This past Saturday we had an incredible team from Patrick Thompson Design (PTD) -- including Patrick Thompson himself -- lead our students through a visual design workshop. Patrick Thompson Design is responsible for some pretty incredible and very aesthetically pleasing designs all across metro-Detroit! Some of their work includes: Axle Brewing Company, Go Sy Thai in Capitol Park, and Kresge Court in the DIA -- fun fact: my very first meeting with Kuhu & David before being hired on as a Program Coordinator took place at Kresge Court and I remember being amazed by the design and feeling comfortable and at ease in such a cool location! The location they decided to present to the students was the Sanders Chocolate and Ice Cream Shoppe located in Clinton Township -- a smart choice for high school students who love everything sweet!
While viewing images of the Sanders Shoppe, PTD highlighted the various processes that go into creating such an eye catching design -- you need to think about inspiration, colors, functionality, materials, and most important of all, the feeling you get when you walk into the space. This was all taken into consideration as students moved throughout the space, placing colored stickers on images they really liked (green) and those they did not like (red). A popular “dislike” choice was an image of a chair with human legs coming out of the cushions!
So what was the challenge for our FATE Students? To design a dorm room that will be launched at The University of Michigan in 2020! Each team was given a creative professional to work with from PTD and a floor plan. While creating the designs, we challenged the students to think about function, essential needs, aesthetic, and cool-factor. Once the floor plan was settled, students were able to pick out furniture including a: bed, desk, dresser, chair, and lamp. Additionally, sample materials were spread out offering a variety of paint, wallcoverings, flooring, and upholstery options.
One student that was especially excited about this workshop was William. In his 9th grade FATE application, he recorded a video talking to us about his dream to become either a Fashion Designer or an Interior Designer. When I asked him how the workshop was going, he gave me a great big grin and said he really liked it! It was so cool to see him putting his passion into practice!
One team that continued to impress me with their creativity and engagement was a team full of boys -- and not just any boys. Some of our most rambunctious ones! The ones who always have a ton of ideas, but get easily distracted and really like to mess around. But with Patrick Thompson by their side, they became the dream team -- the one to beat. I remember walking by their table with my camera at the ready and noticing Canaan (one of our silliest FATE students) leaned across the table in a very attentive conversation about the loft design and where the TV should be placed so it could be seen from various vantage points.
Without question, this team’s presentation blew the others out of the water. Of course, we are always incredibly impressed with the courage it takes to stand up and present in front of their peers. Yet, as soon as this group begun, they hit us with a burst of energy and excitement about their design which felt so refreshing. Not only did they make me believe that they loved their design, but they made me want to LIVE in their design. They reminded the entire group that giving a presentation is more than reciting lines, it’s being excited and proud of what you have created and inviting your audience to be interested and excited about it too! With Merit beanies on their head (the prize for having the best presentation), each team member beamed with pride for their group photo!
Special thanks to the Patrick Thompson Design Team -- Patrick Thompson, Ivory Alexander, Mary Eskin, Miranda Thoma & Anne- Marie Biasutto!
- Rachel Mazzaro, Program Coordinator