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CET and Interior Design students apply skill sets in real-world project
Spring 2014 marked a new partnership between the Hmong American Farmers Association, or HAFA, and Dakota County Technical College. The partnership is organized around a service-learning project that harnesses the know-how of students in the college’s Civil Engineering Technology and Interior Design programs. Faculty in both programs are working with their students to help prepare a new HAFA land acquisition for agricultural use.
Janssen Hang, the senior organizer at HAFA, reported that his organization acquired the land, now known as HAFA Farm, with help from an angel investor. “This spring, HAFA members will be farming the parcel, growing an assortment of vegetables and flowers for sale at the local farmers market and through HAFA’s Alternative Markets Program to Minneapolis Public Schools and Fairview Hospitals,” Janssen said, noting that HAFA Farm also provides opportunities for Hmong American farmers to sell fresh produce through the HAFA CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. “Moreover, the land acquisition has helped cultivate new practices such as record-keeping, accessing microloans, high-tunnel production, cover crops and, most importantly, partnerships.”
Located on a 155-acre homestead site near the Vermillion River just west of U.S. Highway 52 in Dakota County, HAFA Farm features a century-old farmhouse, a number of outbuildings and a stave silo. The service-learning project focuses on two fronts, reconfiguring the acreage to allocate small plots for Hmong American farmers and redesigning the interior layout of the farmhouse to create a first-floor office setting and a second-floor living corridor for interns and volunteers.
“The interior design students tackled the farmhouse, taking measurements and bringing their creativity to redesign a suitable space to meet the intent of the structure,” Janssen said, adding that civil engineering technology students surveyed the property, evaluated contour and provided a plan for subdividing 125 acres into five-acre parcels that 16 Hmong American farmers will begin working spring 2014.
Architectural technology and interior design students visit Main Street Project
By Randy Olson, DCTC Associate Dean of Design & Technology
“Sustainability is an energy equation” stated Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, also known as Regi, the chief operating officer of Main Street Project in Northfield, Minn. Regi was addressing a group of DCTC architectural technology and interior design students during a field trip to his sustainable-concept residence on a cold but sunny day in early November 2013.
The students had the opportunity to hear Regi’s philosophy on energy and food production and then see firsthand how he has implemented those concepts into a working model. Regi informed students that conventional agriculture consumes 15 units of energy for each unit it produces. His farming model, on the other hand, balances this energy equation and provides a sustainable ecosystem.
On just over two acres, Regi constructed an agricultural prototype based on his sustainable concepts, allowing the protoype to occupy less than half the ground space. Students also got the chance to see the house Regi built on his property. Only a little over a year old, Regi’s home applies the same sustainable concepts he uses in agriculture, only incorporated into a livable space.
The DCTC interior design club – Design Connexion – participated in an IIDA (International Interior Design Association) charity event called Fusion + Fashion. Industry professionals as well as interior design college students designed and fabricated outfits from industry products and non-traditional garment materials and modeled them in a fashion show / competition. DCTC’s Design Connexion created two outfits from aluminum cans and pop tops, and won the category “Most Unique Material”. The event took place at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, and it was the industry social gala of the year. See the actual DCTC dresses and other winning outfits on Nicollet Mall at Target Commercial Interiors in downtown Minneapolis. Check out the pictures of the event at http://www.iida-northland.org/events/events_fusion.html
IDES students currently enrolled in Commercial Studio II are competing in a Retail Design Competition this fall.
PAVE (The Planning and Visual Education Partnership) is sponsoring a competition to design a retail “pop up” store design concept for the Sephora chain of cosmetics stores.
Reggie Reyes has led Target in the arena of “pop-ups” and spoke to the students regarding this type of retail venue.
He was able to spend time with each student critiquing their work and inpiring them to take some risks with their design concepts. The studnets took away some great information and inspiration as the project deadline comes to a close.
Stay posted for results of the Sephora store design sometime in December.
A commercial interior design trade show – called MinneCon -will be held at the Depot in Minneapolis this Thursday, July 21st, from 11am to 6pm. This trade show is sponsored by IIDA – International Interior Design Association – and will be their 4th annual event. MinneCon includes an exhibit hall featuring a broad range of commercial interior products, including floor materials, furniture, and lighting. MinneCon also includes continuing education forums for industry professionals as well as student focused activities.
MinneCon has been a great opportunity to view new products AND to network with industry professionals. Check out the details for MinneCon at the IIDA Northland Chapter website: http://www.iida-northland.org/events/minnecon.html
MinneCon stemed from the annual trade show at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago called NeoCon.
A group of interior design students and instructors Coco Dugan Early and Kathy Huus visited the King Tut exhibit currently showing at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
The materials, shapes & forms, colors and textures of these objects became design inspriation for the Art Deco period beginning in the 1920′s following the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. Viewing the treasures unearthed from ancient tombs was eye opening and another source of inspiration for our interior design students.
Florence Knoll (a furniture designer and architect) was the primary influence in launching the interior design industry. She and her husband founded Knoll Associates in 1946, and offered unique furniture that integrated the needs of the professions of architecture and interior design. Many of Knoll’s timeless furniture designs became design icons of the 20th century and are still available in what is now called Knoll Studio. You’ll see famous Knoll furniture pieces in homes as well as places of business, hotels, restaurants…and in the Interior Design Program area at Dakota County Technical College. We have four red Bertoia Diamond lounge chairs and glass table, which are enjoyed by many DCTC design students.
Check out Knoll Studio at http://www.knoll.com/products/productline_11.jsp
18 DCTC Interior Design students and 2 faculty traveled to New York and attended the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Several countries participated and offered a diverse range of product and talent, including established and new designers.
The Interior Design students and faculty also visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and toured the Materials Connection and Gensler, a prominent international architecture/interior design firm.
The group enjoyed interesting design and architecture throughout the Manhattan skyline. A truly valuable learning experience overall.