Interior design is a field most people associate with HGTV, and that's about it. However, this is not the case for members of the American Society of Interior Design.
For them, it's a way of life.
Founded in 1975, ASID strives to advance the art of interior design and, in the process, cherish the power of design to change lives. This professional organization dates back even further to its predecessor groups, the American Institute of Interior Designers and the National Society of Interior Designers.
Currently, ASID has more than 250 student chapters at universities, design schools, colleges and even online universities.
The student chapter of ASID at UT works to prepare interior design students for what to expect from a career in the field.
Erin Metelka, president of the UT chapter of ASID, said the organization helps students in networking.
"Professionals come in and talk, and you get to know them and hear about their experiences" said Metelka.
In order to prepare students for employer expectations, UT's chapter of ASID focuses on networking and extensive preparation in interior design.
"Sometimes we'll have product reps come in and talk about specific things going on in the real world," senior ASID member Abbey Stepanek said. "We'll also have mock interviews, portfolio discussions and just try to help students in varying aspects."
There are about 80 students in the interior design program at UT, and roughly 20 students regularly attend ASID meetings.
"Our goal is to try and get the first years more involved because the first year is the big, overwhelming year," said Metelka.
Although it appears that UT's chapter of ASID only focuses on interior design, that's not necessarily the case.
"Everything we do in our group isn't geared just toward interior design. It's all about how we can use our degree in the real world," senior Teal Nabors, president of the International Interior Design Association at UT, said.
The student affiliates of ASID and IIDA combine together to help educate students about the world of interior design and all it entails. Contrary to popular belief, interior design is far more complicated than just painting a room and adding a few decorative pillows.
"Lots of people think interior design is decorating, but it's really more about function and how the space works," Metelka said.
UT's division of ASID recognizes the power of interior design to affect the quality of life for people. Since the atmosphere of someone's living space — lighting, temperature, acoustics can have a major impact on their psyche, ASID strives to make things more functional for the end user.
Students may join the campus extension of ASID or IIDA by paying $15 in chapter dues, respectively. For five more dollars, students may participate in both organizations. In order to put either group on a resume, students must pay $45 for national chapter dues as well.
ASID and IIDA meet the second Wednesday of each month in the Art and Architecture building, Room 325. Students are encouraged to stop by and learn about the ins and outs of interior design.