Category Archives: Icons & Leaders


IIDA would like to announce its inaugural “Clash of the Classics!” This tournament of personal taste pitches classically well-known and inventive chairs against each other with you, the voters, choosing which classic chair owns the throne.

Here’s how it works:

  • 16 chairs are arranged in a bracket with two chairs squaring off in each match-up (shown below)
  • Voting will take place on the IIDA DesignMatters blog with IIDA’s Facebook and blog followers choosing which chair they like more, and the chair with the most votes advances to the next round
  • The final match-up, slated for March 29th, will determine which chair owns the throne



Schedule of Rounds:

  • Round 1 = March 19 + 20
  • Round 2 = March 21 + 22
  • Round 3 = March 27 + 28
  • Championship = March 29

It’s IIDA’s twist on March Madness, and we can’t wait to get started. Stay tuned next week on Tuesday, March 19th when we kick off the First Round!

Please note: chairs do not reflect IIDA’s endorsement of any designer, company or manufacturer.


Designer Spotlight: D.B. Kim

We are launching a new series on our I ♥ Interior Design Blog spotlighting a new designer each week and to kick things off we reached out to designer extraordinaire D.B. Kim!

D.B. Kim

Occupation: Interior Designer
Hometown: Busan, South Korea
Current City: New York City and Chicago

Who are some of your personal style icons?
Andree Putnam, Emile Jacque-Ruhlmann, and Rei Kawakubo

What were some of your first experiences with design that inspired you to go in into the profession?
While I was studying in Switzerland, a graduate program provided by SCI-Arc, I had an awakening moment during a studio project with a legendary Ticenese architect Luigi Snozzi.

Westin Pasadena Lobby








When and why did you become interested in interior design?
It was toward the end of my graduate study in architecture when I grew interests in human scale and human experiences in architectural spaces.

How did you land your current role?
I’ve learned a lot and experienced many situations in design, which comes with ones maturity. While I learn and practice my career, I’ve learned to gain support and credentials to lead and to share the design knowledge and opinions.

DB's Apartment

What do you love most about it? What is the most challenging aspect?
I most enjoy sharing my concept process with my team members and having opportunities to answer questions and raise questions. The most challenging part of my enjoyment is to receive design opportunities and remembering patience.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find my inspirations from everywhere; however, art exhibits and design exhibits inspire me most.

While I’m sure it changes from project to project, how would you describe your own style?
I don’t think about my style or having a certain style; however, if I were to describe my preference, I’d describe my own style as simple but complex, efficient but comfortable, and calming but rejuvenating.

Westin Chicago Lobby








What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Eight years of my contributions at the Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide leading some of their key brands as a design leader.

How have your clients and their expectations changed since you first started?
Working in hospitality design sector, my clients would be the travelers, guests. Contemporary travelers’ expectations have surpassed anyone’s imagination. The expectations are not difficult, but a good pressure on us to become better in design and smarter in design process.

How do you establish a sense of place in your designs?
Designing and establishing a sense of place is not difficult to do while design concepts are inspired from culture and region. I love reminding the audience with familiar details and references.

DB Kim Art Exhibit

What do you use to convey your design to your clients?
Design presentations can be expressed in many mediums; however, the visual references and real samples of work or materials are most frequented sources to communicate with clients. In hospitality designs, at times we build actual rooms to convey ideas and concepts.

If there was one tip you could have really used early in your career, what would it be?
Be focused.

Advice for young designers?
Explore as much as one can.

5 Minutes with Philippe Starck

I was tickled to death when I discovered Philippe Starck’s recent interview in Whitewall magazine.The interview is chock full of interesting insight on Starck’s design philosophy, his latest projects, and what really motivates him.  Oddly enough it was Whitewall’s interviewer Guillaume Wolf who gave me the inspirational quote I really needed as a design student:

I think we are heading toward a creative revolution. So far, creativity has been the privilege of an elite group of professionals, but it’s going to explode to touch everyone. There are signs everywhere, but it’s a silent movement. It doesn’t mean everybody will become a rock star or anything like that, but it’s a totally different way to use creativity, integrated in the day to day.

I couldn’t have said it better if I tried.  Over the past few decades, creativity has literally snowballed in our profession and our society.  Technology has certainly aided in this. Suddenly the lone creative person or designer has a network of people to share ideas with and build momentum with.  It’s not just being part of, say a professional association (like IIDA), it’s about exchanging ideas, networking, expanding your knowledge base; that’s what fuels creativity.  Professional associations provide the stepping stone, but you have to take the step.

I’d LOVE to know your opinions on Philippe or this interview; send me an email or include your thoughts below.

Fast Company Names Masters of Design 2009

Fast Company has recognized that no matter what you do for a living, design matters. It has always mattered–to all of us.


This year’s list features an array of incredible talent: David Butler, David Adjaye, Lisa Strausfeld, Alberto Alessi and David Rockwell. Click here to read more.

Best Emerging Designer Announced

I came across this article today in Design Week. There is only one image posted of her project, and you can find it by clicking here. I think it is always interesting to see what students are designing abroad. If you haven’t already, check out what our International Design School in Moscow is producing. Text below is taken from Design Week:

An interior design student has scooped the inaugural Best Emerging Interior Designer award, organised by property developer Londonewcastle.

London Metropolitan University interior design student Linda Boronkay impressed a panel of judges including Tom Dixon with her contemporary apartment interior.

Boronkay’s winning entry will be on display at the 100% Design exhibition in London’s Earls Court later this year.

Londonewcastle claims that its brief attracted hundreds of entries from consultancies, architects, universities and colleges.

It called for entrants to create apartment interiors that would appeal to young professionals working in the creative industries, ‘who have a strong sense of style and are discerning in their tastes’.

The longlist was whittled down to six entries in April, and the winner was selected this week.

Boronkay will be officially named Britain’s Best Emerging Interior Designer at the 100% Design Awards held in September.

Women’s History Month: Influential Women in Design

March is Women’s History Month, and I want to take the opportunity in the coming weeks to highlight some of the influential women in interior design. Today, you can read about Shirley F. Pritchard, FIIDA. Click here for her full biography. I asked Shirley, what woman has been the most influential in shaping her interior design career? Read her response below!


Shirley F. Pritchard, FIIDA: I have the most amazing mother!  She’s almost 94 now, (still drives!) and still amazes me. Growing up in New England the Puritan work ethic was (still is) part of your psyche. By the time I was 8, I was knitting, sewing at 12, traveling with her on her search for primitive New England antiques, re-finishing furniture, painting and decorating our home, and designing my bedroom at the age of 13. It was lovely. My first after school job was with a fabric store in our town, friends of my mothers, and that was another education! She was a hard taskmaster! How many times she would make me rip something out and start over!

So now as a residential designer, I can tell and show a workroom how to construct a window treatment; show my painters how I want the lacquer applied to the walls; instruct the cabinet maker how to finish the piece I’ve designed and specify the materials with a degree of knowledge that is respected by my peers and my trades people. In combination with these tasks was the added lesson that “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” I count myself as very fortunate to have had this early training, which has served me well throughout my career, and a mother who has been such a blessing in my life.