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Mentoring the Next Generation of Carson Designers

AUTHOR: Carson Design Associates - Indy   POST DATE:

Curiosity stands as one of the core values at Carson Design. To us, it’s the endless desire to know and learn more; to always be asking questions and determining if there is a “better way.” And it’s something we encourage our staff to live out.

Two of our interior designers — Hilary Jensen and Cynthia Rumas — have been fostering their curiosity this year through the RJE/Knoll MADE program. Now in its ninth year, the “Mentoring A Designer to Evolve” (MADE) workshop series seeks to educate, encourage, and train the next generation of interior designers. The mentorship program invites professionals to engage with their peers and other more seasoned designers by participating in a number of events over the course of 10 months.

From discussions and forums to project tours and hands-on workshops, continue reading to hear what Hilary and Cynthia have gleaned in just the first two sessions.

Session One: DORIS Research

After a casual meet-and-greet session in March, in which participants were encouraged to get more familiar with the program and their peers before diving into the start of the workshops, the 2018 MADE program officially kicked off in April at DORIS Research.

Titled “Let’s Prototype,” the participants immediately got up and working in this hands-on workshop with the goal to teach participants how to use rapid prototyping to test innovative ideas at work. The session began with a short lecture on how to execute the rapid prototyping, how to measure its success, and why interior designers should consider the process within their design work. The event concluded with a team rapid prototype build exercise — developing each one’s skills and fostering overall teamwork.

From her perspective, Hilary appreciated the value Carson Design places on utilization studies and could immediately see how the rapid prototyping process directly relates to some current projects — specifically before the implementation stage.

As for Cynthia, she most enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with designers from other firms and see how they solve problems. She also left encouraged by the concept of creating “mock-up” spaces to test out innovative ideas for future tenant work.

Session Two: BSA LifeStructures

The May workshop tackled “Presentation Skills for Designers.” Hosted at BSA LifeStructures, this course focused on how to determine who makes a good presenter, what makes an effective and engaging presentation, and how to create a safe environment to tackle public speaking fears.

Hilary learned several helpful techniques to incorporate in client meetings. She now has a better sense of her strengths and weaknesses in public speaking and understands that — when her body language remains comfortable and relaxed — her audience will be much more likely to trust her, receive her message, and engage with her presentation.

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With five courses remaining, much training remains for Hilary and Cynthia. We’re excited to see how they incorporate their learning on a daily basis! Be sure to return to our blog and social media pages regularly for ongoing updates throughout the workshop series.


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All photos courtesy of RJE/Knoll.

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