Tag Archives: San Diego

Design, Connecting San Diego


IIDA’s DesignConnect (previously NeoConnect) is recognized as San Diego’s premier contract interiors exhibit event, showcasing the latest trends for commercial environments. Over the last few years, DesignConnect has evolved into so much more. Attendees now include not only vendors, manufacturers and interior designers, but an increasing number of architects, landscape architects, contractors, brokers and end users. There were close to 600 attendees at this show alone. The iconic location of the Broadway Pier, partnered with spectacular product releases, a live DJ, refreshments and delicious food creates an incredible backdrop to mix and mingle with San Diego’s finest.


The experience of DesignConnect is planned months before your arrival at the pier. A committee of IIDA members come together to design, and plan based on past triumphs, lessons learned, feedback and the desire to push it to be better every year. A reoccurring theme of DesignConnect is the featuring of the Pantone color of the year with a graphic of the San Diego skyline in the hue as well as sprinkling the celebrated color throughout the event. Highlights of DesignConnect are found in the creative booths and displays, exciting new products, live voting for best of DesignConnect, photo op moments, and great company. This years’ DesignConnect winners included Eureka’s Mute lighting which took home Gold and Teknion’s Borough lounge seating which earned silver. This incredible event couldn’t happen without the IIDA Southern California chapter sponsors, event sponsors and the team of volunteers.


The experience of DesignConnect is planned months before your arrival at the pier. A committee of IIDA members come together to design, and plan based on past triumphs, lessons learned, feedback and the desire to push it to be better every year. A reoccurring theme of DesignConnect is the featuring of the Pantone color of the year with a graphic of the San Diego skyline in the hue as well as sprinkling the celebrated color throughout the event. Highlights of DesignConnect are found in the creative booths and displays, exciting new products, live voting for best of DesignConnect, photo op moments, and great company. This years’ DesignConnect winners included Eureka’s Mute lighting which took home Gold and Teknion’s Borough lounge seating which earned silver. This incredible event couldn’t happen without the IIDA Southern California chapter sponsors, event sponsors and the team of volunteers.

Click here to see more photos of the event!

Click here for the video with this year’s highlights!

We hope to see you next year on September 24th and look forwarding to connecting San Diego through Design.

Peace, Love & Gaudi Fashion Show


Last Thursday night’s IIDA Haute Couture fashion show debuted the Peace, Love & Gaudi collection inspired by Hippie fashion and iconic architect, Antonio Gaudi, in our new venue, PARQ nightclub. Our participating design teams knocked it out of the PARQ with their adaptations of this theme. We’d like to thank all of the following firms for their commitment to IIDA and the Fashion Show starting with this year’s winning teams:

Best Haute Couture – OCIO sponsored by Arcadia

Best Haute Couture – OCIO sponsored by Arcadia

Best Theme Inspiration – ID Studios sponsored by Think/Inscape/Mannington/Momentum

Best Theme Inspiration – ID Studios sponsored by Think/Inscape/Mannington/Momentum

Best Showmanship – HBG/RBN sponsored by Bernhardt/Tarkett

Best Craftsmanship – FPBA sponsored by Emser Tile

Best Student Team – Mesa College sponsored by MDC

People’s Choice – Mesa College sponsored by MDC

Ware Malcomb – sponsored by SitOnIt Seating/Maharam

LPA – sponsored by BKM/Steelcase/Coalesse/Designtex

SCA – sponsored by Knoll/System Source

Gensler – sponsored by Light Art/3 Form

SmithGroup sponsored by Behr

Delawie sponsored by Allsteel/Parron Hall

SDSU sponsored by Sherwin Williams

Design Institute sponsored by Commercial Décor Gallery

This event would not have been possible with out the generosity of our event sponsors. We’d like to extend a special thank you to the following:

Platinum Sponsors:
Allsteel/Parron Hall
Knoll/System Source

Gold Sponsors:

Silver Sponsors:
Concrete Collaborative
Herman Miller
Pacific Building Group

Diamond Sponsors:
Light Art/3 Form

Sapphire Sponsors:
Commercial Décor Gallery
Sherwin Williams
The Lighting Element

More photos and video will be coming soon!

