University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Interior Design 420

Interior Design Internship

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    Week 5, Patsy Terry

    By pterry3
    Jun 24, '16 11:16 PM EST

    1. Week's summary of activities

    I had many different obligations this week, including several meetings with product representatives, a CEU (continuing education unit), and some site visits to the field for one of my current projects.  The most interesting part of my week was going to the CEU, because I have never gone to one before and did not know what to expect.  The topic was on "designing for the aging population" and was presented at a lunch and learn event.  Ironically, my last semester's studio project involved the design of an elderly facility, so I was quite familiar with the subject already.  The presentation lasted about twenty minutes, and for the most part, it was a reiteration of what I had previously learned about aging design considerations.  During the CEU, one of the speakers mentioned how great it would be if we designed spaces that aided the elderly (such as using contrasting colors and low-glare products) as a corollary to designing spaces so that they look pretty.  The innocence of that comment humored me, because clearly the speaker was new to the design industry.  It is such a common misconception that our job as the designer is to make things look pretty. Psh... I wish.

    2. Week's focus

    Ballard Design Group has an in-house purchasing department for the convenience of their clients.  They generally base project fees on the complexity of the project and and the square footage of the space.  A lot of times, in particular to Ballard Design Group, the client is a repeat customer that has multiple properties with similar design intentions (for example, two Hilton Garden Inn hotels in different locations).  If the firm already has access to historical records on one project, and can be applied to another, the design cost may be altered.  Budgets are recorded onto templates provided by the firm, and adjusted as needed.  The firm places high importance on monitoring the ordering and installation of products, because if they get damaged or lost in the process, someone must take financial responsibility for it.  The firm works fastidiously to prevent the client from being liable for such accidents as much as possible.

    3. Meet someone new.

    Melinda Kelley is the co-partner of Ballard Design Group.  She handles the financial side of the business, as well as management over some of the projects.  Melinda's first degree was actually in accounting, which is why it is her specialty in the dynamics of the firm.  She later went on to study interior design after she became interested in creating affordable design.  In fact, when she went back to enroll back into school for her second degree, she was an intern for Susan Ballard (her now co-partner) during her time as a student.

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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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