As a design professor, the three most fulfilling aspects of my position are watching the growth and development process of young talent; engaging with students who continually explore the boundaries of their potential; and witnessing their realization of how designers’ efforts will impact the welfare of the people they serve.
Mary, do for us what you did for Jesus, our brother. Guide us so we grow strong in wisdom and grace. Give us sight to see the talents God has given us and the will to develop them. Foster within us Jesus’ own vision of who we are. Instill in us the desire to learn constantly, the goodness to serve generously, and the courage to lead wherever Jesus calls.
The curriculum for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Environmental + Interior Design (E+ID) includes a variety of studio projects – often Service Learning partnerships with local non-profit organizations. Students provide design concept visuals and documents for individuals or organizations in support of fundraising efforts and special project and program development. In return, students experience authentic and meaningful client interaction; they are encouraged by the value derived from their efforts; and they engage in copious layers of problem-solving and critical thinking – hallmarks of a quality designer and a compassionate, altruistic citizen.
This teaching methodology is rooted in, guided by and developed through the Characteristics of a Marianist Education: Educate for Formation in Faith, Provide an Integral Quality Education, Educate in the Family Spirit, Educate for Service, Justice and Peace and Educate for Adaptation and Change. E+ID students discover who they are personally and relationally, and how to have a positive impact using their time, talent, knowledge and skill sets for the greater good. E+ID graduates embody these characteristics and are serving in a variety of capacities within local, national and international design-related industries. Many alumni hold also leadership roles in professional design organizations. Perhaps the best way to understand E+ID student engagement and development is to reveal, in their own words, how Service Learning projects have challenged and enriched them. Regarding the following projects:
Pearl Haven – Safe Home for Sex Trafficked Girls & Young Women (Ho’ola Napua)
Being able to give back to my community by doing what I love is rewarding. This entire experience with Ho’olanapua has shown me the platform that I have. I never expected the chance to be able to work on a project with such a great cause. I think Chaminade’s Marianist values that state “By educating the mind and the heart, the school can form people who in turn can work at changing the very structures of their society to ensure a community of justice and reconciliation,” accurately depicts the entirety of this project. I should be thankful for the opportunities that I am given, and to show my gratitude, I will take the education I have received and use it towards creating a stronger society. Rosalina Ashe FA’16
Kapiolani-Hawaii Pacific Health – Oncology Play Space & Display Space
My greatest personal gain from participating in this project was in the design process itself. It really taught me a lot about the kind of designer I am – the qualities I bring to the table, as well as how I work with others; good and bad. I know better what types of personalities I work best with creatively, and which types to steer away from. In terms of how our project benefited our client, my greatest personal gain was simply the joy, satisfaction, and impression of everyone who was present at our presentation. The project manager specifically, who is normally hard to impress, was in fact impressed with our project and wanted to jump on our ideas right away! That moment really got me and made all the sleepless nights, bickering with team members, and stress all worth-while. Priscilla Ong SP’16
ALEA Bridge – Affordable Housing Project
While working on this project, I realized the struggle that our unsheltered brothers and sisters have been going through – how they feel disconnected to the community. Learning that they lost hope of having a better lifestyle due to feeling out-of-place in the society saddens me as I know there are people out there who are willing to help them stand up on their feet again and prosper. This is one reason why I decided to grab the concept of the interconnecting ability of a bridge. I wanted to assure them that they are still part of the community and that we do care about them. Through my design, I hope that it would encourage the homeless to connect with the community, supporting their ability to foster hope and to regain vision and purpose in life. With the resources provided, I hope to open opportunities where the homeless can say that they are “home.” If this happens, this will be my greatest personal gain from this project. Jenelyn Sison SP’17
These words do a heart good! I am grateful for the hearts who penned them. I am very proud to share the good news that on November 15, 2018 Jenelyn Sison’s ALEA Bridge project was awarded the Design Excellence Award by the AIA Hawaii Chapter (American Institute of Architects) for the Undergraduate Student Division. They recognized the value of her design… and of her heart.
Story by Joan Riggs, Environmental + Interior Design Program Director (MEA), Chaminade University Honolulu