Building interiors: MSU students design spaces for adult learning

December 19th, 2012 Comments Off on Building interiors: MSU students design spaces for adult learning

MSU junior Lauren Henson, left, explains her interior design ideas for a conceptual adult literacy center, inspired by her class’s visit to the New Orleans YMCA Adult Literacy Program at the beginning of the semester. (Photo by: Russ Houston | MSU University Relations)

By Leah Barbour | MSU University Relations

What does interior design have to do with literacy centers for adults? Several Mississippi State University interior design students spent their fall semester answering that very question.

Assistant professor William Riehm’s sophomore design class already knew the art of creating great interiors is more than choosing attractive lamps, but thanks to a field trip to New Orleans early in the semester, students learned to design interiors that meet learners’ needs.

“I was approached by the director of the New Orleans YMCA Adult Literacy Program, Shannan Cvitanovic, to help her with some ideas for her space,” Riehm said. “This led to a conversation about having interior design students consider all of the possibilities that a learning center could be. I asked Shannan to act as a hypothetical ‘client’ for a drop-in center, and she agreed.”

Riehm, since he first arrived at MSU in 2011, has been exploring how language connects to design, he said. He formed a partnership with English assistant professor Lyn Fogle, director of the Teaching English as a Second Language, TESOL, program at MSU.

“We’ve often discussed the relationship of design and language and when this New Orleans project was being developed, it seemed like a natural link,” Riehm said.

Fogle suggested English master’s degree candidate Caroline L. Baker of Leland work with the interior design students, and she accompanied the class when it visited the adult literacy center soon after the fall semester began.

“Design is often considered a language, and making that connection in school is a good way for young designers to develop their design skills,” Riehm said.

While students did not get to develop plans for an actual local adult literacy center, they used a local downtown building, 205 Lafayette St. in Starkville, to create design plans as if an adult literacy center were to be located there.

As part of their final exam, 19 students offered different visions of what an adult learning and training environment could be.

From multi-level classrooms for multi-level adult learners to private counseling areas and discreet yet inviting signage, students developed a myriad of poster presentations and miniature models reflecting their visions for the building.

Students focused on ways to design interior rooms that foster learning in a literacy-focused environment, and many of them included the kinds of amenities adults need, like a kitchenette with a stove, sink and refrigerator.

Riehm emphasized that his students used forward-thinking ways to develop inventive solutions for dealing with the problem of adult illiteracy, and students’ work allowed them to improve both their verbal and graphic presentation skills.

“I feel this project reveals our students’ strengths in innovative thinking in design,” he said. “I believe the project reveals the importance of interior design and its relationship to creating better, more effective environments for the greater good.

“I believe this reveals that the interior design program at Mississippi State is a top caliber program addressing contemporary issues and educating for innovation in design.”

CAAD students awarded national and regional home furnishings scholarships

December 12th, 2012 Comments Off on CAAD students awarded national and regional home furnishings scholarships

Left to right: Bill Martin, director of the Franklin Furniture Institute; Beth Miller, director of the Interior Design Program; Cristen Richard, Marguerite Johnson, Emily Hardin, Professor Robert Long and Sarah Kilpatrick (Photo by Megan Bean | University Relations)

(By Karen Brasher | College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Four students enrolled in the College of Architecture, Art and Design have received scholarships from home furnishings industries.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance awarded three scholarships in the amount of $11,155 each to students with a promising career in home furnishings.  Emily Hardin and Cristen Richard are both sophomores in the interior design program.  Sarah Kilpatrick is a junior majoring in sculpture.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance is the world’s largest and most influential trade organization serving the home furnishings industry.

The Southeastern Home Furnishings Association awarded the $2,000 Michael Gilchrist Memorial Scholarship to sophomore interior design student Marguerite Johnson.

The Southeastern Home Furnishings Association is affiliated with the National Home Furnishings Association, the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interest of home furnishings retailers.

Bill Martin, director of Mississippi State University’s Franklin Furniture Institute, administers the student scholarships and was instrumental in securing the scholarships.

“The institute is pleased to be able to secure scholarships for student interested in pursuing a career in the furniture and home furnishings industries,” Martin said.  “Given the importance of Mississippi’s furniture manufacturing sector, it is important to develop future leaders in one of the state’s largest employers.”

To qualify, students completed essays on how they will use their degrees to work in the furniture and home furnishings industries, Martin added.

Students also must be enrolled in one of the university institute partners, the College of Architecture, Art and Design; College of Forest Resources; Bagley College of Engineering or the College of Business.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Students get creative, design lamps for final project

December 10th, 2012 Comments Off on Students get creative, design lamps for final project

Molly Mullett’s lamp, which was inspired by the lamppost in the street of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, cost around $60 to create.

Interior Design Instructor Robin Carroll decided to allow students to get creative for their final projects, and the students definitely lived up to her expectations.

Carroll asked students to design and build a portable lamp with few limitations. She simply asked them to combine good use of design with energy-efficient lighting components. The goal for the project was to teach students more about the lighting industry and electrical systems.

Students presented their working lamps in class on Dec. 4. They explained what inspired them, the materials and process used to create the lamps and how much they cost to make.

Designs ranged from an owl made out of aluminum sheet metal, “Flashing Feathers,” to a lamp inspired by How the Grinch Stole Christmas, “Hoo Lumination.”

Philips Day-Brite awards scholarships for Student Lighting Design Competition

December 10th, 2012 Comments Off on Philips Day-Brite awards scholarships for Student Lighting Design Competition

Winners of the Interior Design Student Lighting Design Competition were, left to right: MacKenzie Neel (first place), Molly Mullett (second place) and Camille Holland (third place).

Interior Design students in Instructor Robin Carroll’s class recently competed for three scholarships from Philips Day-Brite/Capri/Omega in Tupelo.

For the competition, students had to create a lighting design focusing on Day-Brite/Capri/Omega products to broaden their understanding of lighting design and successful lighting applications into the architecture.

Students created presentation boards containing a lighting/reflected ceiling plan, a lighting/electrical schedule, renderings or sketches of the installation design and a narrative of design goals and objectives.

Seven judges from Phillips Day-Brite ranked the projects on creative integration of lighting design, practicality of the application, energy efficiency of design and design presentation.

Carroll announced the winners at the end of class on December 4. She said the judges were impressed overall and said that as a whole, everyone understood layers of lighting and placement. However, the judges encouraged students to pay attention to the small details, pointing out that lighting can be costly if not specified correctly.

First place and a $1,250 scholarship went to MacKenzie Neel. Molly Mullett received second place and a $500 scholarship, and third place and a $250 scholarship went to Camille Holland.

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