Designer Jane Lockhart and HGTV’s Scott McGillivray have teamed up with Cambria to launch a free online course called Dream. Plan. Do. The Inspired Kitchen. The course targets consumers, but Lockhart's mission is also about empowering designers and the profession at large. She chats with EAL about how designers can channel their expertise and insights into an online course, and what her kitchen course aims to accomplish for the field.
“I’m a passionate advocate for designers,” says Lockhart. “I feel they’re the silent minority that speaks through their work, and people only ever comment when design is bad; they never comment when design is good. If a designer does a good job, the homeowner gets the credit. That’s how it should be, yet people never really recognize how much work went into that room.”
Cambria approached her to develop the course, she says, as she is typical of a residential designer who developed kitchen design training over the years. It focuses on style and design concepts; the best way to use space; and how to choose top-quality materials.
For designers who would like to create their own online courses, she advises: “Break it down. Know what your topic is and who you’re talking to. Who is your audience? Business to business, or business to consumer? Secondly, work from general into specific… [Think in terms of] chapter headings. What do you want people to know? How do you want them to know it? What do you want them to come away with it at the end?”
Lockhart says her course focuses on the value of design. “TV right now promotes the idea that anyone can do it: a contractor, a homeowner, anyone,” she explains. “The more the consumer can understand the value of designers, the better it is for the industry—not just design, but home in general. The better the home looks and functions, the more credibility design gets.”