Campus Center Spotlight: Arizona State University

IIDA Campus Centers are an invaluable part of the design community that offer students, educators, and design professionals an opportunity to work together on different projects and initiatives. The exchange of ideas and creative development between young and emerging designers as well as established industry leaders is essential to driving innovation and shaping the future of interior design. 

For students, IIDA membership also offers the opportunity to gain leadership and professional development experience outside of the classroom, in the association, on their campus, and with their peers. This can include everything from program development, budgeting, marketing, and event planning, to learning how to navigate within the structure of an organization. 

Every spring, IIDA recognizes a campus center through the IIDA Campus Center Awards, sponsored by OFS, for exceptional achievement in program development that contributes to the local interior design community and profession. Each center that applies for the Best Thing Ever Award is considered for the Campus Center of the Year award and is recognized by their local chapter at a local event, featured on IIDA.org and in the student newsletter QUAD, and is eligible for the $1,000 prize.

Our 2020 Campus Center of the Year and winner of the Best Thing Ever submission is Arizona State University, part of the IIDA Southwest Chapter. Their hard work and dedication towards the annual Light for Hope event raised funds for Free Arts, a nonprofit organization in Arizona, and serves as an example that organizing and working with the larger design community moves the industry forward. We reached out to the student members at Arizona State that contributed to the process to offer insights and tips for campus centers to start planning to enter for next year’s award. 

ASU Campus Center Members, image courtesy of the ASU Campus Center

Participants:

Alia Sugarman, Student IIDA, IIDA Co-President, Arizona State University Campus Center

Rachel Frail, Student IIDA, Philanthropy Aficionado, Arizona State University Campus Center

Fayrooz Sweis, Student IIDA, Membership Guru, Arizona State University Campus Center

Kiana Taie, Associate IIDA, VP of Student Affairs, IIDA Southwest Chapter

Callie Elsner, Associate IIDA, Director of Student Affairs, Southwest Chapter

IIDA: Why should Campus Centers apply for the Best Thing Ever, and what does the award help you to accomplish going forward?

Alia Sugarman: Campus centers should apply for the IIDA Best Thing Ever award to get recognition for the hard work and dedication they put into making their event possible. The Interiors Students Alliance (ISA) at ASU spends months preparing all the moving parts that go into making Light for Hope come to life. This award helps us promote this philanthropic event to become as big as our parent chapter’s events. We take inspiration from the IIDA Southwest events like Couture and PRIDE. These industry events provide background and a sense of what is possible. We hope to grow Light for Hope to be a distinguishing event for Arizona State University and to attract more professionals.

IIDA: Can you walk us through the submission process?

Alia Sugarman: I took the lead in the submission process with the help of my cabinet members. I wanted to highlight in our presentation that each of the cabinet members has a personal passion for our organization and efforts. As the IIDA campus center co-president, I worked on professional development in partnership with IIDA Southwest. Rachel Frail is our philanthropy aficionado who is in charge of the Light for Hope event, and she helped me with the Best Thing Ever Award section of the submission. Fayrooz Sweis is our membership guru and she assisted me with our membership portion of the submission. Collaborating on the submission will not only save time but will provide a better perspective from experts from those parts of your organization. It should be fun to share what your campus has done and not stressful!

IIDA: What should other IIDA campus centers know about the Interiors Student Alliance (ISA) at the Arizona State University Campus Center, which combines IIDA, ASID (Association of Interior Designers), and NEWH (The Hospitality Industry Network) chapters on campus? How did it form, and what are the overlaps?

Alia Sugarman: This is my favorite part of the Interiors Student Alliance at Arizona State University! We saw how the industry collaborates with different professionals and we wanted to create an organization to bring all three parent chapters together for our interior design students. Our goal was to create a professional network hub for design students so that students like myself who have felt overwhelmed with choosing an organization to join can be involved in all three. Attending separate meetings for the parent chapters conflicts with busy student schedules, so we developed ISA at ASU as a place for all the interior parent chapters to come together for the students. This was a way to show students how the commercial, residential, and hospitality design have a world for students to explore at Arizona State University. Exposure to all three helps build a great foundation.

