Clemons recognized for work championing interior design in schools

Clemons recognized for work championing interior design in schools


(moving music) – Our students, our design students are really taught the
importance of research. They need to understand that that research actually shapes their
solutions so much that it becomes a natural
part of their vocabulary. We explain to our students that what’s in their brains and
what’s their preferences are not really where the design solution will probably end up or even go. So we want them to be able to
understand why, how, where, the precedents that have been done before. And the human experience data that feeds why they’re designing
what they’re designing. So if we’re really working with people and their environments, which we are, then we have to understand human behavior. So I was practicing design, I was primarily doing
retail and residential, and I had just passed the NCIDQ, and a colleague of mine came and found me and said we need someone to teach a class at the nearby university which was Utah State University. And so I went up and taught
a class and I was horrible. I was terrible, I know I was. But I loved the students
and we really connected. So they brought me back and it turned into a full-time position. I think many of the educators that you speak with who teach design today, they actually came in
through the back door. Here at Colorado State University, I love teaching as one of my
courses the freshman course. It’s the introduction to interior design. And what happened was when
I spoke with the students and described the scope of the field, they really didn’t
understand the whole scope. So my interest in the
research really came because those were the students
coming into my class and we didn’t know if we were getting the right students getting into the major. The research that we did, we worked with curriculum
specialists at the state level, we worked with ASID and IDEC members who helped develop the questions for a national exam for
high school students. So they actually created an exam for AP credit where they could, after they take interior design
at the high school level, that they would actually then be able to waive the course at a collegiate level. And you just see it ratchet it
up starting in the freshman, sophomore level where they finally start understanding the true impact. – To all accounts, Stephanie
Clemons is one of our most successful professors in
the entire university. Thousands of professors, and she has been named some years ago as a university distinguished
teaching scholar. There are only 12 of
them at the university, but this is our highest award given to professors who have demonstrated, not only that they’re
good in the classroom, but that they’re bringing ideas
and new pedagogical methods. – Well, we treat our
students as professionals, we treat them as our colleagues. So we’re after their success, we care about them deeply. Last semester, some junior design students worked with an early childhood center. We’ve done projects where they actually use their design skills in
an interdisciplinary way where they’ve helped design
the student website for CSU, which is a really big deal. They also helped design the Nancy Richardson Design
Center that we’re in today. When I was talking with
K through 12 teachers, specifically at middle
school and high school, they were saying they
didn’t have a textbook to use that talked about
the full scope of the major and the profession itself. They had textbooks that
were primarily residential, and they didn’t have any
related to commercial. The textbooks they were using were actually collegiate textbooks, if any, that were not based on
their state standards and the national standards. So I found their main channel, the publisher who had the
largest channel into high school, and interior design classes specifically, and we partnered together
and wrote this textbook. And they’re thrilled. It’s been adopted by entire states, Texas, Florida, parts of California, primarily all states are using it now. And we’re moving into a second edition. CSU has received a number of
national sustainability awards. They ensure that their
new buildings are lead. Student success is really
critical to universities today. And so, when we’re thinking
about health and wellness, this is just perfect. So what happened that is delightful is that we worked with
the ASID student chapter. They went to their
student senate on campus and April 24th this year, they voted as senators that the WELL Building Standard would be considered for
all new construction and major renovations here at CSU. – The building we’re in now, the Richardson Design Center and the design thinking programs that are being birthed in this
moment in history are a way for us to invite more students
into Stephanie’s world. And I think that ability
for us to reach students that are outside the department, outside the major, the interior design major, and to bring students from all over campus and to experience those ideas and to bring them back to
their home disciplines. And I think that ability
of her to influence the whole rest of campus
is really extraordinary. (moving music)

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