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!

3 Paths Toward A More Creative Life

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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.

Charting Your Career

For interior design students, it’s a valuable process to assess what entry-level position you’d like to pursue post-graduation (whether after earning an under-graduate or graduate degree). Below is a sampling of entry-level positions and skill sets, followed by related career paths approaching mid-career and top-level positions. Remember, there are many routes you can take in the interior design field, and each career opportunity presents a specific set of skills and responsibilities. Hopefully, the graphic below (please click to enlarge) can help focus your efforts on where your next step in the ID field will be:

Charting Your Career

5 Designs We LOVE

1.
Cloud
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.

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2.
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.

3.
JWT
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).

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4.
KamerMaker
Everywhere

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.

5.
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.

resume
(Source: http://www.behance.net)

Hello!

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,

Kyler

IIDA is Hiring!

IIDA is looking for a new communications and marketing intern to start immediately.  Please read on for the full job description.

Employer Information:

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) is a professional networking and educational association with more than 13,000 Members advancing the profession worldwide. IIDA is committed to excellence in interior design by maintaining high educational standards, connecting its Members and empowering the Profession with visionary leadership.

Job Description:

An IIDA internship will allow you to gain valuable work experience, build your skill set, profit from networking opportunities, and get an insider’s view of the day-to-day business of an association. Interns are treated as regular staff members and are invited to participate in IIDA related activities. Interns fill a vital role in our organizational structure. IIDA is looking for immediate assistance from a motivated individual to assist with communication and marketing efforts. The intern will work in the Communications and Marketing department and support the team in day-to-day projects. These projects may include: website maintenance, student marketing initiatives, newsletter creation and blog research. The right candidate will be an independent, self-starter who will take this opportunity and run with it.

Qualifications:

Currently enrolled in school and working towards getting a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in communications/marketing or interior design. Candidate should be capable of coordinating with all the departments involved to ensure the completion of projects. A high degree of organization and self-motivation is required. This person must quickly learn the association industry.

Additional skills include:

  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Creative Suite, including Illustrator, Photoshop,
  • Acrobat and InDesign knowledge a plus.
  • Mastery of AP style; excellent writer
  • Confident, well-spoken individual capable of professionally representing the organization
  • Excellent research, writing, and phone/email communication skills
  • Familiarity with website administration
  • Ability to work effectively in a team and a strong desire to gain professional experience
  • Energy, enthusiasm, and a strong desire to learn
  • Self-starter
  • An interest in the Interior Design industry

Hours: Part-time

How to Apply: Please submit your cover letter, resume and short writing sample to IIDA Headquarters to Christa Payton, Communications Manager, (cpayton@iida.org) subject line: Communications Internship

Notes: Local Chicago Residents Preferred (No Relo).

Additional Salary Information: This position is $10/hr and is eligible for course credit.

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!