Kristen’s Architecture and Interior Design Background

Kristen Baird

Each year as graduation season approaches, I find myself becoming nostalgic for my days at SCAD. I had so many incredible experiences there and I discovered my passion for jewelry design. But did you know that I didn’t start out studying jewelry? When I first applied to SCAD, I intended to study architecture and interior design, and I got pretty far along that route.

Recently, I was looking over my old portfolio, and I realized just how many lessons from that time continue to influence my work today. Come take a walk with me down memory lane!

Color Theory, Form, and Space

Architecture Blog - Color Theory

My foundational classes at SCAD were all about color theory, or the concepts behind which colors look beautiful together. Colors can either be in harmony, like when several shades of the same color are used, or they can contrast. Complementary colors, which are opposite each other on a color wheel, look great together even though they are very different. 

Similarly, space and form influence how balanced an image is. You don’t need a room or a piece of furniture to be perfectly symmetrical to have balance and symmetry. I continue to use asymmetrical balance and unusual shapes in my jewelry today. Although I originally learned all these foundational concepts in the context of interior design, these same lessons apply to my work with jewelry.

Modeling and Rendering

Architecture Blog - Modeling

It’s no secret that I prefer making models to sketching. When I was studying architecture, I absolutely loved making 3D models. Sometimes, I even went a little overboard with the details. Check out the sushi on the table in this kitchen renovation! I’m not sure how important the sushi was to the overall design, but it was sure fun to make. 

I especially loved furniture design, because I could easily picture the pieces from every angle. I loved the difference that the right furniture could make in a space, plus the options for shape, size, and color are endless. If I’m being honest, I’m still quite picky about furniture!

Architecture - Zen Garden Model

In contrast, all the flat renderings I had to make drove me crazy. Being on a computer all day doing 2D work was simply not for me. Today, while I do have to spend a little computer time when it comes to CAD, the vast majority of my work is tactile and in 3D. My brain just works a lot better that way. Nevertheless, it’s still fun to look back on some of my old pen-and-ink drawings.

Creative Values

Architecture Blog - Loft Redesign

My final interior design project was a full-loft conversion of an existing space in Savannah. This was so much fun because I was able to imagine my designs in a real space serving real people. While it wasn’t required for the project, I opted to use as many eco-friendly materials as possible in my design. (The leaf icons indicate eco-friendly.) I also opted to make the space fully ADA-accessible. 

Looking back on this project, it’s clear that the same values that motivated me then are carried on in my jewelry business. At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping in mind who you’re designing for, whether it’s spaces or pieces. These projects spoke directly to my vision of customization, personalization, and sustainability. I’ve just taken these concepts and applied them to a different medium. 

While jewelry design is my true passion, it’s easy for me to look back and see why I spent so much time exploring interior design. I continue to love these concepts, and I wish I could spend some time walking around in these spaces, especially the meditation garden! 

Happy graduation to the class of 2024! Here’s to always continuing to learn and grow.

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