November 14, 2016
Why did you decide to take Continuing & Professional Education courses?
I was always interested in design-- I was that kid spending my free time pulling up my bedroom carpet, painting walls, moving furniture around, begging my mom to take me to estate sales. I ended up pursuing k-8 education (my other passion), living abroad, and starting a family. Shortly after I moved to NYC, I had lunch with an acquaintance at her place and was wowed by her aesthetic. We got to talking about style, design, furniture, art and she mentioned that she had been contemplating a career change and was researching Interior Design programs in the city. Impulsively, I told her I'd sign up with her and we did. Karin McNair is a very good friend of mine now and is pursuing design work in NYC.
How did you hear about the class (catalog, friends, etc.)?
I am a student in the certificate program for Interior Design and Space Planning is a required class that I took my first semester along with Drafting. I'm glad that I took these two classes together as I feel each helped me with the other and were a good foundation for consecutive classes.
What did you take away from the class? What type of skills did you learn?
I learned so much about designing with a purpose and keeping the client as the central focus. Also imagining the space, the flow of people, every inch of space was planned for and thought of. My instructor, Catharine Pyenson, was so good at reining in ideas and asking us why. Everything had a purpose.
What’s the most surprising thing your professor has said in class? The most inspiring?
I have received really good feedback from my professors. They are such an interesting and talented group of people. I really appreciated the respect they had for us students and the genuine excitement for our work. It's a good feeling to carry through the program because it motivated me to do my very best. When the question of whether or not a certificate would be suffice enough to get work in this competitive field, they would reply that it is the portfolio and the body of work that can make the difference. My peers were all producing such quality work-- it was a very inspiring environment to be a part of.
What kinds of projects did you work on as part of your class?
For Space Planning, we were assigned to design a pop-up exhibit for the lobby of Parsons at W13th Street and 5th Ave. Our client and inspiration for the assignment was a contemporary artist of our choosing. I chose Olafur Eliasson and that's when the fun began! Projects from my other required studio classes varied from designing a three story NYC townhouse to creating a 6 page magazine to sketching the interiors of the Frick Museum.
Did you take any more classes at Parsons or The New School? If so, which?
My classes in order: Space Planning, Drafting, Perspective Drawing, Rendering, Residential Interior Design, Auction, Color Theory, Architecture of New York and my last class will be History of Interiors 18th to 20th century.
Do you feel that this course will help you reach your academic or professional goals? If so, how?
Definitely. To envision a contemporary artist as my client challenged me and allowed for such creative freedom. The final project culminated in a formal presentation to a panel of NYC designers. It was nerve wrecking yet so rewarding because it was a sample of the real world. I was really happy with the outcome.
What are you doing now? Is it connected with your experience at Parsons? If so, how?
I recently moved to Seattle and will be pursing design work here. If anyone is reading this that wants to give me employment please be in touch!
Is there anything else you want to say about your experience?
I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in Interior Design. Loved it!