Category Archives: Campus Center News

5 Things You Need To Know

5 Things You Need To KnowYou Can’t Lose
By entering one or several projects into a design competition, there is no direction to go but up. Putting forth your work and having people see it, read it, and experience it can help you as a student and professional in several ways. As a student, you gain insight into how projects are judged and what is deemed great design, and as a professional you send your work to professionally successful and influential judges that critique it. You may even get to meet these judges and other professionals that attend the competition event to announce the winners (if the competition indeed decides to host the event); yet another conduit to showcase your work, and yourself.

5 Things You Need To KnowThey Make Your Work Better
Like a workshop or group review where peers, professors, and / or professionals listen to you describe and articulate your work and then provide you with constructive feedback, a competition provides a chance for you to showcase and obtain criticism and interpret your work’s worth. Knowing ahead of time that you are submitting to a competition also creates in you a sense of awareness that others – most notably, judges – are going to review your work. It makes you internally motivated to design a project that reflects your most advanced skills because you want it to impress and have people comment on it positively.

5 Things You Need To KnowThey Encourage Efficiency
Keeping yourself organized and managing your schedule are skills all designers benefit from, and if you schedule appropriate time to submit to competitions it helps you prioritize and work more efficiently. Design competitions have specific parameters and submission requirements you must tailor your submittal to, so making sure you know exactly what you need to submit as a competition deliverable(s) is important (especially when negotiating time between school and work responsibilities). Often, competitions ask for a combination of design renders and plans, as well as a succinct and clear written component describing your project.

5 Things You Need To KnowYou Become Involved
Design competitions do a great job of involving and engaging their participants. Whether it’s through e-mail, social media, or door drops, competition participants gain access to a design network where they can keep tabs on competition deadlines, see who is judging, find where and when the competition winners are announced, and of course (the fun stuff) what they receive for winning. In addition, competitions relay other entrants’ work, winning or otherwise (with approval), which gives participants a great idea of “what’s out there” and what you can expand upon in your own projects.

5 Things You Need To KnowYou Gain Affirmation, or Reaffirmation
Personally, I’ve entered several design competitions and lost all except one. The one I placed in gave me an affirming feeling that my design skills were, in a sense, acceptable – that the work I did was given a stamp of approval that said, “Yes, this is good design.” As creative people, we consistently put work “out there” that (hopefully) reflects our best design abilities and intentions, while acting as little parts of ourselves. When your design registers with a select panel of judges and you’re listed as a finalist, your career wayfinding becomes clear and the project you devoted so much personal time to is given its time in the sun. It’s an affirming, or reaffirming, feeling that your design inspired meaning in someone – a crucial effect our creations strive to engender.


Make Your Design Network Work

Any student – undergrad or graduate – greatly benefits from getting involved in their school and surrounding community. It places you in touch with people who can be valuable resources for your design education and career, and exposes you to new and inspiring places and things that can stimulate your design mind.

One great way to get involved is through the development of social committees to boost networking opportunities and help build professional and personal friendships.

If your design school does not currently have a social committee or social board in charge of creating, planning, and sometimes hosting social events for students than I strongly encourage you to push your school to start one, or help form one on your own or with a group.

As a former social committee member, it was extremely beneficial to play a role in planning social engagements for fellow students (undergrad, graduate, or otherwise). As a committee member, you are able to gain access to students in the same program, or other related programs, and develop close ties with faculty and teachers who often attend events. A great example of this is IIDA Campus Centers that provide an environment where students, educators, administration, and design professionals work together to develop programs and events for their school. Click here to learn more.

From personal experience, merely attending school social events is a great opportunity too, especially when you’re able to meet other students further along in your respective design program. With them, you are able to discuss and share school experiences, learn about helpful classes and teachers, and gain insights into professional opportunities you could potentially pursue.

When a social committee has gained a foothold on campus, try to think of innovative and unique ideas for social events and how they could be conducted. It’s an effective mode of promotion to funnel most of your events through social media, and even live promote during the event through a conduit like Twitter. Make the event inspiring (like going on a tour of local architecture and design), or think about serving the community by incorporating service projects into the social calendar.

To be a part of a social committee or attend social events through your school only helps you as you become more acquainted with the design field, and get to know the people within your future profession. Get out there, and make it happen!

Q&A: 2011 IIDA Student Sustainable Design Competition Winner, Katie Goodman

In honor of the 2012 IIDA Student Sustainable Design Competition, we’ve caught up with a past winner of the competition!  In 2011, a team consisting of Katie Goodman, Liz Kahn, Jennifer Madden, and Sarah Martin, all from Drexel University won the competition for the Drexel Smarthouse.  We had a Q&A with one of the winners, Katie Goodman, and here’s what she told us about what she’s been up to since then!

Q: University Attended?

A: I graduated from DrexelUniversity in June [2012]

Q: Where do you currently work?

 A: At the moment I am looking for a job in retail design while doing some freelance work on the side.

Q: What year did you win the Student Sustainable Design Competition?

A: December 2011

Q: What was your initial reaction when you won the Student Sustainable Design competition?

A:  Upon winning the SSDC I was absolutely shocked.  I wasn’t anticipating anything at all.

Q: What inspired you to enter the competition?

A: My teammates on the project discovered the competition and thought it would be great exposure for the project and the Drexel Smarthouse as a whole.  As a member of IIDA I thought it would be a wonderful idea and fun to try our luck with a project we spent so much time and passion for.

Q: What inspired you to pursue Interior Designer? 

A: I have always been passionate about architecture and design as a whole.  I have always found myself looking at space as a three dimensional puzzle and I was drawn to Interior Design through the combination of these passions.

Q: What have you been up to since winning the competition (work, school, etc.) and tell us about that experience?

A: Since winning in December I have received my masters in interior architecture + design.  Upon graduating I took a trip to Colombia to visit a friend with an architectural/engineering company.  While there I had an unforgettable experience and a chance to learn about design and architecture in South America.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to this year’s entrants, what would it be?

A: One piece of advice I would have is to think outside the box.  Through my experiences with Drexel Smarthouse we pushed ourselves to think further outside our comfort zone and it has definitely paid off.

A plan for the Drexel Smarthouse, winner of the 2011 Student Sustainable Design Competition.

To view more photos of their winning project, click here.

It’s not too late to enter the 2012 IIDA Student Sustainable Design Competition.  Submissions are being accepted until November 15!  Click here for your entry form!  And click here to see entries that have already been submitted.

Voting begins on the last day submissions are being accepted, November 15!

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Would you want to look at your own resume?  If the answer is no, then it may be time to update your layout.  A new study from TheLadders has found that the average recruiter will only spend 6 second looking at your resume.  6 seconds.  You may not even have blinked once in that open time. 

 Eyetracker technology was used to record exactly what a recruiter looked at in a resume.  So how do you make your resume stand out above the rest?  The key is to grab your potential employers attention span. 

  • Take note of what the job description is seeking and tailor your resume to attract the most attention to those particular spots.   
  • Use the right typography and white space in order for the eye to be drawn to those parts of your resume. 
  • Big blocks of texts were shown to be completely glossed over. 

 Need more tips? Check out the resources at your schools’ career center that will have resources available to help you create the right design to fit your career experience.  But we’re fans of the creative approach like this student’s resume. However, don’t just build your resume around the first template you find.  For example, a resume layout that has been used by a senior executive who graduated 25 years ago may not be your best choice.  Make sure to scour through a variety of options before picking the one right for you.

So want to stand out in six seconds?  Learn more here:.

Office Etiquette: How Not to Be the Annoying Co-Worker

You’ve finally got the job you want and you love your work, the office, coworkers, but do you all the time? Whether you are bombarded by constant emails or loud personal phone calls in the office workplace annoyances are common.

A recent LinkedIn survey revealed Americans’ top office pet peeve is coworkers taking someone else’s food from the fridge. There were also different annoyances by gender.  In the U.S. 62 percent of women were bothered by “clothing that’s too revealing for the workplace,” while only 29 percent of U.S. men said that was a problem. But the biggest pet peeve overall was “people not taking responsibility for their actions,” said 78 percent of all surveyed professionals.

Everyone gets annoyed in the office, but ever consider that you could be the one annoying them?

We checked out some advice from the little pink book.  Learn some basic office etiquette so you don’t become someone else’s office pet peeve.

  • Clean up after yourself. Put your dishes in the sink and throw out your trash.
  • Dress appropriately.  Learn the company dress code and stick to it.
  • Watch how loud you talk. Keep your voice at a reasonable level. Other people are trying to work as well.
  • Respect a closed door. If a coworker has closed their office door, whether they are busy or not, respect the request for privacy.
  • Watch your language. What you say is a reflection of your professional self.
  • Take responsibility for your mistakes.  Apologize and go about correcting the mistakes.


JUST ANNOUNCED – Student Sustainable Design Competition 2010

It has always been the vision of IIDA to lead the way for the next generation of Interior Design innovators. Do you have a sustainable design project? Enter the contest and you could win one of three amazing prizes!

ENTRIES AND VOTING WILL BE ACCEPTED STARTING OCTOBER 18th AND CLOSE NOVEMBER 8th. One Grand Prize winner will receive a $2,000.00 CASH PRIZE, a special feature on the IIDA Student blog, and a spotlight in the IIDA “HIRE ME” campaign. The First Place winner will receive a $1,500.00 CASH PRIZE and will also be featured on the IIDA Student Blog and on The post with the most votes will win $1,000 and a free IIDA Student Membership valid for one year.

This year we’ve raised the stakes by giving our entrants the opportunity for strategic exposure and network building. Share a link to your competition entry to boost your votes and inspire others with your creative designs through our online gallery and a public voting feature.

1. The entry fee is $10 for IIDA Student Members and $20 for Non-Members. IIDA Student Members click here:
Non-Members click here:
2. Upload four (4) images and of your most creative sustainable design project.
3. Provide a headline, title and description for the uploaded photographs.
4. Provide your legal name, a valid mailing address and a valid email address for contact purposes.

Click here to access the SSDC 2010 website.

Campus Center Renewal Deadline: October 1, 2009

It is time to renew your IIDA Campus Center status for the 2009-2010 school year!

Applications must be renewed every year by October 1st in order in ensure you have official Campus Center status with IIDA. Click here for the renewal application.


About Campus Centers

IIDA Student Members accomplish great things together. Campus Centers provide an outlet for student leadership and professional networking. Campus Centers provide an environment for the mutual development and exchange of knowledge between students, educators, administration and design professionals. Campus Center students add further value to their IIDA student membership by working closely with their local IIDA Chapter and/or City Center to develop programs and events.

Campus Center Requirements

Campus Centers are design-aligned clubs that must consist of at least 10-15 IIDA Student Members. All Campus Centers must complete an IIDA Campus Center application and return it to IIDA Headquarters with a Campus Center roster by October 1st of every school year. Download your Campus Center Application today.

Click here for more information!

Return applications to:
Michelle Kraker
Campus Center Application
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 567
Chicago, IL 60654
Email: Subject “Campus Center Application”