A Lakeland College interior design technology (IDT) alumnus has been named to an elite list in the world of design.
Charles Kimball is one of 30 young professionals from throughout North America named to National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) Thirty Under 30, Class of 2019
Kimball, Class of 2014, is the lead designer of Premier Companies
, a design and build construction firm in Winnipeg, Man. He is thrilled to be a part of the NKBA’s incoming Thirty Under 30 class.
“I am very honoured to be a recipient. In this industry, it’s an affirmation that I am doing well. It's a confidence booster,” he says. Kimball and 29 other recipients from across North America will be recognized at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show from Feb. 19-21, 2019, in Las Vegas.
As Premier’s lead designer, Kimball is spearheading projects, determining the narrative of work and level of quality and, above all, improving clients’ quality of life through creation. He says his work is all about collaboration and transparency. “I like the application of interior design to human beings and how we live.”
When he is designing, the two most important things he pays attention to are intent and context – design principles he learned at Lakeland.
“Lakeland instilled the idea of practical applications of design and understanding our ideas have to be achievable and realistic. They also instilled that application – the intent of what you're doing and in the context in which you're doing it in – is paramount.”
In less than five years, Kimball and Premier went from working on $30,000 kitchen and bathroom renovations to half-a-million-dollar additions and million-dollar constructions projects.
Prior to Premier, Kimball worked with Interior Touches in Winnipeg as a designer and design account manager, freelanced in Edmonton and surrounding area, and completed Lakeland’s IDT practicum with The Works International Visual Arts Society in Edmonton.
“One highlight from my Lakeland experience was the practicum. It was a great work and learning experience because you are in the real world and you have to deliver. I learned an unbelievable amount of art and curation,” he says, and added the college’s relationship with the NKBA is another highlight and a blessing.
“It allows for more continuing education opportunities, opens a connection to a body of knowledge and it led me to this fantastic honour. Since Lakeland is an NKBA accredited school, students and alumni have this third-party association to go to progress from a professional development perspective.”
Surprisingly interior design was not a career this successful designer initially saw for himself. Initially, Kimball was interested in joining the Canadian Armed Forces and becoming a particle physicist. When that did not work out, he enrolled in a public relations program that he did not enjoy.
“I knew I needed to find something that involved science but I also want to make an impact in someone’s life. I thought about design, so I Googled the question: What is a good combination of science and art? The answer was interior design. Interior design is the perfect marriage between science and art.”
With little design knowledge, Kimball knew right away that attending Lakeland was the right choice. He appreciated Lakeland’s teaching methodology of not turning students into a household name or superstar, “but figuring out what's going to make you the best at what you can do.”
Being named to the NKBA’s Thirty Under 30 list is the second honour he’s received from the organization. In 2014, as a Lakeland student, Kimball received an honourable mention in NKBA’s charette competition.
Based at the Vermilion campus in eastern Alberta, Lakeland’s interior design technology program
provides graduates with a solid foundation in design fundamentals, drafting, space planning and more so they can create functional spaces. For the past 15 years, students have won awards in design competitions.
Photo: Charles Kimball, a Class of 2014 interior design technology alumnus, is one of the NKBA’s Thirty Under 30, Class of 2019 honourees.