Archived Emerging Professional Profiles

 

 

Ashley Fruits, Allied ASID

WrightWorks, LLC – Indianapolis, IN

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ashley-fruits/9/84a/881

Don't demand change. Inspire it.

 

 

What's Your Story?

After graduating from Purdue University in 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design, I began my career with Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. in DC.  Case is one of the largest and most successful residential design/build companies in the world.  I quickly gained a lot of knowledge and experience and was able to push myself new to limits.  Although I loved everything about my job and DC, I wanted to narrow my focus to high-end, custom, residential design.  From there I accepted a position with WrightWorks, LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I am currently with WrightWorks working on multiple, large scale, whole house renovations.

I am very passionate about design and I want every client to have a personalized design that is as unique as they are.  At least once a week someone asks me, "How did you choose Interior Design?"  My honest response is "I didn't."  Growing up, if a copy of Nancy Drew wasn't in my hand then I was crafting, creating, sketching, or drawing floor plans of my different dream homes.  I'm a dreamer, a creator, a puzzle lover, a problem solver, a people person, and I have a love for history and architecture.  Being an Interior Designer, I get to do all of these on a daily basis…some days, you can add counselor to that list.  It's a beautiful career that allows me to take a mundane house and transform it in to a place where dreams become a reality.  Where everyday presents a new project and I get to meet amazing people from many different careers, cultures, religions, disabilities and backgrounds.

How has your ASID membership influenced your career?

Where do I begin?  ASID has opened the door to so many lifelong friendships (a large extended family) and to many job opportunities, provided me with industry resources, and leadership training that has helped me become a better professional.  I started as a student taking on many different student chapter positions leading to me accept Indiana's Student Representative to the Board position.  Once I graduated, I continued my involvement with ASID taking on different various national and local board positions. All of these different positions provided me resources and knowledge that helped put my experience way beyond 6 years.  In an industry that changes so much every day, ASID has helped keep me informed on new products through continuing education and sponsors, legislation activites, and has given me the opportunity to make numerous contacts all over the country.  Everyone has their own career goals and their own resume, both personal and professional, that drive us everyday.  For me, ASID not only helps drive me to pursue my dreams but continuously inspires me to be the very best I can be.

What is the best career advice you have received?

It's a tie...

During my sophomore year internship in college, my boss asked me if I had heard of ASID.  At that time, I had not.  Then he said something to me that my parents had raised me to believe.  The gist of it was..."You're only going to get out of something, what you're willing to put in to it." He told me to look up ASID and join as soon as possible, get involved and emphasized to stay an active member. I could tell that there was so much passion and experience in his voice that if there was one major thing I needed to take away from this experience, this was it.

The 2nd is…

My family has owned and operated our business for 46 years.  My Dad is the smartest, most patient, well respected, and hardest working man I've ever known.  As a little girl, I use to sit (spinning) in his office chair listening to him talk to customers, vendors, and network with people from all over the country.  I didn't know how he managed everything but I knew I wanted to be just like him.  He had a newspaper clipping from the Wall Street Journal on his desk.  It was the "Ten Commandments of Leadership".  As I got older, this became more and more relevant. I keep it on my desk as a positive reminder. 

Where do you hope to be in five years?

As a residential Interior Designer, I've been fortunate enough to work for residential design/build companies that have the same respect for quality, craftsmanship, and design. I want to continue building on the knowledge and experience that I've gained over the past 6 years.  In the past year, I've also had the great fortune to have been published with Better Homes & Garden's and contributed to numerous print and online resources.  I hope to continue this trend and am currently discussing different ways to contribute on a national level on a more consistent basis.  As always, I look forward to the different leadership opportunities that ASID presents and I am excited to continue taking my ASID membership to the next level.

On a more personal note, I started the 2013 year trying to learn Spanish on my own time.  Then on February 6th, my nephew Oliver was born and diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome.  There are a lot of studies and design related research I want to dive in to as well as adding Braille and American Sign Language to my post-work studies.  In 5 years, I hope to have added all three languages to my repertoire.