IIDA: How did your campus center become involved with/connected to Free Arts Arizona, and how long have you had this relationship for? What is the chapter’s role in the relationship (if any)?

Rachel Frail: ISA’s relationship with Free Arts began in 2017. The organization was selected for its mission which promotes growth and healing for children through the arts. The relationship began with a donation of proceeds from ISA’s first Light for Hope event. This year, ISA was able to expand upon this relationship with a visit to the newly renovated Free Arts Arizona facility and participation in Free Arts’ annual Flutterfest event at the Desert Botanical Gardens. The hope is this relationship will continue to grow over time and allow ISA members to volunteer more consistently throughout the school year.

Silent auction bidders at the Light for Hope Event. Image courtesy of Arizona State University Campus Center.

IIDA: Why is it important for campus centers to find or work with a philanthropy partner, and what do you recommend to campus leaders that are looking to make that connection?

Fayrooz Sweis: Working with a philanthropy partner is important because it provides campus centers an opportunity to engage with and give back to their local community. It also allows students to come together for a common cause and to positively impact the lives of others in their community—an ethical responsibility that is inherent in our work as designers. Here at ASU, the interior design program offers students several opportunities to engage with philanthropy partners and the local community through projects that are part of the program curriculum. The partnership we have with Free Arts is not only a continuation of this philanthropy culture within our program but also an expansion of our efforts to provide students with meaningful opportunities beyond the classroom to learn and have a positive impact on their communities which is what makes this connection successful.

IIDA: What about for individual students—how does producing or supporting volunteer and philanthropic events contribute to their personal and career growth?

Rachel Frail: Experiencing the gift of art and design is invaluable, and supporting an organization that gives this gift so freely to children is priceless. Specifically in supporting Free Arts through Light for Hope, students were able to share their talents and passion while developing new skills. Students gain professional exposure and are able to develop an entirely new skill set of event design, marketing, venue booking, contest creation, etc. We were able to see the direct results of our contributions when we quadrupled our donation this year.—and it wasn’t easy! The committee really pushed themselves, and I don’t think that would have been the case if there wasn’t growth occurring at the individual level.

Moreover, being able to produce and support philanthropic events helps students realize their potential in positively impacting their community. I think so often in this world we feel helpless in creating change as an individual, but this experience really proved students can make an impact. There is power in the knowledge that we. can not only envision a different way of doing things, but we can design and execute it. There is power in the confidence gained from this experience, and I would highly suggest philanthropic involvement for all students.

IIDA: Why is it important to highlight campus center activities and projects to the greater IIDA membership community?

Fayrooz Sweis: By highlighting campus center activities and projects to the greater IIDA membership community we contribute to the collective success of our community by sharing the capabilities of individual campus centers to provide opportunities for academic and professional growth and development. Showcasing the many successes and inspirations that we could draw on from within our IIDA community also allows us to celebrate our successes and efforts. It also demonstrates to prospective members the value of membership and involvement with the campus centers and the many ways in which they can distinguish themselves professionally.

IIDA: What is most exciting about working with the ASU Campus Center now and looking to the future, and how does the professional community support this program/event?

Alia Sugarman: The most exciting part about being involved with ISA at ASU is how much growth we’ve achieved in three years and the plans we have to continue that growth. As a recent graduate, I’ve realized that my goal with the ASU Campus Center was to bring the professional community to our students—professionals have always been excited to collaborate with ISA by hosting firm tours and professional development workshops, but since ISA brings together IIDA, ASID, and NEWH, we must encourage all three organizations as a whole.

Rachel Frail: ISA has so many benefits for students from professional development to the community we are building within the walls of ASU’s Design School. I think for me the most exciting part about working with ISA is getting to see our potential for impact in our community and in our school. As a graduate student, I often get caught thinking I don’t have enough time in my schedule to add extracurriculars. But truth be told, my experiences in ISA and giving back to the community have been the most rewarding experience of my graduate education. In the future, I would love to see an increase in professional involvement at our Light for Hope event in addition to attending the event and assisting in marketing, we would like to open up another layer of involvement and invite professionals to donate their own light creations!     

