Leslie Wettergren

Interior Design

Interior Design Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Leslie Wetergren

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I always enjoyed creative endeavors—especially photography. But I also had a strong interest in technology and math. Architecture was a perfect match for me to blend those interests. It taught me to think creatively, to solve problems, and apply design in a practical way.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I look for any opportunity to relate the topics we are discussing to scenarios or designs I‘ve worked on in my professional practice. I hope to help students relate what they’re learning to how they might apply it in their own careers.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I think the first time a student prepares a set of construction documents, they see how well-rounded their skills need to be. It’s one thing to come up with a design—and quite another to communicate how it’ll be built. There are thousands of decisions to make, and countless detail to address. It’s important not to have your design voice limited by your communication skills.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

Collaboration is everything in architecture and interior design. A project is designed and built by a team—it’s not the result of one person’s vision.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Keep looking at the world around you, learn new things, and be open to feedback. That’s what will shape you as a designer.