Interior design majors give insight into their degree

An example of a display perspective of Tessa McCune. Courtesy Photo

By Cassidy Pate | Reporter

Time management, aestheticism and a willingness to work are just a few characteristics of interior design majors.

The interior design program falls under the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences and is housed in the Goebel Building.

Assistant professor of interior design Elise King said interior design is a multifaceted profession that applies technical and creative solutions to a structure.

“My role in the design process of the students is to introduce them to the framework they’ll use in professional practice and shepherd them through it, using projects of increasing scale and complexity,” King said.

El Paso senior Tessa McCune has been around interior design her whole life. Her uncle was a builder, so she would visit building sites to witness the progression.

“I would say that interior design is creating spaces to be functional and aesthetically pleasing,” McCune said.

Functionality should always come before the design and aesthetic aspect of interior design, McCune said. A place’s accessibility and logical flow from color theory, or how colors affect people, and the way the designer arranges furniture can affect the way people work.

McCune said projects begin with conceptualization, such as sketching or drawing, and collecting photographs from magazines and materials.

From these inspirations, the student can then start sketching ideas and transition into design development on the computer, wherein they do space planning, or how people will move in a designated area.

The final steps include applying the materials that connect to the beginning inspiration.

“When it turns out the way that you envisioned or more, that’s very rewarding and all those hours were worth it,” McCune said.

However, McCune said she wishes she would have known how much time majoring in interior design demanded, spending 120 hours working on a single project for the semester. The time commitment shocked her as a freshman.

“I was around people in some of the hardest majors on campus, and I was still putting more hours in than they were, and it’s not that interior design is necessarily hard, it’s just time consuming and work intensive,” McCune said.

Grapevine senior Morgan Mitford began looking at magazines’ floor plans and rearranging them in fourth grade, which sparked an interest in interior design that has not faltered since.

Deciding which walls will be plumbing, building lighting plans, working with electrical systems all the way to picking out the paint and materials, Mitford said interior design is more all-encompassing than people realize.

Mitford added that from housing and living to entertainment with hotels and restaurants, healthcare facilities, sustainability and working around people with disabilities, every step counts.

“I think there’s a lot of good that can be done with it if you’re paying attention to those elements, which I think is a really kind of interesting way to look at how things are built and made to be all inclusive,” Mitford said.

As they progress into higher-level courses, interior design students undergo a transition from hands-on projects to computer programming software (CAD and Revit building software) that allows students to develop floor plans and elevation schedules.

With the software only being accessible through Baylor computers, Mitford said many interior design majors become a bit secluded from other things. However, small, close-knit class size creates a laid-back atmosphere rather than a rigorous workplace.

McCune and Mitford both said grades depend on specific classes. Lectures include the typical tests and quizzes while studio classes are more project-based, where students receive a rubric for the division of points for every item listed.

Beyond the rubric, McCune and Mitford agreed that much of the grading process is based off of execution: creativity, whether codes were met and how well the student followed the professor or client’s instruction.

“So I think if its something someone’s interested in, it is so much more than just picking out pretty looking stuff, and it’s a lot more to do with helping people, making things more functional for really anyone, whether you have a disability or you’re building a personal house,” Mitford said.

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