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Catarine Rossi Moreira-Wright, Allied ASID

Weinberg Modern – New York, NY

http://catarinerossi.wix.com/designinteriors

http://wrightsdesign.blogspot.com

http://pinterest.com/catarinewright/

http://weinbergmodern.com

Twitter: @CatarineWright

 

 

What’s your story?

When I moved to Manhattan in 2008 everything in the city was new to me. I was newly wed and had just been accepted to study at the New York School of Interior Design, which had always been my dream college. At the time I was facing one of the biggest challenges of my life, studying in a new country and yet to make friends. How could I meet and socialize with people who shared the same interests and passion as me? So I started to research about which associations could benefit me and further my professional career. That’s when I discovered and subsequently became a member of ASID. I felt like I had done something right. I found myself going to a lot of incredible events and networking like never before, and I was surprised how welcoming everybody was to new members. I liked the experience so much that I decided to start volunteering for ASID. These volunteering opportunities allowed me to meet many new designers, and I knew I was moving in the right direction.

How has your ASID membership influenced your career?

ASID influenced my career in so many ways. First of all I met people who helped me to believe in myself. There is no question that the networking process was absolutely essential. Everything started to evolve and I started winning competitions and gaining a lot of positive feedback from my blog and website. My blog was created with the intent to express my ideas and talk about events. So far it has received more than 10,000 views. Currently I am working as the curatorial assistant for Larry Weinberg at the Weinberg Modern showroom located at the New York Design Center. Larry's showroom specializes in vintage modern design and, under his guidance, I have learned a lot about design history and connoisseurship.

Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours?

One of my favorite designers is Mario Buatta, who has been a master of design for the past 50 years. The consistency in his projects and career to date has inspired me tremendously. His artistic sensibility makes every project unique and special. He artfully blends fabrics and patterns creating a space very personal to each client. I believe his reputation is unsurpassed. My mother, too, is a creative, artistic person and always inspires me. She once told me that to modify your destiny you must act in the present. If you change nothing in your everyday life, nothing will change in the future.

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Ashleigh N. Lessard, Allied ASID, Associate IIDA

Freelance – Chicago, IL

“…keep learning new skills and tools, stay flexible when things change, and be open and ready to take on new challenges and adventures.”

ASID Student Chapter Leader 2007-2012

ASID Membership Director, 2010-12

Incoming EPAC Member 2013

 

What’s your story?

I have been an ASID member ever since I started design school at the Art Institute of California – San Diego. I became the Student Chapter President and had the opportunity to complete many great projects including designing and building a cat habitat for the San Diego Humane Society and planning and hosting a career day for all of the San Diego design schools. We also attended ASID San Diego professional events and were able to network and build relationships with many wonderful, seasoned designers. When I graduated and moved to Chicago, I joined the ASID Illinois Chapter and began volunteering on committees and then was the Membership Director for 2010 –2012.

How has your ASID membership influenced your career?

ASID membership has been vital to my career path. I found both of my internships in school through networking with ASID members and both of those internships turned into employment and helped me start my career. I worked at a high--‐end residential design firm while in school and then a commercial firm doing mostly corporate interiors after graduation. Now, as I continue to develop my career, ASID provides me with so many networking opportunities, continuous learning to keep up with new ideas, products and technologies, and lots of help with job searching.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

I have received a lot of great career advice over my years with ASID, but I think the best advice was to never stop learning and evolving. We have all learned how our careers can be affected by the economy and how quickly things can change, and it is so important to keep learning new skills and tools, to stay flexible when things change, and to be open and ready to take on new challenges and adventures. We all have a dream of where we want our career to go and I believe we can all get there, we just need to be okay with the idea that getting there may not be a clear, straight path.

What was your most memorable project and why?

My most memorable project would be the first large project that I worked on right out of school. I worked at a wonderful commercial firm and the project was a fast‐paced core shell build out for the corporate offices for a national online education company. I was able to be involved in all aspects of the project and learned so much from the project managers and other designers. They really took me under their wing and nurtured me and taught me how to be an efficient designer, how to communicate effectively, and how to be a valued member of a design team.

