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News Bites: Interior Design Students and Faculty Member Give Back with Habitat For Humanity

Posted November 2, 2015 in StudentFacultyNews BitesInterior Design

A group of students from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD) Interior Design program and professor Tara McCrackin recently spent a day helping Habitat for Humanity breathe new life into a house in Southwest Grand Rapids.

Students Alesia Flowers, Betsy Kort, Charity Atton, Christian Merriam, Elise Boersma, Elizabeth Heinz, Jena Glazier, Katie Patterson, and Megan Hoekzema worked with McCrackin and her husband John to install trim and hardwood flooring in the home.

Interior Design students volunteering with Habitat for HumanityInterior Design professor Tara McCrackin (2nd from right) and her husband John (far right) with the KCAD student volunteers outside of the Habitat for Humanity house they helped build

McCrackin, who aims to get her students involved with Habitat for Humanity at least once a year, says the opportunity enables students to learn how to design, document, and communicate with the building trades.

“To see, experience, and participate in the actual build is critical to reinforce and understand construction methods, challenges, and successes so that specifications in the future are appropriate and that concerns are addressed before the construction begins. As a young designer, you will get more respect and cooperation from the building trades if you understand what needs to be done in order for the design to be built.”

Interior Design students volunteer at Habitat for Humanity house
(above and below): Interior Design students installing hardwood flooring inside the Habitat for Humanity house

Interior Design student volunteering at Habitat for Humanity

The group also had the chance to get to know the family that will soon call the renovated house their home.

“Habitat for Humanity does a great job of providing instruction and making meaning,” says McCrackin. “We learned about the homeowner, Samai, and her six children as well as her plans for the future. Providing this personal connection inspires volunteers.”