IDI students Placed 1st, 2nd & 3rd
IIDA Student Charrette 2024

IIDA invited all Southern California interior design programs to nominate their students to compete in an all-day design charrette. The Charrette is the embodiment of brainstorming and teamwork. It is an opportunity to join students from various schools into a collaborative, unified effort. All Southern California schools are invited to participate on a first-come, first-served basis to the all- day event. Teams are comprised of up to five students, each from a different school, challenged to develop a design based on a program assigned at the beginning of the day. Each of those teams then present their design at the end of the work session before a panel of judges and event guests. After deliberation, judges select a first and second place team.


IDI Nominated: Duc Nguyen, Alicia Smith, Allison Maynard and LeAnne Hlavka, the competition took place at Gensler, Newport Beach.

IDI students placed in the top 3 teams with LeAnne’s team 1st, Allison’s team placed 2nd, and Alicia’s team 3rd.

“We were all really supportive of each
other and did great with our teams”.

The first place team is awarded $10,000 presented on stage at the Calibre Design Awards.

LeAnne Hlavka from IDI was in the first place team and continued to compete in the regional competition and won again, she will compete in the National completion.

Good luck LeAnne!!!!

Congratulations to all the competitors.

IDI is proud that you represented the college and had a wonderful designing and networking opportunity.

Thank you for participating.

idi-new-section-to-add-awards (1)

First Ever IIDA Virtual Student Charette Competition

The first ever virtual IIDA So Cal Chapter Student Design Charette was held on Saturday, March 6 from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm at remote locations all over Southern California. Student Members of IIDA from 11 schools competed for cash awards and the chance to contend for a top prize in the Regional Design Charette Competition later this Spring.
In consideration of ‘The Art of Gathering in a Post-Covid World,’ 28 students were divided randomly into six teams and challenged to use design thinking in order to re-develop the existing Pershing Square public site in downtown Los Angeles. The prompt this year called on students to prioritize design concept above all else and challenged the boundaries of our traditional competition.
Guided by the themes of Safety, Equity, Comfort, Connection, Flexibility and Inclusivity, each team had 4.5 hours working within the creative collaboration platform Miro to imagine and design a cohesive concept. Time management and the ability to collaborate well with a team were critical to the outcome for each group.

Each group had 7 minutes to present their design concepts to 4 judges – Katie Toth, Interior Designer with HBG Design and IIDA SoCal President; Jade Li Interior Designer with HLW and IIDA SoCal VP of Advocacy; Ashley Casatelli Senior Interior Designer from SmithGroup; and Susan Suhar Design Principal from HDR Architecture, Inc. and IIDA SoCal LA City Center Co-Director.

After much consideration, the judges decided to bring back three teams for additional Q&A to help them determine first and second prize winners. These awards will be presented to our student winners during the IIDA SoCal Calibre Design Awards on May 20, 2021. The first-place team will continue on to compete at the Regional Charette Competition in Northern California in April 2021.
The winners are:
1st Place Team – “LA Roots” – $10,000 Award
Koleta Charun – Interior Designers Institute (IDI)
Miguel Perez and Jillian Potts, IIDA SoCal VPs of Student Affairs, thank the students, judges, sponsors and volunteers for making this event a huge success! IIDA would also like to thank the campus faculty advisors who support their students by encouraging them to participate in IIDA student opportunities like this!

Deepening Design through Diversity

By Marth Duque, Student IDA

Congratulations to Martha Duque, IDI Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design Student 2019 IA Interior Architects Diversity In Design Scholarship Recipient

With the expansive reach of technology, creativity inspiration sources have become endless. Traveling to exotic destinations, bustling urban environments, nature’s wonders, and cultural heritage sites, is readily available at your fingertips though your computer screen. But incorporating diversity in design is about a lot more than just sourcing visual inspiration from around the world. It is about understanding how people in different cultures communicate, how they interact, what they value, where their comfort zones are, and how they experience the world. Taking the best of these worlds to create a unique and desirable experience for clients is how we truly enrich and elevate design.

Diversity has become a big plus when it comes to the hiring and selection of employees at the top design firms. The mix of experiences brought to the table by candidates with a global background in a variety of industries, segments and levels is so unique, that it can’t be easily replicated by competitors. It also creates a culture that continually evolves and morphs with new recruits, producing a dynamic work environment that never becomes stale or stagnant. Working in cross-functional and cross-cultural teams not only to brings together best-practice leaders, but it enhances the diversity of the design solutions. These power teams are pushing the boundaries of creativity and bringing a whole new dimension to their designs though the cross- pollination of ideas.

