Interior design student puts out (her) welcome mat
Kari Bazian, a fledgling designer who completed her final semester for a degree in human ecology with a minor in design at the University of Alberta in the fall of 2009, has poured her time and talent into creating a welcoming look for a social housing project in central Edmonton.
Bazian spent six months researching exterior and interior finishes for the project—a triplex in the Prince Charles community of Edmonton—which will house Aboriginal families. She joined the project under the guidance of John Whittaker, a retired engineer and professor emeritus of the U of A.
Her first attempt at a real-life project brought its own challenges—especially working on a shoestring budget.
“There’s not really a market for designers to do social housing—no one wants to pay for it, when you are budgeting off of government grants. It’s easy to make a house look nice when you have an unlimited budget. But to make it look nice with no budget is more of a challenge.”
Bazian, besides having an impressive project on her resume, now has an idea of a small but untapped market in social housing, and precious practical knowledge that rounds out her classroom learning.
“This project gave me great insight into what everything is about in interior design.”