Adam Nash-Galvan

Adam Nash HS

Collaboration is a constant for any design discipline. Adam Nash-Galvan , Faculty, Interior Design , The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

There really was not a single, defining moment for me. As a child, I was interested in all things artistic and would write and construct my own story books that I forced my mom to read to me every night. Growing up, I always wanted to change everything in my bedroom. I would move furniture around, create displays of my toys, and beg for new bedding each year. I questioned everything about human behavior. When we would go to the doctor, I would ask why people sat far away from one another or why people wanted to see the door. Initially, I thought I should study Psychology when I went to college and, although I enjoyed Psychology, it was a fellow student that directed me to Interior Design. I didn’t even know that was a major. As soon as I visited the department, I knew that was what I needed to do.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I don’t think it would be possible to teach courses without bringing in my professional experiences and background. I have been fortunate to teach so many diverse classes at The Art Institute [of San Antonio] and each one incorporates my experiences in the design field. I often tell stories that relate to the lecture and the students and I will discuss what I could have done / should have done under the circumstances. I show examples of past professional projects and take the students to visit firms or other professionals that I have worked with.  

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

There is not necessarily a single assignment that exemplifies my approach to teaching but I try to encourage students to break their preconception of the role of interior design by challenging them to look at their projects in a holistic way. Rather than focusing on the solution to the design problem, I ask students to investigate all potential impacts that their designs may have on anyone that comes into contact with the space. Seeing design as a way to enhance the daily lives of a building’s occupants is much more rewarding for anyone involved and can lead to a more comprehensive solution than a purely aesthetic decision. Additionally, my goal is to expose the students to the possibilities of design and their capacity for innovation and we do this through classroom experience as well as community involvement.

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration is a constant for any design discipline. Students in interior design must be able to collaborate with a variety of team members, interior design and otherwise. The interior design profession is based on team work. In multiple courses, students work with fellow interior design students as well as faculty and students from other disciplines to create more beneficial design solutions. No matter the design discipline, students must be able to gather information from a variety of sources in order to effectively solve problems.  

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

I would hesitate to say that there is a single important thing that helps students succeed. Overall, though, students must remain open to all possibilities and experiences in order to be successful in their careers. Interior design is a continuously evolving field and learning does not end with graduation. Whether it is new software, new research, or just encountering new clients the interior designer has to remain fluid to this evolution and keep striving for innovative design solutions that are relevant to the social and cultural context within which they are designing.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?

Having taught a number of classes from foundations courses to senior-level courses, I think it’s important to note that the role of the faculty is often as a resource for the students rather than solely a lecturer. We are willing to help in whatever way is necessary so that our students succeed in their career. Sometimes this means that we are counselors and other times we are the disciplinarians but it is all in an attempt to prepare each student for success in their chosen career path.