Day v | Lichten Craig

On friday I got to work on Autocad, which, call me crazy, but I could spend hours doing drawings on. On monday, I recorded furniture measurements of existing pieces for a project in which the client wants to maintain her original furniture pieces, so on Friday I was tasked with drawing all of these pieces within the existing Cad floor plan file. I only had the furniture measurements and a small image of each piece to go off of , so it was a bit challenging trying to accurately draw each piece properly. After drawing each piece, I was then able to attempt several floor plan layouts in which the furniture could be arranged in. I really enjoy the space planning aspect of the design process, so this was a really fun experience with a realistic application.

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On Friday, I was also fortunate to sit in on a materials meetings. This is when a vendor from the mart, Holland & Sherry, came to the office and showed the newest lines of textiles to the designers. This allows for the designers to see the new lines, and also pick and choose which samples they would like to keep for their library before the lines are launched. This helped me get a better understanding of the types of materials and style of materials that Lichten Craig uses.

The last thing I did during my week at Lichten Craig was head to the materials mart again, but this time I was on my own. I was given a few samples to drop off at different vendors and I was also given a list of materials to pick up and find. Although I was very nervous about this endeavor, I am happy I did it, as it helped me to get out of my comfort zone of having an older designer show me the ropes. I now feel more comfortable and confident approaching vendors and looking for certain materials. This also allowed me to further explore the mart!

Day iii + iv | Lichten Craig

On Wednesday at Lichten Craig I continued to organize and sort through the materials library. I organized their wood selections, stone selections and leather swatches. Although, I was a little bummed to still being working in the materials library, it was great exposure to the types of materials Lichten Craig uses. I sorted the wood into finishes that would be used for furniture and finishes that would be used on flooring and cabinetry. I sorted the stone and leather by color, so it will be easier to find a specific type, as seen in the images below.

Sorting through the rest of the materials took me most of the morning, but in the afternoon I got the change to visit a residence that is about 95 percent complete. The space is occupied by a married couple, located within the Ritz-Carlton. The reason for the visit was to check the fabric on two small benches. The benches were order at different times, so even though the fabric was the same pattern, there were slight variations in the color because of the dye lot. We went back with the original cut of fabric to see which bench matched it, and which bench needed to be reupholstered.

The apartment itself was beautiful, with marble floors, hand-painted silk wallpapers and custom light fixtures in each room. One piece of furniture I found to be both very interesting, but also a little strange was a table in the foyer made of sting ray skin. I have never seen anything like this before, and frankly I had no idea it was possible and it goes to show the clientele of Lichten Craig. The views from the apartment were amazing and I really enjoyed getting to see a piece of Lichten Craigs work in person.

On Thursday I finally got to meet Joan Craig, the Chicago partner of Lichten Craig. She had been in New York and was supposed to be back on Tuesday, however, she got caught in the snow storm and unfortunately our meeting was delayed. Joan is a very very nice yet very intimidating individual. I was told that she is a nice version of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. I was able to chat with her for a short while the work she does and the firm that she has built are truly impressive and inspiring to a young designer like myself.

I also went through Morgik metal finishes to make sure the selections in the library were up to date, which I found they were not. I cross referenced the options that were already in the library with the list on the Morgik website, made a spread sheet that listed each finish, the number of pieces that were in the library and the pieces that were missing to help keep the samples organized in the future. As a result of have many samples missing I was charged with contacting Morgik and ordering the samples that were missing.

On Thursday, as they do once a month, the entire firm went out to lunch at a local eatery. This was a great chance to interact with both the designers and architects in a more relaxed environment, as well as experience a local restaurant.

In the afternoon on Thursday I finally got to help pick out material options. The firm is working on another apartment for an older couple and they have a few materials selected for the various rooms, but there were other materials that still needed to be chosen. They had me focus on the materials in the bathrooms within the space. The flooring and countertops were already selected, so I found a variety of options for wall coverings, paint colors, vanity options and shower tiles. This was a really fun experience because I was able to have some freedom in what I was choosing, but it also helped me to better understand the style of Lichten Craig. The image below is of material options for the master bathroom, which has a light blue color scheme, with a light basketweave tile floor and a very beautiful light blue quartz countertop. I choose a variety of wallpaper options ranging from darker blues to white reflective patterns. I also looked at paint colors for the space.


RFM: Bremerton, WA

 

This week at RFM has been one for the books. Having participated in the program before, I had a lot of expectations for this week. When I received my schedule prior to arriving I thought I had a good grasp on what I would be doing. As always, life happens; people get busy and schedules change, but I was completely open and flexible to this. As a visitor I wanted to learn and observe as much as possible, but I also wanted to be sure that I was not getting anyones way, and more importantly, not hindering the work that needed to be done.

My first impression of the office was a good representation of work that the firm produces. Bremerton is a small town that has gone through a rough patch, of sorts, and RFM is doing its part in revitalizing the area. The firm is housed in a Sears Auto Annex that had been abandoned for years. The three story building sets a great example of workplace design with collaboration and conference rooms on the first floor, locker rooms on the second floor, and open offices on the third.