Well Building CEU + Design Tours | Aventine + JLL


Thank you to everyone who came out for last week’s Well Building CEU + Project Tour! The tour featured the Aventine lobby, a 2018 Calibre Award Winner and JLL San Diego’s new office space. 


A special thank you to Aventine and JLL for allowing us to experience these beautiful spaces!


Following the tour was an informative CEU presentation that focused on Well Building – the framework for this innovative and extremely relevant standard encompasses seven concepts of wellness: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind, that can make a tremendous difference to employee health and wellbeing.

Poppies & Portraits


On Thursday, April 12th 2018 IIDA’s San Diego chapter held their membership mixer, Poppies and Portraits at Johnson’s & Jennings new office in Mission Valley. Unlike other events, this mixer combined three activities that kept attendees busy all evening long.  They participated in a design tour, spring inspired crafts and had the opportunity to take professional headshots.

Mary Michaelson of Hollander Design Group, the design firm of Johnson & Jennings new space, gave us a personally guided tour of the office. She shared the challenges and problem solving involved in creating a free-flowing office space that is fresh and inviting while combating an awkward footprint lacking the desired square footage. Fantastic work Hollander!

The San Diego board thought it would be fun to give our local designers a break from their computer work with some hands-on crafting – no mouse or keyboard involved! Designers, vendors and students chatted and mingled while creating crepe paper poppies in the celebration of spring, the results were beautiful!


And…. Somehow, in the midst of all this fun we found the time to mix in some professional headshots provided by the local photographer Andy King. After some quick makeup touch ups sponsored by Milliken, designers were striking poses, left and right. The photos are fantastic and we hope they serve our designers well.


Lastly, no IIDA event would be complete without some happy hour treats. Thank you to OCS Lighting for providing lovely warm weather wines. We were definitely spoiled to have our own sommelier in their rep, Thomas Oechel. Thank you also to Mannington and Momentum Textiles for your contribution towards the hors d’oevuvres.

All in all the event was a wonderful success and we are so grateful for all those who participated and contributed.

Jennifer Sun
FS Design Group

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.

NeoConnect 2017 | San Diego


The design community is still buzzing after another successful San Diego NeoConnect show held Tuesday, September 26th for the third year at the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier. Participation from our exhibitors and attendees reached an all-time record, pushing beyond the 600-person mark, at 620 attendees! The evening was quoted by many as “magical” with a high-energy environment stretching from one end of the venue to the other. As the day turned to evening, a rose-colored sunset captured the crowd’s attention with drinks flowing and phenomenal products offerings by each and every vendor.  The party lasted well into the evening, ending with fireworks that lit up the sky for an epic grand finale.


Check out the photos and video from the event.

Almost 100 manufacturers and dealers were represented in this year’s show featuring incredible products released at the 2017 NeoCon in Chicago. Five designers from the San Diego design community were selected to be judges for this year’s Best of NeoConnect competition, where all of the exhibitors had an opportunity to submit one product to be considered, and the judges selected their 10 favorites to be voted on by the rest of the design community. The submissions for Best of NeoConnect can be seen on Pinterest.


Our five, highly esteemed judges were:

• Robin Carrier, Robin Wilson Interior Design
• Adel Smith-Chapman, Delawie
• Angela Ryan, Ware Malcomb
• Nancy Andrade Polito, Hollander Design Group
• Bethany Carlson, LPA Inc.

The top 10 products in this year’s Best of NeoConnect competition were:

• C3 Lines | Lightcorp Amble
• Mohawk | Lichen
• ICE + WorkShop | Cottonwood Table
• West Elm + Think OI | Modern Benching
• BuzziSpace + SVNDR | BuzziPleat
• OFS Brands | Heya
• Moz Designs | Laser-cut Collection
• EPIC | Contract Leaf Collection
• Shaw Contract | Emergence

The attendees at the event voted on their top choices by texting on their phones, results showing live on a projected screen above the show, and the winners were as follows:

GOLD: ICE + WorkShop’s Cottonwood Table, with 51% of the votes!
SILVER: West Elm’s Modern, Height-Adjustable Benching (by THiNK OI)

