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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What does an Interior Designer Do?

I am doing my internship at Applegate Tran (check out the website). It is so incredible. Gioi Tran is inspirational and I look forward to learning so much from him. I helped out with a recent workshop Gioi gave to homeowners remodeling their kitchens. Gioi presented a slide show of before and after kitchen designs and there were many “oh” and “ahs” from the audience. Then came the Q&A and it occurred to me – most people just do not understand the role of an interior designer. This surprised me – don’t they watch HGTV? And why would you ever undertake a remodel without an interior designer?


The NCIDQ website says “Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants, and are aesthetically attractive. Designs are created in response to and coordinated with code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability. The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.”

To sum it all up, an Interior Designer (not to be confused with an Interior Decorator) creates a better experience. I have discovered that getting a degree in Interior Design involves technical, analytical, creative skills, and understandings of architectural elements. I definitely did not think it would be so difficult – after all I am a Certified Public Accountant – becoming an Interior Designer couldn’t be more complicated – wrong! It is complicated, but when it all comes together the end result is so satisfying for the Designer and the Client. I guess people are leery of hiring a designer because they think it will cost too much, but in the long wrong it actually saves your pocket book, but more importantly it saves your sanity.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Modern Furniture


My project for this quarters Construction Documents class is a case study on the Barcelona Pavilion designed by architect Mies van de Rohe in 1929 for the International Exhibition. This is an exciting assignment for me. Part of the assignment is to draft three millwork pieces. Mies intended for the pavilion to be bare, hence it is difficult to create three millwork pieces. So I am drawing the Barcelona chair, which he designed specifically for the pavilion. As I learned this, I was astonished - after all this chair is the icon for modern furniture design and is still manufactured today!


Drafting this chair affirms my passion for interior design, amazing me that it is as fresh as if it had been created yesterday. Let me point out that I could not find anywhere – digitally or in print – any drawings with specific dimensions or details, so I am creating it as best I can from the Knoll website (the current patent holder). My meager CAD talents turned out a fairly nice rendition and I embrace all things modern, even when they were created over 80 years ago.