If you had asked me a month ago, “Zoe, what does it mean to be in the design field?” I would have passionately begun spewing about chipboard, X-acto knives, AutoCAD, and of course the sleepless nights in the studio. All truths to any design student (I’m currently earning a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Architecture at Barnard College). But I hadn’t realized that I was limiting myself to the studio and hadn’t been absorbing the design that is nearly around every corner in New York City.
Until my internship at Contract Magazine this August (a short but sweet stay), my definition of design expression has been a visual one, through sketches, drafts and models. This definition has recently broadened as I’ve encountered (and come to love) writing about design. I’ve become familiar with the latest architecture and interior design products, which I have had the pleasure of writing about for Contract’s Web site, www.ContractDesign.com. I am also more in touch with current A&D events through blogging and writing news pieces about design competitions, new A&D books, and the evolving status of the design economy.
My experience as an editorial intern has also provided me with rare experiences. Just last week I found myself buttering a croissant in the gorgeous apartment of designer Tui Pranich for an exclusive press breakfast to learn about an upcoming new line of his business (the news is still under embargo). And hearing the sheer delight from a designer or manufacturer when I told them they were being included in our print edition never failed to make me smile.
I cannot underestimate the impact that this internship has had on me. Even as I recently helped my sister shop for a desk chair, as we meandered through Office Depot, I began babbling about the importance of ergonomics, yet the presence of style in chair design. Although I still am devoted to my T-square and scale, my experience here at Contract was a breath of fresh air, and has opened my eyes to the rest of this talented and passionate industry.
Thanks to you all for the experience.