What is conception? How do you think and come up with ideas? How do you execute these ideas?
Lilia Gomez-Lanier, associate professor of textiles, merchandising and interiors at the College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS). “Even if you have a different design area where you design products for the home or for clothing, it’s the same process,” she says. “You have to understand the customer, what they’re asking for and where they’re coming from, and then explore and finalize your ideas. “
Its students work on hands-on projects that prepare them to jump straight into the world of design after graduation. On a recent project, students worked as a team to develop a variety of redesigns for UGAs. ASPIRE clinic, a holistic education and counseling service for the UGA and Athens communities.
After meeting with ASPIRE Clinic Coordinator Megan Ford, the students developed new layouts, determined color palettes, and researched furniture and accessories to optimize the clinic’s floor plan and maximize functionality.
FACS isn’t the only option for aspiring interior designers at UGA.
The Lamar Dodd School of Art Also offers an interior design program, with a strong focus on creativity and knowledge of the fine arts.
“We strive to make students understand that what we do is create experiences,” says Tad Gloeckler, interior design chair and art professor. “To do this, you need to understand natural and artificial light, proportions, movement in space, construction, color, materials. That’s what it takes to be a great designer. You have to work with the details and understand how the materials go together, and you have to have a vision of what the building experience will be like.
The program also has a practical focus, incorporating the business aspect of design into its courses and requiring an internship for graduation.
“The art of design is an applied art,” says Saral Surakul, interior design co-chair and associate professor of art. “Starting with art creates a very good foundation for students to understand aesthetics. Our students are required to take studio art classes, and these help broaden their creative horizons.
Graduates of both programs go on to work in commercial design, found their own businesses, or even get into town planning. The possibilities are truly endless.
“There is a misconception about what interior design is,” says Surakul. “We have HGTV and it’s nice to watch it on TV, but that’s not all we do. When you hire a designer, you’re not just hiring a decorator. You bring someone in and really improve your quality of life, whether it’s residential or commercial.