I'm sure may of you have noticed that in the new look of our website we have emphasised four words: Make, Lead, Challenge and Care. These words are intended to go beyond being just a marketing slogan, and to describe the values that Interior Design at The Creative School holds close to its heart. They are perhaps distant goals, in some ways, lighthouses that pull us on to where we want to be. They are touchstones, guides on what can be a difficult journey.
Choosing four words to describe the values of a diverse and complex organism like The School of Interior Deisgn is not an easy task, and we make no claim that these are the perfect words. As time goes on they may morph, change, hopefully become clearer. At this moment, these words are provisional attempts to understand what it is we are trying to do. The words themselves were developed by the faculty as a whole, working together to think of what we want for our students, and I think they have some power.
So what do they mean?
We start with Make, because in The School of Interior Design we believe that making is a critical part of what it is to be a designer, what holds us in intimacy with material and space. It means more than this though: we make objects, we make drawings, we make spaces - but we also make lives, communities, careers. We thought of other words - build, create, design - but so far, make seems to hold the most promise.
We move on to Lead, not just because we are historically a leading School of Interior Design in North America, but also because we aspire to lead our communities. We want our graduates to become leaders in the profession. Leading can be aggressive, and that's one of the problems with this word: but we want to this of it more like the care that one takes in leading those who need assistance. We want to lead by considering issues like sustainability and equity, help lead us all to a better world.
This means, of course, Challenging ourselves to do better, recognizing but not accepting our own weaknesses and fears. It also means challenging the ideas and methods we have inherited from our predecessors - not to reject them, but to question how the context has changed, how we can do honour to the past by delivering a new future.
And Care, of course, is at the centre of all of this. We strive to care for ourselves and for each other, both inside and outside of the School. We care for our clients and for the users of the spaces we make, and for those excluded from those spaces. We show care in our workings with materials and objects. We care for the earth, for the natural ecosystems, for a sustainable world.
It is my hope that, as we move forward into the new being that is Interior Design at The Creative School in Toronto Metropolitan University, these four words will guide us towards the future we all want.
Interior Design is the future. Come make it with us.
Chair, Interior Design at The Creative School