Learn by Doing When pupils are challenged with real world design assignments, the overall project outcomes are more resilient and the answers more purposeful.
In a world as fluid and evolving as the one we live in now, interior designer and educator Anna Stranks believes it is not enough for design students to”go through the motions’ of just theoretical explorations in design studios. Research data cannot keep up with the rapid changes and observing life from an electronic display cannot fully construct the compassion and deeper knowledge that designers require to solve their client’s issues. “The interior design profession is heavily based on qualitative research, which is very sensory orientated,”states Stranks. “You see the bulb go off faster when pupils’ learning experiences include powerful connections to places and people outside the studio and collaborating with exter-nal partners that can identify challenges and opportunities in real time for a job .” Working closely together with iQ Business Media, Stranks shaped a client program that could, in her voice,”provide the pupils with a rich narrative for the project and an opportunity to place themselves as critical thinkers andcreative co-partners while cooperating with external resources.”
At the project brief, pupils were challenged to”re-imagine a new type of workplace environment for iQ Business Media, that might allow the organization to get in touch with their viewers in dynamic ways and expand the programming of their organization brand,”and”implement design strategies situated in human-centred and inclusive design principles Shifting visible and invisible skills; evidencebased design office strategies which support well-being and productivity; technological advancements and environmental design best practices while keeping in mind the client’s business model and building code compliances.”
for the entire course to have the same building framework of reference, they have been taught to carve out the best 10,000 square feet for iQ Business Media in the brand new Student Welcome andResource Centre on Humber’s Lakeshore Campus. Along with the instant iQ office area, the new area application included zones for conferences and social gatherings; onsite editing and production capabilities for a variety of media productions; immersive areas; exhibition spaces; library and resource centre; and a coworking office area available to the design community. Collaboration was also done with repetitions at Haworth’s downtown Toronto showroom, who also supplied additional learning tools to improve the pupils’ understanding of workplace design and appropriate furniture specification.
At the conclusion of the project,a day of poster presentations was conducted in the Haworth showroom with industry veterans to give feedback, fortify the student’s communication skills and select a shortlist of favourites.A little later, that shortlist was invited to virtually present(because of COVID-19) their project to the team at iQ Business Media, which included myself, writer Martin Spreer and proprietor Alex Papanou, and three Top of Class pupils were selected: Lily Donald; Nicola Klahre; and John Armstrong.
“The future looks hopeful,as interior design pupils demonstrated their eyes are open to new thoughts and capable of solving complex issues even during unpredictable disruptive times,”states Stranks.