Projects, tests, work, events, coffee, internship tasks, emails, coffee again, more projects, another event and so the cycle continues until the semester is over. Oh yes, you remember those college days as a design student! To students, this time sometimes feels like purgatory, but as a designer these are the days you look back on with nostalgia. Although some days feel like purgatory for us design students, we also have days that make us glad to be in design school. These are the days when I know with certainty that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. There were many such days this past school semester at the University of the Incarnate Word for design students in the ASID Student Chapter.
Before the semester began, a group of us went to Metrocon13, in Dallas, where a great experience awaited us. The event featured so many vendors and products, along with so much information. It was a memorable trip and an excellent way to end the summer.
To kick-off the semester, we held an ASID Student Welcome Back meeting where guest speakers Donna Reed, DKR Interior Design; Corey Davey, Belterra Design and Hospitality; Ron Smith, Design Materials Inc.; Liz Soto, Overleaf Design; and Melissa Backhus, Lori Caldwell Designs were all present to discuss their design backgrounds. The speakers did a great job motivating the students to participate in ASID, to volunteer, and to attend the student symposium in October.
At our second student chapter meeting, we discussed wallpaper trends while enjoying ice cream sundaes. Our guest speaker, Erin Schneider, South Texas Sales Rep for National Wallcoverings spoke about wallpaper, including the different types available at National Wallcoverings. Her generous donation of wallpaper books allowed the students to take what they just learned and apply it to their design projects.
Lighting Inc. hosted our next meeting off campus at its showroom, where students were treated to a demonstration in the lighting lab. Lighting Inc. made this a great experience for all attendees by featuring knowledgeable speakers, sharing a tour of its showroom, and providing refreshments. Later, when I saw that other students had posted photos of the beautiful light fixtures on Facebook, I knew the students enjoyed this meeting.
At a later meeting, we combined two topics of interest to the chapter — design and volunteerism. David Reyna, manager of Furniture for a Cause in San Antonio, visited our design studio to speak about his organization’s cause, placing specific emphasis on how design students can help. As the autumn days approached, we took a break from guest speakers and had a student social where we painted pumpkins.
For our last meeting, we focused on the topic of floor coverings, having already covered wall coverings, lighting and furniture in previous meetings. Olmos Rugs hosted this meeting in the company’s showroom. The owner, David Rodriguez, discussed the types of oriental rugs sold in his store, touching on issues of quality, care and repair. Great food and informative discussions made this a great last meeting of the semester.
Along with chapter meetings, our chapter also participated in events on campus and in the San Antonio Design community. For example, the chapter’s main event of the fall semester was our first annual Student Show/Comp, which was created by members to give students an opportunity to display their work and compete for awards. Located at UIW, the Student Show/Comp is open to the public. Students displayed their work and a panel of judges — Robin Black (Past ASID Texas chapter president), Donna Reed (ASID San Antonio design chair) and Melissa Backhus (UIW graduate and Allied ASID member) — evaluated the projects and selected the winners. The three overall winners of the event (Lesley Rojas, Margaritta Gonzalez, and I) will be contestants for the Design Room Challenge at the Home and Garden Show 2014, which will be held at the Alamo Dome. During the Show/Comp we also had a raffle for a movie and dinner for two as a fundraiser for our chapter. The raffle prize was donated generously by Liz Soto, designer and UIW alumni. This event was a great success because of all the work Jocelyn Lopez and all the student chapter officers put into it.
Our chapter also participated in other events during the semester, including the campus Sandwich Board Contest — we won third place! Chapter members also attended the Vendor Showcase, an event hosted by the San Antonio design community. At this fun event, students and designers dressed in flapper style and browsed the vendor displays to learn more about the products available in San Antonio. One of the students even won a raffle prize. This semester chapter members also attended the Color Forecast by Sherwin Williams, which featured an exceptional visual presentation.
The student symposium event in Dallas, attended by 12 UIW students, was another highlight of the semester. Four UIW students participated in the group that won second place in the Design Charrette competition. The entire group enjoyed touring the Dallas Trade Center and visiting the Kalita Humphreys Theater, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
It has been a great experience being the president of an ASID student chapter with such dedicated officers and a supportive design community. Thank you to all the ASID Industry Partners and members who have donated their time and expertise to our chapter at UIW. I look forward to the spring semester (projects, coffee and all), because I know it will be another great one.
Angela Mahoney is the ASID Student Chapter President at the University of the Incarnate Word for the 2013-2014 school year. She is graduating in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Environmental Design.