Futura Interiors

The World of Design at Your Fingertips

Archive for October, 2009

Different Avenues

by Erline M. Altamira

Who knew graduating with an Interior Design degree could lead into many different avenues with countless possibilities? If you’re blessed you’ll land a job in a reputable design firm right out of college and learn a mountainous amount of design skills; depending if you’re mentored or trained effectively. To secure any type of employment related to the industry is also a great opportunity and learning experience.

Some schools don’t tell students that they could specialize and be other respected industry professionals like specification coordinators, vendor representatives, product developers, showroom managers, purchasing agents, etc. One can even specialize in faux finish fabrications, renderings, production, and any niche skill/talent that may be needed in the design world.

With every project you finish, industry colleague you meet, conferences you attend, etc… remember to learn, have thick skin, never be surprised, be prepared for many mission impossible, be charismatic when possible (it’s an art), teach those who want to learn, and let your passion for design be your drive. Hopefully every avenue you take will leave you with not only industry skills but transferable skills that help you become a respected resourceful peer.

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The illusion of TV

by Erline M. Altamira

It’s sometimes amusing to watch the  interior design TV shows with unrealistic budgets and crafty ways the decorators put a scheme and installation together within 30 minutes. What I do enjoy watching are those extreme makeover shows where 50+ people efforts, planning, and collaboration comes together in an hour but the general public thinks that the design of the house was actually designed and built within a week. That’s entertainment and definitely unreal but it’s fascinating to see all the innovative creations our peers have designed come to life.

I usually don’t get into my work unless asked and it is interesting what people assume what is involved in designing. There is so much planning, codes, budgets to maintain, meetings, documentation, sourcing, coordination, implementation, etc. to consider. It can be challenging at times but it is passion of seeing the designs come together that drives me.

I can’t say I know exactly what an ER doctor or professional chef has to deal with everyday but I will not assume it is easy or neither unachievable for anyone. The illusion of TV is a nice escape from reality but in life there’s hard work which is always rewarding in the end.

Leaders in LEED

by Erline M. Altamira

I recently finished an Everblue prep training course for the LEED Green Associates. The course was instructed by an architect with LEED AP accreditation. It is great to see individuals who teach and help lead us into a more sustainable lifestyle. One of my goals is to teach and give back to our future designers; but LEED teaching/learning/living is quite intriguing because it helps sustain and give back to the planet.

What we learn and implement to better the way think, live, and help our environment recover from the damages we’ve done is grand. It’s also amazing how much of an impact architects, designers, manufacturers can make by altering the way they construct and implement the final product.

The whole GREEN/sustainable concept isn’t new but is catching on especially on individuals and smaller groups who thought they couldn’t make a difference. I’m not perfect but I’ve made changes in my household that have become part of our lifestyle like recycling all possible materials, buying mostly Energystar appliances, turning off lighting fixtures when leaving a room, phasing out all use of Styrofoam, adjusting the timer on our sprinklers, bought a Hybrid car, etc. Most are gradual steps but it is making a difference.

My estimated greenhouse gas emissions are “13 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year, which is below the U.S. national average.” I hopefully can bring it down by adding a compost and changing our windows at home. Please visit http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator/?src=l12 to calculate your carbon footprint.

So if we can’t be instructors in LEED classes, we can at least lead by example. Ignore the glazed looks on peoples faces when you help educated them about sustainability or being more eco-friendly. It’s funny how many times people have said, “this GREEN thing is just a trend”…I think it will be a standard to living life daily in the near future. Thank you for reading!!