IAD Shines at the International Interior Design Association Student Design Charette


Winning group of students: Caroline Nghi Tran (AAU IAD), Minji Lee (AAU IAD), Jiayue He (CCA), Maria Valencia (WVC) and Atithi Prajapati (AAU IAD). Courtesy of IAD students.

Interior Architecture and Design students from Academy of Art University gathered at FME, a local architecture and design firm, Saturday, Feb. 21 to compete in the IIDA Northern California Student Design Charette. Students crowded around at 8 a.m. to meet with their teammates before hearing what the competition would entail.

Among many program requirements, the challenge was to create a modern hostel in San Francisco for young travelers that would incorporate the different cultural values as well as the local community. Four teams of four collaborated together to produce hand sketches, floor plans, furniture, material boards and a concept in just five hours. The final designs were presented to a panel of four professional designers.


IAD students brainstorming: Anastasya Strauss, Shadi Sabouri, Moegi Hara and Nadia Loveta. Courtesy of IAD students.

IAD student winners from the Charette were Prajapati, Minji Lee and Nghi Tran. They also worked with Jiayue He from California College of Arts and Maria Valencia from West Valley College. The team used keywords such as: travel, pathway, destinations, convergence, merge, element of fun and surprise to develop their concept of “Journey.” Within their design, the team incorporated San Francisco cityscapes, pops of fun colors, refurbished materials and a hexagon tile design of different colors that merged together to symbolize the coming together of different cultures.

“I would recommend other students participate in the future design charettes if they can,” said Lee, “because you get to experience what it’s like to work out of your comfort zone, and put what you’ve learned at school into practice. And just being exposed in this industry may open more doors for you in terms of your future career.”

FME handed over the floor at 9 a.m., where it didn’t take long for papers to fly and materials to pile high as the sounds of creative minds collaborating took over in what felt like a working havoc to deliver a proposal before the clock struck two. Student designers were provided two pre-determined presentation boards to showcase their designs and concepts to the judges with hopes of moving forward to the regional west coast Student Design Charette at Gensler in Los Angeles.

“The competition was fun!” said IAD student Atithi Prajapati. “The best part was getting to know new people and seeing how they think of design, how they design and what I can learn from them.”



Courtesy of IAD students.

Attending events such as these are not only great for personal experience, but also for networking and career opportunities. Some students who participated in this Charette were offered internships, including Academy students.

We wish our IAD students luck at the regional competition for a chance to move forward to the National Student Design Charette held during the 2015 NeoCon at the IIDA Headquarters in Chicago.