Dan Lee

Interior Design

Adjunct Faculty, Interior Design
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Dan Lee

Be kind to yourself and others. Your career cannot be built alone. Dan Lee , Adjunct Faculty, Interior Design , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I can’t recall a time I didn’t know that I was creative. Certainly winning an art competition in elementary school encouraged me to pursue artistic endeavors.

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?

With over 30 years of design experience, the only way I know to teach is by personal example. The students stand to benefit from the mistakes I've made along the way and I remind them that they profit from what I learned the hard way! In reality, I don’t view much as a mistake, rather, a journey of life-long learning experiences.

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?

I feel students require critical thinking skills more than others to succeed in the workforce. I always try to get them to research, analyze, and innovate in their mind first.

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

It takes a team in today’s marketplace to be a success. On collaborative projects, beyond leadership skills, I encourage each student to bring their expertise into place.

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?

Be kind to yourself and others. Your career cannot be built alone. You must have a strategy, a vision, and a goal but most importantly, you must stay the course!

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?

Go beyond yourself, and your career. Search for opportunities to volunteer in the community and within your industry. The friendships and relationship you build will make it worthwhile!