Never ending creativity: Sam Haak, Interior Design, Student Spotlight

Interior Design junior Sam Haak has always known she had a passion for design. After changing lanes from marketing, Haak found a home within the Dunwoody’s Construction Sciences & Building Technology program. Driven to succeed, Haak is an active student within her program.

Haak says that Dunwoody was her first choice because of the College’s Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and because it’s a four-year program.

“I like Dunwoody because of the small class sizes, kind community of students, and location,” Haak said. “It’s close to a lot of the firms downtown so there is a lot of opportunity around me.”

Thanks to her Dunwoody education, Haak found an internship at Fluid Interiors. Working there since September, Haak pursues projects ranging from corporate interiors to education spaces and assists with Fluid Interior’s design library.

Women in Construction

Haak believes that the inclusion of women in construction is very important because of the perspectives they can offer.

“There are a lot of women in interior design, but not as many on the construction side of things, so bringing more women into that process can offer important, and different perspectives,” Haak said.

“Seeing only one side of the process isn’t enough. I want women to have a 360 degree view of a project from start to finish.” Haak said. “Some say, ‘Oh, you’re just a decorator.’ No. We are interior architects. We should have just as much involvement until the project is complete.”

As an interior designer, Haak is tasked with many different projects including corporate and communal spaces. The task of an interior designer is essentially to make spaces welcoming, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.

Currently Haak has been studying theater design for her evidence-based design class, using the Sydney Opera House in Australia for her research project, and studying hospitality design in her studio class.

Throughout her education, Haak has found inspiration and support from faculty like Korrin Howard and Jessica Ainsworth-Truong.

“The teachers have been very helpful in my success here,” Haak said. “Korrin Howard approached me my freshmen year and encouraged me to be a student worker for the department. From there, I kept getting involved.”

Playing An Active Role
Graphic Design, Interior Design and Engineering Drafting & Design students present their concepts for the Eco Experience Water display to the Minnesota Department of Health. It will be the second time the students create something for the Minnesota Department of Health’s State Fair presence.

Haak and a group of students from the Interior Design, Graphic Design and Engineering Drafting & Design programs are using their skills to help construct another large-scale display for the Minnesota State Fair’s Eco-Experience building.

Commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Health, this is the second year Dunwoody students are participating with this project. This year’s display will be focused on municipal tap water vs. bottled water.

Haak and company are currently in the early stages of this project and have already presented two concepts to representatives from the Minnesota Department of Health. They will continue to meet with the Department throughout the project as they work towards completion.

“One concept we presented is this 10-12-foot tall interactive piece,” Haak said. “The idea is to have a large faucet with a cup. We want to have imagery that sticks in the viewers minds.”

An ongoing project, Haak and the group aim to produce a full-scale model of the faucet and cup. There will be a 10-foot tall faucet pouring “water” into a six-foot tall cup below acting as a natural selfie station for Fair guests.

“This experience has widened my eyes so much more to everyday life and collaborating as a group,” Haak said. “Working with the group is important, especially since we are working across different departments. We come up with the right answer together.”

Finding Where She Belongs

Haak is influenced by her fellow students and a love for the industry. Feeling at home in the industry, she is a proud to be in construction.

“There is no right or wrong answer, and I love the work,” Haak said. “When I started the program, something clicked. When you are meant to be somewhere it shows in your work. The industry in general pushes me. It is a never-ending exploration for creativity.”