Last week, ENVD Instructor Maryanne Fantalis and her upper-division writing class, professional communication for design students (ENVD 3150), conducted simulated interviews with prospective clients seeking new office space designs. ENVD instructors and outside professionals from the design community volunteered their time to act as prospects–partners in a law firm and owners of a tech startup. Guests included Chris Mirto from PEH Architects, Jordan Block and Hannah Watson from HDR Inc., ENVD Instructor Rachel Lee and Andy Rutz from MIG, Inc. During the simulation, students took on the role of a design firm, interviewing their prospective clients about must-haves and whish-list items for their project.
In November, the professionals will return and review the initial proposals students will prepare over the next few weeks. Proposal writing and presentation is the centerpiece of ENVD 3150, which will provide students with experiences that reflect the work they will do in their professional careers–representing their design firm in face-to-face meetings, asking questions to discover the needs and wants of prospective clients. Writing up documents help move the work forward and the presentation of their ideas help win over a prospect's business.