Rachel Simmons teaches the Interior Materials and Specifications (INT211) course at Scottsdale Community College (SCC) and relies on the passing of material samples during in-person lectures to help illustrate the properties, performance and general characteristics of interior finishes. While the Interior Design faculty and students have done an excellent job transitioning to remote teaching, she says there are some classroom experiences that simply cannot be replicated online.
“The samples help students discover the unique quality of each of type of interior design material,” said Simmons. “I felt it necessary that students still be able to touch and feel material samples, even though we may not have lectures in person right now.”
When she shared her desire with local businesses serving interior designers, Richard J. van Gilse, president of Facings of America in Scottsdale, immediately offered to help. Facings of America provides high quality stone, tile, and architectural features and is making tile sample kits for the 40 students expected to enroll in the class.
“Facings has always understood the value in developing relationships with the student design community,” said van Gilse. “We are excited to continue to support the education of our future designers by providing our materials to students while they navigate a virtual learning experience.”
Simmons plans to add other types of materials, including wallpaper, carpeting, and countertop samples from the SCC material library to each kit. The Sherwin-Williams Company is providing paint samples for all the kits.
Laurie E. Clark is a senior designer account executive for Sherwin-Williams. “As an active supporter of the design community, I have had the pleasure of working with Scottsdale Community College offering class lectures and real-world applications for the students,” she said. “It has been wonderful to meet students as they begin their studies and watch them flourish into creative, successful and professional interior designers.”
SCC recently announced the expansion of its Interior Design program and established a new Center of Excellence for Interior Design at the college. The program at SCC is the longest running interior design educational program in Arizona.
Students earning an associate’s degree in interior design through the program have the option of obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University while remaining on the SCC campus, providing students the convenience and cost savings of continuing their education without the need to relocate.