Category Archives: Just for fun


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.


3 Paths Toward A More Creative Life


A great daily e-mail subscription for any kind of designer is Fast Company’s Co.Design. The subscription and site wonderfully highlights innovative ideas, projects, and inspirations to spark your design mind every morning.

This past week Co.Design released an article titled, “3 Paths Toward A More Creative Life.”

1. The first path Co.Design focuses on is DISCONNECT. The article explains that it’s an effective practice to be plugged-in and stimulated by the instant-access culture we live in, but it’s oftentimes more important to alleviate our consistently engaged minds by unplugging. To gather our thoughts, allow for introspection, and center ourselves, it’s often helpful to go on a walk or allow extra time in the morning to slowly and comfortably ease our minds into the day. To have a clear, unobstructed mind is infinitely helpful for our creative selves.

2. The second path delves into EXAMINING THE PAST, and how looking at one’s original models of inspiration and creativity cannot only position your designs better, but reinvigorate you in your creative endeavors. That person who stimulated you to become a designer? Look at and educate yourself about their work to inform your future work.

3. Co.Design’s third suggested path towards living a more creative life advises designers to strive to BE MASTERFUL. This path urges designers to do what the great designers do – look for patterns and link two different bodies of knowledge that haven’t existed before. Additionally, look at the obvious, and take what is often deemed banal and make it wholly new.

Personally, some of my best ideas and work have come from retreating into an unplugged environment – that corner of the coffeehouse, the park, or even the shower – where the noise dies down, my head clears, and my eyes are off a screen. As artists and designers, to find these places – whether physically or mentally – is crucial in order to generate effective conduits between you and your next great idea.

Source: Nussbaum, Bruce. “3 Paths Towards a Creative Life.” Co Create, 26 February 2013.

5 Designs We LOVE

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago

Brothers hailing from France, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec (pron. Boo-roo-lek), took the definition of “Bivouac” (a light-weight, adaptive shelter) and generated an exhibit based around “microarchitecture;” items larger than furniture, but smaller than architecture. The results of their work give us dynamic pieces like Cloud , seen here, that acts as a colorful, multi-layered wall and/or enclosure.



LAB West Lobby
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

Las Vegas’s newest and most hip place to stay is The Cosmopolitan, and its West lobby certainly boosts the hotel and entertainment mecca’s cool factor. Designed and constructed by Rockwell Group’s LAB, the lobby features eight large columns wrapped with LCD screens and mirrors to produce beautiful displays, giving visitors a completely unique digital experience.

The Cosmopolitan: West Lobby from labatrockwell on Vimeo.

Bogota, Columbia

Winning Best in Category for IIDA’s Best Interiors of Latin America Competition in 2012, the JWT offices from Arquitectura e Interiores is an interior we definitely love. Designed to be a creative environment for the JWT advertising group, this is a space employees and visiting clients alike can certainly enjoy (click to enlarge).








From the Dutch architecture firm, DUS, comes the KamerMaker (or “RoomBuilder”). This state-of-the-art, mobile 3D printer brings grassroots creativity and commercial efficiency together in one inspiring machine. Everyone becomes a designer with the KamerMaker, allowing people to create one-of-a-kind works from inhabitable rooms (max. 6 ft wide, 6 ft long, and 9.5 feet high) to coffee cups; on demand and on-site.

KamerMaker from DUS Architects on Vimeo.

Florez Graphic Resume

Standing out in the design world is difficult, but a well-designed resume can certainly help. This is one of several you will see now that graphically (and uniquely) display personal and professional information rather than being confined to traditional resume formats. This resume speaks to employers about who they are and what they can do – simply, effectively, and creatively.


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.

An Ode to Back to School: Senior Year

Recently, I received an e-mail from, alerting me that my free one-year student prime membership would soon be expiring.  To me, this meant the horror of no longer having free shipping.  Despite that fact that it is only July, I frantically began thinking about the books I needed for my classes—I really, really don’t enjoy paying for shipping.

But as the story came up amongst friends in casual conversation over the past few days, literally everyone told me to stop talking about it.  They were either in summer school and didn’t want to think about more school, or were enjoying, relaxing and not thinking about school at all.  This left me somewhat puzzled—was it that dreadful thought about our final year in school?  Was it fear?  I can relate to these mixed feelings of sadness, imagining the final days of an undergraduate career slipping away, or just the anxiety of what feels like yet one more exhausting work year ahead.

I sense that many of you out there are in that same position—these jumbled emotions of being excited, ready to begin your careers, but still wanting to hold onto that last precious piece of juvenility.  Why not take this last year in stride?  There is something refreshing about feeling like an actual student, one last time.  The summer preceding your senior year is the turning point in which you start thinking about how you are to advance your career, particularly through internships.  I would imagine and hope that many of you are currently interning or are looking to begin that process soon.

I feel that many of you in this position would agree—just having that small taste of what the “real world” will be like, no matter how much you’re looking forward to new opportunities.  It truly makes you cherish that last year when your top priority is still as simple as making the grade.

IIDA Tree, Wreath & Menorah Contest!

Tis the season to spread holiday cheer and IIDA wants to help you show off your spirit! Submit one photo to of your holiday decor and we’ll feature it in an album on our official International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Headquarters facebook page. Over 18,000 people will be inspired by your holiday feature, which guarantees you a spot on Santas “nice” list but even better, the photo with the most “likes” receives a special gift bag from IIDA!

How to enter:

Submit one photo of your holiday wreath, tree or menorah to Subject line: Holiday Cheer

Please give us your name and additional school/company info that you would like to share, along with a photo caption.

Deadline to Enter (extended!): December 21, Winner Announced: December 22

Happy Holidays from IIDA!

College Dorm Room Meets Convenience

Ahhh, college. Dorm rooms, second-hand furniture, roommates and close quarters. We know that as Interior Design students, many of you probably have some pretty impressive dorm rooms. And although most of you are on a budget, I’m sure you’ve figured out some crafty ways to pull together a great color scheme and re-purposed furniture like it’s nobody’s business.

Whether your dorm room is the size of an office cubicle or your parents dished out the money for a suite, how to decorate and rearrange your space is always a question in the back of your mind. Enter

This fun new website is a web-based 3-D interior design tool that allows college students to customize their Residence Hall room interiors and purchase their favorite room selections online. There is even an option to see what your roommate has purchased already. This site would have saved me and my roommate an entire day of moving beds, desks, and shelves around to see where they don’t fit. And who has time for all that re-arranging when you’re trying to scope out the hot new Freshmen? Lucky for you, with this site you can move your bed with the click of a mouse to see where it looks best! Check it out for yourself at and give your college pad some swag.

Do you have an inspired dorm room you’d like us to consider featuring on the I ♥ I.D. blog? We’d love to see photos of your space! Send them over to Mary at