April Student Member of the Month


Dawn Adney

1st Year Interior Design Student

Kirkwood Community College

1. Why did you choose the design/construction field?

Every time I enter a space I am instantly observing its contents, the traffic flow; does it make sense, how it’s lit, is it too noisy, is it aesthetically pleasing, where are the exits, etc. and if its good design I instantly feel at ease. If you are reading this article you most likely do the same. However, I didn’t realize that not everyone enters a space that way, this realization was my catalyst to pursue Interior Design.

2. What is the most unusual medium you have used for a model, and what did it represent?

The project was to create a birdhouse inspired by art work, my painting was “Red Orange Canna” by Georgia O’Keeffe. I chose to create a birdhouse that looked like the flower in the painting. I used window screen to represent the petals so that they would be pliable enough to form delicate shapes but also light enough to appear feminine. I had never worked with screen in a nontraditional manor before, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to manipulate.

3. What is the best studio trip you have been on so far?

Our class took a 3-day trip to Minneapolis this fall. While we were there we had behind the scenes tours of several places; architecture firms Ryan Companies, Nelson & HGA, Target Stadium, Guthrie Theater, Hill House, Minneapolis Institute of Art, the International Market, and the Cambria Plant. It was amazing to see all these different fields of Interior Design back to back. It really helps us as students gather the variations of this career path in real world examples to help us start to narrow our focus.

4. What is the best advice you have received from a professor or mentor?

Our instructor Jillissa Moorman is always saying “we can do better”.  This resonates with me because of its context. She is not telling her students we are terrible at what we are doing, she is saying as designers “we” the entire design community can do better to be inclusive with our designs, not just meeting ADA standards, but exceeding so that everyone might have the same user experience.  Her logic goes beyond designing for disabilities, its means to consider all disadvantages, financial, mental and physical or whatever the users of our space may encounter.

5. How has Iowa Women in Architecture influenced you?

I feel that women have a unique set of battles in the workplace and its nice to have a place to feel supported and validated in those battles. I love this year’s theme of Practicing Self- Care. While I am not working in the field yet, I am a non-traditional student, I have had my share experiences of juggling in the work/life circus.  I love that the angle taken on self-care is making smart decisions for yourself, this is so empowering. It makes me, a woman, feel taken seriously as a human. Iowa Women in Architecture has given me a new sense of independence as an adult woman.


This is a small representation of what can be found in my full portfolio. Here you see example of how I can use PhotoShop to create textures, make 3D models in SketchUp, render in Lumion, hand render, create dynamic Bubble Diagrams, render plans and make physical models. Feel free to visit my website for a more dynamic view of my portfolio www.designverde.com  Thanks.