Student Portfolio Competition Event Recap


The IIDA Southern California 2018 Student Portfolio Competition was held on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at the brand new and beautiful Knoll Inc. showroom located high in the skyline of downtown Los Angeles. Taking part were 13 extremely talented and diverse students from 6 participating Southern California Schools.

See photos from the event here!

Students arrived as scheduled throughout the day, carrying intricate models, stunning display boards, and various other materials with which to present their best efforts. There were 2 categories of competition this year and $16,000 in scholarship awards:

Social Relevance in Interior Design – awarded for the presentation that best addresses social or cultural issues through creative design.

Innovation in Interior Design – awarded for the presentation that shows the highest level of innovation through design solutions.

Faced with the complex task of judging these wildly different and innovative projects were:

•  David Fridlund – Wirt Design Group – Past President, IIDA

•  Laurence Cartledge – Rottet Studio – Former Judge

•  Stephanie Heiple – SAA Architects & Interior Designers – Current President IIDA

•  Scott Johnson – Wolcott – Past President, IIDA

•  Susanne Molina – One Design Collective – Fellow and Past President, IIDA

•  Claire Thompson – The Thompson Collaborative LLC – Past President, IIDA

 After a long day filled with nervous preparation, enthusiastic presentations, tours of the Knoll showroom, and networking, the judges deliberated to decide the most deserving honorees from among the many outstanding participants.


The Social Relevance category, with a $7,000 scholarship, was awarded to Melissa Yip from California State University Long Beach


The Innovation category, with a $7,000 scholarship, was awarded to Melissa Nguyen from Art center College of Design.


The honorable mention with a $2,000 scholarship, was awarded to

Afshin Homayoonmehr from San Diego Mesa College.

Congratulations to our winner students and to all who participated! The awards will be formally presented at the 30th Annual IIDA Calibre Design Awards on Friday, May 18th 2018.

Edgardo Caceres and Jessica Collins, IIDA SoCal’s VP’s of Students Affairs, thank the host, Judges, students, sponsors and volunteers for helping to make this a memorable event.

Event Sponsors:
Knoll – Hana Dorani & Bill Yount
Tri-kes – Jamalle French

Event Volunteer:
Kenneth Balaski

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