Tag Archives: IIDA

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.”


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!

Graduating College? IIDA Board Members and Staff Share Career Advice

IIDA wants to help graduates make that all important transition from college to the real world so we’ve polled our IIDA International Board of Directors and IIDA’s Headquarter staff asking them: What single piece of advice do you wish you had heard when you were about to graduate college? Check out their answers.

“Don’t forget the reason you chose this profession in the first place…it can’t be because of the money or the job security or the 9-5 hours. It’s because you are passionate about design. Keep that passion alive throughout your career and continually look for ways to be inspired. Challenge yourself, your colleagues and your clients. Never settle for just okay and make a difference in our built environment.”
– Viveca Bissonnette, FIIDA, Assoc. AIA, CID, LEED AP, Hollander    Design Group

“Interior Design is a people profession. Therefore, we need to start with ourselves to understand how we can use design and our understanding of people to improve the world in which we live.”
– IIDA International President Peter Conant, FIIDA, AIA, LEED AP, Conant Architects

“A business card is not an acceptable form of personal identification. A series of jobs may end up being a career (or not), but the work that you do doesn’t define who you are – but you define the work that you do. And, you should always be able to explain your job to your mother. And she should understand what you do and be able to tell her friends that you are awesome and will someday rescue the planet from disaster and chaos.”
–Cheryl Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, CEO and Executive Vice President of IIDA

“Don’t be afraid to fail.”
– Jeanne Fisher, IIDA Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

“Ask for what you want. If you’re looking for a job, ask for one. Informational interviews are great, and you should ask for one of those, but also be sure to ask for a job, should one become available. Ask for other people you should talk to, other places to look. If you have a job, maybe you want a higher starting salary? A review? More hands-on experience? Extra vacation time? Ask and you might receive. Don’t ask, and there’s no chance.”
– Allison Levy, IIDA Senior Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs

“Great Design is a synergistic process with your client, project manager, engineers, contractor, etc. resulting from clear communication (visual and verbal) and is only successful when your CLIENT loves the space and is proud of it.”
– Susanne M. Molina, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, ID+C, Klawiter and Associates

“Be proactive – don’t wait for opportunities to come to you! Put yourself out there, be confident and be proud of your work. Networking is an important part of gaining opportunities, knowledge and inspiration. Every experience will in some way inform where you go and who you are as a designer!”
– Felice Silverman, FIIDA, Silverman Trykowski Associates

“Be Flexible. There are literally dozens or even hundreds of appropriate solutions to every design problem. When a client, a code or code official, a supervisor, another architect or designer, or a contractor present something that forces you to change your design, don’t get angry and act like your design was the only and best solution, because it probably wasn’t. Take it in stride, be flexible, think about it and use it as an opportunity to make your design even better.”
– Jack Weber, IIDA, MCR, LEED AP, Gresham, Smith and Partners

“Happiness will make you wealthy in the long run.”
– Sarah Winchester, IIDA Manager of Chapter Accounting

“I wish someone had clued me in BEFORE I started working that DESIGN is more than the final space – it’s the project experience, the space itself, the impact it has on the occupants, their memories and finally the relationships that result.”
– IIDA President-Elect, Jim Williamson, IIDA, LEED AP, Gensler

Find more tips to jumpstart your career here!

Interior Design Video Aims to Go Viral

IIDA is proud to support the effort behind the first place student winners of the 2011 Interior Design Video Education Competition presented by CIDA, IDEC and NCIDQ that aimed at elevating awareness about the impact that interior design has on economic well-being.

The first place team of winners included Kate Croy, Lauren Reinhard, Kelsey Keller, Lory Marsocci, Anna Beydoun, with Advisor Renee Walsh from Radford University.

On Monday, April 16, everyone is asked to participate in an effort to promote and publicize this winning video well beyond the interior design community by making the video “go viral.”  We need your help to create a high volume of traffic to the video in a 24-hour period of time by liking, sharing and linking to the video. Check out more detailed instructions from the interior designer  promoting this effort.

IIDA 2012 NeoCon Student Events

Don’t miss your chance to network with industry leaders, learn the latest job search strategies and receive career advice from a panel of recent grads who have been in your shoes at IIDA’s student programs during NeoCon this year.

ASID/IIDA Student Destination Passport                                          

This year IIDA is teaming up with ASID to offer students the chance to network with industry professionals and win prizes with the ASID/IIDA Student Destination Passport. The students with the most stamps on their passports from attending events will be entered into a drawing for prizes from participating sponsors including the Grand Prize—a Student Membership and swag bag from both IIDA and ASID. Passports can be picked on Wednesday, June 13 at the NeoCon registration area, Student Program area or at the IIDA and ASID booths.

Students Design Charrette

IIDA will be hosting a “non-tech” Design Charrette that will make its debut this year at NeoCon 2012 for select Student Members nominated by their schools. Visitors can stop by 9:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, June 12 on the 7th Floor exhibition hall in the Merchandise Mart to see the students in action. A jury of prominent designers, architects and industry leaders will critique design solutions and select a First Place and Second Place winner. Biographies and resumes about the participants as well as their final projects will be displayed in designated show space on the 7th Floor exhibition hall in the Merchandise Mart for the duration of NeoCon. This event is by invite only for participating students. For more information, contact Monica De Angelis.

Career Bootcamp

IIDA wants to help students jumpstart their job search with Career Bootcamp that will be 8:30-10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. IIDA presents a stellar panel of recent grads to share their stories on how to succeed in the industry. Students will learn about the journey from classroom to dream job and all the stops along the way. Gain insider advice on that all-important process of finding your first job including tips on resumes, cover letters and portfolios. Register online.

NeoCon Student Keynote Speaker

The NeoCon Student Keynote Speaker will be Ian Schrager, founder of the Ian Schrager Company and creator of the boutique hotel concept. He will speak 12-1 p.m. Wednesday, June 13 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza Chicago in the Sauganash Ballroom. Schrager has achieved international recognition for concepts that have revolutionized both the entertainment and hospitality industries. He is currently working on launching two new hotel brands in various 24 hour gateway cities around the world. Register online.

Find out more information on IIDA’s Student events and all of our events at NeoCon 2012.