March 24, 2020
The last few weeks have certainly been challenging for many of us and throughout the world. We empathize and we are here to support you the best we can while we all navigate the next several weeks together as we all stay home and do what we can to flatten the curve of COVID-19. What we do know is that no-one is immune to this and that even those that feel healthy could be transmitting this to others. Please only leave your house if necessary! Only see friends and family members outside your home if required. The sooner we can all do our part, the sooner we can be back to campus and resume our lives. For those of you who have family, friends or others who are battling this virus, we send positive thoughts for healing and recovery.
We continue to remain informed by your faculty and with many of you. Many of you are settling into a routine and finding your way virtually. We know it has not been a flawless transition and we thank you for your patience and understanding. We have also enjoyed hearing, and seeing, some of the positive aspects of remote learning, so keep sharing. We are working on some ideas to help us all stay more connected via social platforms and Zoom, so stay tuned for more information
Updates will come out by Friday of each week going forward. As always, please feel free to reach out to me or another member of the administration directly if you have a pressing need, or simply would like someone to help problem solve. We remain dedicated to helping all of you achieve your goals this semester. The following information will hopefully answer some of the most pressing questions and concerns:
Status of Spring Semester
The Spring semester will continue virtually until further notice. Your faculty are, or have, reviewed their syllabi and are making plans to conduct classes virtually through the end of the semester. While we hope we can return to campus sooner, we feel it is best to be prepared and to set realistic expectations. We want to reiterate that if we find it necessary to offer follow-up workshops, presentations, or other ways to support student learning outcomes, we will address those as they arise and share information as we have it. Please trust that all students will be provided with the tools to be successful and we are fortunate to be able to work one-on-one with all of you to ensure that.
Since we are all safer at home, we decided it was best to leave the decision about Spring Break up to all of you and your Faculty. Assuming all students and your faculty member are in agreement, it will be up to each class individually to determine if make-up or regular classes are held. Members of the Administration will remain available to continue providing student services and technology assistance during Spring Break. We will share a modified schedule with instructions of who to contact for what by the end of this week.
Status of Summer Semester & Registration
We hope to be back on campus by May and to conduct summer courses in person. We are developing a plan for summer classes if that is not possible. We will update this more in the next week or so. We are also looking at conducting registration by telephone and possibly on-line.
Jackie Gloria, Director of Financial Aid, has been in touch with many of you. We are currently waiting for final emergency regulations due to COVID-19 and these will be shared shortly.
Due to the stay at home order and the concern that large gatherings will not resume as quickly as we would have hoped we determined that it would be best to postpone Commencement until Sunday August 23, 2020. At 6:00 PM. Graduates will arrive at 5:00 PM. Commencement will still be held at the Natural History Museum. We will share more details with those students who were scheduled to participate in Commencement shortly. The new date is the Sunday following the last day of the Summer semester and appears to align well with our year-round schedule.
VPN – Connection issues - We understand that the VPN client for Mac is not working for all Mac users. If you need access to the files or software that you don't yet have, please let us know so that we can provide access through OneDrive.
Library Social Hour - Do you miss stopping by the Library before or after class? Please join Rebecca for Virtual Library Social Hour on Zoom every Monday-Friday from 12-1 and Monday-Thursday from 5-6. Say hi, see who else is around, chat, or work on homework in a social environment. See you there! Meeting ID: 229 738 3647 – See graphic attached
Electronic Resources - Look for an email from the Library about new online resources by the end of the week
Student Support through the IBH Assistance Program – This is a free resource offering assistance for you and your family members. If you are experiencing increased anxiety or stress, please take advantage of the free confidential counseling offered to all students through the EAP by calling 800-395-1616 or logging in to ibhsolutions.com with the username DesignISD and the password Institute
The health and well being of all of you is are primary concern. If you become ill or need support of any kind, please feel free to reach out.
Margot Doucette, CEO
Keep Calm as we Begin Week One of DISD in the Cloud - We are Here to Support Each of You!
