Category Archives: IIDA Announcements

Ready Set Charette Logo

Another day, another opportunity to introduce you to our stellar students participating in the IIDA Student Charette at NeoCon!

Adrian_CardenasAdrian Cardenas is a senior at the University of North Texas.

Adrian looks forward to specializing in hospitality design as according to him, “hospitality design has a sense of glamour, but is still technical and custom designed for the brand.”

He draws inspiration from numerous outlets but notes that his favorite space is The Stoneleigh Boutique Hotel in Dallas. Adrian used the hotel for his senior project as he found the building was fascinating, beautiful and full of history.  “this space is nostalgic and has a gorgeous historical ambiance.”

Ymani_TannisYmani Tannis is a senior at the Art Institute of Atlanta, and she knew she wanted to be an interior designer since she was a kid!

“When I was a child, I always played on the game SIMS simply to build and design their homes. For hours I would stay on the computer doing this, and because of this my mom told me I was destined to be an interior designer!”

Now that Ymani is older, she draws her inspiration from other sources. Her favorite source of inspiration is Frank Gehry. Although he is an architect, Ymani finds his designs for the exterior of buildings very artistic and sculptural.

Be sure to check out their work at the IIDA Student Charette on Tuesday, June 11th at booth space 7-2105. We look forward to seeing you there!


Ready, Set, Charette!

Ready Set Charette LogoYou may have already heard about NeoCon’s wildly popular student event–the IIDA Student Charette. During this event teams of students from across the country are combined into teams of five, presented with one design challenge and given six hours to execute it and present before an esteemed panel of judges.

In the coming weeks, we will be introducing you to these stellar students who will have their design skills put to the test on June 11th!

Today we are excited to introduce you to Alexandra Leigh


Alexandra Leigh is a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University saw the value in an IIDA Student Membership right away! IIDA gave her the opportunity to network and further strengthen her leadership skills.

As a student, Alexandra draws her design inspiration from a variety of outlets.

“I recently discovered a firm in Oklahoma, Fitzsimmons Architects, and I really enjoy all of their work and their approach.  They’re blurring the lines between art and architecture, and I appreciate that their designs inspire me to think and observe.  Also, they designed a house for Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips, which is just awesome!”

Her design inspiration and passion also comes from a source a little closer to home.

“My mom has been redesigning our home for the last 19 years of my life.  I always enjoyed watching her have those “light bulb” moments when she came up with new projects.  I think constantly being around the renovations and changing environment gave me an appreciation and understanding of interior design that many other artists don’t have.”


Ready, Set, CHARETTE!

During NeoCon, IIDA hosts an annual Student Design Charette pitting student teams against the clock to produce a project in one work day that creatively solves a design problem they receive that morning. Students are invited from IIDA Campus Centers all over the country and placed in teams with students they’ve never met before. The results produce amazingly inventive design solutions, and provide a one-of-a-kind experience for students.



(photos of the 2012 IIDA Student Design Charette at NeoCon)

However, exactly what is a charette? Prior to interning at IIDA, I did not know what a charette was. I had heard it used in conversations, but never had the opportunity to learn what it actually meant.

The original word charette (shuh-ret) is French for “cart” or “chariot,” and is oftentimes times spelled with two r’s as charrette. The process of charette is thought to originate from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France during the 19th century when the word was adapted by student architects when they arduously worked on a project close to the end of a term or specific deadline until a cart, or charette, was wheeled in to pick up their work for review. Since then, the process of charette has aligned itself with working tirelessly up until a deadline.


In today’s world, we’ve honed the definition and process of a charette to be a collaborative brainstorm in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem within a limited time to present internally, to clients, or to a panel of judges (as is the case with IIDA’s Student Design Charette). Regardless of the cause or motivation, a charette is an extremely beneficial process that collaboratively harnesses the talents of the group to plan, create, and substantiate a design solution in the interest of a client, group, or community.

As we near the three days of NeoCon in June, stay tuned for more information on IIDA’s 2013 Student Design Charette, and when and where to visit the IIDA booth to observe the process and results of the IIDA Student Design Charette.

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Dear design students,
My name is Kyler, and I am the new communications and marketing intern for IIDA. I just began my internship today, and will be the voice behind the words for the student blog these upcoming months. I currently attend the Harrington College of Design, and am pursuing my Master’s of Arts in Interior Design (MAID) degree. I’ve done many different design projects both within and outside of Harrington you can check out here.

As the IIDA team and I continue to post, keep a look out for new changes to the site to better accommodate and educate you about living, working, and loving interior design. My sincere thanks in advance for your readership,



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!

5 Things for Students to Look Forward to at NeoCon 2012

So you’re at student attending Neocon 2012?  Well what could possibly be there that’s catered just for you?  In a word: plenty!

  1. Career Bootcamp– Want to dominate the workforce you’ll soon be entering?  Don’t worry because we’ve got you covered!  Insider advice will give you a leg up on building your career.
  2. Student Speaker– The creator of the boutique hotel concept, Ian Schrager will share his knowledge and experiences throughout his years in the Industry.
  3. Student Design Charrette– You don’t want to miss watching your peers compete in the first ever “non-tech” Design charrette.  Teams will work from 9:30 am to 3 pm on Tuesday, June 12.  Stop in and watch them work!
  4. ASID Career Exchange– Sharpen your networking skills with this event aimed at students and recent grads.  You’ll rub elbows with top Industry professionals who will provide you advice and answer your questions about their companies.
  5. Student Project Display– Get inspired by your peers!  Work created by students from over 25 different schools will be on display on the 7th floor of Merchandise Mart.

Lloy Hack Essay Competition Winner Spotlight: J. Ashley Hawkins

Congratulations to J. Ashley Hawkins the winner of IIDA’s Lloy Hack Essay contest! The contest featured essays written by students reflecting on Students Mentoring Week that IIDA hosted last February. They were asked to describe their mentoring experience and how it will benefit them when pursuing a career.

Lloy Hack was an Interior Designer and IIDA member in Bostonwhose memorial fund was set up in 2002 order to assist young, aspiring Designers.   Ashley from Gwinnett Tech in Georgia won a $1000 scholarship for her essay.  She shadowed Allison Gerstung, NCIDQ, LEED AP, IIDA a Design professional at Gensler in Atlanta.  I had the opportunity to read Ashley’s essay, and ask her a few questions about her experience.

It sounds like you had a ton of exposure to design projects on your mentor day, but which one would you say stuck out above the rest?  Why was this valuable and what did you learn from it?

Ashley: Definitely the Coca-Cola project.  It’s easy to make assumptions about what the client wants and needs so it’s important to work through a design development process and communicate about every aspect of a project.  Often the most important part of that communication process is listening.

As an interior design student, what are your career goals as of now?  Are you open to many experiences or is a set concentration your goal?

Ashley:  My favorite part of design is space planning.  I am interested in commercial design and I like the idea of finding an area of specialization.  But I am open to various experiences because my ultimate goal is to enjoy a fulfilling career that suits my personality and utilizes my skills and interests.

Did your own career goals morph at all after your visit?  If so, how did they change? 

Ashley:  I had already begun looking into NCIDQ and LEED certifications but I am more committed to working toward those goals after receiving encouragement from Allison.

What would you tell a fellow Interior Design student who was unsure about the importance of a mentoring experience?

Ashley: Interior Design is a broad field and there are so many areas to learn about.  Classroom learning is important but there is no substitute for hands-on experience.  During my day at Gensler, I was exposed to types of projects that I might not learn about or participate in otherwise.

Thanks again to Ashley for taking the time to answer these questions, and to all those who took the time to participate in the competition!