I met a lot of people. Once again, Alaina was so wonderful in making sure that I was talking to the right people and asking the right questions. I was able to touch base will all ‘pods’ as they call them at RFM. Alaina is currently working on a Senior Living project, which seems to be a popular and demanding market in the Washington area. I got to speak with her about the projects that she is currently working on and how she is contributing as a new designer in a midsize firm. On Thursday I traveled into Seattle with Inky, a project architect who is also currently working in the senior living pod. I shadowed as we took a site walk and sat in on a construction administration meeting at Bayview, a multi-phase renovation at a senior living complex. In addition to all of this, I met with Suzanne, another interior designer working in both healthcare and senior living, and discussed her current projects, including Bayview, and others that are completed or near completion.

Something that I found unique to RFM that I had not seen at other firms was the ‘fire pod’. And their focus was on just what it sounds, fire stations. I was able to sit in on a charrette where senior architects were advising an intern on a project. I loved the collaboration and support that these colleagues provided to each other, something so similar to our studio dynamic in school.

One of my favorite conversations of the week was with Austin, the sole man in charge of RFMs VizLab. VizLab was responsible for everything from setting a graphic standard to photographing completed projects. Austin’s degree is in interiors but he always had an interest in graphic design, and creating visuals as a way to present information, which is something that I can strongly relate to. He also had some time to review my portfolio and resume and provide some helpful feedback.

Some other people that I was able touch base with this week were Sarah, Jordan, Keith, Eelin, and Monica. Sarah and Jordan were working in the hospitality pod. Keith is a fellow wildcat and School of Architecture Alum. (It seemed as if the cats were taking over the office this week.) Eileen and Monica worked closer within business operations of the firm, something that we don’t necessarily learn in school but still very important to understand as someone working at a mid-sized firm. With almost all conversations this week I got a good understanding of all the roles of employee at RFM and their backgrounds and paths they took to get there.

Jennifer is the sole interior design partner at the firm, and after only working in the industry for 10 years. With the few short conversations, and the meetings that I got to attend with her, I can tell that she is not only so good at what she does, but she cares about her projects and her employees. Something that read true of the entire firm. RFM places a lot of emphasis on a work life balance, and the wellbeing of their employees, something that is really hard to come by and that I commend them tremendously for. On my last morning at RFM I traveled with Jennifer to Bremerton High School, where she is a mentor for a group of 5 juniors who she has been with since they were freshman. From what I understand, and based the conversation, these students are first-generation students that may not see as much support at home from their peers. Because I am also first generation, Jennifer had me share my story and experiences from high school and how I got to where I am now. Although I was only with them for an hour, I hoped that giving them insight into my story as someone who has very recently been in their shoes would help give them some peace of mind as they go into their senior year and prepare for the SAT. One of the students spent a lot of the meeting genuinely invested as she asked questions and was able to relate to my background from pressures of parents to general creative interests. She opened up and shared her story of why she feels stress and anxiety when it comes to choosing a college major. She was truly incredible and wise beyond her years, and while she was thankful to me for talking to her, I was just as touched by the experience.

Overall, I had a great week at RFM. I met a lot of people and tried to remember everyones name. I learned not just about specific projects and the practice of the profession, but also business operations and work culture. I’m so appreciative of the time that everyone dedicated to talking with me and will hopefully keep in contact with RFM in the near future.

Gettys Group: An Overview

Gettys Group is an international hospitality design firm that specializes in interior design, consulting, branding, and procurement. They work extensively on projects in North America, South America, the Asia Pacific, and in the Middle East.

This past week was filled with much to do, and many opportunities to explore the world of hospitality design. I had a part in two projects, the Godfrey Hotel in Hollywood and the Shelby Williams HD Las Vegas booth. Each project was in a different phase of the design process, I learned, with the Godfrey Hotel being in the proposal phase and the Shelby Williams project being in the preliminary planning phase.

The Godfrey Hotels’ first location is in the River North area of Chicago, but their next hotel location is to be placed in Hollywood, California. Gettys Group was separated into different studios, with their names based on different locations within the city of Chicago and in the countries they work with. The studio I shadowed under was called Lake, which had about eight designers. These designers had created a concept for each separate focus unit within the hotel, created space plans, and specified finishes. I was able to observe the process that designers go through to prepare for a meeting of this scale. Samples had to be ordered, material trays had to be arranged, elevations had to be Photoshopped, and the concept had to be perfectly articulated before the big meeting on Thursday. The image below shows a concept board they had arranged for the different spaces within the hotel.

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These concept images, surprisingly, served as large influencers of what changes needed to be made in the concept. The client-a conference room full of very active, and rather blunt participants-made very clear decisions of the direction that we should take the space in based on our concept page. At first, I thought that it had to be frustrating for the designers, because it was only a page with only concept images- it doesn’t speak for the actual design! However, by the end of the meeting, I learned that the designers use these images as a strategy to allow for conversation and growth for the design.

After the big presentation on Wednesday, it was back to the drawing board for a lot of ideas. On the brightside, they had a very clear path of what the next design should look like. 

While I had the opportunity to observe the Godfrey project and presentation, I had an opportunity to actually design and plan for the Shelby Williams project. 