March 15, 2020
We understand this is an unknown and stressful time. Please try to keep calm and trust that DISD faculty and staff are here to support you. No student will be left behind during this transition or for as long as we maintain a virtual classroom. We will work with any student individually who needs extra support, an extension in completing work, or any other circumstances during this time period. Your faculty will also be supportive and understanding.
Computers and methods for connecting to the internet are being put together for those who have requested them through the survey or directly by contacting email@example.com We will reach out to you individually to schedule a time to pick those up over the next few days.
Drafting tables are also being prepared and we will contact those students who have asked to check out drafting tables to set up an appointment to pick them up over the next few days.
Your incredibly dedicated and caring faculty are preparing classes as we speak. All of your faculty will reach out to each of you and you will find out the details about how your classes will be held and what modifications have been made to the modes of instruction, project requirements, presentations, exams, etc. to ensure that all learning outcomes are met.
A few questions have come up and we are preparing a list of FAQ’s and answers that we will send shortly. We can tell you that for the immediate future you will not need a printer or a plotter as we are virtual. Additionally, materials for all classes will also be either virtual or we will ensure that mail order samples or materials will be accessible. More to come shortly.
Campus is closed to all students at this time unless they have a specific appointment, so please do not show up to campus without an appointment.
Administrative staff are continuing to work from campus for the time being and we are also preparing to work remotely and we will share more as we have it. There will be no interruption in support from us. Each student will receive a personal phone call from a member of the administration this week and we will continue to share how we can be reached by phone and video appointment.
Additionally we have some online resources that we will continue to update over the days and weeks to come:
DISD is known for putting students first and for our ability to provide individual support. This will not change and we will work through any challenge that any of you encounter. We ask that you trust us, communicate with us, and embark on this journey with us as we design a temporary virtual campus and complete the semester. We are all in this together and we will emerge stronger than ever.
Stay healthy, practice social distancing, and use the lack of commute time to seek inspiration.
Margot Doucette, CEO
General Information, technology survey, and resources for transitioning to a virtual classroom.
March 13, 2020
Dear DISD Students,
The health and safety of the entire DISD community is our primary focus. As you know already, beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020, our campus will be transitioning to a virtual classroom/distance education model, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a temporary emergency measure intended to help us successfully navigate through the next few weeks and, if necessary, the remainder of the spring semester. Each faculty member is working on a plan that will allow you to continue your studies without coming to campus.
During emergencies such as this, open and consistent communication is critical and it is imperative that you read your email and respond to messages from DISD and your faculty. Please know that administrative staff and faculty are here to support you, and please keep us informed about any need, accommodation, or other issue that arises so that we can problem-solve with you. Stay connected and communicate with your faculty – ask them if you have any questions or confusion about what their expectations are.
- You will need reliable internet service. If you don’t have it, let us know and we’ll help figure something out.
- DISD will provide needed resources to students based on this survey, and we will loan out necessary equipment if needed.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 858-566-1200 if you have questions or need any assistance.
- Students who currently have accommodations – we understand that you may need different or additional accommodations in a virtual environment. Tena Moiola, Director of Student Services, will reach out to you individually next week, but please feel free to reach out to us and to your faculty right away.
- Students who do not currently have an accommodation but may need accommodations for a virtual environment – please contact Tena at email@example.com now, and communicate your needs directly to your instructor as well.
- As always, and very important during a virtual environment, communicate with Tena and your instructor should you need any support at any time.
Library Reference & Research Assistance
- Lisa & Rebecca are currently on campus and in the library and can scan anything you need from the books and magazines.
- Lisa & Rebecca are also available by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and by telephone to help answer questions and find good online information.
- We will work with our tutors to determine the best way to get assistance, and we will send further information about that next week.
- Natalia Worden, Program Director, is also available for academic support during this time.
COVID-19 DISD Webpage
Please also visit the DISD Coronavirus (COVID-19) web page where we will share updates, information and resources.
The DISD library page also has Virtual Classroom Support for DISD Students.
Spring break is scheduled from March 30 - April 3, 2020 and we hope that face-to-face classes can resume after the break. We will let you know when your courses will resume as soon as possible.