Fayrooz Sweis: Our ASU Campus Center is unique in that it brings together IIDA, ASID, and NEWH in such a collaborative community for interior design students on campus. It was most exciting for me to see our chapter grow this past year offering more opportunities to connect, learn, and create through our bi-monthly Lunch Breaks and software tutorials, our Light for Hope event, and through chapter events with IIDA, ASID, and NEWH. As we continue to create events and projects to serve our campus community, I think it will be important to expand on the support of the professional communities of each of our parent organizations, extending the invitation to professionals to engage more directly with our students and campus events allowing students to draw on the professionals’ experience, and expand their professional network.

Kiana + Callii: The ASU students have a consistently strong presence in all things IIDA. Their eagerness to promote membership and the design industry over the years has been inspiring to watch. Our Southwest professional community not only attends Light for Hope every year but supports this event by bidding and purchasing the student-made lights. We are excited to see this event grow and are grateful that IIDA allows our students the opportunity to highlight their ambition and this unique initiative.

View the 2020 Campus Center Awards entry projects, and learn more about submitting your own project here.

The Education Community Responds to Change: The Conversation Continued

On April 9, IIDA hosted Design Online: The Education Community Responds to Change, the third episode in our Collective (D)esign webinar series of interactive community discussions. This conversation, hosted by IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon FIIDA, and moderated by Ryan Ben, IIDA’s student engagement and advancement manager, featured a panel of educators and students centering on the changing education and employment landscape.

Panelists fielded questions from our audience covering everything from internships and altering educational programs to balancing an increased need for mental and physical health and contributing to community aid. This webinar was attended by close to 1,000 members of the international interior design community who submitted dozens of questions, many of which could not be addressed due to time constraints.

In an effort to expand the conversation, we’ve compiled answers to additional questions, alongside highlights from this discussion from panelists Tyler Hatton, Student IIDA, The Ohio State University campus center co-leader, Ohio/Kentucky Chapter; Rebekah Matheny, IIDA, assistant professor of interior design, Department of Design, The Ohio State University; Jon Otis, IIDA, founder and principal, Object Agency (OlA), professor, Pratt Institute; and Meghan Webster, AIA, principal and global education practice area leader, Gensler. 

What can firms do right now to help engage students?

Jon Otis, IIDA, founder and principal,Object Agency (OlA), professor, Pratt Institute

Jon Otis: Firms must try and consider how to engage graduates or interns and allow them to do something—paid or unpaid. Provide them an experience of some type so that they learn and grow and will be better prepared for eventual employment. Perhaps there is a new model,which refers to the past ‘atelier’ concept; or a new ‘virtual’ model of engagement.

Tyler Hatton: Take the time to view the senior showcase work from schools in your region, reach out to the students and ask questions if you are curious, or maybe offer opportunities for insight and critique. Many schools will probably switch to digital exhibitions as The Ohio State Department of Design has, but the students are not getting the professional connections and feedback as they normally would from the experience. 

You can set up virtual coffee chats with students so they can build interview and communication skills, as well as build their firm and industry professional networks, to prepare for opportunities that may arise in the future.

How do we maintain community at our schools and campus centers?

Tyler Hatton: Through social media channels or other virtual platforms, offer a summer design competition after the semesters’ work is finished that would be either open to all students or be specific in nature to recent graduates. You can also host a virtual book club related to design or put on mini design skill challenges like hand sketching or rendering.

Tyler Hatton, Student IIDA, The Ohio State University campus center co-leader

How do I find a job or internship?

Rebekah Matheny: I would first start by reaching out to your undergraduate advisor, they are often the main point person for companies interested in an internship. Our advisor posts all inquiries to our Slack channel. I would then email your professor mentor, who often have professional contacts that they can reach out to for a more targeted search. I also think your local manufacturer’s reps are a great resource, they know all the design firms and often have a pulse on who’s searching. Also check your IIDA chapter’s website, most sites have an internship or job search section. 

