Getting Ready for a Week of Networking! – Rochester, NY

My week is a little different this year. I don’t start until Tuesday, but I am lucky enough to be shadowing two different firms throughout the week, HBT Architects and LaBella Associates in Rochester, New York. At HBT I know I will be starting off the day in a meeting with interior designers, architects, and engineers discussing a current project the firm has and then later on in the day I will be attending a lunch and learn. Chris has also helped me set up some additional networking coffee and dinner meetings for some nights after shadowing. This week is going to be jam packed full of exciting opportunities and I can’t wait to get it started. I have my outfits all planned out for the week and have mapped out all of my routes. This week is going to be a great learning experience and hopefully help me to move forward with my plans come graduation this May!


Coming to a Close

The school year is coming to a close and I will be leaving Design Link soon for summer break, but exciting news is that I will actually be returning to intern with them again in the fall! This past week I have done everything from AutoCad paint layouts, organizing and putting away materials, and creating presentation boards.

Going into the internship I knew that I wanted to gain experience in the design field, but it turned out to be way more than just something to put in my resume. I have gotten the chance to be immersed in the design world and see how projects are done from start to finish. I get the oppurtunity to work hand in hand with the designers in the office as well as at client meetings around Lexington. I have learned that materials are a large part of the design process and learning to work with the reps and knowing which materials to use on different projects is close to the most important part of the design, because you can have an amazing design but if the materials you chose don’t function well then it isn’t successfully done. As I was working through projects on AutoCad in the office I strengthened my skills by becoming more familiar with the program and by learning new shortcuts from the designers on how to do things quicker and more efficiently in the program. Since working with Design Link I have found myself become stronger and more confident with my skills and I am excited to continue that process. I also believe that being able to work with design professionals on a wide range of projects has helped with my communication skills. I was able to ask educated questions related to projects and learned how to communicate effectively with reps and other professionals in the field to help me finish my tasks. The ladies at Design Link have had a huge impact on my life, not only through design, but also as a person. They really took me in as part of the group and want to teach and show me everything they can. I have realized that not everything in design is fun like putting away materials, but learning and being successful at all parts of the design is how you further yourself as a designer!



A Week at Design Link

This week has been so busy, but so beneficial! I worked a little more than I usually do each week because I have to make up for some hours that I missed. Thursday I actually stayed for the whole day, which was fun because it is different than just being in the office for a few hours.

The designers didn’t get back from market until Wednesday, so they left me a good amount of work to do that lasted almost through the week. At the beginning of the week I continued to work on the presentation boards for the church project they are working on. They are doing six separate spaces within the church, so they wanted me to create six boards. Before they left they laid out what materials are going in which space and so I went through and cut everything to an appropriate size, because some of the carpet and tile samples come very large. After that I laid the materials out along with paint samples and floorplans of the spaces on their respective boards and waited for Jessica and Amy to get back to look over the layout and give me the okay to go ahead and glue and tape everything down. Once they did that I finished them up and made sure they all stuck to the standards of the office presentation boards and on Thursday some people from the church came to pick them up. They are setting them out at the church so that the congregation can look over them and see what exciting changes will be happening to the space!

I also did some AutoCad work for Nancy throughout the week. She left me with some drawings of a residential project she is working on and I took the hand drawn measurements and put them on the computer. It is easier this way for Nancy to see the actual relationship between the dimensions of the space and for us to place furniture in and get an accurate space allocation. She gave me a list of what furniture the client wants in her home and I placed it in in various sizes and layouts so that the client can look at the options and give Nancy feedback on what she thinks will work best for her.

Another exciting thing I got to be a part of this week was sitting in on and giving my opinion on who they are looking for for an intern for this coming summer. It was nice to know that they trust my opinion and that they value my insight!


Here are some pictures of the boards I was working on:

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A Jam Packed Week

This past week was a little crazy because all of the designers left on Saturday to go to market. They were trying to get a lot of work done or at least started before leaving and that required some of my help! Throughout the week I worked on AutoCad plans, layouts, sketches, ordering materials, and presentation boards.

Throughout the week I continued to look through the materials library and make sure that things were put away and ordered if need be, like I do every week. One specific manufacturer I ordered samples from was Bernhardt fabrics to restock and update our supply. I also worked with Nancy throughout the week on some AutoCad files. She has a few residential projects going on right now and it was my job to transfer her hand written sketches and measurements to AutoCad files. This is not always the easiest because sometimes the measurements don’t add up and we have to go back out to the property to double check or have the client measure and send them to us. Along with placing in the walls of the space I placed current and potential furniture in to create multiple furniture layouts for the clients.

Also, Jessica gave me the task of sketching out a few different drapery and window perspectives that needed to be sent in a presentation package to a client that lives a few hours away. This was so great because I felt like I was really contributing to the team, my sketches were good enough to be sent to the client and represent the designs that were established which is a great compliment. She had me draw these to help the client understand three dimensionally what the window treatments will look like in the spaces because it was hard for them to imagine the space with the interesting architectural features that occur in the space.