If you could trade places with any designer, who would it be?

I think it would be fascinating to trade places with one of the principal designers at the first commercial firm I worked at. They are both smart, creative, dedicated, business‐savvy women who I respect and look up to very much. It would be so interesting to see what the design world is like from their perspective and to have all of their experience and knowledge would be wonderful. It would be insightful to step into their shoes for a moment to understand how they grew from emerging professionals to leaders in the design industry.

What are 3 items you could not live without?

Three items I could not live without would be: My computer – I rely on it so much to get work done, keep up on new ideas and products, and stay connected to work, family and friends. Design magazines – I still love to read magazines and cut out images of projects that inspire me. And chocolate – I have always had and probably will always have a major weakness for anything chocolate. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you smile and brighten your day and a little something chocolate always does the trick for me.

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Corey Allen Davey, Allied ASID

Reclaimed DesignWorks – Austin, TX

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

 

ASID Student Chapter President-Elect, 2011-12

ASID Student Chapter President, 2012-13

ASID Texas Student Rep to the Board, 2012-13

ASID Financial Chair, 2013

ASID National Student Advisory Council, 2013-14

 

What’s your story?

I began my involvement with ASID as a student member when I was asked to be vice president of the student chapter at Texas State University. When I joined ASID, something clicked and I knew that I had found the organization that would help me to reach goals and be successful in this industry. Following the year of my vice presidency, I was president of the student chapter at TSU and I was also elected as the Student Representative to the Board of the Texas chapter of ASID the same year! I became very involved with many facets of this fantastic organization, which helped me to establish a network of people I can count on. After a very bust and successful year as SRB, I was nominated as and named the SRB of the Year for the United States (along with my friend Alisa Culp) – what an honor! Since graduation from TSU and advancing to Allied ASID, I was asked to be the financial chair for the Austin Design Community as well as a council member of the Student Advisory Council for ASID National. I worked as a residential design assistant during my time in school, which helped me discover my genuine passion for residential design.

How has your ASID membership influenced your career?

My ASID membership has placed me in a trajectory that has allowed me to have many opportunities as an emerging professional. By giving me an opportunity to expand my network to the over 30,000 members of ASID, I have had the opportunity to work with very talented designers and industry partners.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

The best career advice I’ve ever received… Wow! So much! One of the most important things I’ve ever heard is, “Don’t ever think that any job is beneath you.” 

What was your most memorable project and why?

My most memorable project was the first project with Cowperthwaite Design that I saw being built. It was the project that taught me how important details are in design. When I began to see these details in real life, something clicked in my brain with their significance. Design is truly in the details!

If you could trade places with any designer, who would it be?

I don’t know that I would really trade places with a designer, but I would certainly love to learn with Nate Berkus. His philosophy about “The Things that Matter” is absolutely profound and captivating. If you’ve not read his latest book, I encourage you to do so.

What are 3 items you could not live without?

Only 3 things I can’t live without?? Oh gosh!

I couldn’t live without dogs for sure! I also couldn’t live without the ability to put pen to paper and translate my ideas to others. Lastly, I couldn’t live without my incredible family.

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Joanne E. Levreault, Allied ASID

JEL Design – San Diego, CA

“Stay true to yourself and capture your dreams.”

 

ASID Student Board Member, 2006-2009

ASID San Diego EP Chair, 2010-2011

ASID EP Advisory Council Member, 2012-2014

 

What’s your story?

I am a true believer in following your passions in life. From the time I can recall, I was always intrigued in some form of design. I began to pursue my passions as an Art Management major attending Springfield College in Massachusetts, where I was born and raised. From Massachusetts, I made it to Colorado and began working as an assistant to an interior designer. This opportunity opened my eyes to what career path I truly was destined to pursue. On a California road trip, I discovered an ID school in San Diego. Within a year and a half, I relocated to San Diego to attend Design Institute of San Diego and pursue a career in Interior Design and have continued to enjoy the decision I made ever since. Once a student, I knew I must join some Interior Design networking group to remain connected to my passion, and ASID was my first choice. I became involved immediately as a student board member, and the present is proof of my commitment to an exceptionally well-managed, professional Interior Design networking organization.

