Grad shows are back in person for interior design students

After three years of COVID-19 and online learning, students in the bachelor of interior design program will be hosting an in-person event for their 2023 graduating class on April 20 in the ACCE building. The event is to help graduates show off their thesis projects to the community while creating networking opportunities with sponsors. It’s […]
Photo: Kit Gervais
Interior design students Mackenzie Wegman, left, and Haley Stevenson, right, collected money from an art and thrift sale fundraiser for their 2023 grad show.

After three years of COVID-19 and online learning, students in the bachelor of interior design program will be hosting an in-person event for their 2023 graduating class on April 20 in the ACCE building.

The event is to help graduates show off their thesis projects to the community while creating networking opportunities with sponsors. It’s also about celebrating the students coming to the end of their program.

“Even though we are the graduating class, the program as a whole is involved in helping us graduate,” said Georgia Reitsma, a fourth year student.

Professionals from different interior design sectors are invited to the show to take a look at students’ work. Along with networking opportunities, select students will be given awards based on the quality of their projects or community involvement.

While these career-building reasons for the show are important, the event is really to celebrate the students and their graduation.

“I’ve always looked at it as a real accomplishment to be able to succeed in a in a rigorous program,” said Erin Jenner, a professor in interior design.

Their final thesis project depends on the sector of interior design students would like to work in post-graduation.

“They are responsible for designing a space, a facility, a building within any of the sectors of interior design,” said Jenner. “The idea is that they are solving a societal problem through a design intervention.”

Students are excited about the event.

Interior design student, Kirsten McDuff, helped sell second-hand clothes at a fundraising event for the bachelor of interior design grad show.
Kirsten McDuff, an interior design student, helped sell second-hand clothes at a fundraising event for the bachelor of interior design grad show. Photo credit: Kit Gervais

“It’s just a fun way for all of us to see all the work, the research project, come to life,” said Annalee Blackman, a bachelor of interior design student. “It’s our senior project and we invite friends and family to see what we’ve been doing for the past four years.”

Leading up to the event, the students were organized into committees to take on different tasks such as running social media pages, collecting sponsorships or setting up fundraisers.

They then held different fundraisers such as bake sales, art sales and thrift sales to raise money for the show, as they don’t receive any money from the college.

Interior design students Farid Badran, left, and Younes Gueddi, right, sold art supplies to collect money for their 2023 grad show.
Students Farid Badran, left, and Younes Gueddi, right, sold art supplies to collect money for their 2023 grad show. Photo credit: Kit Gervais

Running the fundraisers has been a lot of work.

“It has been stressful trying to raise the money because we didn’t want to do so many events,” said Blackman.

But being the first in-person graduating class in years comes with big expectations for the students.

“I think it is a large amount of pressure because of our year in particular,” said Reitsma. “We’re the first grad show that’s happening since pre-COVID.”

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