IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 45

Amy Campos, IIDA
Founder and principal,
Amy Campos Architect
(ACA), San Francisco
Amy Campos is an
architect and designer
leading her firm ACA
(Amy Campos Architect) and is an Assistant
Professor in Interior
Design at California
College of the Arts.
Her work focuses on
issues of durability and
impermanence with an
emphasis on full-scale
installation and fabrication from architectural and interior scale
to furniture design. She
received her Master's in
Advanced Architectural
Design from Columbia
University and a Bachelor of Architecture
from Cal Poly, San
Luis obispo.

How has the way we educate interior design
professionals changed in the past couple of decades?

What about curricula and formal classroom work?
What kind of evolution has occurred there?

There are a lot of exciting things going on right
now in terms of technology and in terms of
broadening the applications for interior design.
There's a real increase in interest in the expertise
of the interior designer, for example. Maybe
the biggest change is our awareness of the
importance of material science in relation to
sustainable strategies in the world. I'm
particularly concerned and fascinated with
issues of waste-the amount that we consume,
the amount that we throw away. There's a lot of
effort in the material science field to think
about ways we can restructure the way we design,
rather than restructuring the way we consume.
Because we interior designers have such a large
market share of what's produced in the world,
because we specify products, we have kind
of a unique power to affect mass markets and
to direct how materials and products are made-
which in the end has a large effect on the environment and what's going into the environment.

A big thing I've seen is that the audience for
interior design is expanding, and that's had
a significant effect on both the curriculum and
what happens in the classroom. ACA and most
design schools now have a mission of working
with underprivileged populations and providing
interior design services to, say, a homeless shelter
or a food bank, or people who traditionally
wouldn't be able to afford interior design services,
or people who wouldn't think they would benefit
from interior design services. Some of my interior
design students did a food bank, for example,
and in redesigning their warehouse, we're
providing a much more efficient plan for how
their operations work. We looked at the sequence
of how their different populations came into
the space-their clients, their workers, their
deliveries-and drastically changed the way
their executives thought about how they could
operate, and therefore how they could provide
for underprivileged populations. It was a great
experience for my students to have, because it
opened up the applications of their design skills
and design thinking to complement what they
would normally think was in their realm.

What kind of training do interior designers have
to have now that they didn't 20 years ago?
Well, certainly the way we understand materials
now is very different than it was, and much more
complex. Previously we focused on the aesthetics
and use applications of materials and products;
now we really talk more about code and safety
concerns, as well as environmental concerns,
and quite a lot of science goes into that.
What's an example of that?
At a couple of studios where I've been teaching,
the idea is to look at a specific material itself
and its availability and potential applications
in the world. This semester, I've been partnering
with Goodwill to look at their excess of donated
material. They actually have a long process of
reselling, recycling, donating all sorts of things,
which mitigates a lot of materials going into our
waste stream, but they still have a lot of extras.
So we've been looking at that material and
designing new uses for it. One of my students
is developing a technique of stiffening sweaters
and other knitwear to transform into furniture
objects. So that material that would normally
go into the landfill can now be used as a durable
product. And that kind of testing and prototyping
and material understanding has gotten much
easier to do in education because of technology.

There's a lot of discussion lately about the "hybrid"
designer. What are the new bodies of knowledge
interior design students need today?
One huge new thing for the interior design
profession now is social media. You present
yourself not just through your portfolio but
through many different media. The issue of
having a professional persona is a bigger thing
to contend with than it was before, particularly
in terms of social media. That's a whole body of
knowledge that we never had to touch on before,
a way of communicating that we didn't interact
with before. Pinterest and other websites offer
the possibility of having a collection of ideas
that isn't really your work, but you've curated
it, which tells us a lot about you. People are
interested in what you do, of course, but they're
also interested in your process, and online media
allows for that process to be exposed. If you have
a client looking at your collection of images on
Pinterest, that's part of your marketing. Students
understand that, but we have to teach them
how to do it through a professional lens,
which they didn't have to do before.

perspective

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014

Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cover1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 5
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 6
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 8
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IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 16
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 16A
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 16B
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 18
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - 19
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IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cover4
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