CIDA Award for Excellence 1st Place Winner: Sarah Strauss, Pratt Institute, TOOLS, TACTILITY, TECHNOLOGY: Interior Design Studio
Tools, Tactility, Technology is a senior elective Interior Design Studio at Pratt Institute. The goal of the course is to bring together the resources that are available to us as designers and to use them to produce new effects and interior conditions.
The tools of interior design have historically been drawings and models. But with recent overlaps in other territories of furniture, textile design, lighting, and digital modeling, new tools are available to students and the discipline as a whole. Tools form the basis of what is possible for a designer. I aim to empower each student with the knowledge and experience to use a wide range of tools, so that constructing the interior does not rely of the limitations of convention, but opens up to radical new possibilities.
This studio is also rooted in tactility and engaging the body. As our cultural experience witnesses an ever more rapid succession of images and signs, and our ability to navigate those experiences shifts to the tapping of our fingertips on the keyboard or mouse, the rest of our bodies still yearn for comfort, for affect. We make an effort to sustain engagement of the body through touch, sound, and physical sensation to reconnect us with the physical world.
For the first time, electronic platforms are inexpensive and available to students through Makey Makey, and Little Bits, allowing for play and experimentation with conductive surfaces. New 3D printing devices make it easy for the students to understand and master digital printing. By unifying advances in technology with more conventional means of design and fabrication, the students theorize new ways that the interior can become and interactive playground.