Mar 9, 2010

Designing Minds: FACS students design with different mediums

by Tiffany Edwards, Casey Overcash

The Spiritual Life and Academic Building (SLAB) is home to various offices and departments, including the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Department. One of the unusual features of the SLAB are the glass cases, which usually show well-dressed mannequins surrounded by detailed, colorful displays. Students from the FACS 423 Fashion Promotion and Visual Merchandising class are responsible for the setup and layout of these displays as a continuing class project.

“The class ranges from 15 to 25 students,” Assistant Professor for the FACS Department Ruth Gomes said. “Display windows basically have two purposes — to sell and to set an atmosphere for the store.”

In addition to the full-size cases in the main hallway of the SLAB, there are also smaller display cases kept in the Science Hall 130 classroom.

“We also learn to do small size displays that are usually used for accessories and jewelry,” Gomes said. “This is another project that is required by the students. Sometimes it could be very difficult to design on a small scale.”

The displays are changed every week, with one student responsible for each display. One display case will hold projects for longer than one week, while the other large cases will be changed on a regular basis, according to Gomes.

“The students learn that it is not easy to do a display,” Gomes said. “They learn to adapt their original designs. This is used for their portfolio when searching for fashion positions.”

Contact Tiffany Edwards at

Interior designer Renee Hill started her career in interior design as a side hobby. Hill is now the founder and owner of Interiors by Reneé & Associates. She spoke with interior design students March 4 at a seminar to teach students about experiences in the field.

The seminar began with group presentations by FACS students. The students presented slide shows displaying their progress on room makeover projects.

Hill teaches interior design in North Carolina colleges. She sends students on assignments so they can get on-the-job experience. Hill received her Masters in Business at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Students were thankful for the experience Hill shared with them.
“What an amazing night. I thoroughly enjoyed having Hill come speak with us. She provided me, an aspiring interior designer, with valuable insight on how to both market myself and achieve success in today’s economy,” Interior Design Society Historian Christine Poje said.

“My favorite part of being at the seminar was learning about taking my passion for design and finding ways in which I can be used to help better the lives of others. One of the things I love about interior design is that it’s all about developing relationships. Hill provided us with information that helped encourage and direct us on the path towards success as individuals, professionals and designers,” FACS major Ashley R. Denson said.

Hill advised the students to shadow someone in Interior Design in order to meet representatives and learn as much as possible about the business.

To learn more about interior design visit the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in SLAB.

Contact Casey Overcash at

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