U of I Hosts Annual Design Days
July 14, 2018
This article was written by Scott Jackson and published in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News on Saturday, July 14, 2018. Read the original article here.
High school students hailing from homes throughout the northwest attended three days of design-related courses on the University of Idaho campus this week.
Kate Keenan, marketing and communication manager for the College of Art and Architecture, said the aim of the program is to give potential incoming college students a glimpse into what it is like to pursue a degree in some kind of design.
"We're just trying to get students excited about design-related courses of study and design-related fields," Keenan said. "The idea is they get to explore the different majors in the College of Art and Architecture."
U of I's College of Art and Architecture has hosted the weeklong program each summer for the last several years, although this year's event was shortened to just three days.
Professor Rula Awwad-Rafferty, interim head of the school's interior design program, said the shorter schedule makes the program more affordable for students and is somewhat easier on staff participating in the event.
During the three-day period, she said students choose one of five "tracks" to pursue, including interior design, architecture, landscape architecture and art and design.
"Each track has two workshops on Thursday, one workshop on Friday, and then the last workshop," Awwad-Rafferty said. "There are essentially four workshops per track, (and) the last workshop is a finishing workshop."
Friday afternoon, Awwad-Rafferty led a small handful of students in an interior design workshop, where they use paper coffee cups as well as lids and stirring sticks to create a prototype of a chair. The exercise is designed to lead students to consider different concepts while having limited time and materials to work with. Jake Dalbey, 18, of San Diego, said he already interns with a design firm, but the UI event challenged him to be more creative.
"I'm fully immersed in a design environment, so it was cool to come here and learn about different materials (and) different types of design," Dalbey said. "I do corporate design, so we just do office spaces and hospitals. It's not as exciting as a college campus or a home."
Other programs at the event allowed students to mock up concert posters, design three-dimensional virtual spaces and even create light-up clothing with LEDs to take home. Awwad-Rafferty said the students aren't just learning simple design skills but also how to build relationships and navigate a professional environment.
"(Saturday), there is a breakfast, there is a graduation and all of their work is exhibited in that finishing workshop," Awwad-Rafferty said. "Within those three days, you are learning a lot, you are building community and then you're going home with something that you are very proud about and something you've accomplished."
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu