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Roadrunners sharpen design skills by digitally transforming UTSA Downtown Campus building

Liberate by Joleesa Escamilla

"Liberate" by Joleesa Escamilla

MNT by Allison Korte || Interior design project is helping prepare students for the workforce

"MNT" by Allison Korte || Interior design project is helping prepare students for the workforce

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(May 24, 2016) — Allison Korte, an architecture major at UTSA, imagined open spaces, large windows and Corten weathering steel panels. Her classmate, Joleesa Escamilla, designed a façade of perforated copper panels. For the students taking Interior Design Studio 3246, the Monterey Building at the UTSA Downtown Campus offers an infinite number of fresh and vibrant possibilities.

Formerly a commercial building owned by the city and purchased by UTSA in the late ’90s, the Monterey Building is the home of the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning (CACP). Each semester, hundreds of budding architects and designers walk its halls or huddle around computers and drafting tables, sketching out their architectural works.

"The Monterey Building houses some of the most creative minds at UTSA," said Diane Hays, program coordinator of the UTSA Interior Design Program and fellow of the American Institute of Architects. “Through a semester-long project, we wanted to tap that top-tier creativity and give them the chance to redesign the space where they spend countless hours learning to design, craft and manage architectural projects.”

Korte, Escamilla and their classmates spent months meeting within the walls of the Monterey Building and imagining its radical possibilities. Their goal was to submit designs that created something new in the space.

The students were also tasked with designing a new lobby with an atrium, a gallery for student work, a student lounge, a café or coffee bar and new administrative spaces for faculty and staff.

The results are detailed proposals - created using state-of-the-art digital modeling equipment - that showcase the unique artistic visions of their prospective designers. The students in the studio presented their final designs at the end of the semester.

“I’m really excited that this was our major project,” Korte said. “For many UTSA architecture majors, the Monterey Building is like a second home. I really appreciate that the UTSA interior design program gives us the chance to really show what we have learned.”

Interior design is all about integrating designs with the way people live and interact with their interior spaces, says Analy Diego, intern architect and instructor of Interior Design Studio 3246.

“Interior designers have to think about transforming the physical resources of a building to make people’s lives better,” Diego said. “Projects such as this one are what help UTSA produce the top-tier designers of the future.”

UTSA’s accredited interior design program builds interior design expertise on a rigorous architectural curriculum. Since 1984, the program has taught students how to explore issues relating to interior environments within architectural contexts.

- Jesus Chavez
Public Affairs Specialist
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Learn more about the UTSA Interior Design program and UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning.

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