Kirksey Architecture hosts HCC Interior Design students for design charrette

Feb 16, 2016


Students in the Houston Community College (HCC) Interior Design program got a taste of the real world from architecture and interior design professionals. Professor Kevin Hamby took his Commercial Interiors class of 11 students on a field trip to Kirksey Architecture, one of the preeminent architecture firms in Houston, as part of their corporate office interior design project.

“The visit to Kirksey Architecture and the collaboration with interior design professionals provided the inspiration and a real-life application of space planning skills to approach the design challenge of a conceptual 25,000 square foot corporate office project,” said Hamby.

The first step of the design challenge was to research a brand currently in business and develop a design concept based on the company’s brand image. Beyond what is typically associated with interior design, there were significant architectural options to consider. Space planning was the first step, which includes, verifying architecture and structural parameters and barrier-free compliancy, discovering adjacencies of rooms, and finally, placement of furniture.

Students like Carol Scott were exposed to techniques and new ideas that would inspire their creativity to design a conceptual corporate office. Scott chose Procter and Gamble’s Olay and found the advice from Kirksey Executive Vice President of Interior Design, Randall Walker, extremely valuable.

“My experience here today has really enlightened me and given me an overall view of what to expect when it comes down to actually building a space from ground up,” said Scott, whose focus is commercial design.

Kirksey Senior Associate Cathy Richard knows what it’s like to be critiqued from the experts.

“It’s fun to see what the students are doing and help them get over some of the struggles,” she said. “I remember what it was like to be in their shoes and getting any pieces of advice are like golden nuggets.”

Aqueel Suleimanji also spent time with the students and knows first-hand the value of taking the class to the field. The former HCC Interior Design student was hired as a designer at Kirksey right after he graduated and says HCC was his stepping-stone.

“The Interior Design program gave me everything I needed to practice in this profession,” he said.

“I love the Interior Design program. It can be tough but it’s for our own good. So when we get into the real world, we know what to expect,” said Scott. “Our instructors are phenomenal.”

Once the project is done, the students will present their concepts to a panel of local practicing commercial interior designers who will critique and grade them.

The Interior Design program is housed in the Consumer Arts and Sciences Center of Excellence at Central College. For more information visit

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