There’s a crush of family and friends around Keely Haggar in the hallway of Leazar Hall as the high school student shows off her sketch of two video game characters – a menacing bruiser called Mittens and a small squid-like creature that turns out to be the brains of the outfit.
“Mittens wears a jet pack so he can fly around,” she explains. “But the squid controls him.”
Nearby, a hundred other students are going through a similar exercise, proudly showing off cardboard scale-model buildings, animated films and custom-designed playing cards to clusters of onlookers.
It’s the last day of Design Camp, a popular weeklong immersion in the culture and practices of NC State’s acclaimed College of Design, and the students are hosting an open house to display their budding creativity in five different design disciplines, from industrial design to landscape architecture.
Haggar, who attends Athens Drive High School in Cary, is considering a career in architecture. Her cardboard model of a residential tower has an urban flavor, and she admits to appreciating the style of New York City more than the low-rise, suburban aesthetic of the Triangle.
Around the corner, Durham Academy student Sarah Lerner (photo at top of page) discusses the inspiration for her colorful playing cards with her dad, Steve Lerner.
“My theme was a legend,” she says. “The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
Faculty members hope Design Camp leads students down a more tangible path: enrollment in the College of Design followed by a rewarding career in a creative field. They shouldn’t worry. Statistics show that about one-third of incoming design students are Design Camp alumni.
Design Camp is an outreach program of the Contemporary Art Museum and the College of Design.