Students came up with their own interior design and graphics “company”: iGalaMax Design, Inc. Students designed a logo and created business cards using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. As they would in the business world if they were a real company, they met with the clients (the Principal, AP, and the Concurrent Enrollment & Partnership Counselor) to find out what they envisioned for the redesign. The students documented and examined the existing space in the high school hallways by taking photos, observing how the space is used, and measuring the dimensions. They used this information to create a digital 3D model of the school using free CAD software called SketchUp, a program used by most interior design and architecture firms. The students learned how to hand sketch in 1- and 2-point perspectives, conducted independent research on multicultural art and design, and studied color-theory. Two professional interior designers from Davis Partnership Architects gave a presentation to the class about a career in interior design and awed the students with some “eye-candy” of projects they have completed.
For a hands-on final project at the end of the block, students focused on the part of the school hallway that needed the most immediate attention; the lunch area. The client requested a new mural in this space with a Hispanic theme to represent the majority of the student body at CHSC. They also wanted to incorporate colors that matched the African mural painted by students in the front lobby last year. Each student created a mural concept with these stipulations using Adobe Photoshop and presented it to the clients. The clients chose a design with a geometric, traditional Hispanic inspired design running along the center of the entire wall in a field of turquoise.
The class finished the installation of the mural in the lunch area. As requested by the client, the students researched a quote based on “perseverance. “ The final choice was based on a saying that the mother of a Latina student says to her all the time: “Lo que te propongas in la vida lo tendras, si te lo propones.” This translates to “What you propose in life you will have, if you put your mind to it.” The Spanish and English versions were laser cut out of ¼” acrylic and installed by the students to complete the mural in the lunch area.
Then, each student put together a vision board proposal for the new look of the school hallways. These boards included a creative theme title, proposed color scheme, proposed colors and patterns for the bulletin board cloth, an inspiration photo of the theme used in a real life situation, and images of the existing murals to show that their idea would match well. Based on these proposals, the students worked on budgets in Excel spreadsheets to make sure their vision could be carried out with available funds. Finally, each student presented their vision boards to “sell their idea” to the clients. The clients enjoyed all of the boards and had a difficult time narrowing it down to one, but much to the pride and excitement of one of the most hardworking and talented students, Maria Hernandez, they ultimately chose hers titled “Yellow Mellow, Terrific Turquoise.”
This project based learning allowed students to see how creative skills fit into real world situations. They took ownership of their environment and education, increased their creative and technological skills, learned collaborative thinking, career connections, and workplace readiness while being introduced to interior design. For this, we are extremely grateful to Think 360!