The search for inspiration across seemingly unrelated vertical markets is also a big contributor to design diversity. With the trend towards experience-based interiors, experts are engaging in new creative thinking techniques to promote innovation. The healthcare industry is pulling from the hospitality industry for inspiration, corporate and retail segments are taking elements from the entertainment and leisure industries. Spaces are no longer unidimensional, they go beyond just being functional and aesthetically pleasing to become fun and engaging hubs for social interaction and collaboration, enticing people to stay longer and come back for more.

Technology is also re-shaping the future of design. Some may argue that technology has granted access to so much information that it has made it harder to create truly original designs. But when access to these resources is used to stimulate creativity rather than to copy, the possibilities are infinite. Technology may be considered disruptive in the development of social connections, distancing us from those closest to

us, but it has also brought those furthest away from us much closer, facilitating the exchange of ideas and strengthening bonds with colleagues and business partners across the globe. As more design tools become available to the design community, not only can we easily capture, store, and disseminate knowledge, but we can use that knowledge and combine it with artificial intelligence to generate innovative new spaces.

Those at the leading edge of architectural and interior design are taking advantage of technology advances, artificial intelligence, employee diversity, and segment cross-pollination to get ahead of the pack, rewrite the norms and reshape the future of design.


IDI student, Soon-Young Kim and her team, won first place at the recent IIDA Student Design Charette.

IIDA Student members from around the country compete in this live, onsite annual design competition.

Students have less than six hours to determine a design solution, develop a presentation, and pitch their concept to a panel of esteemed judges.

2019 Design Awards Winners’ Gallery



The Master Bedroom was fine before, but lacked personality and texture. By updating the ceiling, adding soffit lighting and dressing up the walls with Horse Hair Wallpaper, the room finally had a stage to sing. Not a very large room, use of space and scale was very important.



(0-25 Years of Experience) This Huntington Beach bungalow gets a new lease on life with a complete kitchen remodel taking it from dark and dated to coastal chic. Opening up the wall between the kitchen and family room allows us to expand the kitchen and makes space for a dining table nearby. White cabinetry with curved glass fronts, a glass tile accent in the back splash and polished nickel fixtures add impact. A navy blue island and patterned window treatments give a pop of color, while wood floors throughout the space provide warmth.



(Associate Degree) It was very important for me to utilize all the windows within the space to maximize the natural light. Open plan living was desired and focus was placed on universal design.

HGTV’s 2019 Designer of the Year Awards Winners

By Lauren Fansier

Editors’ Pick – Color + Pattern: Lighthearted Living Room Rona Graf- Grace Blu Designs

If you could step into a rainbow, it might look something like this cheer ful living room. A blue leather sectional anchors the seating area, layered with bright pillows. Next door, a lime green table is the heart of the candy-colored breakfast nook.123


Congratulations Kelsea!


Studio Series winner, Anissa Mendil of Mendil + Meyer Design Studio, present the NEWH, Inc. SEURA Studio Series scholarship to Kelsea Stickelmaier, Interior Design major at Interior Designers Institute in Newport Beach, CA.

IDI Students on Winning Teams at IIDA SoCal Student Design Charette

Congratulations to
Kacie Thomas & Natalie Kim

The IIDA Student Design Charette is the embodiment of the brainstorming and teamwork. Three IDI Students participated: Chidimma Abuka, Natalie Kim,& Kacie Thomas. With Kacie Thomas and team winning the first place prize and Natalie Kim and team in second place. Judges select a first and second place team. The first place team is awarded $10,000 which is presented on state at the Calibre Design Awards. Second place wins $4,000.

The first place winning team will represent IIDA SoCal at the Western Regional Student Design Charette in Spring, 2018. The Western Regional Charette winning team will compete at the International Student Charette in Chicago, June 2018.

Good luck to Kacie Thomas (pictured right) for the Western Regional Charette in Spring, 2018!


Natalie Kim


Natalie Kim pictured with concept board. Natalie’s team came in 2nd and gets to share the $4,000 prize.


Kacie’s team concept board, was awarded first place. The team gets to share the $10,000 prize and compete in the Western Regionals!