University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Interior Design 420

Interior Design Internship

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    Week 2, Patsy Terry

    By pterry3
    May 23, '16 12:13 AM EST

    1. Week's summary of activities

    I've become really well-adjusted to my workplace this week through collaboration with other team members.  I worked on a hotel project that I became familiar with during my first week at the firm alongside two of my coworkers to fastidiously edit and revise our drawings, spreadsheets, and specification sheets so that we could finalize our work drafts and get ready to send them out for ordering.  It is crucial that we are meticulous in this process, because minor mistakes can turn into large financial burdens at the scale and quantity size we are working in.  Together, we checked and double-checked each other's work to ensure preciseness, and really utilized a team effort in producing the documents.  It was a great experience to have that type of engagement, and ingest a broader understanding with each part of the submission. 

    I also got to be involved in the design of a custom lighting mechanism, requested by one of our clients.  Assisting in this was one of the highlights of my week, as it was exciting to be contributive of such an inventive assignment. The client wanted us to design a replacement for the existing task lighting system with a similar function and updated aesthetic.  I worked with my manager to develop and draft some options that would be shown to the client.  We created several solutions that mimic a traditional lamp, with an innovatory swivel to induce a track's functionality.  Shown below is a sketch of one of the examples that was developed.


    2. Week's focus

    Because Ballard Design Group is still fairly new and expanding, the project organization and work schedule is somewhat flexible.  Most recently, members are held accountable for a particular segment of a project and are responsible for completion of the given segment.  For example, one employee will manage the drawings, while another manages the specification sheets.  Collectively, however, the team will provide input on the overall design approach in order to encourage a diversity of perspectives.  The firm establishes a set fee for their services and must finish the work by a given date - regardless of obstacles that may encumber the deadline. 

    The design phases vary in size and intensity from circumstance to circumstance, so a team discussion is held at the beginning of each project to determine a time schedule.  The pre-design phase usually consists of a site visit and and consultation with the client and architect to discuss priorities and goals.  The team may make proposals for spatial programming and design intentions before starting.  Schematic design involves all employees of the firm for recommendations and guidance from market trends.  Design development is about working through problems and checking the work to establish concreteness.  The contract documents are then administered for thorough instruction on installment periods and methods.  The team even provides revisions on documents as needed if the contractors have difficulty understanding them.  One time they even modified a drawing with picture callouts for installers that were unable to read typical architectural drawings with symbols and codes!  The firm also maintains a customer service satisfaction by accommodating for any mistakes and backing up their work.

    3. Getting to know someone new

    Susan Ballard is the owner and manager of the firm.  She does project management for the entire team and works from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.  I have gotten to spend quite a bit of time with her this week working on projects, getting assistance, and going on lunch breaks.  She has given me a lot of her time providing mentoring and asking for my opinions (which we all know I'm good at having), so I feel very appreciative of that.  A fun fact about Susan is that she has a seven year old granddaughter who's already a very talented artist. 

    I could post a picture of Susan, however, most or all of the class has already met her in person. So, instead, this picture of her granddaughter's art will probably be much more interesting.  I pulled it from a stack of doodles that were probably each drawn within a few minutes... but somehow it still looks better than anything I'm capable of delineating - and she's only seven.

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About this Blog

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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