We are so happy to announce that two of our MIA students have won NEWH LA Chapter Scholarships! NEWH scholarships are open to students with a career objective within the hospitality industry. Both Ankita and Ksenia are outstanding students, talented interior designers, and very deserving of their scholarships!
Ankita Gogne was the winner of a $10,000 NEWH LA Chapter Scholarship.
Ksenia Riasnianskaia was the winner of a $5,000 NEWH LA Chapter Scholarship.
In this challenging time of COVID-19, we are all doing what we can to stay connected while working from home. Architectural Digest reached out to Alice Hricak, Certificate Program Graduate and Principal of Corporate Interiors at Perkins and Will, as well as other members of the design community to see how why are taking care of their employees’ health and well-being during these trying times. Read the full article HERE.
ASID Pasadena Student Shadow Day was a huge success, and we caught up with Gaby Niebla to speak with her about her Student Shadow Day experience.
What made you decide to sign-up for the Student Shadow Day, and what did you hope to gain from the experience?
This was my second year of participating in Shadow Day, and since I had a great learning experience the first time, I knew I had to do it again! My designer last year was a residential designer, so this year I requested a commercial designer so that I could learn how commercial design compares to residential design.
Who and from what company were you paired? Do they specialize in one area of interior design?
We matched with Lynnelle Bryant from Masbuild, Inc. She specializes in commercial design, and her scope includes schools, offices, and affordable housing.
What did you do throughout your time/day with your designer?
We started by meeting everyone in the office and learned about their role in the design process. We reviewed current projects and did various on-site visits to projects under construction. Lastly, we visited CSI Fullmer, which is a contract furniture showroom and learned about their products and their services.
Was your experience shadowing your designer different from what you thought it would be? What surprised you the most?
What surprised me the most, was learning that design does not only have to be about creating luxurious spaces for a “extremely wealthy client”. Lynnelle showed us that design can be meaningful, such as providing transitional housing or homes for seniors, who are adapting to a different pace in living.
What was your take away from the whole experience?
Design is a vital element to an overall community, and it can bring people together, allowing them to create better opportunities for their own life.
Would you recommend the ASID Shadow Day to other UCLA Extension Arc+ID students?
Congratulations to Abeer Sweis and SweisKloss for being featured as one of the best design build firms in Los Angeles by LA Architect. SweisKloss is a Santa Monica-based full-service design and construct firm offering building design, interior design, and construction services. The company employs a holistic approach in order to provide clients with a creative and collaborative process from conception through completion. Read the full article HERE.
Can you tell us a little about your background and why you decided to study interior design?
It all began when I opened the forbidden drawer. Being a rebel at a young age I always did the opposite of what my parents said, and one day I opened the forbidden drawer in my kitchen and found all different types of screws, a hammer, paintbrushes, some other building materials, and instantly fell in love with building and architecture. From there my inspiration grew. I would build furniture, paint art projects, and later in high school, I enrolled in drafting classes. After taking two years of classes, that’s when I knew I wanted to be an Interior Architectural designer.
As a current Arc+ID student what is some advice you would give students starting out in the program?
Strategize!! Take the time to map out the curriculum to see what classes require more time and which ones that require less and pair them together. This can help you save time and money later in the program. Also, MAKE FRIENDS!!! By creating a bubby system right when you enroll in a class will help you keep updated on all assignments and deadlines so you don’t fall behind.
Since you have been a teacher’s assistant in the program for some years now, can you tell us how that experience has benefited you?
Yes, being a TA for Sheldon Nemoy’s Digital Presentation I: Photoshop Illustrator course has given me so much confidence. I believe learning any design skill by assisting the instructor gives you a deeper level of understanding and will make made every project you create for school or a client a breeze. It has also opened doors in my career, leading to numerous internships and job opportunities.
What was one of your most memorable Arc+ID class experiences?
I cannot choose just one, because it is usually the last day of class at the end of every quarter. That is when students showcase course work and we have a big party with snacks to discuss our projects and what tools we learned in the course.
As an MIA student who’s graduating in Spring, what is next for you, and what type of work are you searching once you have finished?
Yes, this year I will be graduating from the MIA program and I couldn’t be happier! Currently, I am in my last class, the only thing on my mind is creating clean and detailed designs and plans for my final project. I also work as a Visual Designer and In-Home Stylist for William-Sonoma, Inc. But once I finish the Master’s Program, I will definitely be working for myself as an Interior Designer and Decorator.
Who is your favorite interior designer and why?
Everyone has a couple of designer gods they look up to. Mine happens to be Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors, she is a residential designer in Calabasas, California. The main reason why I appreciate her work so much is that she uses the bones of a client’s home, she loves to work with the old and make it new. She uses a variety of materials and patterns and somehow, someway it works out and looks amazing!!! She is someone I look up to and reference when I need inspiration for my own work.
Where in Los Angeles you go for creative inspiration?
Funny enough, I go to the beach for my creative inspiration. It’s bare, relaxing, quiet, and doesn’t have any technical distractions. With the ocean waves crashing as a sound in the background, it allows the pen to flow on the paper a lot easier than a pencil to paper in a florescent-lit study room.
How long have you been the Student Affairs Advisor for the Arc+ID program?
I’ve been here for almost 29 years and before that I attended the Certificate program for 7 years, graduating in 1987. I’ve seen thousands of students pass through my doors and when I see graduates working in the field I am just so proud of their success!
What does your typical day look like?
