Tag Archives: San Diego City Center

San Diego’s 2017 Haute Couture Fashion Show

Broadway Takes The Catwalk was the theme for this year’s IIDA Haute Couture Fashion Show at the House of Blues on November 2nd. It was the biggest show yet with 17 professional A&D teams and 4 student teams crafting outfits inspired by famous musicals from the Broadway stage. These amazing outfits were made entirely from commercial interior design materials from each team’s sponsor or sponsors and the outcome was spectacular!

Click here to see photos from the event!

The models walked, danced, and even crawled down the runway to songs selected from each Broadway musical to show off not only their outfits but their stage presence. The judges had quite a difficult task and we were happy to welcome back five judges including Greg Bledsoe, morning news anchor for NBC 7/39; Laura Cain, radio personality from the Jeff and Jer Showgram; Sarah Kim, interior design instructor at SDSU; Natalia Worden, Design Program Director at Design Institute; Jennie Edwards, photography and video Rockstar along with author of Empowered You. We had one new judge, Alan Lopez, owner of Shore Total Office. Our teams competed for a total of six awards. Five awards were based on scores the teams received from our esteemed panel of judges and they include Best Haute Couture, Best Theme Inspiration, Best Craftsmanship, Best Showmanship, Best Student Ensemble. The People’s Choice Award was presented to the team with the most votes from the audience.


Best Haute Couture – FPBA/Pacific 33 (Pirates of Penzance)


Best Theme Inspiration – ID Studios (Wicked)


Best Craftsmanship – HBG (Hair)


Best Showmanship – Ware Malcomb (CATS)


People’s Choice – Mesa College (Les Miserables)


Best Student Ensemble – Mesa College (Les Miserables)

Following is a list of the teams and their musical inspiration in order of their appearance on the runway:

1. Ware Malcomb – CATS sponsored by Knoll
2. Pacific 33 + FPBA – Pirates of Penzance sponsored by Arcadia
3. iGroup- The King & I – sponsored by MDC
4. RWID – Evita – sponsored by GMBI
5. Gensler – Kinky Boots sponsored by Designtex + Coalesse
6. Carrier Johnson – Hello Dolly sponsored by Mannington + Caeserstone
7. HBG/Steelcase – Hair sponsored by BKM + Steelcase
8. FS Design – Phantom of the Opera sponsored by Crawford & Company
9. LPA – Mamma Mia sponsored by J&J
10. DGA – Chicago sponsored by Humanscale + Bernhardt
11. Delawie – Rock of Ages sponsored by 3 Form + Momentum
12. DesignCorp – Jersey Boys sponsored by OCS Lighting
13. ID Studios – Wicked sponsored by Crossville
14. ACRM – Le Cage Aux Folles sponsored by Behr + Milliken
15. Davy Architecture – South Pacific sponsored by Versteel
16. Smith Consulting – Oklahoma sponsored by Dal Tile + Mohawk
17. ASID – Rocky Horror Picture Show sponsored by Emser Tile

Student Teams:
1. Design Institute – My Fair Lady sponsored by Sherwin Williams
2. Art Institute – The Lion King sponsored by Philadelphia Contract
3. Mesa College – Les Miserables sponsored by Mayer Fabrics
4. SDSU – Grease sponsored by Tarkett

Thank you to all of our teams and sponsors for making this such a highly anticipated and exciting evening. We look forward to seeing what you’ll create for next year’s show.

Event Co-Chairs

Rebecca Hettter/Coalesse

Shannon McIntyre/Gensler

Jennifer Sun/FS Design Group

Event Committee

Alison Perkins, Annette Lievers, Courtney Karlin, Denise Colestock Tamez, Diana Tracy, Hallie Putterman, Jessie Pooler, Kari Schultz, Kimberly McCready, Leslie Harris, Leza Hutchinson, Rachelle Wittmayer, and Shelley Horton.

Farewell, Thank you & Hello!

From L to R: Bethany Carlson (LPA), Courtney Kirian (Think Office Interiors), Ymisserah Eddington (Steelcase) & Angela Ryan (Ware Malcomb)

We are excited to announce that as of July 15th Angela Ryan and Ymisserah Eddington have taken on the San Diego City Center Co-Director roles. They have a great passion and energy and some new ideas to make our great city center even stronger!

THANK YOU to all of you for your support and involvement the past 5 years (for Courtney) and 3 years (for Bethany.) The transformation our City Center has gone through over that time is incredible and is due to the dedication of our members. A special thank you to our board members, committee chairs, and committee members. Without your passion and the countless hours you gave, our jobs would have been incredibly difficult.

We look forward to seeing you all at upcoming IIDA events!

