Design School, Semester 2

I started two new design courses this week - Interior Design Fundamentals and Perspective Drawing.  It was nice to have a break over the holidays from the constant homework, but I'm excited to be back in class; especially for these courses, they seem like they're going to be a lot of fun.  

In Interior Design Fundamentals we will be designing (and building!) a birdhouse and a lamp, among other things.  This is better than I expected - I thought at most we would be learning concepts and applying them through drawings, paintings and collages.  The Do-It-Yourselfer in me is happy that I'll get to bring my designs to life!  As soon as the instructor mentioned these upcoming assignments, ideas started racing around in my head.  My dad used to make beautiful birdhouses, I hope to find out that his talent in this area was passed on to me.  

I was worried about Perspective Drawing prior to the first class - I was expecting it to be a lot of free-hand sketching and I can barely draw a decent stick figure.  But so far it looks like I'll be okay, the first assignment involves math and rules and formulas, measured and scaled grids, and even though I'm less mathematical than I am artistic, it's somehow easier for me to learn something when there is solid structure to how it is done.  But no matter how easy or how difficult these courses are, I'm sure I'll do just fine - I ended up getting A+ in both of the courses I just finished!  All that time spent doing homework really paid off.  

School's Out! (...For the Winter)

Tonight marks the completion of my first semester at interior design school.  I can't believe how fast the time went by, it seems like only a week ago I was blogging about my first classes in Colour Theory and Drafting.  I learned so much in only three short months.  Colour Theory taught me how to recognize colour schemes and to understand colour concepts, and I have a new appreciation for colour now.  I did much better in the course than I expected to - I got an A+!  I only just handed in my final assignment in Drafting tonight so I won't have my grade for that class for at least another week, but I expect I'll receive a good grade in that class too if my marks from the weekly assignments are any indication.  Drafting taught me a lot - I am now able to draw floor plans, elevations, isometric drawings (that's a fancy word for drawing in 3D), and I've come away with the ability to measure and draft in various different scales.  And to think that three months ago I'd never even heard the words 'T-square' or 'architect ruler' before!  I'm now on a break for a month and then I start two new courses - Interior Design Fundamentals and Perspective Drawing.  I'm looking forward to starting them, but also excited to have a few weeks without homework.  

Here are some (poorly snapped) photos I took of my final assignment for Drafting before handing it in:  

Cottage Floor Plan

Elevations showing three views of the Great Room of the cottage 

Reflected Ceiling Plan 

Isometric drawing of the fireplace in the Great Room 

Drafting for Interior Decorating

First day of my second course - done!  Drafting for Interior Decorating is going to (hopefully) teach me how to draw up floor plans and designs from multiple perspectives, for use by contractors, tradespeople, etc., and of course, for visually explaining my ideas to the client.  What you may not know about me is that I can barely draw a decent stick figure!  However, this course is about specific techniques and measurements and using tools such as a compass and some other items that I've never even heard of before, so I'm sure I'll do just fine.  I'm sure the talent is in me somewhere deep down - my dad was a landscaper, and though he was never formally educated as a landscape architect, you would never know it because he was great at drawing up plans.  So here's hoping that dormant drawing skills will come out of me at some point throughout the next 14 weeks of class.  

Tonight, we started with the absolute basics.  After going through the list of required equipment and being shown examples of each item, we got right into our first exercise, which was to practice writing with block lettering.  We were handed a sheet of graph paper that had the alphabet printed on it, and we had to write each letter onto the bottom of the page, exactly as it was printed on top.  Each stroke of each letter had to be written in a certain way, in a specific order.  And we had to make sure that the top and bottom of each letter was perfectly aligned within the top and bottom lines of the graph paper.  It reminded me of grade 1 when we had to practice printing in a lined notebook.  Except that this is way more precise.  But I don't mean to make light of this block lettering exercise, because it's very important - you don't want a contractor to have difficulty reading your chicken scratch on the blueprint and end up with a toilet in the bedroom!   

Colour Theory

I had my first course in my Interior Design certificate tonight!  The class was Colour Theory.  Each 3-hour class will be structured into an hour-long lecture followed by two hours of "studio" time where we get to be creative with colour and experiment with paint, clip colours out of magazines and paste them into our journals, and basically do arts and crafts.  With tonight being the first class of the semester, we only had the hour-long lecture where we learned about the colour theorists, starting with Aristotle in the 4th century and taking us through to theorists from the 20th century.  We were sent home after the lecture, as we only received our list of course materials to purchase this evening.  By the end of this course, I won't only be able to instinctively know when colours don't work together, but I should be able to understand why they don't seem right.  Which in turn should result in me being better able to choose colours without taking 8 months to do so!  Just what I was hoping I would get out of this course.  It's really hard to put into words just how fun a course on colour theory is going to be, but I have a really good feeling about how fun this is going to be!  

Back To School

I have exciting news!  I enrolled for school!  Starting this Fall 2012, I will be taking courses on interior design and working my way through part-time night school to earn a certificate.  It's taken me 31 years to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but I've finally figured out what I'm supposed to be doing with my professional life.  I've always had an interest in interior design, but I was never serious about acting on my ideas until I bought my own house 2 years ago.  And since I've enjoyed design and decor as a hobby all this time, it's only fitting that I try and make a living on what I love to do.  I'll continue to work at my day job while I do my courses though, so I'm probably looking at maybe two years of school before I graduate.  

Going back to school is going to be a very strange experience - it's been 8 years since I graduated from university.  I have no idea what to expect.  I can just picture myself a la Elle Woods on her first day at Harvard, showing up with fluffy pink pen and heart-shaped notebook, while all the other students are pulling laptops out of their bags and typing furiously into them.  ...Okay, I won't be that bad; I hate pink and I don't do fluffy.  But I do remember my days at university when we were all old-school and actually wrote things down on paper.  Times have changed, I'm sure.  Actually, one of my first courses is Drafting for Interior Design - perhaps I will need to bring a notebook after all!  Or is this all done on computers now?  I'll find out soon enough.  My other course (just starting with two to start) is Colour Theory.  I'm really looking forward to this course because it takes me forever to pick out just the right colours.  I hope this course will help to improve that.  And hopefully the Drafting course will help with another skill I lack - drawing.  I can barely draw a decent stick figure.  Yikes - did I go into the right field?!  Good thing I'm a quick learner!  

Likely this will be me on my first day.  ;)