Email, telephone calls, in person meetings with prospective and ongoing students for both the Certificate program and for the Master’s program. I also do transcript and portfolio evaluations, review resumes, and assist with connecting students with internships and jobs.
What is one big change you’ve seen within the industry over the years?
The importance of an Interior Design education! At one time, anyone with good taste could become an interior designer. But in today’s world, more concrete skills are needed. Knowledge of building codes, surface materials, environmental standards, computer design software, and proper lighting just to name a few examples. A good education prepares designers for what today’s industry is seeking in a professional- it separates an “interior designer” from an “interior decorator”.
What are some qualities that you believe make for a successful student in the program?
Most students know within their first few classes if this program is the right fit for them. In the long run cutting corners never works so being prepared to study and invest enough time in the program will lead to success. When it comes to students who are changing careers, I would say being open to new ideas and learning different ways of doing things is key.
How important are internships for students?
Internships are career builders and the hands-on experience that it delivers is very important, especially since it may be the first time that many students will be in a design office setting. And sometimes, it’s not what they expect! Internships can really shape what a student would like to do in the industry. It can also lead to a job!
What are your job search tips for students just entering the field?
If you are new to interior design you should start compiling a portfolio of your work from the beginning of the program. You never know when an opportunity could come along! For more advanced students, we offer an Advanced Portfolio Design & Graphic Storytelling course. By the end of the course students have a personal portfolio, résumé, and sample work. In addition, students learn techniques on presentations, interviews, and client meetings. This type of course can really help polish the edges and give you the confidence for a worthy job search. Lastly, do your research. Check out what firms big and small are seeking in candidates and focus on learning any of the skills you are lacking.
What are helpful design resources you can recommend to students?
Build a professional design network, i.e., belong to a design organization(s), like ASID and attend industry events at design hubs like the Pacific Design Center. Build and maintain your relationships from UCLA!
If you could recommend one book to students, what would it be?
I have so many, I could never pick just one! But I have to say, I still enjoy looking at hard copies of interior design magazines. Old or new, there’s just something about the striking images and the way magazines are laid out. It’s more tangible and something the internet can’t capture.
Typical, how do you spend your time away from the office?
I go to the theater, new restaurants, art exhibits, book readings and the movies. Anything that keeps me engaged and inspired! Lately, I’ve also been playing Spelling Bee, a New York Times word puzzle with my grandchildren. They’re whip smart and beat me every week!
Thank you for your time Suzanne! The Arc+ID program is lucky to have you!
Suzanne’s office is located in the 1010 Westwood building and if you have not met Suzanne, or have any unanswered questions about the program, don’t hesitate to setup an appointment by calling (310) 794-3747.
Alumni, Certificate of Interior Design graduate June 2019
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you became interested in interior design?
My career path began as a graphic designer in Austin, Texas where I worked for the notable and global Pentagram Design Studio. I received an offer to move to Los Angeles and work in the consumer product graphics division of Hanna-Barbera, where I spent the next 20 years working my way up to the level of a Senior Creative Executive. Throughout my graphic design career, I always had an affinity toward human built structures and interior design. In the summer of 2015, I discovered the UCLA Arc+ID program and enrolled with the goal of seeing where interior architecture would take me.
How do you think going through the Arc+ID certificate program was beneficial to you as someone who was changing careers?
I found the Arc+ID department staff and many of the instructors to be very supportive and encouraging to career “transitioners” like myself, especially in the early part of the program. The pacing and content of the courses allowed me to get a broad understanding of the discipline and details needed to work in the industry. Since many of the instructors are working professionally in the field, they were able to share their career path and some hard-learned experiences which I completely absorbed.
What was one of your most memorable experiences going through the program?
I had several “ah-ha!” moments while taking the Design Communication classes, especially when learning drafting details and tricks from my instructors-who were all excellent draftsmen! My most memorable moment was seeing Axonometric drawing examples and trying to get my head around the possibility of drafting one! David Alvarez was a wonderful instructor and taught the entire class how to draft an Axo in one class session.
Now that you have finished the program, what are you currently working on?
I am self-employed and I currently have three residential projects at various stages of development – a young family in a new modern build that is more than double the size of their previous home, a family investing in furnishings and finishes in their “forever” home, and a retiree that is updating her home after many years of living with the same interior design aesthetic.
What are some helpful tips that you would recommend to students still in the program?
Get to know your fellow students, instructors, and join ASID! Networking is beneficial to anyone changing careers because the more experiences you can share and learn about, and events you attend the better off you will be in finding your path.
What is your favorite place in Los Angeles to go for creative inspiration?
Los Angeles is such a diverse and rich place to live and work, I have no one favorite place for creative inspiration. I love what is going on in DTLA from the new construction, to the renovations, and restorations, especially in the Arts District. The Pacific Design Center and the retailers along La Cienega and Beverly/Roberston provide a wealth of inspiration. I think a lot of students may feel intimidated to go into those retailers, but my experiences have always been to feel very welcomed.
“Notre-Dame holds a special place in my heart,” says architect Rogerio Carvalheiro
Arc+ID instructor Rogerio Carvalheiro shares his inspiration and process behind his unique holographic Notre-Dame competition design. His stunning work was selected to the finalist category (top 6 of over 200 entries from 56 countries!) and a book featuring finalist designs will be published soon. Read his GoArchitect interview HERE and check out his design submission HERE
Congratulations to Rogerio!
Summer 2020 Catalog
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