IIDA Student Member Spotlight: Elizabeth Rogers
MSU Student Eizabeth Rogers was profiled for the IIDA Student Member Spotlight in their quarterly newsletter.
International Interior Design Association
Student Member Spotlight
Michigan State University
WHY IS BEING AN IIDA STUDENT MEMBER IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Being an IIDA student member is important, because it allows for so many awesome opportunities that may not be available to me otherwise. It is an especially great way to get involved with interior design locally, where I can meet other student designers through meetups with the other Michigan Campus Centers. IIDA is also important, because it will allow me to stay aware and involved with what is happening in my profession around Michigan after I graduate. I attended the Michigan IIDA Annual Meeting this past May, and it was very cool to see so many design professionals that are so excited about their work, even after five, ten, or more years working in the field.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU ABOUT DESIGN?
Design is such an incredible field, because it is so far reaching and always changing. When I was a kid, I loved doing puzzles of all kinds, making my own short stories illustrated with watercolor drawings, and going exploring in my neighborhood woods. All of these things, from using problem-solving skills for making efficient space plans, to creating high quality renderings, to maintaining a child-like curiosity and dreamy spirit, are beneficial in the design-world. And the more that people of all professions learn about the importance of interior design and how it effects human psychology, safety, productivity, and well-being, the more exciting it is to be pursuing a career as a designer.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU GAIN AS BEING AN IIDA STUDENT MEMBER?
I have been a student member for about a year now, and I have already gained so much from the experience. I think that the most important thing has been the opportunities I have taken advantage of like Student Mentoring Week, where I was mentored by Mary Bamborough at Haworth, and attending Michigan’s annual IIDA meeting in Grand Rapids where I met numerous IIDA design professionals. I am currently working on the 2014 Student Design Competition to create an innovative, new approach to office design, so not only does being a student member help me network, but it also gives me extra-curricular design projects for my portfolio.
ANY ADVICE FOR STUDENTS JUST BEGINNING THEIR DESIGN STUDIES?
I would advise students beginning their design studies to gain as much non-school related design experience as possible. This can be done by shadowing professionals, through internships, and student design jobs. Also, get involved with IIDA or another design related student organization to create work for national competitions and expand your network. When you graduate, the two things that matter most for finding a job are the real design experience you have and the people you know.
ARE THERE ANY FAMOUS DESIGNERS THAT YOU LOOK UP TO OR FOLLOW? IF SO, WHO AND WHY?
Admittedly I am a bit of a nerd with an entrepreneurial spirit, so I look up to leading companies like Gensler, Steelcase, and IDEO for their incredible research articles. These can be found easily on their websites, and the information gained from reading them is so valuable, because you are continually learning about what is new and cutting edge in the design world. I specifically follow Jacqueline Novogratz (CEO at Acumen Fund) and Tim Brown (CEO at IDEO). Jacqueline Novogratz is incredibly inspiring. Her business, Acumen Fund, provides micro-financing for entrepreneurs around the world who otherwise would have no access to loans to support their ventures. These loans support social entrepreneurship, which is defined by business ventures created to better the lives of people around the world by providing solutions to social problems. Tim Brown always posts helpful advice on his blog, which can be easily accessed through LinkedIn. His most recent post, “The Career Choice Nobody Tells You About” encourages young people to intentionally gain a broad number of professional experiences by working across disciplines and using systems thinking to make connections along the way. As someone with many passions ultimately united by design, I find this incredibly inspiring.