What skills do I need as a graduating interior designer for this virtual world?

Rebekah Matheny: Communication is key! Both verbal and visual. As professionals, we often send presentation decks to clients before walking them through the information over a conference call. Making sure that you have clear graphic communication that uses a combination of the written word, drawings, diagrams, or tags explaining the conceptual ideas or design strategy is important. Think of this as storytelling and the more you can visually narrate in a clear sequence the easier it is to digest and comprehend. Through telecommuting, you will be able to connect with people all over the world who are in different time zones and speak different languages, so you should allow people to see and even translate the information prior to the verbal presentation over the call becomes more important. 

Working to develop your visual storytelling and communication is a much-needed skill and can be demonstrated through your portfolio as well as your studio project presentations. With that, verbal communication is also critical. So practice your speaking ability as you want to come across as comfortable, confident, and knowledgeable. Presenting virtually is a bit different since you are unable to “read the room” as you typically would, make sure to leave time to pause to let people catch up and also check in with them to make sure they don’t have any questions throughout the conversation. 

What educational experiences should I seek out to supplement my education?

Rebekah Matheny, IIDA, assistant professor of interior design

Rebekah Matheny: Competitions—look at competitions, current or past, as these will help expand your portfolio and give you a chance to keep your mind and skills sharp. IIDA, IDEC, Steelcase, RDI, PAVE—there are many options to choose from. You can also use this time to work on your portfolio, either in creating it or expanding it. You can go back and add to or improve past projects. Or you can give yourself a weekly challenge, like doing one new rendering a week. This not only helps improve and expand your skills, but could become a feature in your portfolio. There are a lot of YouTube skill tutorial videos that you could use to help with this. You could also create your own project assignment, maybe fill the gap of an area you’ve not worked on. For example, maybe you’ve not done a restaurant or a hospitality project, but are interested in doing that professionally. You can create your own prompt and give yourself a time frame to complete it. 

What educational experiences should I seek out to supplement my education?

Rebekah Matheny: Seek out continuing education as well.  Many manufacturers are offering CEU’s, which is a great way to extend your education beyond the classroom, learning the same information as many professionals. I know the IIDA Ohio/Kentucky Chapter is also doing a series of benefactor CEU’s, this is a great way to get connected to your local professions and manufacturers while also extending your education.

I also recommend reading, this situation affords you the opportunity to read books that you might not otherwise have the time for. For example, if you want to expand your understanding of sustainability you might like Cradle to Cradle by McDonough and Braungart, Biomimicry by Benyus, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance also by McDonough, or Fashion and Sustainability by Fletcher and Grose. You could also look and see what classes are offered at your university this summer. 

What resources are available to students and educators from associations, firms, vendors, manufacturers, etc.?

Meghan Webster: Rebekah’s point that the global situation has amplified the disparity across the socio-economic and cultural backgrounds of students was spot-on and seemed to resonate deeply with the audience. The Learning from Home component of our Education Engagement Index Survey that we’ve developed is based on this research around diverse learning styles and contexts, underscoring that if we design for all learners (instead of a mythical average), we design for everyone in between. 

The conversation posed some salient questions around what we can apply to future design for learning and working environments based on this abrupt transition to the virtual world. In the wake of the global pandemic, we released this piece that examined this topic as we’re currently experiencing it, and this piece poses a similar question as we look at the much longer term. The immediate situation is forcing us to learn tools and new forms of behavior quickly, and the more we all can gain literacy in this arena, the faster we will be ready for what comes next.

Meghan Webster, AIA, principal and global education practice area leader, Gensler

What is the best advice for new graduates looking for employment with incredible uncertainty?

Rebekah Matheny: First, know that this is temporary, this too shall pass, and we will bounce back. Secondly, know that every experience contributes towards your career development and your personal development. You may have an ideal career path that you had charted out, and right now you may have to take a detour, take a position in an area of practice that wasn’t your first choice, but that experience can be a great stepping stone, add to your skill and knowledge set, and it will lead you back to where you wanted to head. Or maybe it will reveal something new about yourself and set you on a new, and possibly better trajectory. As designers, experiences are cumulative, and every experience is valuable—even if it’s not a “designer” experience — after all, we are designers for and with people.

