October 22, 2020
Vanesa Gjeçi, a senior Honors student majoring in Interior Design with an Architectural Lighting Design minor, chose to craft her Departmental Honors project as a tool for advocacy and education instead of a strictly creative project because, to her, there is no better time than now to devote her work and intelligence to advocacy.
Vanesa came to Fort Worth from Albania with two years of social work education completed after having attended musical theater camp in Texas in 2015. She returned on the invitation of her host family for this month-long camp and began taking classes at Tarrant County College. She then transferred to TCU as an Interior Design major.
Although the shift from social work to Interior design may seem like a sharp turn, Vanesa said she saw her skills better suited helping others in a creative way. She described her initial interest in creative work and design as inspired by her childhood, where she was exposed to art and literature and provided with art supplies to harness her own artistic skills. Additionally, her sister has pursued a career in architecture, which contributes to Vanesa’s passion for the Architectural Lighting and Design field.
Under the supervision of Alyssa Humphries Stewart, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Lighting Education, Vanesa has developed a website to help bring awareness to the importance of lighting design in both the architecture and interior design studies. While the history of architecture is well documented, Vanesa noticed that the history of lighting design is sparse.
This website has not yet launched, but Vanesa describes her project as purely informational, offering insight into lighting design and its holistic effect on interior design and architecture. The page contains a brief overview of the history of Architectural Lighting Design and shares with students the educational path available to them. Ultimately, Vanesa says she sees lighting design as customized to the person who “occupies the space,” just as a tailor fits clothing to its wearer.
As Vanesa looks past graduation in the spring, she plans to work for some time before attending a graduate program to study architecture.