UCLA Extension

Congratulations to Romina Hausmann, winner of the $3,000 Howard Hirsch Design Scholarship Award!


Since she was seventeen years old, Romina Hausmann knew that her professional career would evolve in the field of art and its relation to design. Before finding her true passion in architecture & interior design, she attended ESCAC (School of Cinema and Audiovisuals of Catalonia) for 4 years, specializing in Art Direction, where she worked alongside Hollywood professionals such as film producer and director Steven Soderbergh as well as art director Iñigo Navarro.

After several years of working in the industry, Romina developed a growing interest in sustainability in the built environment. “I began to ask myself how I could use my love for art and architectural spaces in responsible designs,” Romina remarked, and ultimately decided that the best way to pursue this interest was through the UCLA Extension Architecture & Interior Design Certificate program.

During her education, Romina’s talents shone brightly—raising the attention of many of her instructors. Luis de Moraes, a UCLA Extension Design Studio II instructor, asked her to be his teaching assistant and has been enjoying her support for about a year now. Also, both Alex Dorfman (Design Communication III instructor) and Judith Corona (Elements of Design II instructor) requested that her outstanding work be showcased for the 2014 CIDA accreditation review. And just recently, her Studio III instructor, Apurva Pande, acknowledged her superior talents by recommending her as a candidate for the Howard Hirsch Scholarship. In addition to this scholarship, Romina is also the recipient of the Harold Grieve Scholarship offered through ASID on September 2014 as well as the Graduate Presidential Fellowship Award offered through Cal Poly Pomona on March 2015.

Earning her Certificate of Interior Design from UCLA Extension gave her the necessary knowledge of design to prepare her for the next step in her education: the Masters of Interior Architecture program at UCLA Extension via Cal Poly Pomona. Romina knew that by pursuing her Master’s degree, she would be able to better answer the needs of ecological design. “Finding sustainable design solutions is a long, ambitious and difficult road,” she states, “but there is no other way.” Romina, fluent in four major languages, plans to apply her learning experiences internationally, sharing her knowledge and creativity necessary for the development of a more ethically conscious, responsible, and better world.

To find out what it takes to win the Howard Hirsch Design Scholarship, we interviewed Romina about her project and also asked her some questions that prospective students would find valuable:

Please describe your project:
In Studio III, we had to come up with an idea for a commercial space that would be divided between retail area, working space and private area. From the beginning I knew I wanted to create an innovative design avoiding the conventional use of the walls and dividing the space with the product itself, using it as a partitions and display at the same time.

How did you come up with the concept for your project?
The strongest feature on my project is the relation between the product I’m selling (in this case the Shade Sails) and the partitions of the rooms. I was looking for an unconventional design that avoid the use of walls and instead use the product (Shade Sails) for display and partitions of the space. After experimenting with mock-up scale models, I came up with the idea of the Hyperbolic Paraboloid, which is directly related to the geometric form of the Shade Sail. After I found this relation it was easy to design the partitions based on this geometrical principle and use it at the same time as a display for the product.

How will the scholarship help you meet your career goals and aspirations?
The Howard Hirsch Scholarship will help me to continue my education on the Master Program in Interior Architecture at UCLA Extension/Cal Poly Pomona. It is really encouraging to know that your efforts and hard work is recognized. This will push me even further to keep experimenting and trying new creative and innovative points of view on my future designs.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to prospective Master of Interior Architecture students?
I personally recommend trying to design every project from a holistic point of view. The best way to success is to experiment and try different options, trying to approach the project from a creative and also practical point of view. I strongly recommend experimenting with real architectural scale models. I would never have achieved my final results if it wasn’t for the tactile experience with the different materials and shapes I try to create. Computer comes last.

Images of Romina Hausmann’s project:

The Howard Hirsch Design Scholarship for Advanced Students a $3,000 tuition credit award that is granted once a year to Masters students who have completed all classes up to and including Interior Architecture Studio III. The award is based upon the work demonstrated in projects from Interior Architecture Studio III. To find out if you are eligible for this scholarship or others, please see the Arc+ID Scholarships and Financial Aid information page.

If you have a success story, we want to hear about it!  Click here.


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