Stay healthy and stay safe.
Margot Doucette, CEO
Information for the DISD community related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
March 11, 2020
Due to the elevation of the Coronavirus to a Pandemic classification, as well as the intimate nature of our classrooms and campus, DISD has determined that in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety that we will transition to virtual instruction beginning Monday 3-16-20 until further notice. In order to best support faculty during this transition, classes beginning today Wednesday 3-11-20 at 5:00 pm (through Friday 3-13-20) will be cancelled.
A teaching continuity plan and resources will be shared shortly. Please check your emails, website and social media regularly as we will be sharing information through these platforms. A webpage dedicated to this topic is currently under development.
The Staff will remain on campus through this week and perhaps longer as necessary to ensure a smooth transition and support of students and faculty.
Technology resource surveys will be emailed to students and faculty to ensure access to the virtual learning environment. As always DISD is committed to student success and outcomes and we will work together during these extraordinary times to meet academic and other programmatic requirements.
We ask everyone to remain calm and understanding as we navigate through this transition together. We know you will all have a lot of questions and we will be sharing information soon.
Margot Doucette, CEO
Other Helpful Links and Resources
- Centers for Disease Control
- Centers for Disease Control – Stigma and Resilience
- Centers for Disease Control – Information for Travel
- World Health Organization
- San Diego.gov – Coronavirus Disease
Congratulations to Design Institute of San Diego student Mary Kristofich for winning a $5,000 scholarship in the IIDA Southern California 2020 Best of Design – Student Competition. One of eleven finalists selected to present her project to the panel of judges, Mary won the Social Relevance in Interior Design category for best addressing social or cultural issues through creative design. Her design for a safe injection facility for drug users to prevent overdose and protect the surrounding community was inspired by growing up in an area where heroin use is prevalent. The award will be formally presented at the 32nd Annual IIDA Calibre Design Awards on Friday, May 15th, 2020.
Our Assistant Librarian Rebecca Wollner asked fourth-year student Mary a few questions about the competition.
Can you tell us a little about your project?
During Interior Design V, we focused on institutional design and were given a site at North Park's Community Park. Being that drug addiction is an epidemic in this country, I wanted to design a safe injection facility. A hot, and controversial topic, safe injection facilities prevent overdoses, create a positive environmental impact, and protect surrounding communities. Nurses supervise heroin users during injection, intervening at any point of an overdose, or giving tips how to properly inject to reduce harm to the body. Staff are there to listen to users, while providing resources for help. During the time of this project, this concept was being tested in various cities, such as San Francisco, Baltimore, and New York City. Just last week, Philadelphia has now opened the first official safe injection facility in the US.
I can’t resist a library question. I know you did your research; were there any library resources that were particularly helpful?
Yes! Unfortunately being such a new topic, there weren't any books on the subject (yet). This led me to read scholarly articles from researchers analyzing needle exchange program statistics, and outcomes of safe injection facilities in other countries.
I came across an article on a facility called Insite, located in Vancouver, and reached out to the architect Sean McEwan, who allowed me conduct an interview. Besides case studies, I learned in an article on the handy DISD Library database OmniFile that California had approved needle exchange programs 20 years ago. Inspired, I volunteered for San Diego's Safe Point Clean Needle Exchange Program (CSEP) located in Downtown/North Park.
Did volunteering for the CSEP contribute to you design decisions?
It did contribute to some design decisions. A woman came by to get amenities such as alcohol pads to wipe her feet. When she took her shoe off, the entire sole of her foot was peeling. We talked about how she was gifted this necklace she was wearing from Mexico. It inspired an adaptable space in the facility that can hold donation days, such as having a clothing drive. Other volunteers mentioned some of the users are on medications for illnesses such as Hep-C, and their medications are typically stolen. In turn, lockers were implemented at the entrance of the facility.
Did presenting to the judges feel different from presenting to guest judges in class?
Yes. When you are presenting to judges in class, you are not only presenting to them, but your instructor and fellow classmates. In the classroom, you tend to compare yourself to the other projects presented.