So let’s say you find a temporary job at a grocery store since that’s in high demand during this pandemic. This will allow you to understand what it’s like to be a worker in that environment, and could lead you to be a more empathetic retail designer in the future. It’s all about how you look at the experiences you are gaining.

Should students still look for fall internships, or wait until the pandemic clears?

Rebekah Matheny: It never hurts to inquire, so I would certainly be reaching out to firms that you are interested in. It’s a great opportunity to establish a connection and to keep the line of communication going. You can express your concern for how the pandemic is impacting the industry and the world, and use this as an opportunity to ask specific questions about how it is impacting their work, their area of practice, and how designers are tackling this issue.

How do you deal with the multiple hand drawn iterations of ideas when learning online?

Jon Otis: My graduate design studio has been more challenging, and no matter what we resolve, it is unlikely to change my belief that working on paper—marking-up, designing, sketching, pin-ups and seeing design at a larger scale off-screen—is better. Then of course there are maquettes, models, materials, textiles and those tactile elements that exponentially enhance the design learning process. That is a vitally missing part of what we do.

Do you think universities will be open starting in the fall?

Rebekah Matheny: I am hopeful that they will! But with all things, I like to hope for the best but plan for the contingency. I, and I’m sure many professors, will be using the summer to develop a plan for teaching on-ground and on-line. It’s a possibility that we may start the semester and then have to shift to virtual later if a second wave of the pandemic hits before there is a vaccine. No matter what, I will be evaluating what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved from this past experience and looking for ways to bring the best of the experience into my on-ground instruction and seeing innovative ways to bring on-ground experiences into the virtual world.

What do I do about anxiety?

Rebekah Matheny: Mental health is an important issue we are all facing right now. This situation is causing a lot of new stressors we didn’t face before. The stress from the pandemic itself is compounded for many students by the stress of displacement, new working environments, loss of income, removal from their support system of peers and professors, etc. I would begin by looking into what resources your university offers. They may have online tools to help manage stress and anxiety, hotlines that you can call, and/or virtual workshops to help guide students through this. Personally, I would establish a routine that balances your workload with your mental health. This might mean carving out time for yoga or on-line workout classes, taking a nature walk, meditation and breathing exercises, or even just ensuring you get up from your desk every hour or two to stretch and briefly get a change of scenery. Working these actions into your day will also help with the mental and physical toll that being at your desk and in front of your computer all day causes. Having these moments at a dedicated time each day will help you have a rhythm, give you something to look forward to, and also make your mental and physical health a priority.

You can watch the full conversation, and the rest of our Collective D(esign) series here.

If you are a design student currently struggling or preparing for your next steps as you graduate in an uncertain time, reach out to IIDA for support. We’ve compiled a list of resources for students and educators here.

Collective D(esign): Design Online; The Education Community Responds to Change

In response to our rapidly changing world, IIDA brings you a design-focused dialogue on the effects of a global crisis. Watch the third webinar in the series today. 

IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon FIIDA, and Ryan Ben, IIDA’s student engagement and advancement manager hosted a panel of educators and students for this important community discussion focused on design education and career planning during a time of transition. The conversation focused on how have personal priorities shifted, how are educators and professionals identifying the best ways to support students and soon-to-be graduates, and how are students adjusting to the drastically changing educational and employment landscape.

Hear panelists discuss ways to continue personal and professional development as we shelter in place; what internships will look like; how to maintain community; and how to ask for help or offer it.

This webinar is registered for 1 IDCEC HSW CEU. To learn how to earn your CEU credit, visit IIDA.org for more information.

