Interview with Julie Caruso

Last month, a distinguished panel of industry professionals and spokespeople from design programs in local colleges and universities met to discuss “Interior Design: Academia and the Profession in the 21st Century”. The goal of the program was to inform design students about the state of the design business; how business is conducted and how challenges are met in different firms; and how what is taught to design students in their schools prepares them for a rewarding and successful career. The panel program was hosted by Rodica Kohn, M. Arch, MFA, LEED GA at the IIDA Student Center at CSUN.

I spotted program sponsor Julie Caruso from Clune Construction in the row in front of me. I asked Julie why she felt so passionately about sponsoring this type of IIDA program. She said some very insightful things:

“It is important to provide a platform for today’s design leaders to meet, impart knowledge, and support the future designers of the industry. It makes for a stronger, more unified community. Clune has worked alongside several of the designers on the panel and it has been a pleasure to work with such talented individuals, on so many exciting projects.”

“The relevance of our sponsorship may not seem as obvious, but it was quickly illustrated how closely we all work together, when directly after the presentation, I was going to say hello to panelists and I was stopped by a student. She said, ‘Did I hear you are from a construction company?’ She currently is pursuing a minor in construction management, and wanted to know if I thought that would be a good idea. It was great to be able to speak to this aspiring designer about her future career goals from the construction stand-point of a project.”

“As more clients seek design-build options, and as closely as we all work together to complete a project, I advised her that it would be to her benefit to understand as much as possible about the project, from all the key players.”

Susan Steinlauf

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