by: Ellie Hooper
Jeanne Mercer-Ballard, associate professor of Interior Design at Appalachian State University, was selected as a faculty fellow through the SAI Faculty Fellows Program. Mercer-Ballard traveled to Milan this past summer where she had the opportunity to live, present, research and experience life at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti and Domus Academy.
While participating in the SAI Fellowship, Mercer-Ballard focused her research on cultural preferences and specifications for the color of interior light. In addition to her research, she had opportunities to increase her knowledge on short-term faculty-led study abroad opportunities, and created a network for global collaborations, potential internships and research.
Mercer-Ballard’s experience with the SAI Fellowship was magnified with opportunities to meet with design faculty, Italian designers, lighting manufacturers and lighting designers. She enhanced her experience by traveling through England, France, Italy and Sicily where she visited the University of Lincoln, Lorenzo di Medici, and Syracuse Academy where she discussed opportunities for short-term, faculty-led study abroad trips.
“I enjoy making the world seem a bit smaller, more connected, and more understood. I help students begin to understand other cultures, how other cultures are similar and different, and why this is important in design and our society,” said Mercer-Ballard. “ I want our students to be the most thoughtful designers practicing and be prepared to succeed in an increasingly global society.”
Mercer-Ballard has extensive design experience with large and small architectural firms, a large retailer and for her own company, Envi Studio Inc. Having been published in countless periodicals and books, she prides herself in creating environmentally-sensitive, economically-sensitive, and culturally-sensitive work.
About the Department of Applied Design
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, theDepartment Applied Design at Appalachian State University fosters excellence in design education, design research and professional placement. The department balances theoretical and pragmatic approaches while exploring an awareness of impact through design decisions on the global community. Faculty focus on a holistic approach to creative problem-solving by integrating sustainability and ethical responsibility in teaching and practice. The department offers bachelor’s degrees in apparel design and merchandising, industrial design and interior design.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.