March 4, 2019

ASID Gives Student Designers an Insider Look at the Industry at SCALE 2019

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) held its National Student Summit over the weekend in New York City. Students and educators alike dedicated their weekend to three days of programming that kicked off Friday morning and concluded with a closing keynote led by none other than Interior Design editor-in-chief Cindy Allen.

The Summit, like ASID, champions the ability of design to impact lives. For students, this manifests in the Summit’s mission to prepare them for their first professional roles in the design industry, while educators are briefed on timely and relevant topics to explore in their curricula. It’s no wonder that the Summit sold out, with over 400 students in attendance at the Grand Hyatt New York. 

Students spent Friday morning embarking on their choice of firm and showroom tours; participating firms included major industry players such as: HOKICRAVE, Rockwell Group, Perkins Eastman, A+I, Perkins+Will, NBBJIA, and Interior Design parent company SANDOW. Students also had the option to tour showrooms that included Haworth, Benjamin Moore, Herman MillerTeknionTOTO, and Gunlocke.

Photography by Griffin Shapiro.

Attendees reconvened in the afternoon for a keynote address on the business of design led by ASID CEO Randy W. Fiser. Fiser cultivated a discussion between Benjamin Moore color and design expert Andrea Magno, ICRAVE executive team leader David Taglione, HDR design and brand strategy principal Elizabeth Von Lehe, and Studio O+A design director Mindi Weichman. Together they discussed what each looks for when hiring and recruiting talent, and in turn gave students advice on acing interviews, putting together a stellar portfolio, navigating internships, and finding their true passion in design.

For the remainder of the day, students had their pick of breakout seminars, the ASID National Student Career Fair, and networking time in the SCALE Learning Lounge before the evening’s opening reception at the Humanscale showroom.

Following breakfast on Saturday, attendees began their day at a morning keynote speech from ASID national chair BJ Miller. Miller, who is also founder and principal of the Vision Group and managing director of Indigo Companies, shared her path to becoming a leader in the design industry. Miller advised students on what it takes to develop the path towards leadership regardless of differences in career aspirations. She highlighted the importance of respect for the work and one’s self, along with a desire to win and diligence in cultivating strengths.

Photography by Griffin Shapiro.

After Miller’s morning keynote, students embarked on tours of notable projects that have been recently completed in the New York City area. Locations for the morning tours included the Delos headquarters, Etsy headquarters, and STK Grace. Students then reconvened at the Hyatt for the afternoon keynote. 

Liz Ogbu, founder and principal of Studio O, spoke to the role of design and design professionals in spatial justice issues. She encouraged the up-and-coming designers to cultivate an awareness of social justice as it relates to geography and how designers can bring an awareness of racial justice as it relates to the built environment. Ogbu advocated a shift to doing right by others through design, and creating opportunities for others to move up rather than out.

Following Ogbu’s keynote, students set out on another round of project tours at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and American Copper. Evening pop-ups in the Learning Lounge focused on opportunities for professional development, while breakout sessions on the impact of design explored issues of social justice, the environment, and education. 

On the final day of programming, students and educators alike convened for breakout sessions exploring the practice of design. The conference concluded with a keynote conversation between George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelberg, moderated by Interior Design editor-in-chief Cindy Allen.

For more from SCALE, check out the keynote conversation between Interior Design’s Editor in Chief Cindy Allen and George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelberg.

ASID CEO Randy Fiser. Photography by Interior Design Staff.

Photography by Griffin Shapiro.

Photography by Griffin Shapiro.

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