2017 IIDA SoCal Student Portfolio Competition


The IIDA Southern California 2017 Student Portfolio Competition was held on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Steelcase showroom located high in the skyline of downtown Los Angeles. Taking part were 20 extremely talented and diverse students from 7 participating Southern California Schools.

Take a look at photos from the event here!

Students arrived as scheduled throughout the day, carrying intricate models, stunning display boards, and various other materials with which to present their best efforts. There were 3 categories of competition this year: 

Innovation in Interior Design – awarded for the presentation that shows the highest level of innovation through design solutions.

Social Relevance in Interior Design – awarded for the presentation that best addresses social or cultural issues through creative design.

The Stephanie Tarr Award – awarded to the student who best demonstrates their commitment to involvement in the Southern California design industry through their IIDA membership, event volunteering, service to the community, charity work, and other forms of mentoring or participation.

Faced with the complex task of judging these wildly different and innovative projects were:

Aram Arakelian – Founder Environmental Contracting Corp., Founder Scholarship Foundation, Affiliate, IIDA

Cassie Sanchez – Gensler – Past VP student Affairs, IIDA

Claire Thompson – The Thompson Collaborative LLC – Past President, IIDA

Laurence Cartledge – Rottet Studio – Former Judge

Scott Johnson – Wolcott – Past President, IIDA

Susanne – Molina – Design One – Fellow and Past President, IIDA

 After a long day filled with nervous preparation, enthusiastic presentations, tours of the Steelcase showroom, and networking, the judges deliberated to decide the most deserving honorees from among the many outstanding participants.


The Innovation category, with a $5000 scholarship, was awarded to Rae Chye from Art Center College of Design.


The Social Relevance category, with a $5000 scholarship, was awarded to SuSun Kwak from Art Center College of Design.


The prestigious Stephanie Tarr Award, with a $5000 scholarship, was awarded to Angela Hickman from California State University Long Beach.

The awards will be formally presented at the 29th Annual IIDA Calibre Design Awards on Friday, May 19th 2017.

Edgardo Caceres and Jessica Collins, IIDA SoCal’s VP’s of Students Affairs, thank the host, Judges, students, sponsors and volunteers for helping to make this a memorable event.

Event Sponsors:
Alur Walls – Mark Clark
Environmental Contracting Corp – Aram Arakelian
Shaw Contract –  Kimberly Johnson
Steelcase – Stephanie Martinez, IIDA

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