The Student Center Theater was filled with over 150 attendees for the Interior Design Symposium, “40+ Rethinking Design,” on March 28 and 29. Students, faculty and design professionals gathered to celebrate the School of Interior Design’s 40th anniversary.
“40+ Rethinking Design” featured four speakers, who addressed the issues of how the field of interior design has changed and will continue to evolve. Lecturers included Prataap Patrose, Director of Boston’s Urban Design Department, who spoke about socially responsible design; Robin Guenther, Principal at Perkins+Will, who discussed elements of sustainable hospital design; Cindy Coleman, Strategic Planner at Gensler Chicago, who addressed workplace design; and Chris Collins, CEO and founder of Tipodean Technologies, who spoke about interactive, real-time design.
Patrose was the first to lecture and began by stating, “Design is really about problem solving, and we must think about design’s future differently.” The idea of problem solving and design as a process were main themes throughout the symposium, as each speaker addressed their own particular area of expertise.
Following each speaker was a panel discussion moderated by Eileen Jones, a Principal at Perkins+Will and alumnus of the College of Design. Response panels were comprised of professionals from varying fields related to the lecture discussions.
“We need to have a positive spirit and design professions create that spirit,” noted Mayor Jim Gray, who served as a panel respondent. He then added, “Inspired design, in every dimension, is all about problem solving. This ability and the competence of designers today are invaluable.”
The lectures and response discussions were followed by afternoon Think Tanks among presenters, respondents, faculty and School of Interior Design Advisory Board members. Key points from the four lectures were discussed, and ideas were inspired for the future of the School of Interior Design.
Interior Design students also had the opportunity to take part in a two-day design charrette after the morning lectures. Students created work that focused on clarifying the human interactions that are essential in the creation of a thriving living, learning and working environment on UK’s campus.
Ann Dickson, Director of the School of Interior Design, had this to say about the event: “The school could not be more pleased with the outcomes of the symposium. All four presentations and response panels were very rich discussions of issues shaping interior design professional practices today. The afternoon Think Tanks were equally fruitful discussions between faculty, presenters, respondents and School of Interior Design Advisory Board members focusing on the implications of the morning sessions for professional education. The symposium has clearly provided the school's educational platform as we move into the next period.”