As a fourth-year student studying Interior Design, Ryan McNitt is preparing for life after college with her summer internship at GFF in Dallas. She assists with contract documents, specifications, and design concept ideas for a variety of commercial projects.

She says that by learning at this multidisciplinary design firm, she is gaining valuable experience and knowledge while being exposed to a variety of project types and sizes.

“Seeing the different aspects that go into projects, along with real life scenarios, is beneficial to me because I plan to work for a commercial design firm in the future.”

–Ryan McNitt

To help prepare her for this position, Gibbs College of Architecture courses and assignments have given her insight into real world clients and a variety of design projects.

“I have always been a diligent worker, but GCA assignments have enhanced my passion for interior design and pushed my work ethic to another level,” she said. “The work reinforced the importance of teamwork and deadlines.”

One project she’s particularly proud of, and that contributed greatly to her learning, is designing a boutique hotel in the Commercial Design course. The project included programming, schematic design, development, and construction drawings in order to provide a full-scale project proposal.

The hotel McNitt designed, ‘Nosso Vida,’ was created for Salvador, Brazil, and inspired by the colorful, joyful Brazilian culture, she explained. The design also addressed environmental issues such as deforestation and air pollution.

“Designing is where I can express myself and leave an impact on the world.”

–Ryan McNitt

McNitt goes on to explain that interior design provides a sense of freedom in the way an individual can interpret concepts. She says that designing is how we can make a difference, improve our everyday environments, and influence our thoughts.

“I enjoy being able to make designs that reflect people and influence the way they inhabit and experience a space,” she said.

For future and current students, McNitt encourages time management above all else in order to keep from feeling overwhelmed and falling behind. She recommends breaking projects up into steps to help get things done in a more efficient way.

Don’t overthink things, just do what comes naturally.”

–Ryan McNitt

Photos courtesy of Ryan McNitt and GFF