what's happening in the college
Organizations outside of UA often recognize the accomplishments of our talented faculty. Interior Design senior instructor, Casey Faulkner, got a double dose this year. She was named the Dr. Mary Ann Potter Outstanding Educator of the year for 2021 by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and won Best in Show at a juried art show by the Central Alabama Artist Guild for her hand-crafted jewelry. Congratulations, Casey!
CHES interior design students have an interesting career at the Capstone. They must learn the principles and elements of design and how to draft both by hand and on the computer. They study the entire process of design from initial concept to final construction documents. Students learn about products and codes and where and how to use each of those elements in an interior. They must demonstrate organization, planning, and attention to detail on a wide variety of projects pursuant to receiving a degree.
Part of their professional development is joining one of our professional organizations, International Interior Design Association (IIDA) or American Society for Interior Designers (ASID). Each group elects officers, recruits members and hosts monthly meetings with professionals who speak on a variety of topics. The two student chapters at UA decided to join forces last year under one umbrella organization: the Interior Design Student Association (IDSA). It was through IDSA that students planned and hosted a student product fair. These events are common when state chapters host conferences, so the students thought, “why not do it here on campus so all of our students could participate?”
After a two year hiatus due to COVID, the students decided to bring back this event. This year marked the fourth year that students have collaborated on the campus product fair. The students were responsible for the entire event and worked in conjunction with liaisons from the state chapters. They secured the venue, contacted vendors or firms, provided food, sought donations for a raffle, found a photographer to take professional head shots, and worked the event. They offered a free CEU credit with a box lunch for professionals attending the event. As a professional member of either organization or as a registered interior designer with the state, you must accrue 10 CEU hours per year, so this was a nice perk or incentive for professionals from UA facilities, furnishings and design or local architectural firms to participate.
Each year the event has grown and this year several architectural firms and dealers had tables at the event. Students had an opportunity to learn about products straight from the manufacturers’ representative as well as an opportunity to network which can lead to internships or jobs upon graduation. In fact, several CHES graduates were among the professionals representing a product or company. This year every rep remarked that it was one of the best student events they had ever participated in and were looking forward to returning next year. They mentioned how impressed they were with our students' professionalism and how much they enjoyed interacting with them.
Casey Faulkner, faculty advisor for IDSA, said “I am so proud of these seniors and how they have worked together all year to provide exceptional opportunities for their fellow students. They have had special speakers, workshops on portfolio development and personal branding, hosted a t-shirt contest, had round table discussions with professionals and had a speaker who walked the group through making personal water filters to be shipped out to disaster areas. They created a mentoring group to help underclassmen and finished the year out with this product fair. It has been a remarkable group of students and I look forward to seeing how they impact the world as professionals.”
Interior Design instructor, Casey Faulkner, took 16 interior design students to Irondale on April 1 to tour the workroom of alumnus, Grant Trick. Trick graduated from our apparel design program and went on to work in New York and San Francisco before starting his own company over ten years ago. He introduced his own line of furniture last year and now has a showroom in New York. "We are tailors of fine furniture", says Trick, describing his work. Specializing in custom upholstered pieces, he "firmly believe(s) that the right way is the only way, and that every piece we make should be crafted carefully, refined repeatedly and finished flawlessly."
Trick took time to speak to our current students about his design philosophy and the process of creating the hardwood frames and the 8 way hand-tied springs, of choosing the fabrics, down cushions, and all the elements that are important when creating quality, heirloom pieces. He encouraged our students to really understand that process so they can better communicate with workrooms in creating unique pieces for their clients.
Bonus, our students also got to meet alumna Annabelle Doyle, who graduated in 2020, and now works for Trick.
CHES instructors, like Ms. Faulkner, strive to connect students with industry leaders and show them career possibilities in their fields. For current students, the chance to hear from successful alumni is especially inspirational.
Thanks to Grant Trick for being that inspiration!
CHES will recognize outstanding students on Honors Day, Friday, April 8, 2022 in G10 Doster Hall. Each department will hold separate convocations beginning at 9:00 am. Students and their families should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to register in Room 104 and are invited to stay afterwards for a reception in the Alumni Room off the first floor lobby of Doster. Below is the schedule of convocations.
Ian Crawford has been appointed by the Governor to represent the University of Alabama on the Alabama Historical Commission. He will be replacing Dr. Shirley Foster who is retiring after serving on the Commission for thirteen years. Mr. Crawford holds a Master of Preservation Studies degree from Tulane University, where he received the Most Outstanding Thesis award.
Currently, he teaches and serves as an advisor for students in the interior design program of the Department of Clothing Textiles, and Interior Design. His courses include “Recording Historic Structures”, “History of Interiors”, and “Introduction to Commercial Design”. He also teaches the art history of the American South periodically in the art history department at UA.
Mr. Crawford served as the Executive Director of the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society from March 2016 through August 2018, and as Director for the Jemison Van de Graaff Mansion Foundation from May 2011 through March 2016. His expertise with historical interiors and regional art and environment will be a great asset to the Alabama Historical Commission. Congratulations Ian!