Lead Faculty, Interior Design
The Art Institute of Washington, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta
It's amazing to see students gain so much knowledge in a short amount of time. By the time they graduate they've acquired many professional skills and talents. Anne Holic , Lead Faculty, Interior Design , The Art Institute of Washington, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
As a child, I drew all the time. In college, I took architecture and design classes. I knew that was the perfect combination of my love for art, the humanities, and the sciences. Each interior design project is a mix of designing, drawing, working with people, and watching your idea become reality.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I use my experience in both residential and commercial work every day, guiding students through projects. I use my contacts with the local design community to bring designers and architects in to meet students and review their work every quarter. And I’ve put together student work camps where we give back to the community by building at a Habitat for Humanity site for a day while learning about green architecture.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
In my introductory Design Basics class, I teach the elements of design: form, shape, texture, etc. The first day of class we cut open fruits and vegetables and study the elements within—then we apply the same process to architecture and design. It’s all about understanding that design is all around us.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
Our Interior Design students learn a lot from Graphic Design students and instructors. While they understand space planning and project design, the graphic input helps them learn to package and sell their designs. That collaboration is creating beautiful portfolios—and it’ll help my students sell their projects to clients down the road.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
Many of my former students have come back to thank me for teaching them about construction. In the field, designers are in contact with engineers, architects, and contractors every day. I always stress that designers must understand general construction and speak the language of the other professionals in the field.
What’s your one piece of advice for a student embarking on a creative career?
Students need to find where their talents lie, whether in product design, space planning, CAD detailing, client interaction, construction oversight, fabric selection, etc. There are so many opportunities if they can perfect their talents.
Anything else you’d like to share?
It’s amazing to see students gain so much knowledge in a short amount of time. By the time they graduate they’ve acquired many professional skills and talents.