The rest of my time this week was dedicated to creating presentation boards for a commercial office project that they are working on. The office is doing a complete redesign and wants to really modernize the space, but still add in a few aspects that pull in the fact that they are a Kentucky based company. Jessica has come up with some really creative ways of doing this with wall graphics and color concepts throughout the space. At Design Link they have particular standards they use when creating presentation boards and after doing a few I got the hang of it. It is important to matte images and materials to help them to stand out from the background because they are the main focus of the board. When working on Jessica’s boards I went back and forth with her creating different layouts and changing the sizes of the plans, images, and materials that are on the boards to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and represents the company in a professional way. It was a jam packed week, but that makes it all the more exciting to be an intern!


Here is a picture of a sketch I did for Jessica:


Back and Forth

This week I went back and forth from working with on the materials lab and with working with a designer on a residential project. For the materials lab it is important for all of the materials to be up to date and to be stocked so that the designers can design effectively with all of the options they can get available. I went through a few of the manufacturers samples and checked to see if they are discontinued and order more samples where needed. Some of these included Wilsonart laminates, Bernhardt fabrics, and Hancock+Jessica Charles fabrics. It is also interesting to see the shift with some products to more digital samples rather than actual physical samples and some of this is because a lot of design firms have less and less space allocated to materials.

The other part of this week was working on a residential project with Nancy. She was given a printed floor plan to use for her designs, but it was not done digitally. So, I was in charge of putting the space into AutoCad so we could start designing. After I finished measuring out the plan with a scale and transferring it digitally I started working on furniture plans for the space. The client already has furniture that she wants to be put in the space so I had to get the measurements of that and create blocks for them in AutoCad. I created three different layouts that will be shown to the client in the next meeting and we will move forward after getting their ideas and opinions of the layouts.


Picture of some of the materials I worked with:

Church Project

This week at Design Link I spent a majority of my time working on a church project with two of the designers in the office. The project is separated into a few different spaces: the sanctuary, the youth wing, and the upstairs kid’s floor. I worked with the designers on creating floor material layouts in all of the spaces along with keys for each, detailing what flooring is going in what spaces. This is to give the client an exact description of where the flooring is going and also for the installer who is on the project so they know exactly where everything goes. Along with the floor material layouts I also did a tile layout in the bathrooms to show the direction of tile along with the exact placement for the installers. As the week went on we moved towards creating a paint layouts for the same areas and this was done in AutoCad as well. This space has multiple colors being placed in each rooms, so it was very important for me to be as specific and clear as possible with my notes and specifications. It is interesting to see from project to project how even just the paint layout can be completely different and how paint color can change the whole space when it is done.

I also am in charge of organizing and doing some inventory in the materials lab. I go through different materials and manufacturers and make sure that they are up to date with all of the books and samples and that if there are some samples that are being used more than others I order more from the rep or from the companies website. This gives me a great amount of exposure to not only the materials themselves, but also the range of manufacturers there are for each material. Overall it was a great week and my family even came in on Friday for Easter weekend and I got to give them a tour around the office and introduce them to the designers and architects that I work with!



Right Back at it

This week at Design Link was a busy one because all of the designers are working on different projects. Throughout the week I worked back and forth on two projects, one is a church interior renovation and the other is a residential project. The commercial side of the firm has actually done work with quite a few different church projects, especially when it comes to the kids and educational rooms. It is fun to see how they can turn a traditional church classroom into something really fun, interesting, and modern to help the students in their learning process. When working with a church though I have learned that budget is a huge factor, because a lot of their income is from donations. This makes it hard when picking furniture and finishes that will fit the vision.

As far as my work goes this week I did a lot of AutoCad work. I did a floor material layout for the church project, as well as several tile layouts for the bathroom areas in the space. This includes organizing the materials on the floor plan in a way that the contractor can quickly see exactly what flooring goes where and what manufacturer it comes from, along with the exact color or style name. All of this information is consolidated into one plan to make it easily communicated between all parties working on the project.

I also did some AutoCad work with the residential project that Nancy is currently working on. When the project came in the house already had plans created for it when the initial construction was done years ago, but they only had a pdf copy of the plans. So I was given a printed pdf and given the task of recreating it in Cad along with placing potential furniture inside a few of the spaces. First, I had to figure out if the scale on the print was accurate or not and of course it was not, but luckily I found the correct scale so I could move forward with measuring all of the walls and putting them in the drawing. When I was finished creating the floor plan and placing some furniture in I went on to create two more plans with alternate furniture layouts for the client, so that they can more easily brainstorm what they want for the space. I also, did some sketching for some drapery ideas for the space, which is always fun because in school we tend to lean more towards 3D renderings and I don’t get to do as much hand sketching. Overall, it has been a great week jam packed full of AutoCad and I am happy to be back at Design Link!


Here is a sketch from this week: