Student Design Charette “The Block”

The 2018 IIDA Southern California Student Design Charette was on Saturday, November 3th and held at Tangram Interiors in Newport Beach.

After a delicious and energizing breakfast, generously provided by Crossville, the twenty-nine students who gathered from all around Southern California broke into six teams to design a concept for a creative co-working space. The project-setting being “The Block”, a redesigned “anti-mall” in the heart of the historical Financial District of DTLA (Downtown Los Angeles), the students had just 4.5 hours and limited resources to collaborate and create a space that included an arrival area, a lounge, a flexible conference room, and enclosed, modular offices spaces.

When time was called, each team had only five minutes to present their ideas to a panel of distinguished judges, pictured below.


From left-to-right:
Robyn Taylor, Director of Design – Westgroup Designs
Mili Del Castillo – VP Student Affairs
Melanie Murata, Designer – Gensler Newport Beach
Edgardo Caceres, Design Director – Gensler DTLA

While the judges deliberated, Amanda Ortiz from last year’s Charette winning team, gave a brief, inspiring presentation detailing her further win at IIDA’s 2018 Western Regional Charette.


Afterwards, the exhausted students happily feasted on a bountiful lunch provided by Humanscale, as 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!

Awards will be presented to the students at the IIDA Calibre Design Awards on May 17, 2019.

The winners are:


First Place Team – $10,000 Award

From left-to-right:
Suchada Eickemeyer, Design Institute of San Diego
Micayla Brewer, Saddleback College
Xiaoling Su, Otis College of Art + Design
Tania Mercado, Mt. San Antonio College
Mili Del Castillo, VP Student Affairs


Second Place Team– $4,000 Award

From left-to-right:
Karina Gonzales, California State University Long Beach
Isabella Pina, California State University Northridge
Soon-Young Kwon, Interior Designers Institute
Sean Diaz, Saddleback College
Maricela Gomez, Chaffey College
Mili Del Castillo, VP Student Affairs

Mili Del Castillo and Miguel Perez, IIDA SoCal’s VP’s of Student Affairs, thank the hosts, sponsors, volunteers, students and photographer for helping to make this event a huge success!

Click  here to see photos from the event!

Event Sponsors:
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) – Dan Lu & Mili Del Castillo
Crossville – Sasha Ikovic & Monica Farley
Humanscale – John Harrington
Tangram Interiors – Marisa Anderson, Karlee Budge & Bianca Lopez

Thank you to Linda Pollari & Wolf Herrera from OTIS College of Art and Design for providing the easels. Special thanks to Kenneth Balaski and Geoff Allen for all their generous help with the event.

Thanks also to Chris Hatcher Photography for documenting the event.

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