Happy Wednesday! Today in The Student Lounge we have Professor Diane T. Phillips from Georgia Southern University, where she is an associate professor of interior design. This is another raw and real interview with an educator looking back on her entire career. Together, Trish and Phillips dive into the most important aspects of a design degree aside from the material value of the degree itself.

About Prof. Phillips

Phillips is currently in her last semester of teaching and will be retiring to experience “new adventures.” In her next phase, she’s continuing to prioritize serving all of Georgia’s communities with her design skills, including nonprofit design on projects like community centers, affordable housing, and heath care clinics in low-income communities. Over her career she’s brought these values into the classroom and wants students to know that affordability is a really important part of design.

She’s been interested in design since she was a little girl, and has undertaken both residential and commercial projects but prefers commercial. In her own career, Professor Phillips emphasizes the importance of talking to clients as much as possible and looking at things from a different frame of reference. For that, she believes travel is crucial; when young designers don’t pay attention to different cultures’ notions of design, inspiration can be hard to come by.

The Real Value of Design School

When hiring, firms look for any kind of real experience: internships, CAD, problem solving, calming down clients, or even working at a paint store or furniture company! You can learn from really any job, and you can spin it however necessary to get you to where you really want to be. Phillips says that firms love to see prospective team members who capitalize on whatever experience they’ve got.

She also gives many tips for critiques: if you must cry, it’s better crying in a school critique than in front of a client – but generally, it’s better to understand that a critique is of your project itself, not you personally! Aside from the actual skills you learn at design school, cultivating a personality that is conducive to criticism is very, very important.

Listen to learn more!

To learn more about the business of interior design and life as a designer after school, visit The Chaise Lounge Podcast.

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About the Author
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Lauren moved to Denver three years ago and is loving every bit. Though she came to Colorado to study communications, marketing, and journalism, she’s got a love for all things art, design and media related. Lauren’s gig at The Chaise Lounge includes writing, copy editing and creating social media content. When not in classes at the University of Denver or writing about the business of interior design, you can find her with a camera or paintbrush in her hand, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, or on the ski slopes.

One comment on “Professor Diane Phillips

  1. Andrew Pennington says:

    Great interview with Professor Phillips- fantastic content, a must for those yet to graduate and those already in practice. Spoken from wide experience.
    KUTGW Trish,
    Cheers AP

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