Tag Archives: Who Is IIDA


Brooke Walbuck, Assoc. IIDA

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IIDA SoCal’s VP of Membership, Brooke Walbuck had a very unconventional childhood. She grew up in beautiful Southeast Alaska taking survival courses and wilderness training programs.

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She can build a fire, navigate by the stars and tie a rope to cross a raging river.  Brooke “found her people” when she joined a search and rescue team, overcoming obstacle courses and military physical fitness tests along the way. At 12, she joined a Civil Air Patrol group – the youngest on the team! “I see myself as a bit of a rule breaker and pioneer thanks to my upbringing in Alaska. It’s come in very handy throughout my career… Thinking outside the proverbial box, both in the wilderness and in a design studio, has proven to be very beneficial and given me grit,” said Brooke.

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After moving to Oregon post high school, Brooke began working for a custom home builder and got her real estate license – again, one of the youngest at 19 years old. She moved to Southern California after meeting her future husband and dove into a career change attending design school at FIDM in Downtown Los Angeles in 2009.

She started her professional design career as a Senior Interior Designer with Mannigan Design and later transitioned to a business development role with Unisource Solutions, thus combining her experience in real estate with her newly acquired design knowledge. Her next offer landed her at MASHstudios, a custom furniture manufacturer and major industry disruptor – “the best manufacturer I could have ever hoped to work with.” according to Brooke.

In 2019, Brooke was offered her dream job with HKS Architects bringing her passion for architecture and design to work with her every day.

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After nine years living in DTLA’s historic core, she moved her young family (husband and 4 year old) to the family-friendly neighborhood of Los Feliz where her son attends a bilingual French school.

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Brooke has been volunteering with IIDA SoCal for many years – first as a committee member for Calibre and other events and then a year ago, she made the jump to the Executive Board where she oversees Membership initiatives for the Chapter.

Brooke has admitted to being enthralled with architecture and upon retirement from the design industry, dreams of returning to school for an architecture degree from SCI-Arc.

For more information about Membership, visit iida.org/membership.


Who Is IIDA? Christine Peter

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Christine Peter brings over twenty three years and a wide range of experience working for both dealers and manufacturers in supporting the Southern California market.

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A native Californian, Christine was raised in San Diego in a small beach town called Leucadia.  She currently lives in Huntington Beach with her husband of 25 years and their three dogs.

Christine started at a Knoll furniture dealership in Orange County and then moved on to executive management position for a Steelcase dealer. Her work with dealers, manufacturers and project managers led her to discover and then fill a niche with her own company, Kaleidoscope Concept. Christine and her team of five help guide and educate firms, project managers, and end users about new products, design innovations and best practices to keep within budget.

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Christine has been volunteering for over thirteen years with IIDA, first with the Orange County City Center and since 2015 as VP of Advocacy on the IIDA SoCal Executive Board of Directors. In this role, she has dedicated her time to advance the interior design industry via legislative initiatives. “I believe Advocacy is the single most important issue that I can contribute to,” said Christine.  “We’re working hard to advance the industry and keep it strong- IIDA is the touch point for design and it’s my home base.”

In her spare time, Christine also volunteers for the Orangewood Foundation, working with victims of crime or those who have become a ward of the state.

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She also finds time for boating/jet ski at her vacation home on the Colorado River with her husband.

If you’re interested in hearing more about volunteer opportunities supporting our Advocacy initiates, please fill out this form.


Who Is IIDA? Jade Li

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Jade Li is a designer in AECOM’s Building and Places studio, specializing in corporate commercial interiors. She blends her expertise in space programming, design, and construction documentation to FF+E.

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Jade was born in Harbin, China, a city in the north of the country, influenced by Russia and filled with stunning examples of Eastern Orthodox Architecture. “I loved the colorful onion domes of the buildings near my home,” Jade said, “but also appreciated the juxtaposition of Western style architecture that was sandwiched between. I think my love of architecture was born back then!”

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Jade moved to Missouri with her family when she was 11 years old and attended the University of Missouri, graduating with Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Science and a Minor in Entrepreneurship. It was in college that she solidified her interest in working towards something that could change the world, starting out with journalism but later falling in love with design and the collaborative aspects of the design process.

After graduating, Jade moved to Beijing, China to explore an international career in design. At a local design conference she had a chance encounter with a Los Angeles design Principal and shortly thereafter found herself moving to LA for a position with HOK. “I believe a bit in ‘Fate’ and opening oneself to opportunities and then seeing what options come along.” Jade told us, “That philosophy led me to Beijing and then later in 2014, to Los Angeles.”

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Today at AECOM, her client ranges from start up tech firms to fortune 500 companies as well as national sport teams. She is also passionate about workplace wellness and brings human-centric design to projects.

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Jade became involved with IIDA to support Advocacy efforts in 2017. “I’m passionate about bringing awareness and education to young industry professionals” Jade said.

In her spare time, Jade who lives in a historic building in downtown LA, takes tango lessons and is somewhat obsessed with Pembroke Tri Color Welsh Corgis.  A nerd at heart, her favorite entertainment includes Star Wars, Dr. Who and Lord of the Rings.  [photo of jade + corgi??]


2019 IIDA SoCal Student Portfolio Competition

The IIDA Southern California 2019 Student Portfolio Competition was held on Saturday, February 9th at the Herman Miller showroom, located at the base of Culver City’s Baldwin Hills Overlook. Taking part were 11 extremely talented and diverse students from four participating Southern California Schools.

Students arrived, as scheduled, throughout the day, carrying intricate models, stunning display boards, and various other materials with which to present their projects. There were two categories of competition this year – Social Relevance and Innovation – and $16,000 in scholarship awards up for grabs.

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.

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

Back row, left to right: Ramona Quinn, Miguel Perez, IIDA SoCal VP Students; Rosela Barraza, HLW; James Arakelian, Environmental Contracting Corp.;  Mili Del Castillo, IIDA SoCal VP Students; Laurence Cartledge, Rottet; Claire Thompson, The Thompson Collaborative; David Loyola, Gensler; and Adam Simmons

Front Row; left to right: Gigi Gordinier and Scott Johnson, Wolcott

After a long day filled with nervous preparations and enthusiastic presentations, the judges deliberated to decide the most deserving honorees from among the many outstanding participants.

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The Social Relevance category, with a $5,000 scholarship, was awarded to Andres Zavala from ArtCenter College of Design

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The Innovation category, with a $5,000 scholarship, was awarded to Chahn Sung from ArtCenter College of Design

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The honorable mention, with a $500 scholarship, was awarded to Melissa Ochoa from California State University Long Beach.

Congratulations to our winners and to all who participated! The awards will be formally presented at the 31st Annual IIDA Calibre Design Awards on Friday, May 17th, 2019.

See photos from the event here!

Mili Del Castillo and Miguel Perez, IIDA SoCal’s VP’s of Students Affairs, thank the hosts, judges, and students for helping to make this a memorable event!

Event Hosts
Herman Miller – Gigi Gordinier, Ramona Quinn, Adam Simmons

Photography
Chris Hatcher