2017 Student Charette Recap


A tranquil trek through Noguchi Garden in Costa Mesa is a splendid way to spend a bright sunny morning. However, just a few steps away, you would hear the buzz of activity and creativity. The 2017 IIDA Southern California Student Design Charette was held on Saturday, November 4th and hosted by Pivot Interiors in Costa Mesa.

Click here to see photos from the event!

After a delicious and energizing breakfast, generously provided by Maharam, thirty of the finest students from Interior Design Programs in schools throughout Southern California were grouped into six teams and challenged to design a New Holistic concept to include a Spa, Yoga, Beauty Salon, Retail & Organic restaurant. This project was located at The Bloc, a redesigned “anti-mall” in the heart of the historical Financial District in Downtown Los Angeles. The teams had just 4.5 hours and limited resources to collaborate and come up with creative design solutions.

When time was called, each design team had only 5 minutes to present their exciting projects to a distinguished panel of judges that included:

Aram Arakelian, Founder – Environmental Contracting Corporation
Susan Molina, Principal – One Design Collective
Robyn Taylor, Director of Design – Westgroup Designs
Sandi Warneke, Design Principal & Studio Director – Gensler

While the judges deliberated, Clarence Vong, from last year’s Charette winning team, gave a brief inspiring presentation detailing his further win at the Regional Competition and his trip to Chicago. Edward Wodill and Trish Drummy of Pivot Interiors also spoke with the students at length about the design industry and careers.

While the exhausted students happily feasted on a bountiful lunch, provided by Daltile, the judges conducted interviews with each team to allow them to further explain their concepts and inspirations. To culminate this exhausting and exciting day, the 1st and 2nd place winners were finally announced. Prizes will be presented at The Calibre Awards on May 18, 2018.

The winners are:


First Place Team – $10,000 Scholarship Award

From left-to-right with Co-VPs Jessica Collins and Edgardo Caceres
Rachel Escobedo, Art Institute of California – San Diego
Amanda Ortiz, Chaffey College
Joshua Chang, Otis College of Art + Design
Kacie Thomas, Interior Designers Institute
Tsz Yan Leung, Mt. San Antonio College


Second Place Team– $4,000 Scholarship Award

From left-to-right with Co-VPs Jessica Collins and Edgardo Caceres
Natalia Kim, Interior Designers Institute
Isabel Alfaro, Art Institute – San Diego
Ellen To, Mt. San Antonio College
Avana Grayr, California State University Long Beach
Brianna Johnson, UCLA Extension/Cal Poly Pomona

Edgardo Caceres and Jessica Collins, IIDA SoCal’s VP’s of Student Affairs, thank the hosts, sponsors, students and volunteers for helping to make this event a huge success!

Event Sponsors:

Daltile – Zoe Rahimi-Nolen  & KJ Lodge’
Maharam – Vanessa Veloso
Pivot Interiors – Edward Wodill & Trish Drummy
Environmental Contracting Corporation – Aram Arakelian

Event Volunteer:
Kenneth Balaski

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