Interior design majors learn to do hard work in construction course

Holly Mueller

They’re doing the dirty work in skirts -hammering, roofing, and dry walling. But Kent State interior design majors prove hard work doesn’t mean you can’t look good doing it.

All interior design majors are required to take Construction Technology, a course taught in Van Deusen Hall, said Pamela Evans, interior design program coordinator.

“The course is required because, as interior designers, they are responsible for working with and for individuals that build environments,” Evans said.

Evans said the course, in which women outnumber men nearly eight to one, offers a basic understanding of construction and gives the students, both men and women, an advantage over other design programs.

“As far as I know, Kent’s interior design program is the only one in the region that requires this type of course,” Evans said.

Lindsey Shepherd, sophomore interior design major, said she enjoyed building things like miniature cottages in the class.

Shepherd’s partner, Megan Schiltz, sophomore interior design major, said she enjoyed taking the class because “we spend so much time in the studio. It’s fun to get out and do something with your hands.”

Schiltz also said the class helps the students value construction work.

“Now we can appreciate what we’ll pay others to do,” Schiltz said.

Joe Karpinski, a term instructor for the School of Technology, teaches the Construction Technology course.

Students who have construction experience, such as these interior design students, are becoming very valuable, said Karpinski.

Karpinski said the School of Technology is proposing a construction management program because there is such a demand for jobs in that field.

“This program would be more for managing a construction team or firm; it’s not teaching skilled labor,” Karpinski said.

Karpinski said the proposal has to go through three committees for approval.

“The goal is to have the construction management program in the books by Fall 2006. That way, students can begin the program in the Fall of 2007,” Karpinski said.

Karpinski said the program would help Kent students who hold an associate degree in technology receive their bachelor’s degree without losing previously earned credits.

“They could come back here, take 58 more credit hours, and not lose a thing,” Karpinski added.

Contact School of Technology reporter Holly Mueller at [email protected]