How has your ASID membership influenced your career?

ASID has continued to build my confidence, credibility and the awareness which is necessary to grow as an interior designer.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Believe in yourself, be tenacious, be willing to grow and learn from your mistakes.

What was your most memorable project and why?

Every project I have been given the opportunity to be a part of has and will continue to produce great memories.

If you could trade places with any designer, who would it be?

I would trade places with Italian designer Paola Navone, working with Singapore based Como Hotels and Resorts, with the latest project in Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, formerly the Traymore Hotel.

What are 3 items you could not live without?

My family, yoga, and coffee.

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Kate R. Croy, Allied ASID

KSA Interiors – Richmond, VA

“Everybody Wang Chung tonight – no regrets.”

 

ASID Student Chapter Secretary, 2011-2012

ASID Student Career Day Co-Chair, 2013

 

What’s your story?

I started ASID membership my sophomore year in design school. I was reaping benefits almost immediately – meeting design professionals, visiting showrooms, networking with other schools…the list is never-ending. It was an obvious choice to continue my membership professionally.

How has your ASID membership influenced your career?

I have met so many wonderful people! Plus, they ALL want to help you out!! Mentorship is invaluable and it is silly not to take advantage of it!

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

“The answer is always ‘no’ until you ask.” – Melissa Moseley

What was your most memorable project and why?

VCU Harris Hall was just completed and was an amazing experience. I was involved from start to finish and soaked up as much info as I possibly could!!

If you could trade places with any designer, who would it be?

Charles and Ray Eames – is that a question?

What are 3 items you could not live without?

My camera -- my dachshund, Roxie – my sketchbook/notebook.

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Lauren A. Reinhard, Allied ASID

Freelance – Brooklyn, NY

“Love what you do, and do what you love.”

 

What’s your story?

I am a graduate of Radford University’s interior design program and have been involved with ASID since my freshman year there. A friend introduced me to the organization, and with the added push of a few professors, I was hooked. I was a member my first two years, and took officer positions my Junior and Senior years. My involvement at the college level allowed me to interact with professionals quite frequently. Fortunately, these interactions led me to an opportunity with the Student Advisory Council (SAC), where I am currently serving my second year as one of the two Student Chapter President Liaisons. I graduated from Radford in May of 2012 and immediately moved to New York City to pursue a career in commercial design. ASID has truly helped open doors to opportunities that I would have never dreamed possible 6 years ago, and I am so excited to see where it continues to lead me.

How has your ASID membership influenced your career?

I was lucky enough to be part of an incredible ASID network in college. The people I met through Virginia’s ASID chapter helped provide the support I needed to get where I wanted to go. The professionals I met in school were so proud of the people coming out of our program, and incredibly willing to help in any way they could. Luckily, I built a relationship with Tiffany, Lindsay, and Katie from ASID Headquarters, and was asked to be a part of the SAC. Being a part of the SAC has allowed me to meet design professionals from across the country. Without ASID I wouldn’t have the amazing support network I’ve been able to build thus far.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

You are never too good for any job. I have heard this over and over and over again, and it couldn’t be more true. Designers come into the ‘real world’ with a lot of expectation, and a large group of us are dreamers. We all want to work in the dream job with the best of the best. Someday we may, but in the beginning (and probably during most of your career) you should be willing to do anything and everything. Knowing every part of the world of design is what will make you an expert someday.

What was your most memorable project and why?

I was on a design team with one of my coworkers last year and was able to be a key player in the design of a lobby. It may not sound too thrilling, but I was able to help with materials and finishes, unique graphic choices, technology research and integration, site surveying, contractor meetings, and the renderings for the project pitch and presentations. As a designer not even a year into the business at the time, this was a great experience for me. It was exciting because I felt like I was able to have significant input, but it was nerve-wracking because I had the opportunity to potentially mess everything up. I made a few blunders and learned quite a bit about the way a project works. Most importantly, I grew my knowledge of the trade significantly.

If you could trade places with any designer, who would it be?

