Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Haas ’06

Jonathan is a 2010 graduate of Samford University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in interior design. While at Samford, he was a resident advisor and was involved in the Sigma Chi fraternity and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.

For three years, Jonathan served as head graphic designer for Samford’s Step Sing, a longstanding campus tradition and music competition. He is currently a member of The Church at Brook Hills.

As the final project of his undergraduate interior design education in the fall of 2010, Jonathan embarked on a semester-long thesis project in which he detailed a proposed plan to repurpose the historic Birmingham Branch of the Federal Bank of Atlanta to meet new academic and community needs. He designed the project around the idea that design schools must engage the surrounding community in order to be truly effective in design education. The design school proposed in his thesis integrates an architecture school, public café and gallery, and a field trip space for elementary and middle school students, all housed in a central downtown Birmingham location. Jonathan presented the project in December 2010 and recently won the IIDA (International Interior Design Association) Alabama IDIE award for “Best Student Project”. His project was selected from a field of participants from the University of Alabama, Auburn University, University of North Alabama, Virginia College, and Samford. He was recognized in March 2011 at the organization’s biannual awards gala in Birmingham.  Jonathan said, “It was an honor to receive the award and be recognized among my peers and the local design community,” Jonathan said.

Jonathan plans to stay in the Birmingham area, where he is applying for jobs at local design firms. He is also considering applying to Archeworks in Chicago and working internationally with Architecture for Humanity. In the meantime, he is working with a team of individuals to bring a TEDx event to Birmingham this fall.  In whatever sector he ultimately lands, Jonathan desires to be an educator in some capacity. “One of the greatest joys in design is helping another person use his or her strengths and abilities to create something beautiful.”

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