Â Size Doesn’t Matter
For a departmentÂ that consistsÂ of a lead instructor andÂ three part time instructors, big things are happening in Interior Design at CFCC’s North Campus.Â
WhenÂ Patricia Battershill, lead instructor, made the moveÂ from Fort Lauderdale two years ago, she found herself a part of a department that had already exceeded its high expectations. Â But donâ€™t let this woman fool youâ€¦she is a true instructional gem.
One of theÂ mostÂ impressive facets of the I-Design programÂ is the blend ofÂ student-centeredÂ learningÂ andÂ scaffolding. The program is designed for courses to be completed in “blocks” with 2 rotations of 16 students.Â Ideally, each group of 16 students completes the courses and program together.
In the Beginning
During first semester, students are introduced to interior design concepts and principles. Then, students are asked to apply these concepts to design aÂ project of their own selection.
The open project is intended to embrace the students’ individual style and creativity.Â Battershill believes this builds student confidence and understanding in their work and learning. AsÂ the studentsÂ advance through the program, parameters are established and projects increase in complexity.
Â Bring in the Pros
At the end of a groupâ€™s final fall semester, Interior Designers from the local community are brought in for a professional review. The local proâ€™s are treated to a review session ofÂ projects completed by students. Each student is then provided with individual feedback from interior design professionals in our community. This allows students to reflect and adjust their work in preparation of their final semester.Â
Capstone: The finale
The foundation has been built. Itâ€™s time to add the finishing touches.Â During the final semester, the students are b-u-s-y
- Putting together their portfolio. Both digitally and in an 8.5 x 11 binder.
- Learning the ins and outs of self-marketing.
- Final exam, 1 day assessment: students are presented a project and required to draft, space plan, and articulate in writing their concepts for materials.
- Participating in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) local chapterâ€™s design competition.Â **Note, in 2008 CFCC Interior Design swept the competition with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
Â Both classrooms in the Interior Design DepartmentÂ provideÂ each studentÂ with their ownÂ individual workspace.Â Â The student workstation includes:Â
- drafting table
- computer with Internet access, AutoCAD (engineering, designÂ software) and Photoshop
Other noteworthy “goodies” for the students include a cooperative learningÂ center which includes: movable desks and chairs, large HD television, Elmo presenters, scanners, design supplies, and yes, even the kitchen sink! Adjoining is the lighting lab which also connects to a high-end sample room.
Needless to say, the Interior Design graduates are true 21st century citizens and career ready. The graduates are comfortable with working relationships. They are self reflecting. These Interior Designers are skilled and innovative.
Authorâ€™s Note: My original intent was to feature the development process of the studentâ€™s digital portfolios but during my interview with Ms. Battershill, I realized that the Interior Design program itself is the real story.