In this moment I’m going to have to go with Philippe Starck. His work captivates me, and shows design off at its finest.

What are 3 items you could not live without?

Sharpie pens, trace paper, and coffee--of course.

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Kayla D. Briggs, Allied ASID – Kayla Interior Designs, Idaho Falls, ID

 

What should we know about you?

I have a bachelor's in Interior Design, recently graduated. I'm slowly beginning my own business from home, while being a mother. I love good design.

What is the best advice you would give someone entering the field as an EP?

Be smart, intuitive, and reflective of information and education important to the field and any design opportunities. Always have a contract and document everything!

What inspires your design ideas? Images, art, problem-solving, finding new ways to solve every day problems. In a word the essence of what design is and about is what inspires me.

Favorite website/app: www.fab.com, www.pinterest.com, www.kayladenese.com

 

 

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Darra Bishop, Allied ASID – Bespoke Designs, Los Angeles, CA

 

What should we know about you?

I am passionate for all things mod and modern, and have focused my practice on creating progressive design solutions for the unconventional and industrial loft spaces in Los Angeles. What is intoxicating about lofts is that there is a real freedom in the functional design of these raw spaces. Depending on what a client wants and how they choose to live, these industrial dwellings can have walls or no walls, or all glass walls! The opportunities are limited only by the imagination.

What is the best advice you would give someone entering the field as an EP?

It is imperative to have a good mentor (or two). Interior design is an exciting career with a lot of moving parts, and having someone with which to discuss ideas and to talk about the business of design is a priceless resource.

What inspires your design ideas?

I design with my client in mind. I want to tell their stories, and my design ideas often come from that collaboration. The style in which they are realized comes from my admiration of designers like Verner Panton, Arne Jacobsen, Karim Rashid, and Charles and Ray Eames.

Favorite website/app: Harvest time tracking app (www.getharvest.com), because keeping track of your activities is essential in this business. MocoLoco (mocoloco.com) is one of my favorite up-to-the-minute website on design, art + architecture.

 

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Rhobin DelaCruz – Rhobin DelaCruz Designs, New York, NY

 

What should we know about you? Previous employee of MTV Networks who took the plunge and found a path in interior design.  Initially self taught and then decided to fine tune skills by attending Parsons.  Love photography and am an Instagram addict. With design, and being that I was raised in California, I love bring many of the California cool sensibilities blended with the Urban NYC flavor.

What is the best advice you would give someone entering the field as an EP? Ask lots and lots of questions.  The more important ones are "what mistakes have you made & how did you overcome them?"  The mistakes are where we learn the most.

What inspires your design ideas? To be honest, design ideas come from anywhere and anyone.  You can find influence on the sidewalk from peering at a sign or even a pattern made from metal or a print you just happen to glance upon.  Inspiration is everywhere.

Favorite website/app: I heart Houzz.com and feedly.com

 

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Diane Torrisi – Diane Torrisi Designs, Naples, FL

 

What should we know about you?  Interior Design has always a passion of mine - going back to college at the age of 49 was the bestthing I ever did for myself! Perhaps the 2nd best thing I did, while in college, was become the ASID student president! By putting myself out there, I was not only able to meet celebrity designers but rub shoulders with the many fabulous local designers here in Southwest Florida! I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason so one Satuday, at a nail salon! I met Peggy Oberlin (at the time President-elect for ASID!). To make a long story short - Peggy became my mentor (and close friend!) and today I work a long side her on many of her fabulous projects as well as have her supervise some of my own! !

What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP?  I couldn't imagine being this confident as an EP had I not joined ASID as a student and made the connections (and friendships!) that I have today. Each and every day in the design field is different and very often exciting! The learning process never ends!

Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours?  Besides Peggy Oberlin as my mentor, I am a huge fan of Mary MacDonald and Martin Lawrence Bullard - both of whom I had the thrill of meeting while they were in Florida promoting their new books.

Favorite website/app: I'm a total Pinterest addict (with 455 followers!)

