Design Studies, Interior Design, and Interior Decorating Students Take a “Speed Dating” Approach to Learning!

Design Studies, Interior Design, and Interior Decorating Students Take a “Speed Dating” Approach to Learning!

Posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 at 12:36 pm in Announcements Feed for all posts filed under Announcements  Feature Articles Feed for all posts filed under Feature Articles  and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Design Dynamics students Linda Pena-Jemenez and Dayanna Velarde colour matching fabric samples.

Professor Stephany Castilla arranged a series of face-to-face events with several Media and Design programs for her Design Dynamics course (part of the Design Studies Program in General Arts and Science). Calling the concept “The Design Trek”, each journey would have specific learning objectives and students would document their observations into their “Virtual Passports” on Blackboard.

During the Design Trek for Interior Design and Interior Decorating program, students had the opportunity to meet with faculty and students for a “speed dating” approach that gave them a snapshot of what the program was all about!

“After learning about different design industries and their cross-disciplined connections, I wanted to give my learners a unique experience that could replicate what it would be like to be a student in a Media and Design Program. After all, many students may be continuing their education at Algonquin, especially in the School of Media and Design” said Stephany Castilla, Professor and Graphic Designer with the College’s Marketing Department. “ I wanted them to understand the differences and the similarities that exist in the Design world.”

Thanks to the generous support of Dana Tapak, Coordinator of the Interior Design Program, and S-J Normand, Coordinator of the Interior Decorating Program, over 80 Design Studies students converged in the ACCE building for an afternoon of hands-on activities such as choosing colour pallets, working with fabric, how to design usable space and learning about the importance of building codes.

Stations were set up with a rotation of 5-8 minutes, giving students a great chance to immerse themselves in what it would be like to be a student in these programs. Design Studies students also had an opportunity to talk directly to students of both the Interior Design and Interior Decorating programs.

This day helped solidify decisions for students on what program would be right for them, allowing for retention into Diploma and Bachelor programs at Algonquin.

Said one student, “The Interior Design and Decorating Trek was definitely a highlight of my week. I had been waiting patiently since we had first discussed it a few weeks before. As an aspiring interior designer, it was a very informative day that has me even more so now wanting to jump right into first year and give it all I’ve got! It was great to meet current students and, if I may be so presumptuous, my future professors.”

Stephany is looking forward to continuing the Design Trek next year and expanding it to more programs.

Thanks to Stephany Castilla for sharing this story about an innovative new way to teach students about some programs of interest available at the College! Special thanks to Dana Tapak and S-J Normand as well for their assistance in organizing!


  1. Rosarii Mooney
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Stephany for taking our Design Dynamics course to a whole new level! The feedback I’m getting from students is very positive and they are enjoying your teaching methods very much.

    This course has been a critical component to the Design Studies program, giving our students the unique opportunity to make very informed decisions about their futures in the design industry. Your input over the past couple of years has enhanced both the course and our program and we are grateful you have become such a valuable member of our team.

    I look forward to its continued growth and the involvement of more programs; and of course, working with you again.

    Rosarii Mooney
    Coordinator, Design Studies

    • Stephany Castilla
      Posted December 14, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Thanks Rosarii for giving me the opportunity to go in a new direction. Looking forward to taking it further next year!

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