7 most common questions (and answers) about the CET Designer Education Program

We’ve always supported our local Universities in the regions where our offices are located. Göran Rydqvist and Johan Lyreborn were recent graduates from Linköping University in 1990 when they first founded Configura so recruiting new graduates has always been important to us.

We’re now expanding our support of Universities into the United States by offering our CET Designer Education Program. This time we’re not focusing on the techy programmers, but the interior design programs.  

Therefore, we decided to exhibit at the annual IDEC Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The annual conference gathered leaders of interior design firms, interior design practitioners, design firm representatives, industry partners, publishers, educators and students. For us, this was a new experience and the right place to spread the word about our new Education Program.

Together with our partners, we invest in the future of interior designers by giving each school free CET Designer licenses for the instructor and all the students in the class. The Instructor also receives free beginner training and on top of that we hook the University up with a local dealership to act as a sponsor. 

To better explain and understand the CET Designer Education Program, we asked Tara McCrackin, Interior Design professor at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, to explain the program from her point of view. Tara has been teaching CET Designer for three semesters and was one of the first to jump on board at the opportunity to teach CET Designer.

What’s your favorite thing about CET Designer?

My favorite thing is that students can get nice quality and smart drawings in both plan-view and 3D. I also like that they can render it and get a really nice product without having to do the same project in multiple software’s over and over.

For the students that have only learned CAD, the output tends to be pretty static. CAD drawings are not engaging; they don’t draw the viewer in and are not glamorous presentations that a client would want. It’s a very nice product for communicating to the field for installation, but it’s a hard sell to a client. With CET Designer, you have the intelligence to create the contract documents as well as glamour-shots for presentations. That’s one of the strengths of the program.

What’s it like to teach CET Designer?

I think it’s as easy to teach CET Designer as any technology. This generation is hungry for technology and because CET Designer is smarter than other software’s that have been available in the past, the students get excited about it.

What do your students like the best about the program?

The students are of course always excited about the renderings and how glamorous they can look. Besides the renderings, I think they’re initially excited about the smartness. They can pull in the products to the drawing area and the product itself has the intelligence to let them know how it can be used. It will happen that students come to me and say that something doesn’t work. For the most part it’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s just that they’re trying to do something that the product won’t let them do.

How have you setup your class to teach CET Designer?

We have wrapped CET Designer into a class so it’s a part of a mid-size commercial project. I usually introduce the software in smaller exercises. For example, they may be designing a typical workstation for the project that we’re working on. The first exercise will be to put it together in CET Designer. Then the next exercise will be to apply the finishes, then create the bill of material and so on. In the end, they’ve been introduced to everything they will have to do at a larger scale so when they actually have to do it professionally, they can just apply their knowledge more globally.

What products do you use?

The dealership that we’re working with that semester decides what products we’ll be using since we want to use the same products as they sell. This is because the dealership helps us with product knowledge and act as the second line of support. We also have Configura as the third line of support for more technical questions so we never have to end up with unanswered questions.

How is it to work with a local dealer?

The dealerships have been very receptive. The first semester they kept asking: “Do you want us to come in? Can we come back?” That kind of response is great, especially from a University standpoint, as we want to develop those relationships with the designers in the field.

It’s also fun to have the designers - which sometimes are alumni from the program - come in and answer questions. I’ve been through training but it’s not something I’ve used professionally so it’s nice to get the professional aspect as well.

How do you think the students benefit from learning CET Designer?

The benefits we’ve seen that our students get out of learning CET Designer is the competitiveness they get in the workplace. When they leave to work for dealerships they may have opportunities to work with these manufacturers that we have worked with in class. Already knowing the software and the products puts them at a competitive edge and I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want that for their students.

For us, this is a no brainers. This is absolutely something we have to include in our program.

Learn more about the CET Designer Education Program and how your University can get started at configura.com/education.

By Kelsey DeBruin

Kelsey is a Training & Support Specialist and Interior Designer at Configura. She is also responsible for the CET Designer Education Program.