University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Interior Design 420

Interior Design Internship

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    Week 3, Patsy Terry

    By pterry3
    Jun 8, '16 2:50 PM EST

    1. Week's summary of activities

    Our team wrapped up a project this week on two hotel properties that we've been working on since I started here.  It was somewhat stressful at times with the rushed demand to get everything completed on time, but it was also a valuable lesson in prioritizing work so that everything can be managed in the appropriate manner.  The payoff of finishing the work on Friday was well worth the push that we put on ourselves to get it done.

    I was also asked to design the tile flooring patterns for a hotel - and like most design tasks - it turned out to be far more a difficult assignment than I intended. After beginning the layout design, I realized how inexperienced and uninformed I was about tile placement.  What kind of tile should be specified in which places?  Do you center the tile pattern and cut off the ends, or do you start from the edge and go in?  What does tile do when it's geometrical neatness is interrupted by the nebulous shape of space?  I didn't know the basic rules for placing tile, and my self-sufficing mentality didn't want to ask.  Obviously, this attitude for independence didn't work, as I found myself getting lectured over the material after turning it in.  The irony of the situation is that I was the only person struggling to deal with the fact that I make mistakes sometimes too. It turns out, you can't always be right after all.


    2. Week's focus

    Members at the firm take the role of professionalism very seriously in terms of licensing, certification, ethical concerns, continuing education opportunities, etc.  All designers are NCIDQ accredited, with the exception of one (myself not included) who intends on taking the test later this year.  Having the recognition as a licensed designer is desired by most of their clients, and required by others, such as Federal Government properties and other state projects the firm has been involved in designing.  The firm owner, Susan, is also involved with the A&E board and ASID.  She has actually previously been the president of ASID, which has allowed her to gain a lot of recognition and exposure as a designer in  the state of Tennessee.  

    Coordination with allied professions in AIA or the engineering divisions of structural, mechanical, and electrical professions are very common, as well as the consultants for any products, items, or materials that are being specified in a given project.  They must maintain good communication with these people to ensure their design is properly managed.  

    Spending time involved in public and community service is also a core value of the company.  They have helped with Fantasy of Trees (a children's fundraiser), volunteering at Knox Heritage, surplus donations to children's hospitals, and have worked with Safe Harbor (a children's advocacy center).  In terms of recyclable and eco-friendly considerations, most all materials are LEED accredited, and the firm stays conscious of green materials and recycling material samples back to the company reps or elementary/art schools when at all possible. 

    Most of the company's ethics revolve around the protection of their clients.  They keep client information confidential and do not share it with other companies if unauthorized.  The firm members also make it their responsibility to inform the client when erroneous information, forging, or over-value pricing has raised the concern of team members.  Somewhat commonly, the firm will notice that excessive square footage is being added to pricing quotes, and try to dissolve the problem, rather than ignoring it.


    3. Getting to know someone new

    Above is a picture of Amy Cradic, who is a team member at the firm.  When I first came to work at the firm, I was trained under her, observing what she does and becoming informed with the work that we do.  She has been very helpful and accommodating to me, and we work together on many of the projects that come in.  What is interesting about Amy, is that she works on a contract basis, and thus, only comes in on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week.  She is also employed at another job, where she splits her time on Tuesday and Thursday to work.

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This will be the community Blog for IDS 420 Summer 2016. Students will post their responses to weekly Journal Assignments here as well as view posts/comments from other participants.

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