Due to the nature of this event, you were not allowed to bring guests, and only come in during your time frame to leave space for the other contestants. What I liked about this format is it's only yourself and judges. You can't get into your head during the presentation, because there is nothing else to distract you.
Has this experience motivated you to consider entering more competitions?
What other take a ways do you have from this experience and is there anything you might share with current or prospective students?
Find a topic that brings you interest, research through multiple outlets, and form your concept based on your evidence.
Photos provided by IIDA Socal, taken by Chris Hatcher Photography
Alumni who attended the meeting gathered for a photo
A great group of Design Institute of San Diego graduates gathered at Cutwater Spirits on October 3rd for the 2019 Alumni Network Mixer. Graduates from the class of 1998 through 2019 came together for an evening of networking and mingling. They enjoyed tasty bites and equally tasty beverages and also took advantage of a tour of the distillery.
The Design Institute of San Diego and Humble Design teams before the day begins. Photo credit: Humble Design San Diego
Every year, Design Institute of San Diego students have several opportunities to give back to the community through volunteering. On July 26th, the school partnered with Humble Design of San Diego for a Day of Service, giving our students the wonderful chance to help a local family in need and show off some of their interior design skills at the same time.
Will you be a winner this year?
Just like summer, Design Institute of San Diego's annual Instagram summer contest #DISDStepsOut is back! Summertime is the perfect season for travel and sightseeing. As designers or just lovers of great design, we want to see the wonderful architectural landmarks, fabulous interiors and inspiring artwork you encounter during your summer adventures. Share your photos on Instagram with us and you might just be one of two lucky winners of a $50 Amazon gift card! Here's how to participate in our summer contest:
Our 2018-2019 Student Ambassadors, from L to R: Kelly McWhorter, Clara Zepeda, Ana Morales, Angie Maldonado, Renee Candelario. Not pictured: Kathleen Quiroz and Francesca DiVentra
Student Ambassadors are current Design Institute of San Diego interior design students who are self-motivated leaders, eager to represent DISD to the general public and represent the voice of the DISD student body. They are an elite group of individuals who are enthusiastic about DISD and are willing to engage in and promote our on and off campus activities. We’re excited to announce that we have a fresh, new group of Student Ambassadors on board who are ready to share their passion for DISD and interior design with the world. Meet the new talented squad below:
CEO/Director Margot Doucette speaks during the awards ceremony.
SAN DIEGO, CA, September 28, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Design Institute of San Diego (DISD), celebrated its 40th anniversary on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. The milestone event brought together alumni, past and present faculty, board members and industry peers for an evening of connecting and reminiscing. The event also included the first-ever DISD awards ceremony. Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and live music by guitarist Miles Moynier. The 40th anniversary celebration was made possible by premier sponsors Visual Asylum, NAI San Diego, Ponce's Mexican Restaurant, Jackson Design and Remodeling and Lee and London PR. A check for $5,000 was presented to the event beneficiary, San Diego Habitat for Humanity.
DISD Student Britnie Cowling also wins two awards: 2nd place for her commercial project and 1st place for her sustainable design project
SAN DIEGO, CA, September 12, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Design Institute of San Diego (DISD), announced today that its students, faculty and alumni earned an impressive 21 awards at the 2018 American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) San Diego Chapter Design Excellence Awards. The event celebrates the best San Diego interior designers, industry partners, and students in more than 20 categories as judged by their design-industry peers. DISD students, alumni, and faculty were honored for their work in over 20 categories.
DISD sustainability instructor Kelly Aljibury Kreuzinger was interviewed in an article on indoor air quality that ran on the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune Home and Garden section in June. Click the image below to read the entire article.DISD instructor Kelly Kreuzinger was featured in a San Diego Union Tribune story on indoor air quality
Design Institute of San Diego's annual Instagram summer contest #DISDStepsOut is back! Summertime is the best time of the year for travel and sightseeing. As designers or just lovers of great design, we want to see the wonderful architectural landmarks, fabulous interiors and interesting art pieces you encounter during your summer adventures. Here’s what you’ll need to know: