Category Archives: College life

5 Things You Need To Know
 
….ABOUT ENTERING DESIGN COMPETITIONS

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.

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Hooked on Salon

When we hear the word salon, most of us think of this:

cartoon salon

However, our aim here does not concern perms, blowouts, or conditioning treatments. It’s about starting your own interior design salon.

Another definition of salon is a gathering of people. Specifically, a gathering to discuss, titillate, amuse, and exchange ideas. Most often, a salon focuses on a single topic or discipline, and brings together people sharing a thread between them – a group of writers, theorists, scientists, etc. However, the more diverse and eclectic a group is, often the more stimulating the conversation.

Salon gatherings began in the 16th century when upper-class intellectuals met formerly within large reception halls or personal mansions to exchange opinions about history, literature, and cultural issues. Over time, salons evolved from upper crust decorum in favor of spontaneity and free-flowing conversation.

FdeTroyLectureMoliere

Yet, the founding principles of salons are extended to today where idealistic, honest, radical, and unique conversations and debates form through gathering like or unlike minds in the egalitarian purpose of developing new ideas out a discipline, or out of an immediate or worldly issue.

Whether it is hosted by a specific person or held in a specific location, think about how YOU can start your own salon with friends, friends of friends, classmates, instructors, and professionals. This can plug you into a unique and fun social group, and provide you with innovative, collaborative ideas for your interior design mind and career. Make sure to think about using your IIDA Campus Center for help with organizing, creating, and scheduling a salon. Email us at socialmedia@iida.org if you do organize a salon, we’d love to promote it!

One of the more historically famous salons featured Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Pablo Picasso (think Midnight in Paris) gathering under one roof, sharing thoughts and influencing each other’s work – all in the name of expanding and bettering their professional and personal goals. You can start on that path too by starting your own salon; just make sure people know it isn’t a curl-up and color treatment opportunity.

Images Sources:

http://alluresalonandspa.biz/page/1nb40/MONTHLY_SPECIALS.html

Make Your Design Network Work

UNCLE SAM
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!

The Art of Keeping Calm

We all lose our cool sometimes, and as students, we all know how easy it is to get stressed out.  In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m on the phone with my bank! If that’s not enough to make anyone want to pull their hair out, I don’t know what is.  I’m going to take a bit of the advice I’m sending you way, and apply it to my situation.  So what should you do to keep calm?  Read on!

Breathing exercises Just learning the art of breathing correctly can increase your mood and help mellow you out a bit.

Meditation: You’ll often feel like even if you take a minute off from your busy schedule that you’re being unproductive. When in reality you end up watching Modern Family on Hulu for an hour.  Instead, just take anywhere from five to 15 minutes to relax your mind.  You’ll be much more refreshed when you’re done and incorporating meditation into you daily routine will allow you to remain calm and mellow throughout your day..

Look at the bright side:  Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?  Sure this huge project may seem like the end of world now, but think about what it might do for you in the long run.  If relevant, this is a project you can add to your professional portfolio which you can leverage when hunting for internships and jobs.  Even though it’s difficult, do the best you can now and the rewards can be endless.

Dedication

Here at “I ❤ ID,” the official IIDA Student and Emerging Professionals blog, we’re thrilled to bring you a new series of regular guest blog posts from Colorado State University IIDA Campus Center president Kaylyn Schmer.

Kaylyn Schmer

On Monday August 20th, I started my senior year at ColoradoStateUniversity. All summer I had been prepping for my capstone. I was researching, sketching, writing and loving every minute of it. People would ask me what I was doing over the summer and I would tell them that I was preparing for my senior year. I would always get strange looks, and people would ask why I just didn’t take the summer off. It never occurred to me that I should take time off this summer, or any summer. Why should I take a break from something that I love? Why wouldn’t I make the most of the three months of glorious sun and a light class load?

To me, there is nothing more electrifying than being excited about what you are doing. This brings us back to the drive of passion from one of my previous blog posts, yet this can only take you so far. Once you are passionate about something, you need a little perseverance and dedication to reach your goals.

This idea became more clear to me in a recent job interview. The person that interviewed me was perplexed by everything that I had managed to cram into my college career. I simply said that I am dedicated to what I love, and that happens to be Interior Design. After discussing this with a few of my accomplished peers, it has become evident that not many people expect such focus or dedication out of someone who is just a “student.”

It always takes me by surprise that people expect so little of students. The majority of design students that I have met have been not only exceptionally creative, but determined and driven as well. I am disappointed that the dedicated and ambitious students are the exception to the rule. However, I am proud to be part of such a creative and high achieving group. So, let’s prove our worth as design scholars, and strive to be a group of capable young professionals.

But, what if you don’t know your path yet? How are you supposed to dedicate yourself if you are still finding your passion? Dedicate yourself to the practice of learning, researching, and gaining more knowledge. There is always something new to learn, and always ways to improve yourself. Do your best to not pass up any opportunity, and make sure you are open to ideas, all of the time. Who knows, through all of your discoveries and new experiences, you may just find the path to where you’re meant to be!

If you are interested contacting Kaylyn or guest blogging for “I ❤ ID,” please shoot Victoria Guerrero, Communications Intern at IIDA Headquarters an e-mail by  filling out the form below.  We’d love to hear from you!

Passion

Here at “I ❤ ID,” the official IIDA Student and Emerging Professionals blog, we’re thrilled to bring you a new series of regular guest blog posts from Colorado State University IIDA Campus Center president Kaylyn Schmer.

Hi, I’m Kaylyn. I’m a senior Interior Design major at Colorado State University. I was recently on the winning team of the first ever International Interior Design Association Student Design Charette, which is why I was asked to write this blog.

Kaylyn (far left) with her winning Student Design Charette team at NeoCon 2012

When I was asked to do this, I was thrilled! Once I tried to decide on a topic though, I hit a roadblock. I was thinking, “Ok, what do people want to read? What will be relevant to people reading this blog?” So after a lot of brainstorming it hit me. This is ridiculous. I love interior design and this is what this blog is about. Why was I so worried? I get to write about my passion!

I have always been one to follow my many passions, even as a little kid. When I was about 5 years old, I decided that I wanted to be a Glitter Teacher. I don’t know what I meant by that, but I told my parents and they bought me some little containers full of glitter, and I went to town. Glitter with glue all over paper. Glitter poured in my hair? Sure. Glitter stuck to my clothes with glue? Why not!

Well, I have not changed much from that zealous and eager five-year-old child. I still follow my passion for interior design and it has somehow infiltrated everything I do- and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So for my first blog, I would like everyone reading to ask yourself what your passion is. Do you follow it each day? What are you doing to get closer to reaching your dreams and aspirations?

I’ll leave you with advice from my Dad. “Do what is right for you- what you love, and the rest will follow.” This advice has proved true for me and I hope it will for you too!

Welcome to the blogging team Kaylyn!

If you are interested in guest blogging for “I ❤ ID,” please shoot Victoria Guerrero, Communications Intern at IIDA Headquarters an e-mail by  filling out the form below.  We’d love to hear from you!