Key takeaways include:

  • Taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical health can be your top priority—you’ll be better prepared to care for others and design.
  • Lean into community. Show up to virtual events, programs, webinars, and virtual socializing and continue to develop and maintain meaningful relationships.
  • Leverage virtual tools and programs in the classroom so they can be used at any time. You may have to re-think your curriculum as an educator, and use a variety of apps to communicate and share new ideas in an inclusive way.
  • Meet students where they are at to connect them with the information that they need. Firms and professionals should continue to work with students and educators, offering opportunities for enrichment and mentoring.
  • Professionals and students alike can continue to learn and develop their careers by studying for the NCIDQ and WELL exams.
  • Now is the time for service—think beyond design, connect the dots to the current need, and explore ways you can best contribute.

Watch all the webinars in the series here.

Moderators:

Cheryl S. Durst, Hon FIIDA
IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO
IIDA

Ryan Ben
Student Engagement and Advancement Manager
IIDA

Panelists:

Tyler Hatton, Student IIDA
The Ohio State University
Campus Center Co-Leader
Ohio/Kentucky Chapter

Rebekah Matheny, IIDA
Assistant Professor of Interior Design, Department of Design
The Ohio State University

Jon Otis, IIDA
Founder and Principal, Object Agency (OlA)
Professor, Pratt Institute

Meghan Webster, AIA
Principal and Global Education Practice Area Leader
Gensler

The next webinar in the series, Human Resources: The New Normal and Opportunity will take place on April 16, 2020, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Central. Register today.

Join IIDA for a discussion on the pandemic’s short and long-term effects on talent and the impact on human resources within the design industry.

Virtual Mentorship, Meetings, and Interview Tips for Students

The spring semester is often an important and demanding time for students as they prepare to secure summer internships, get ready for graduation, and navigate job interviews. For IIDA Student members, it’s also an opportunity to participate in the IIDA Student Mentoring Program.

This year, on top of the quick transition to virtual and online learning, students must also navigate the possibility of entering the workforce remotely. While being flexible with change and uncertainty can be disorienting, it can also be a useful exercise in adaptability and resiliency that are crucial skills for any interior designer.

We’ve updated our IIDA Student Mentoring Guides for mentees and students to reflect virtual mentoring sessions and tips for how to maximize the experience. For entering the professional world and connecting virtually beyond academia, we’ve also gathered some tips and best practices to ensure that you feel confident and prepared moving forward with your meetings, networking, and interviews.

Plan

When you arrange a virtual interview or meeting, whether it’s a job interview, informational interview, or mentorship session, setting yourself up for success is key. Preparation will help you look and feel confident.

Once you have a date, time, and method set, test your technology. Have you used the program or app that your contact has chosen before? Do a test run, paying attention to your audio and video quality. Test your camera out and if you have a headset with a mic use it so that you can better hear and be heard.

Find a space where you can focus and create your own ‘studio’ to avoid distractions from your housemates or your pets. Position yourself in front of a neutral wall or background with your light source facing you. If you’re using your laptop or phone, set them up on a stack of books or another stable surface so that the camera is at about eye level and make sure that your head and shoulders are visible. 

Prepare your talking points and any visual presentations that you may have ahead of time. If you’ll be sharing your screen, make sure that the only apps and files you have open on your computer and visible on your desktop are relevant to the conversation. 

Execute

Before your meeting, make sure that your space and technology are set up, and that you’ll have the space to yourself for the amount of time that you’ll need it. Have your resume available, and gather the tools necessary to take notes.

Prepare yourself by taking a short brisk walk to get your blood flowing and your mind activated so that you’ll sound and feel more engaged in the conversation. You will also want to dress how you would if you were meeting in person so that you feel put together and project professionalism. 

Turn your phone off and put it away so that you can fully focus on the conversation at hand—if you’re using your phone, be sure to mute any notifications. Similarly, turn off any sound or visual notifications on your computer that may distract you from the discussion.

Reflect

When the conversation, interview, or meeting is over, be sure to reflect on what was covered and identify any opportunities that you noticed. You’ll want to send a thank-you note within 24 hours, but allow yourself enough time to identify any lingering questions or comments you may have. If the situation is appropriate to schedule a follow-up conversation or connect on LinkedIn, you should do so within 24 hours.

