Inaugural IIDA Student Design Charrette!
By 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, February ninth, the Tangram Interiors showroom was already littered with baskets holding every imaginable supply. Twenty-seven students representing interior design programs from San Diego to Northridge congregated over breakfast, itching for what was to come.
Students were paired with two strangers from neighboring schools and asked to develop a corporate studio that included a workspace, “fun-zone,” and cafe, creating an atmosphere conducive to the client of their choosing. With four hours to complete their designs, teams competed for $14,000 in scholarships.
But for most, this was about more than prizes: no participant had ever collaborated with designers from other programs. “It is so important for us to meet students at different schools! IIDA gave us a ‘forced opportunity’ to get to know each other,” exclaimed second-placing participant Alyssa Cole.
Teams were spotted throughout the afternoon chatting and cracking jokes. Said first-placing participant Sara Nelson, “My favorite part of the day was my group! We hit it off from the beginning.”
Her teammate Elizabeth Seaton agreed: “We had such a good dynamic with each other!”
“We all had different skillsets that worked well with one another and let us make a great design,” added third member Miles Kramer.
When asked what tips they might give to future participants, a variety of advice was offered, from sketching to time management. Everyone agreed on one thing: “Just have fun with it,” offered second-placing finalist Denise Ramos. “For a moment we were not knowing what to expect but once we started developing ideas, we went all out!”
As for whether they might participate again?
“Oh, definitely,” quipped Denise’s teammate, Derek Yi. “There should be a competition like this every weekend!”
IIDA would like to send a special thank you to its gracious host, Tangram Studios, as well as the panel of outstanding judges: Aram Arakelian of Environmental Contracting Corporation, Viveca Bissonnette of Hollander Design Group, and Christopher Coldoff of Gensler.
Blair Wilson, LEED AP
Klawiter & Associates