold two 7′ by 9′ offices, according to my measurements. One office holds a computer desk and bench for talking on the phone or conversing via webcam, or just for individual work. The other hold a collaboration desk that can hold up to three people. Both systems by Steelcase of course, and both include Awesome Inc’s color palette.
This week was at Perspectives was fairly slow. I mainly worked at the front counter and helped with paint orders and any other client needs. No matter what, it is always good to work up front and one-on-one with customers that come in. Talking with customers can help with becoming a better communicator and being able to understand the needs of the customers.
One small, fun task was being a part of picking a new color for one of the bathrooms. The original color was a lavender purple that over time became less desirable. I and another intern then got to choose what the next new color would be. After some discussion and holding up colors in the room we decided on a pale green. We both agreed that it would lighten up the bathroom and give it a fresh, clean look. So far, the paint looks great and I really enjoyed doing this small task. By doing this task I got an idea of what exactly needs to be thought of when helping a customer or client when they are deciding on colors for their own spaces. In this way I can better help them in the future.
I spent my shadow at Lichten Craig in Chicago. I would come in at 8:30 and stay till about 5, they rest of the team would stay till about 6:30 every night. They also stay later just like we do with studio if they have a big presentation the next day. That thursday night they stayed till about 9:30 or 10, because of a two big presentations the next morning. I came in a little early friday to be able to help with whatever they needed set up. Their office has a common space with other offices in the building called the dinning room, so they use that space for presentations. I ran and got some water and treats for their clients coming. I also helped put together books for the clients and ran to the Merchandise Mart to grab some last minute swatches they needed. I really learned a lot with the Lichten and Craig team. I learned what it is like to work with a team in the real world and how they work cohesively with the architects on projects. They are a younger firm, only twelve years old in Chicago. They really know what they are doing though! All of the people working there are so strong in the design field and passionate. It was great to see that they are all friends with each other, almost a small work family. I loved that it was a small firm that they know about each other, not just some place that you are a worker not actual person. I have a picture below of an example the boards that they put together for their clients. It was great working with them and I can’t wait to see more of their work in magazines! I couldn’t of thought of a better place to shadow!
By shadowing at Peace Design over spring break, I was able to learn a great deal about residential design as well as gain some helpful bits of knowledge about the design world. Peace had a relaxed and comfortable office environment, which I believe supported their need for communication. Throughout the week, I noticed that the employees were constantly talking to one another and often working together to keep things running smoothly. Hillary Mancini, one of the designers I shadowed, was often giving me helpful bits of deign knowledge. Here are some of the takeaways:
Hillary’s Helpful Tips
- Communicate- always be talking through issues and keeping the other designers, professionals, and the clients updated
- Transmittal Sheets- whenever you send out a package of samples, etc. be sure to include a sheet saying what is included and who it is from
- Paint Trick- if you need to match a color, keep a paint fan deck with you to document the colors of items, you may need to color match items later
- Fabric/Wallpaper Sizes- pay attention to the lengths and widths of fabrics and wallpapers, they often vary and can have price, use, and installation differences
Through this experience, I was able to learn about residential design and acquire great bits of knowledge that I will carry with me in the future design endeavors.
On Wednesday at Peace Design in Atlanta, I started the morning by making changes to the CAD floor plan I had developed for the Shooting Star project in Jackson Hole. Katie, my mentor and one of the designers on the project, talked through my design with me and then gave me a chance to make changes. The afternoon consisted of sorting fabric samples for the Delray project.
Thursday morning I pulled inspiration images for a house in Delray Beach, FL. I began by finding kitchen and bathroom images with the look they were going for. Then, I would find more images and focus on certain design elements such as waterfall countertops or freestanding tubs. All of these images will be shown to the client to determine her design preferences. The afternoon was spent sorting wood samples along with the two other interns.
On Friday, I met with a product representative and was able to see some of the newest items from Taffard Fabrics, Sutherland, Justin Van Breda, Porter Teleo, Kerry Joyce, and Fortuny. I then went to the South of Market home design store. I was particularly impressed with their lighting, which I included some photos of below. Afterward, one of the interns and I went to the J.D. Staron showroom. The J.D. Staron company produces incredible carpets and rugs. I was able to meet with Susie, who was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about their products. She showed us a video of J.D. Staron himself showing how the designs of these rugs are developed and are then produced. As the day drew to a close, I offered my thanks and said my goodbyes to the Peace Design team.
Despite the occasional hiccups figuring out where I needed to be when and who was taking me on which days, this week was a great learning experience. The day to day moving around was a great way to see how all the diverse departments worked separately and together. I loved this firm; it wasn’t too big or too small, and full of very kind, very hardworking people. Another thing this week taught me was that Minneapolis is a city I could see myself returning to permanently. I was always concerned about it’s proximity to where I grew up, but it had the urban feel that made me feel far enough and independent from my hometown while only being an hour and a half away from puppy cuddles and quality time with the parents.
I am so grateful for the connections I’ve made, and the opportunity to spend some time at such a cool firm!