Special thanks to the 2017 IIDA San Diego NeoConnect Committee:
Alysse Cooper, NeoConnect 2017 Co-Chair, ICE
Hillarie Martorell, NeoConnect 2017 Co-Chair, OFS Brands
Angela Ryan, IIDA City Center Co-Director, Ware Malcomb
Ymisserah Eddington, IIDA City Center Co-Director, Steelcase
Shana Van Namen, SVN Design Resource
Bethany Carlson, LPA
Courtney Kirian, Think OI
Diana Tracy, Commercial Décor Gallery
Elise Holmes, MDC Wallcovering
Erica Roman, Cultura
Kari Schultz, Mannington
Kimberly McCready, DesignTex
Manuela Bravo-Smith, Carrier Johnson
Nicole Dotson, bkm Officeworks
Rebecca Hetter, Coalesse
Tony Robson, Crossville
Tricia Mauller, EPIC Contract Group
Ana Seabra-Gomes, Delawie
Lauren Knapp, ICE
Jessica Becker, Cultura
Sonja Helton, The Scheffey Group
Lauren Bencivengo, Delawie

Additional thank you to our day of volunteers:
Ashley Achleithner, Gensler
Cody Flora, Gensler
Elizabeth Rhone, Gensler
Tanya Villalpando, ARE
Jen Khor, Student
Garret Marsh, Student
Kathleen Quirez, Student
Hope Knuckles, Student
Kelly McWhorter, Student
Ginet Casido, Student
Katrina Shea, Student
Kate Davenport, Student
Shaunessy O’Brien, Student
Breeann Ray, Student

Thank you all for making this another memorable NeoConnect in San Diego, and we will see you again next year on September 25th, 2018.

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

Once Upon A Time in San Diego

The long awaited video for the IIDA San Diego Haute Couture Fashion Show – Once Upon a Time has been released!!

Once Upon a time there was a kingdom far, far away where interior designers magically turned everyday building materials into garments suited for royalty. Join us on a journey to that far-off kingdom of Storybooks and Fairy Tales to delight in a spectacular showcase of these exquisite outfits.

Carrier Johnson – The BFG

We were wowed by design teams from Ware Malcomb, Solomon, ID Studios, Rutledge Haro, Smith Consulting, LPA, Delawie, ASID, Gensler, FS Design Group, ACRMA and FPBA, Hollander Design Group, Entente, Taylor and Miller, Carrier Johnson and Architects Hanna Gabriel Wells. And our student teams Art Institute, San Diego State University, Design Institute and Mesa College.

SDSU The Lion – The Witch and the Wardrobe

Each model brought the stage to life with their out of this world outfits and incredible performances. We won’t soon forget the beautiful performance from Cinderella or watching all 7 dwarves reveal themselves in one outfit. We watched in awe as the BFG took over the stage with her larger than life presence. Rapunzel’s intricate locks and the detail on The Queen of Hearts mesmerized us. Where the Wild Things are commanded the stage and The Witch of Narnia turned the entire room into a winter wonderland. We found ourselves lost at Hogwarts, enchanted in The Arabian Nights and at peace with the Truffula Tree. Little Red’s Wolf and Hansel and Gretel’s Evil Witch gave us quite a scare. Violet Beuregard’s amazing transformation blew us all away. We fell down the Rabbit’s Hole with Alice, followed the Yellow Brick Road and delighted in the childlike Madeline. We were taken Under The Sea and joined Miss Spider in a Giant Peach. Finally our students took us on a journey the jungle, the forest and illuminated the way to Neverland.

To say the crowd was in awe would be quite the understatement.

The evening’s Winners-

Best Haute Couture
Hollander Design Group – Where the Wild Things Are

Best Theme Inspiration
Delawie – Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

LPA – Rapunzel

Best Craftsmanship
LPA – Rapunzel

Best Showmanship
Ware Malcomb – Snow White and the 7 Dwarves

People’s Choice
Smith Consulting – Little Red Riding Hood

Courtney Kirian
THiNK Office Interiors