On Monday, I was presented with the project brief. Shelby Williams, a furniture designer known for their banquet and hospitality chairs, needs help with the design of their booth at a commonly known trade show called HD. HD 2017 was to be taking place in Las Vegas this year, and Shelby Williams wanted to design a layout for their 20’x30′ booth that would best display their stacking chairs and their bars.

My job for the entire week became to create a scheme of colors and fabrics, pick the chairs that would be displayed, create a floor plan that would best display these chairs, contact fabric reps, and layout a proposal for Steve by the end of the week. We had first suggested a green palette, which I had picked fabrics and finishes for (shown below).  I was given full reins on this project, so I quickly went to work to come up with a scheme that would work with Steve’s vision of a purple, blue, and gold color scheme. All of the fabric in a yardage that I had to estimate had to be in stock, so this challenged me with which fabrics I could specify. 

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Shelby Williams Fabrics

On Tuesday, I received an exclusive look at the construction site at the Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place. An emergency meeting was called with the millwork company that they were consulting with, because their was a miscommunication between a steel support system. Gettys Group draws very in-depth details, and even the support systems of their custom cabinetry is included in their drawing sets they send out. I was given a tour of the construction site of the new restaurant, bar, and lounge. 

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Overall, my week at Gettys Group was an eye-opening experience into the world of hospitality design. They set up my week to allow for me to see every aspect of their job, from site visits, to presentations, to planning. This experience will help me gain a better idea of what design I want to focus on as I move forward in my design career. 

http://www.gettys.com/about/

Last day shadowing at Matthew Carter Interiors

The week truly flew by! I had so many wonderful experiences throughout the week and the last day was a great way to cap it off. I started the morning at the stone yard, searching for the perfect slabs for a few bath rooms in a remarkable home in Lexington. We went from the stone yard, to the home the stone is for to approve paint colors and check in on the overall progress. The client called in from their home in FL to approve the paint choices and we checked to see how the textiles would work in the space too. IMG_7724.JPGIMG_7721.JPGIMG_7717.JPGIMG_7722.JPG

We ended the afternoon with a visit to the Summit where we met with a client to approve paint samples as well as to check on the construction process. The restaurant will be opening in mid April. The shiplap walls were hung incorrectly because the drawings done by the architect did not have the proper spacing depicted. So they are going to have to remove what they have completed which luckily isn’t a lot and relay it with an 1/8 of an inch gap between each. It was a great day filled with an abundance of learning experiences.

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photo from: http://www.kentucky.com/latest-news/2dnxun/picture43342767/ALTERNATES/FREE_640/dIYL9.So.79.jpg

Day 4 Matthew Carter Interiors

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It was another great day shadowing at Matthew Carter Interiors. I spent the day pricing fabrics, pulling samples, and shopping. We searched several shops in Lexington for a coffee table but did not have any luck. We also prepared for a client to come to the studio to try a chair that Matt was wanting to use in their family room. They need a chair that is large enough for the client and their rather large dog to sit at the same time.  A great example that every space requires a program, specific to the needs of the user, be it a man or mans best friend. 08052013CourtneyCam-the-Man.jpg

photo of dog form: http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/433918/23249878/1375703946937/08052013CourtneyCam-the-Man.jpg?token=WO6ve%2FOS4XBoMREvKU8fDdOEW3c%3D

Blackline Studio | wrapping up the week

It has been a crazy but great week, so I am going to squish multiple days into one post! Thursday I continued working on space planning for the real estate group that is expanding their offices. In addition to this, to help get construction documents out, I checked the materials with the finish schedule. In doing this, I was able to get exposure to commercial grade materials and how Blackline does their finish schedule compared to other firms I have had experience with. This is an exciting multi-family project that is using a lot of color and textures. I was able to go to an IIDA lunch meeting for their local chapter. This was a great experience to meet people from other firms in this profession, while also being a networking opportunity. I also was able to go to a rep gathering after shadowing with one of the interior designers from Blackline. This was another great networking opportunity and an enjoyable experience.

Today we had a chili cook-off and reviewed my portfolio as a group and with a few different people one-on-one. This was nice because I had feedback from people with interior designer, architect and graphic design backgrounds. I received great feedback about content and graphics that will help to push my portfolio hopefully to the next level. I was introduced to a different way of thinking about layouts and conveying my project information. This knowledge will be helpful for my portfolio as well as in programming documents and board configuration. I also was able to see some of the employee’s portfolios; their work was amazing and inspirational. In addition to this, I was recommended to work on a construction document to show my skills and knowledge in that area as well (separate from my portfolio).

Finally to finish up, this experience exceeded my expectations. It has really pushed me in my job search, as I approach graduation. I loved learning about all of the work blackline is doing in this industry. I am excited about the work that Blackline is doing and I hope to apply as graduation approaches for a potential job opportunity. Blackline has a simplistic, edgy, innovative approach that is intriguing and refreshing. Their work place dynamic is motivating to be in and a place that I would love to eventually work. Their team is full of talented and driven individuals that made me excited to get out into the workforce and begin my career as an interior designer.