Courtney Kirian (Think Office Interiors) & Bethany Carlson (LPA)

We are thrilled to step into this role, and look forward to continuing this legacy of design inspiration and educational events, furthering our industry in Southern California. Courtney and Bethany put so much love into this City Center, creating a community for designers and vendors to come together to learn, find new opportunities and enjoy the industry we work in. We plan to carry those values into our term as City Center Co-Directors. Please feel free to reach out, introduce yourself, and let us know how we can best serve you!

Angela Ryan (Ware Malcomb) & Ymisserah Eddington (Steelcase)

IIDA San Diego Design Tour | MindTouch


IIDA San Diego toured MindTouch, designed by Ware Malcomb and Bailey Bishop Design on Thursday, July 20th, with more than 50 guests in attendance.  Prior to the tour, a panel spoke about the design process and answered questions.  The panel included Ari Hoffman (MindTouch), Bailey Bishop (Bailey Bishop Design), Roxana Miu (Ware Malcomb), and was moderated by Tiffany English (Ware Malcomb).

MindTouch is a top-ranked software development company, occupying the entire 15th floor (approximately 20,000 SF) of 101 W. Broadway, in San Diego, CA. MindTouch develops software that improves web traffic, builds customer success and increases engagement with your brand.


MindTouch leadership was determined to have a space that promoted creativity, collaboration, and the character and culture of MindTouch, without sacrificing productivity and focus.

By developing a floor plan that turned the open office area into the “quiet zone” and providing numerous enclosed collaborative spaces, it was possible to create an “alternative open office” concept that offered staff a variety of options for how to work together without being impacted by noise and distractions that often accompany “creative, open office” environments.  The floor plan is void of offices, with only one office on the entire floor, as even the CEO prefers to sit amongst the rest of the staff to stay connected with their team and projects.

MindTouch staff wanted their unique culture to emanate out of the walls and furnishings, so an eclectic mix of finishes and furniture have been placed throughout, debunking the traditional office standards. 

The programmatic flow of the of floor plan duplicated the go-to-market strategy of MindTouch, starting with the all hands space on the north side of the building, and cycling through the departments and floor plan where the product is made, sold, marketed and then supported, then looping back into product journey from support to engineering.

According to MindTouch staff, their new space not only reflects their culture, but also promotes it.  The space is innovative and welcoming, attracting many events and providing more visibility for recruitment and customer acquisition.  One can often find the majority of the staff dining together for lunch in the all hands room, as MindTouch provides lunch three (3) times a week, citing studies that prove that staff that eat together (family-style) are happier and perform better.

Angela Ryan. CID, IIDA, EDAC
Ware Malcomb
IIDA San Diego City Center Co-Director

Featured Professional | Angela Lafica


Angela is one of our Professional member’s for San Diego City Center. She has great involvement in the Design industry here in San Diego and with IIDA. We reached out to Angela to learn more about her and asked her a couple questions about the importance of being licensed!

“With 10 years of experience in the interior design industry, I am a Senior Associate, currently working in the San Diego office for Cuningham Group Architecture. Much of my career has been invested in the healthcare design market, but I have worked in a broad range of markets including education, hospitality and even theme parks with intention to leverage my acquired knowledge across all of them to be a more flexible and well-rounded designer. I am also co-chair for IIDA San Diego’s NeoConnect, and have found incredible value in being an involved member in our local city center’s events.”
– Angela Lafica

1. What made you decide to take NCIDQ?

When I was in school, they talked about the NCIDQ as a “matter-of-fact” issue, that everyone should take it. I never questioned whether it was something I wanted to do or not. For me, it was the bare-minimum, professionally, to let my clients and colleagues know I’m committed to my career and continuing to be educated throughout the course of it.

2. How has the exam helped to shape your career?

Passing the NCIDQ prepared me to take the IDEX (and become CID) as much of the material crossed over, and since I had made studying a habit again, I went on to take the EDAC not long after that. I believe that passing the NCIDQ gives my clients additional confidence in me and my abilities to serve them on their project.

Similarly, because I believe it was important for me to have passed the NCIDQ, I definitely look at that as one of the most important traits, if not a necessity, of a new hire, especially if they have 5+ years of experience.

Our firm has deemed passing the NCIDQ as a requirement for moving from an Interior Designer (Level) 1 to a 2.

3. What advice would you give to someone looking into taking the exam?

Unless you don’t see (Commercial) Interior Design as a long-term career path for you, I believe that taking the NCIDQ should be a priority, as it is one of the most important ways you can prove that you have the fundamental knowledge necessary for designing spaces that are safe, functional and thoughtful.

Thank you Angela for taking the time to share your thoughts with us! To learn more about becoming certified, click here!

