Materials Class Visits Merchandise Mart

A culminating event of the Environmental Materials class at the College of DuPage is a trip to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.  In December, we spent four hours touring showrooms and meeting with industry representatives.  The students gained insight into the business of interior design and came away with a better understanding of the role designers and design interns play in the process of creating the perfect commercial or residential space.  We saw custom wall coverings at Maya Romanoff, toured the newly remodeled Ann Sacks tile showroom, and learned about the fabric industry at Robert Allen.  We viewed Stickley furniture at Baker and more contemporary furniture and lighting selections at Holly Hunt.  At Benjamin Moore, the class reinforced their color theory knowledge with a presentation of paint under different types of lighting.  It was an excellent day to make contacts in the field and view many different types of materials.  Next trip:  April, 2016!



Sustainable Design Classes Visit Building Chicago Expo

Students in Carol Cisco’s Sustainable Design classes attended the Building Chicago Expo at the Holiday Inn Chicago (across from the Merchandise Mart) on September 10 and 11. Carol filled me in on all the details and provided photos she took at the event:Expo 006

The keynote speaker was Jerry Yudelson, author of many books on sustainable design, including Green Building A to Z, the required textbook for the class. So students brought their books, and after the lecture, Jerry was kind enough to autograph them.

Carol shares: “After the signing, the students sat together in the lounge next to the lecture hall and discussed what they found interesting in Jerry’s lecture.  They were buzzed and really got into a discussion on the subject.  While we were still there Jerry came out of the lecture hall and stopped by our discussion group to answer questions that the students brought up that only he could address.”

Expo 009

In addition to the keynote address, students visited the exhibition hall. According to Carol, “Every booth the students went to, the reps rolled out the red carpet for them.  Some offered to come to the school to do lectures.  Others talked about their organizations and student memberships such as USGBC, LEED, CSI, etc. The students even commented that no where have they ever been treated so respectfully and professionally.”
“Finally, the three sponsors of the event, offered a drawing for a free iPad mini.  All you needed to do was fill out a 3×5 card with your name and contact info, visit each of the three sponsor booths, get each to stamp the card and place the card into a fish bowl.”
Bldg Chi iPad Winner Kyle Burkhart
And COD student, Kyle Burkhart, won the iPad!!!!!!
It sounds like a great experience for everyone and I’m so disappointed that I wasn’t able to go with them.

Class Focus: Office Design Studio

On March 18th, the students in Cynthia Milota’s Office Design Studio presented concept videos and the materials palettes for their final project, a “co-working” office in Glen Ellyn. Hannah Maletich, from Whitney Designs in Oak Brook was there to help Cynthia give feedback on the design presentations. (Hannah is a COD graduate)

Each student was required to make a Concept video, using images and music to visually explain their project . They loaded their videos on youtube, so here are links to some of them. (Check them out – they’re great!!!)

Sue Goodell

Kennisha Soumanou

June Yan

Julita Cinga

Stephanie Michalek


In the format of a professional design firm, students displayed the samples on their table top and moved the pieces around as they explained their concept, also allowing the other class members and the guest designer to pick up and inspect the selections. I took a few photos during the presentations:

Sue Goodell's office "The Nest"

Sue Goodell’s office “The Nest”

June Yan's concept for

June Yan’s concept for “NU WA”  (new way)

"iNet" presented by Julita Cinga

“iNet” presented by Julita Cinga

Nada Samawi designed a space called "

Nada Samawi designed a space called “Freevision”

Green Design Class Visits the Arista Hotel – Naperville

hotel-arista-naperville-illinois-sm“Hotel Arista is the first LEED certified hotel in Illinois and just one of 16 Green Seal™ certified hotels in the state, and the only such certified hotel in Naperville. Our commitment to sustainable living is evident in everything we do as responsible hotel operators. We use 30% less water and 21% less energy than comparable hotels and we’re constantly implementing innovative ideas to do more for Planet Earth.” (

Starting Fall semester 2013, the Inter 2531 – Green Design I class will become Inter 1125 Sustainable Design I and be a required course for the AAS Degree in Interior Design. This is a very good thing. It is a fabulous class and will give all students a basic foundation of sustainable design principles, which is driving the interior design industry today and will be incorporated into all the other Interior Design classes.

The numerous field trips in the class are interesting – and fun. Here’s more from the recent field trip:

Checking out the executive meeting space

Checking out the executive meeting space

The rooms were beautiful (all LED lighting too)

The rooms are beautiful (all LED lighting too)

The bathroom has all the amenities, including a TV in the mirror.

The bathroom has all the amenities, including a TV in the mirror.

Our guide, Micky, took us behind the scenes to see where they recycled newspapers, bedding, clothing left behind, even rolls of toilet paper that were too small to leave in a guest room.

Our guide, Micky, took us behind the scenes to see where they recycle newspapers, bedding, clothing left behind, even rolls of toilet paper that were too small to leave in a guest room.

It was an informative tour and I’m so glad I was able to tag along.   🙂 Jane