SoCal Design Student Charette: A Student’s Journey


International Student Design Charette- June 2015

In spring of 2013, I began on a journey that has undoubtedly changed my life — I decided to enroll at Orange Coast College to pursue a second career in Interior Design. By year two, the Director of the department asked me if I would be interested in participating in the annual IIDA Southern California Student Design Charette. I was honored to be asked and to represent my school, I said yes!

On the day of the Charette, I nervously met up with 35 other students for what was to be one of the greatest collaborative creative design challenges that I had ever experienced. I was paired with a team of five students that I had never met, and we were given a design problem to solve in five hours. With architectural ruler in hand, the countdown began and we started designing away until the heart-thumping moment of presenting to the judges arrived.


SoCal Local Student Design Charette- November 2014

My team won the Charette receiving a very generous monetary award, plus the opportunity to participate at the first IIDA West Coast Student Design Charette. I was assigned to a new team and we were given a new challenge. I was fortunate to be on the winning team again, and got to go to NeoCon in Chicago this past June to compete at the IIDA International Design Student Charette.


West Coast Student Design Charette- April 2015

It’s hard to put into words the excitement and self-discovery that can occur when you are put into a setting that pushes you and a team to do your best in a field you love. Entering into a competition of this caliber has been extremely rewarding and I hope that all students who are invited to participate are able to do so.

It’s been great fun meeting new people and having the opportunity to connect and learn more about the industry along the way. Thanks to all who have been a part of my journey!

Erika De La Parra


If you are an IIDA Student Member enrolled in an Interior Design program, the 2015 Student Design Charette Call for Entries is open now. Click here for more information about eligibility and how to enter.

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