Tanya Villalpando
IIDA San Diego Communications Co Chair

San Diego Spring Architectural Tour at Sempra HQ


The highly anticipated IIDA Spring Architectural Tour was a huge success on the evening of March 3rd at Sempra HQ. Guests had the opportunity to first hear about the project through the eyes of the project team followed by an intimate tour of (4) floors of the tower constructed in 2015. Hillarie Martorell with OFS Brands moderated a panel discussion with Linda Jacobs (Real Estate Planning Manager from Sempra), Rosalie Merks (Construction Manager for Sempra) & Stuart Fromsom (Senior Associate at Carrier Johnson). Members from the audience were then allowed a Q&A session with the panelists discovering fun facts and intimate details of this fascinating San Diego project.


Due to this high security facility, the attendance list was kept to an intimate group of (50). It was a mix of architects, designers & manufacturers reps of San Diego. Unfortunately, we had a wait list of over (15) hoping to get a sneak peek at the facility, but will have to wait until next time to tour the space. The event itself was sponsored by Turner Construction, Carrier Johnson, Interface & MDC Wallcovering who all played a critical role in the completion of this project. Thank you to our Sponsors, Guests and of course the Sempra Team for helping the IIDA San Diego City Center bring this much anticipated event to life!

Hillarie Martorell, IIDA
OFS Brands

San Diego Student Workshop


The Design Institute of San Diego and IIDA San Diego teamed up to have a workshop that focused on graphic layout and do’s and don’ts for student portfolios and presentation boards. Sean Beacon, a local Graphic Designer who teaches at City College helped instruct the workshop. He covered great general content that will be critical to students in the year to come, especially for those in the early phase of their program.


A few key points that he made:

–  Stay focused on your work, limit distractions.

–  Create a unified presentation, 2 face types max.

–  Have color rules, don’t overdo it.

–  Get into the viewers head.

–  Intro teaser, process sketches and images, with “payoff” image. Mix them up, not all the same length.

With a total of 15 students and 4 local Designers who supported the workshop, this event was a success!

Everyone had a lot of great questions and were very intrigued by Sean’s range of work.

Tanya Villalpando
San Diego City Center – Communications Co-Chair

NCIDQ: Why, How, When


Why should you become NCIDQ certified?

– Certification marks your level of competency and credibility.

– Laws in about half the states in the US and in Canada may restrict you from either practicing interior design or calling yourself an “interior designer” without a license.

– Certification can translate into significantly higher earnings.

– Certification allows you to become a Professional member of IIDA and ASID.

How to start the process of becoming NCIDQ certified:

– First, ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. There are several paths to meet the requirements, as outlined on the NCIDQ website.

– Next, create an account at the MyNCIDQ website.

– After you create an account, and if you have completed your formal education, you are eligible to take the first section of the exam: the IDFX. You will need to complete the application form and have your official transcripts as well as application fee sent in to the address they provide.

– Once you have met the requirements for work experience (which depends on the path you selected above) you can apply to take the remaining sections of the exam: the IDPX and Practicum. You will need to have your current and/or past supervisors fill out the work experience verification form as well as obtain three references. All of these will also need to be sent in to CDIQ with the additional application fee.

– Finally, when you have received feedback from CIDQ that your application has been accepted, you can begin to register for exams.

When can you take the exams?

– All three sections are only offered twice per year, in April and October. For Spring 2016, registration opens on January 6th.


– As always, anyone is welcome to join the San Diego IIDA Chapter’s study group, which begins the week of January 18th and runs until the exam dates.


If you need any further information about the application process, study materials, or the study group, contact Hillarie Martorell (hmartorell@ofsbrands.com) or myself, Katie Toth (ktoth@delawie.com).

Katie Toth, Associate IIDA, LEED GA

Desk Talk with Hillarie Martorell


Meet Hillarie Martorell! She is San Diego’s local OFS District Sales Manager and our Co-Chair “Pro-D” (Professional Development) for IIDA for San Diego City Center.

Hillarie was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgie and in her words “with a southern draw and a love of boiled peanuts”. She studied Art & Design at Brenau University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design. An up & coming firm composed of a handful of Atlanta’s finest veterans in the industry had just opened their doors and took Hillarie in to do “a little bit of everything”, she says. She shares that it was a blast getting into a firm like that at the ground level and helping it grow for the 5 years she stayed on board.

Hillarie then had a calling to go into the sales side of our industry and worked the next 10 years in sales at the furniture dealership level. “It was to me, the perfect balance of being creative with a competitive edge I craved from playing sports my entire life”

We are happy you found the balance that makes you happy Hillarie!

Hillarie later met her husband “and fell in love with my amazing husband, who inspired me to embark on a new adventure with him a year and a half ago; moved across the US to start a life in San Diego! We packed up our cars and our dogs and drove for 5 days across the US, stopping in amazing cities along the way”

– sounds like fun Hillarie, kudos for being adventurous!