This is a challenging time for everyone, so remember to be gentle with yourself and patient with others. A great follow-up to an interview is a phone call to a friend or family member so that you can discuss your successes, and consider ways to adjust and or improve for next time. It’s important to reach out to your community to keep you grounded, especially when you may be feeling socially disconnected. 

Our comments are open below. If you have any questions or comments on this topic or other topics that you’d like to see from us, let us know!

If you are a design student currently struggling or preparing for your next steps as you graduate in an uncertain time, reach out to IIDA for support. We are your community and we are here to listen and help.

IIDA Supports Our Student Members

If you are a design student currently struggling or preparing for your next steps as you graduate in an uncertain time, reach out to IIDA for support. We are your community and we are here to listen and help. 

IIDA is committed to providing educators and students resources, tools, and information during this challenging time. Below is a collection of essentials we think may be helpful as the situation continues to unfold. If you have questions, concerns, or resources to share, please contact Ryan Ben, student engagement and advancement manager, at rben@iida.org

GENERAL INFORMATION

The health and well-being of our members are paramount, so we are asking everyone in the IIDA community to stay apprised of news from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the WHO (World Health Organization). IIDA has collected general information and links on our member resources page, which includes a specific section for students and educators. Links for financial information, creative services and apps, and tools to help facilitate teaching and learning remotely can all be found at that link.

IIDA RESOURCES

We know students and educators use their IIDA membership to enhance their educational journeys, and we are looking forward to continuing to be a resource for this community. If at any point you need help accessing your membership, acquiring your member ID, or updating your membership information, contact students@iida.org directly.

As a reminder, here are some excellent IIDA resources that can be accessed digitally:

  • Your local IIDA Chapter
    While many chapter events and programs have been canceled or postponed, our dedicated volunteers and members are working diligently to stay active in their communities. If you have not already done so, you can find your local IIDA chapter here.

    We also recommend signing up for your local chapter newsletter and to follow your local chapter on social media.
  • Your IIDA peers
    Utilizing your IIDA membership information, you can log into the membership database to connect with members in your area. If you need assistance utilizing this tool or recovering your login information, reach out to students@iida.org.

    If you are a campus center leader or faculty advisor and you need a list of current IIDA Student members at your campus, email Ryan directly.

At the bottom of this page, members will find a list of discounts and affinity programs they can utilize with their IIDA membership.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Babbel: Currently offering three free months of online language lessons for students.
  • CiscoWebex: Providing free access to assist students and educators.
  • Comcast: Offering free internet for low-income families.
  • Libby: An excellent resource for your local public library.
  • National Emergency Library: Free access to digital books supporting emergency remote teaching, learning, and research, including textbooks. 

IIDA SHIFT Celebrates 20 Years

IIDA’s Texas/Oklahoma Chapter celebrated 20 years of their signature student conference, IIDA SHIFT, in January 2020. The conference brings together students, educators, and industry professionals from across the country for inspiration, education, networking, and to celebrate their future roles as design leaders. The best part of the conference? It’s designed specifically for students, from the programming and events to the Industry Expo and networking focus.


From left to right: Megan Romboletti, Chapter Administrator; Lindsey Torpey, RID, IIDA, SHIFT20 Co-Chair; Laura Guido-Clark, Keynote Speaker; Antonio Holguin, SHIFT20 Co-Chair; Ryan Ben, Student Engagement & Advancement Manager, IIDA Headquarters.
Photo by: DenMark Phan

Thanks to the donations to the IIDA Foundation’s Designing for the Future Campaign, five IIDA Student members receive a scholarship to attend the conference. They have the opportunity to participate in portfolio reviews, workshops, panels, mock interviews, the Industry Expo, and design tours across Dallas. Students attending SHIFT gain valuable practice networking, building industry connections, and learning about the different shapes and paths their careers can take.

Congratulations to our Texas/Oklahoma Chapter on 20 years of impactful programming and their work towards shaping the future of design! We’re so happy to support and engage with SHIFT and are thrilled to share feedback and insights this year from the student attendees themselves.