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Andrea Pack – Apackdesigns, Co., Seattle, WA

 

What should we know about you? As an entry-level Interior Designer in the Seattle area, I am pursuing my dreams that I have always had since childhood. At the age of six years old, I would design entire residential interiors using my Commodore-64 computer on a program called" KidPix." I would take shoe boxes, and design to-scale models of homes, complete with wall colors, flooring, and furnishings. While most people go through life looking for their passion, I believe I was born to design, and feel blessed to have this niche.

What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Upon entering the field as an Emerging Professional, I have learned a lot. The most important aspect of being new in this industry is to stay on top of the newest trends, as well as thinking completely outside of the box. In previous design jobs, I have found my strong computer rendering skills to be highly useful in showing clients the ideas I have prior to beginning construction. Because I am naturally a people-person, I have truly enjoyed the networking aspect of this field, and have met some amazingly talented Designers, who inspire me beyond words.

Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? My greatest mentor has been Nicholas Bunning, a New York architect, that I worked under for a few months, doing construction documents and renderings for his penthouse in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. He was not only inspirational, but taught me a lot. His eccentricity and colorful personality were a plus, too.

Favorite website/app: My favorite website is Houzz.com. I love to see the many endless ideas that are out there in this ever-growing, and exciting industry.

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Joanne Levreault, Allied ASID – JEL Design, San Diego, CA

 

What should we know about you? I am an aspiring interior designer who is passionate about Architecture and Design. I strive to bring intrigue, harmony and productivity to the spaces I design. I love to travel, outdoor activities and find time to relax with friends and family.

What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? As and EP, I have learned the on-going support and resources available to me through ASID, as well as sharing my knowledge I have gained as an EP chair with other EPs I meet.

Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I will always credit the first interior designer I worked with in Colorado, Kathy MacQuillan, and my mentor Anne Kellet, an ASID member.

Favorite website/app: houzz.com, dwell.com and asid.org

 

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Maureen Baker, Allied ASID – Thom Filicia Inc., New York, NY

 

What should we know about you? I love to explore, and my explorations have taken me down paths slightly less travelled by. I prefer these routes because as a designer I am attracted to the undefined, and even if I can’t solve every puzzle I take each lesson learned with me on my travels.

What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Although my education is never-ending, so to speak, since graduation I have been mentored by some of the most intelligent and talented designers, all of whom have left an indelible mark. One of them once told me to be passionate about my craft, even in the face of adversity, because true passion is the most effective form of persuasion. Another once said that a good attitude is just as important as skills on a resume, but that neither will make up for a lack of the other.

Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? My design idol(s) are Charles and Ray Eames. Beyond the tangible legacies they created, such as classic furniture and striking spaces, I identify with their design philosophies. My favorite quote is one by Charles Eames, "Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely, and to the best of your ability, and that way you may change the world."

 

 

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Jeffrey Ramirez, Allied ASID – Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, AZ

 

What should we know about you? Originally from Puerto Rico, I recently received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the Southwest University in Visual Arts in August 2012. During my college experience, I was awarded 1st place in Commercial Design and 2nd place in Residential Design in the ASID Excellence Award Student Session. In addition, I also won the London Olympics Athletes Lounge Competition held by ASID and Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti. Due to this achievement, I was one of two students to have the opportunity to take a summer course, free of charge, in Milan, Italy this past summer. After interning at Lori Carroll & Associates and receiving my Bachelor’s degree, I am now an interior designer at a prestigious interior design firm located in Tucson. My tasks at Lori Carroll & Associates include creating CAD drawings, specifications, presentation binders, and anything else that comes my way.

What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? As an emerging professional, I have learned that the hard work at school – those endless days – is just a preview of what the professional world is like, but it is starting to pay off.

Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I am very passionate about design and am inspired by designers such as Armani, Versage, Ralph Lauren, Calatrava, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Zaha Hadid, and Eero Saarine. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be an interior designer for this wonderful company because it is what I am passionate about.

Favorite website/app: www.Linkedin.com, www.yatzer.com & www.Inhabitat.com

 

 

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Francesca Cavallin Mead, Allied ASID

SentireDesign, Los Angeles, CA

December 2012