Once in San Diego, OFS was looking for a sales rep, it just happened that OFS is Hillarie’s favorite manufacturer to work with in both roles she already played in this industry. “Lucky me” – Hillarie

“Every day I meet someone new, and San Diego is full of the MOST unique people I have met in a while. This sense of community that pours out of everybody has to be why I feel so at home here! Pretty sure I am staying put for a while” – Hillarie

Hillarie has done an amazing job in San Diego, if you have met her, you know what an amazing and bright person she is! She recently helped run with San Diego’s Panel Discussion, “A Creative Mind Never Shuts Down” – this event was a fun and successful experience. Thank you Hillarie!

Did I mention she’s so much FUN too?

Here are a couple more fun fact about Hillarie:

Q: what is your favorite California destination?

A: Right now ALL of it. I can honestly tell you that I still say “MAN I feel like I am on vacation!” at least once a day since moving to California! My husband & I have had a blast doing our weekend explorations. Probably the most unique was staying in a Yurt up in Big Sur, at this charming little place we found called “Treebones”. Highly recommend this place for a weekend get away!

Q: Where would we find you on the weekend?

A: playing Beach Volleyball at Mission Beach!

Q: What does your typical day look like?

A: Since I am technically what you would consider a “Corporate Nomad” each day is pretty different from the day before. When I need that feel of an office environment I set up shop at some of our San Diego furniture dealer showrooms. On days I need to focus, you can find me at a local coffee shop or in my favorite room of my house, the sun room, which I call my “home office”. On my favorite days I am popping around to local businesses & design firms around San Diego. I am always at my best when I get to be around different people & feed off of their energy! I try and keep my Professional Affiliations to 2 evenings per week, between Co-Charing IIDA “Pro-D” and serving as a Developing Leader with NAIOP. That way I can still make time for my workouts, hubby and 2 dogs!

Q: What is your go to outfit?

A: Anyone who knows me knows my signature color is yellow. If color had a personality, yellow would be identical to mine! The key in San Diego I have discovered is to wear layers. My go to would be colored jeans with a flowy colorful top and my favorite yellow pearls.

Q: Beer OR Wine?

A: Before moving to San Diego, wine. Since living in San Diego for the last 1.5 years, beer. DUH!

Thank you for sharing Hillarie, so much fun learning more about you. I believe I speak for most if not everyone when I say we love having your bright smile and colorful outfit around! …and we get it, San Diego does have the best breweries 😉

Tanya Villalpando, IIDA

Desk Talk with Jangmee Hooper


Meet Jangmee Hooper! She is our IIDA Community Outreach Chair for San Diego City Center and is the Business Development Manager at Kwalu Furniture.

Jangmee is an Interior Design graduate from Virginia Tech. She spent 10 years as a designer in the Corporate/Industrial Atlanta Market. “I’ve always been driven into design and pursued my NCIDQ and LEED AP early in my career to grow as a designer and advocate to others. I found that I enjoyed learning new aspects of the design world and sharing it with people” – Jangmee

She later decided to take her career into a different direction and go into sales with the goal of sharing products from a designer’s perspective. “I wanted to be inspired by products that truly change design, products such as ergonomics and healthcare solutions which go beyond an aesthetic purpose.”

Jangmee is now with Kwalu. She shares that it has been incredible sharing stories about their HC designers/Industry and the challenges they face while creating an aesthetic and functional/safe/healthy environment. “Which really embraces the differences that an interior designer is not the same as an interior decorator”, she states.

Outside of the design world, here is a couple more fun facts about Jangmee Hooper!

Q: What is your favorite California destination?
A: “Santa Monica. I love FOOD and good libations, plus the architecture and culture is so invigorating”

Q: Where would we find you on the weekend?
A: “Spending time with our three fluffy dogs (all rescued, Golden Mix, Border-Collie Mix, and English Setter-Mix) and my husband, volunteering, spending time with my local Hokie Alumni, renovating our home (I’m really good with drywall now), or finding something new and exciting to do in or out of town.”

Q: Beach or Mountain?
A: Mountain. I definitely enjoy a mountain with a nice lake to relax in or covered in snow for some good skiing”

Q: What is your go to outfit?
A: “Easy. Dress, cardigan and heels. Much easier and more comfortable to toss on a dress to make you feel better for the day (probably not the heels, but I’m short so I like the extra height)”

Q: Beer or Wine?
A: “I’m a bourbon girl. On the rocks, neat or fancied up in an Old Fashioned”

Thank you Jangmee for sharing your role in the design industry and some additional fun facts. I have to say, I am with you on the heels, additional height is always nice!

Tanya Villalpando, IIDA