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Interior Design School During a Pandemic: Cassidy Jarosinski

The ​​Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia (IDIBC) asked graduating students from BC’s CIDA-accredited programs to share their experiences while completing their final years. Interior Design 2021 Wilson School of Design Graduate, Cassidy Jarosinski, discusses her Capstone project, any COVID-related challenges and silver linings, and the virtual classroom in this interview.



Portrait of Cassidy Jarosinski

Cassidy Jarosinski

Wilson School of Design at KPU Graduate 2021

“Last year our world changed and my life felt like it got flipped upside down as I am sure most people can relate too. I am extremely lucky and privileged to not have personally experienced the tragedies of Covid, but I know most people cannot say the same. My personal challenges were more school focused as we all made the switch to an online format during the last stressful month of school.”



With Covid being declared a pandemic, our class trip abroad was canceled which was extremely disappointing for all of us. I often wonder how different we would be as a class had we been able to go on that trip. The opportunities and life experiences that we missed out on, instead replaced with countless new challenges to navigate in the world of a global pandemic.

Starting online school again in the fall did not feel like a huge hurdle at KPU since a lot of our program’s resources are based online, but collaboration was a whole other challenge. As a key part of the way we learn, get feedback, and generate design ideas, collaboration over a computer screen was challenging and very different to what we were used to. I missed the spontaneous conversations with classmates and the social aspects of school that were lost. It was a hard switch, but I appreciate the teachers working as hard as they did to create a successful online classroom and final year for us.

My introverted tendencies enjoyed being at home and virtual classes meant my days were much more flexible since time was not spent commuting. In the beginning of the school year, I enjoyed the newness of school online but as the year went on and the workload got more intense, the isolation could often be crippling and lonely. We quickly learned that “zoom fatigue” was very real and it got harder to stay motivated. 

“As a class we collectively shared in the struggle but also helped each other all stay positive and navigate the challenges together.”

I was extremely lucky to have gotten a job in the industry during my 3rd year which provided invaluable experience and allowed me to learn at work and at school in tandem. I love problem solving and puzzles which makes space planning and schematics fun for me and helped set up my project to be strong from the beginning. My experience working from home was not a terrible one aside from the challenges of being isolated and the skills I had developed throughout the years really helped make my final year successful. I have my teachers, classmates, friends, and family to thank for all the support over the years and as cheesy as it sounds, I truly could not have done it without them.


The Concept for Cassidy Jarosinski's Capstone Project, Stoneboat

“The project’s concept came from wine itself and more specifically the different bodies of wine from a full body to a light body. Starting in the cellar level, the bodies get lighter as you move up and create different experiences within the project.”


Speaking to my project a little, my capstone was a boutique hotel and winery in Vancouver that was inspired by the Okanagan wine region. Hospitality design is something I knew I wanted to explore for my capstone and spending time in the Okanagan last summer inspired the idea to bring a taste of it to Vancouver.

It functions as a unique experience in downtown Vancouver and a local attraction for those weary to travel outside of the lower mainland in a post-covid world. I have spent summers in the Okanagan since I was young and my capstone was truly a passion project based on a place I love that is filled with happy memories.


The South-Facing of Stoneboat


The East-Facing Section of Stoneboat


Thank you IDIBC for choosing and interviewing Cassidy Jarosinski about her capstone project and her experience as an Interior Design School “Pandemic Graduate”. To see more of Cassidy’s capstone project, Stoneboat, check out her page on our official Graduate Showcase website. Original article here.