IIDA Student member scholarship recipients, from left to right: Mindy Morettini, Peiyao Li, Lindsay Bedford, Casey Kelly, and Amy Boldt. Photo by: DenMark Phan

Building a national network of future colleagues

Attending the SHIFT 2020 Conference was an incredible experience that left me feeling motivated and inspired. Coming from Philadelphia to Dallas was exciting, and I enjoyed meeting interior design students from parts of the country I do not often come in contact with. I always love opportunities to expand my network, and it was great meeting students and industry professionals from outside of my region. One of the things I found to be most beneficial were the breakout sessions. I learned about a wide variety of topics, including the NCIDQ, what a day in the life of a design professionals looks like, and how to design with empathy. Overall, it was an amazing few days I will not forget, and I hope to return in 2021!

Lindsay Bedford, Student IIDA, Drexel University

Lindsay Bedford, Student IIDA. Photo by: DenMark Phan

Gaining confidence during the shift from student to industry professional

Attending the SHIFT Conference was the most motivating and inspiring experience I could have had as a recent college graduate. This past fall, I graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in interior design. I was fortunate enough to have been offered a full-time interior designer position at HGA Architects and Engineers upon graduation. This conference was what I needed to begin my new role as an interior designer and transition from being a student to a professional in the industry.

As a first-time attendee, and coming from California, I was excited, nervous, anxious, and ready to learn and network. I enjoyed the tours of the firms and showrooms, as well as the design workshops, business etiquette, and the many other classes I was able to attend. One of my favorite experiences was learning more about ergonomics at the Humanscale showroom. I found myself explaining the correct ergonomic position you should sit in while working at your desk for the rest of the conference and to my family and coworkers when I returned home. As someone who gets nervous while presenting, the mock interview and portfolio review were very beneficial, allowing me to practice speaking to professionals about my projects and experience in a conversational way while receiving valuable feedback.

Networking took place throughout the entire conference, and that’s what I valued the most from this experience. I find networking to be one of the most important tools in the design industry and a skill that takes practice. Having the opportunity to network with inspiring and accomplished design leaders made me so excited to begin my career in such a remarkable industry.

Mindy Morettini, Student IIDA, California State University, Sacramento

Mindy Morettini, Student IIDA, taking part in the mock-interview session.
Photo by: DenMark Phan

Refining skills while immersed in a positive, impactful environment

My time at SHIFT turned out to be an incredibly impactful and engaging learning experience. It challenged me, motivated me, prepared me, and I was surrounded by inspiring, like-minded people. The board members were helpful and organized to the highest degree. I will cherish the experience because it was meant to make me better. Thanks to IIDA, I am inspired to share the genuine intent to advocate for one another in our industry. The workshops were probably my favorite part of the conference. Like the workshops, the mock interviews served to refine our skills in the most positive of ways. I appreciate that.

I do believe that I am on the right track as I complete my BFA in interior design. I am set to graduate with the skill sets in my armory to be an adept interior designer. I feel blessed for this opportunity. Thank you, IIDA.

Casey Kelly, STLCC, Student IIDA, St. Louis Community College

Casey Kelly, Student IIDA touring Cannon Design. Photo by: DenMark Phan

Leaning into interiors

When I started college I was exclusively studying interior architecture. In my sophomore year, I added architecture, and now I’m in my fourth year in the Architecture and Interior Architecture program at Lawrence Technological University (LTU). Going to the SHIFT conference helped me see more possibilities in the interiors field, and helped me discover the difference between architecture and interiors.

At the conference, I was able to attend the student roundtable, tours, workshops, industry expo, and the sessions. As the current President of the LTU Campus Center, I found the student roundtable very beneficial and enjoyed hearing about the kinds of events other schools were hosting. I’m excited to take some of the ideas back to my chapter. I also really enjoyed the industry expo sessions and was able to network with both other students and professionals.

Amy Boldt, Student IIDA, Lawrence Technological University

Amy Boldt, Student IIDA chats with other students at the Industry Expo.
Photo by: DenMark Phan

To learn more about IIDA student membership, including professional development and leadership opportunities, visit iida.org.