Tag Archives: Student

Student Expo Next Week!


Please join us for this year’s LA City Center Student Design Expo on Thursday, March 7th. AECOM has generously offered to host this event again at their DTLA office.


The Student Design Expo is a unique opportunity for aspiring design professionals to showcase their work and network with tenured industry leaders. Students will have the platform to discuss their selected project in front of a panel of judges comprised of IIDA Board Members. This year, awards will be given for Best in Show and People’s Choice. Following the student presentations, a panel of recognized industry professionals will address the audience to discuss their career paths, industry experiences, and much more. The esteemed group of panelists this year includes:

Pam Light, Senior Principal/Regional Leader of Workplace, HOK

James Merchant, Senior Interior Designer, AECOM

Josie Park, Design Project Manager, NBC Universal

Gillian Sutton, Senior Project Manager, Newmark

Moderated by Amy Hill, Founder + Workplace Consultant, Work Thread

This event is open to both IIDA members and non-members. For additional event information and to purchase tickets, check out the event page here. See you on the 7th!

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.

10 Questions with Kate Hespenheide and Briana Martin

Briana Martin (left) & Kate Hespenheide (right)

What is your favorite iconic chair:
Briana: The Eames Molded Plastic Chair, specifically in white with wooden dowell legs and the crisscrossing metal. It is simple, elegant, practical and a classic.
Kate: Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair. My family actually purchased the chair and ottoman when I was much younger, but at the time I didn’t understand the significance. I only knew it as the “guitar chair” because it was where my father could lean back and play without worrying about hitting his elbows on any chair arms. When I finally learned about the chair and its designer I was so excited that I had been able to grow up with such an important iconic design.

What is your favorite California destination:
B: Growing up in the midwest, California seemed like only a dream to me. Each spot I have seen is more beautiful and different than the last. If I had to choose one location, I’d say the beaches of San Diego are my favorite.
K: Growing up my family would take annual trips to Bass Lake, near Yosemite. I loved spending time on the lake while still being able to enjoy the mountains and trees.

What is your favorite color:
B: I usually don’t admit it, but pink is my favorite color.
K: More often than not I find myself selecting burnt orange and mint green for my designs. I love that they are reminiscent of mid-century modern design and that they are contrasting without being too overwhelming.

What is your go-to outfit:
B: On a typical day, I wear my favorite skinny jeans, a neutral tank top with a cardigan, and my brown knee high boots or sandals.
K: On an average day you will find me wearing dark skinny jeans, a cardigan, and boots, with my curly hair as my biggest accessory.

Where would we find you on the weekend:
B: During the school year the only place you would find me is my cubicle in the design studio at school; If it’s before noon I’m usually alone. During the summer I’m most likely grabbing a drink in Chicago with my friends.
K: To be honest I spend most of my weekends in my studio at school. When I do find some free time I enjoy spending it with friends, going to coffee shops, and walking down the street to the beach.

Gold or Silver:
B: I always use silver in my designs. But if I’m choosing jewelry I prefer gold.
K: I love delicate, silver jewelry.

Beer or Wine:
B: Beer on a summer day; Wine on a winter night.
K: I enjoy both, but if I had to choose I would say dry, white wine.

Beach or Mountains:
B: There is nothing better than a gorgeous day at the beach. But if I wanted to be more active, I’d choose snowboarding on the mountains.
K: Even though I’ve always lived near the beach I enjoy the time I’ve spent in the mountains. I love off-roading and discovering secluded and lightly traveled places. It’s such an amazing and beautiful escape that I never get on the frequently crowded beaches of Southern California.

Online or Print Magazines:
B: There is no substitution for flipping through a fresh magazine full of vibrant color.
K: Print magazines. I feel like I’m able to pay closer attention when I’m physically holding the magazine in my hands. I also feel a greater sense of accomplishment when I actually finish the magazine.

Open or Private Offices:
B: Open offices are much more collaborative and lively. Working alone is calming, but on a day to day basis I really enjoy working around other creative minds and being able to interact with others.
K: Open, because I enjoy working with my peers and value the importance of collaboration, especially with design projects.

10 Questions with Hiroaki Matsumoto

Hiroaki Matsumoto
Hiroaki Matsumoto, a student at Cal State Northridge

What is your favorite iconic chair:
Eames Chairs
What is your favorite California destination:
San Francisco
What is your favorite color:
What is your go-to outfit:
Casual, Japanese Sandal (Geta)
Where would we find you on the weekend:
Simi Valley
Gold or Silver:
Beer or Wine:
Beach or Mountains:
Online or Print Magazines:
Open or Private Offices:

10 questions is a new feature on Bright IIDeAs. Check back for future posts.

Jaclyn Giuliano, Herman Miller & Jolene Ballard, HBF

Annual Board Meeting

Before I accepted an appointment on the Board of Directors for IIDA Southern California Chapter, I often wondered who the people were making decisions and planning the annual events our industry looks forward to – like Calibre, Leader’s Breakfast, and the beloved Fashion Shows – year after year. In fact, now that I’ve spent 6 months working on the Board, I have a new respect for my colleagues who generously donate their time to the betterment of this organization.  I want to share with you what our very dedicated Board, led by President Chris Coldoff, has been working on by sharing updates from our last meeting.

On January 27 and 28th, the IIDA Southern California held their annual 2-day Board meeting retreat in Los Angeles California. All VP’s were present which made for a very active and productive session.  The first day, hosted at Gensler LA’s new Downtown office, was focused on crafting the vision of the Chapter for the upcoming year – we identified the needs of Students, Industry Partners, Emerging and Established Professionals so that we could keep all members needs in mind as we move thoughout the year. On Saturday, the day was hosted by Interface FLOR where the visions from the day before began to take shape.  The day was filled with reports from the VP’s and City Center Directors to talk about upcoming events and 2012 strategies.  It was obvious that the Chapter Leaders have all been very busy – it was a long but inspiring day!

One of the highlights of the retreat included a report from VPs Annette Wiley and April Ibarra regarding speaker Liesbet Trappenberg.  The Speaker Series will be held on February 15 and 16 in LA and Orange County, and in San Diego in April – don’t miss it!  Susan Coddington and Jeff Hollander arranged for a speaker from IIDC to talk to us about upcoming legislation.  Make sure you read about License2Design (http://license2design.org/) to learn more about this and register your support.  Michelle Ives and Kathy Beckwith, VPs of Communication, presented a refreshed Chapter newsletter and the new blog called ‘Bright IIDeAs’ which you are reading now!  The newsletter will be launched late February, so look out for it in your email inbox.  David Fridlund and Edel Legaspi reported on the upcoming Student Competition planned for March 10th.  We were updated with news about the Fashion Shows in Orange County and San Diego, and updates on the large Chapter event planning for Calibre on May 11th and Leader’s Breakfast in September.  It’s going to be a great year in Sunny Southern California!  Keep checking back with us for the latest news and events.

Click here for more photos of the board meeting!

Read more about your Board members here http://www.iida-socal.org/boardOfDirectors/  and check the website for details on upcoming events http://www.iida-socal.org/events/

Kathy Beckwith,  Industry IIDA, LEED AP
Herman Miller, Inc.