California State University, Long Beach
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Interior Design Students Honored

Published: August 3, 2015

CSULB interior design students continue to receive high praise on the national level. Recently, several received prestigious honors at national competitions, which can be a launchpad for their careers and garner a great deal of attention from industry experts.

“These competitions are important as they are sponsored by professional industry organizations which are recognized internationally, and they allow the students to compete against design programs from around the globe,” said interior design faculty member Eduardo Perez. “Competitions allow the students to grow in intellect, self-assurance and skills. It gives them opportunities to shine outside of their regular environment, exposing new worlds and possibilities for their future within academia and the profession. Year after year we are one of the most pedigreed programs in the nation, constantly beating major private and UC programs.”

For example, Heemyung Yang, won first place in the national 12th Annual Student Design Competition sponsored by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Yang recently received an all-expenses paid trip to Boston and was recognized at the annual ASID Awards Gala. She also received a $2,000 cash prize. This year’s competition asked students to generate design solutions that meet the needs of airport travelers who require private, comfortable and secure environments to work, connect and recharge while on the way to their destinations.

Yang, who immigrated to the United States from the Republic of Korea in 2000, plans to graduate next year. Her participation in the bachelor of fine arts in interior design program at CSULB has allowed her to focus on her goal of becoming a professional interior designer.

National experts praised Yang’s work.

“The concept ‘dream catcher’ itself was intriguing and the manifestation of it was lovely. The organic forms surround the traveler with warmth and calmness. The floor plan, lighting plan and furnishing selections were well designed, functional and efficient, yet comfy and program compliant. This project really explored the three dimensional opportunities of this space,” said Rachelle Schoessler Lynn, ASID national chair.

At this year’s ASID Student Competition, 28 CSULB students put forth entries for judging. The university was one of only five universities in the nation to enter five or more students into the competition, having the most. ASID also publicly thanked CSULB interior design faculty members Perez and Dorothy Ottolia for incorporating the competition theme into their course curriculum.

In a second competition CSULB students Zenidey Saavedra and Maira Vega won first place in the Team Category for their store ‘Ugly Duckling’ in the 2015 International Student Design Competition ‘Jewelry Store,’ while another student, Jessica Bosworth received a merit award in the Individual Category.

“Dorothy Ottolia and myself worked collaboratively and diligently in structuring a curriculum that was thought provoking and immersive within academia and within our profession. We had three students recognized by industry giants, but we are equally proud of our overall outstanding group of students who succeeded in our very demanding studios and helped raise the bar of our BFA interior design program,” said Perez.

Finally, two other students from the interior design program, Tracy Corado and Johann Nickels participated in the International Interior Design Association’s Student Design Charette in Chicago. Nickels’ group was awarded an Honorable Mention for a project entitled “Mind Field.” The competition was held at the historic Merchandise Mart in the heart of the city and was part of Neocon 2015, the design industry’s largest international convention.

The CSULB interior design program provides students with an examination of social, cultural, and environmental awareness and how it relates to their field. It supports opportunities for employment in interior design. It also helps prepare those who are interested in continuing on with a master’s degree or wish to pursue teaching. Most students who complete the program are actively working locally, nationally or internationally in the profession, or have chosen to pursue graduate level studies in related fields. The curriculum includes lectures, demonstrations and critiques of works-in-progress. Professional designers and educators from outside the department visit regularly to lecture and review student projects.