When I made my career switch to interior design, from working in corporate software engineering, I had already started taking ID classes at a local college in Beverly, MA, where I lived at the time, that had an evening interior design program.

An aerial view of Endicott College

While that continuing-education program no longer exists, Endicott College continues to have an interior design program, and my friend, Kathi Vander Laan (whom I met while we were both completing our interior design MA degrees at the New England School for Art and Design- Suffolk University) teaches there as an adjunct instructor.

Kathi and me – standing by the presentation boards…

I was a guest critic for one of her design classes this week;  the sophomores were assigned a commercial project;  designing a two-to-three story interior space for a company that designs shoes.  Each student chose or created a different shoe company.

The students had to come up with (over the course of the semester) what’s called a program for their projects, which included a concept, essentially the “big idea” which would guide all their design decisions from the interior structure, colors, furnishings and so forth.  As interior designers, we are typically given an existing space, something as small as one room in a residence, or in this case, something as large as a three story building.

Of course, clients are really just interested in the end product, and that’s what I was brought into review and critique – actual boards or large presentation sheets that reflect the design development of the “big idea” which include floor plans, reflected ceiling plans, elevations, sections of the building, and perspective views to give a sense of the volume of the space.

The vast majority of the work is done on computers today, including the perspective drawings, but there are still students who hand-render the colors of their plans, and other drawings.

The class had some great presentations and I always learn a lot from seeing other designers’ work, including that of student designers!

Here are some examples of the students’ work:

Full Set of Student Presentation Boards


To better view the presentation here are some images of the individual presentation sheets:

Concept and Study Sheet



Computer Generated Plan and other Drawings



Reflected Ceiling Plan and Lighting Choices


Perspective Images


Here’s a second presentation, showing some of the individual sheets:

Concept and Study Sheet


Hand-colored Sections and Elevations


Hand-colored Perspective Images


Materials and Finishes