VCU Honors College

The Honors Community

Emily August
Centreville, Va.
Interior design and a minor in business

Emily August

For a recent studio class project, Emily August, a sophomore interior design major at Virginia Commonwealth University, had to design an ice cream shop. She spoke to her client — the owner of Gelati Celesti in the West End of Richmond, Va. — about what he would like to see in his newly designed shop and came up with her concept.

“The name Gelati Celesti means heavenly ice cream,” she said. “I took the idea of an image of the clouds and the rays of the sun. I made a big lighting effect in the middle of the shop. That was kind of my inspiration.”

With the project complete, professional designers and the client critiqued the work of August and her classmates over the course of two days.

“Everyone got good feedback,” she said of the critics’ comments. “Gelati Celesti’s owner thought it was so cool to hear all the different ideas. He enjoyed it a lot.”

The experience solidified August’s interest in pursuing a career in interior design. While always interested in art (“I’ve taken art classes since middle school.”), she came to VCU originally to study graphic design. But after August’s Honors College adviser recommended the interior design program, she changed her mind.

“Interior design is more multi-faceted,” she said. “It’s a lot of collaborative work and I love the idea that there’s a lot more to it than just sitting behind a computer.”

Aside from working on design projects, August supports other honors students as a resident assistant in the West Grace Street Student Housing residence hall. So far, she’s enjoyed the experience.

“It’s really helping me grow as an individual,” August said. “Even though everyone is in a single room, the students all come out to the common area and hang out together, so there’s a greater sense of community in The Honors College.”

August also keeps busy as a member of STAT — Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow — volunteering at various events around campus and in the community, as well as searching out internship possibilities in the design field.

“I want to get more practice and see more of what the field has to offer,” she said. “There’s so much more than commercial and residential design. I’m keeping my options open.”

Emily August

I love the idea that there’s a lot more to interior design than just sitting behind a computer.

Emily August