Career Opportunity with Studio Coupar

Studio Coupar is currently looking for 3  interior designer graduates to join their team!

Click here for more information on the job description, qualifications they are seeking and how to apply.

IIDA Pioneers in Design Student Volunteers

Who: IIDA Pioneers in Design

What: (No age requirement) 8-10 Volunteers needed Check in, Table Greeters, Ushers and CEU table manager.

When: Tuesday July 18th 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: SFJAZZ 201 Franklin St
San Francisco

How: Contact Elizabeth Email:

DESITA AWARD 2017 Contest


We wish to inform you of this new amazing challenging opportunity.
Great prizes for the top 3 winners: 3.000€, 2.000€ and 1.000€.



Click here for more information:

#desita #desitaaward #pizzaexperience #design #fooddesign #contest #award

Five Hot Design Trends for 2017

Rugs as art

Area rugs will be the go-to trend for homeowners looking to make a rapid impact. A mix of size, color, style and texture creates endless possibilities. Not just square, not just functional,  rugs become art with rooms being built around them as opposed to on top of them.
Statement Materials

Unique applications of materials will continue in 2017. Leather floors, wood paneling on ceilings and unique wall art will keep spaces fresh. Designers will play with strategically placed tiles mixing into other patterns to create an unconventional focal point.

Maker Movement

This year’s Maker class embodies the essence of North American craftsmanship: quality and style while using local raw and upcycled materials to design unique pieces. The Maker movement speaks to consumer trends towards personalization, one-offs and supporting local and independent design.

Classics Revisited

Old will meet new in 2017, as we witness traditional furniture structures re-imagined with a modern edge. New materials, colors, and textures will revamp even the most dated of styles for a playful  approach.
Innovative Lighting 

Experts are shining a spotlight on lighting as the true showstopper for commercial and residential spaces. It’s not just fresh interpretations of shapes, but also the incorporation of interesting technology from LED and beyond that make this trend new and innovative.

Read more:

Portions of article taken from

Copy write 2017, Accessed Jan 13, 2017

It’s No Place Like Home

Moxy Milan Italy

Moxy Milan Italy

From Munich to Milan, from New Orleans to Nashville, Moxy Hotels by Marriot can be described many ways – millennial, affordable, comfortable, free spirited, but the word that applies best is COOL! They are self-described as ”a boutique hotel with the social heart of a hostel.”

Moxy New Orleans

Moxy New Orleans

The New Orleans' Moxy 24 hour dining room

The New Orleans’ Moxy 24 hour dining room

Their potent blend of industrial, traditional, contemporary and funky create a special brand for those that may not be drawn to a more traditional hotel experience.

Combining games, fireplaces, reading nooks and social areas in a single open lobby makes for an interesting experience. The company describes it this way “Our lobbies are like living rooms with a bartender.”

How did they develop such a unique brand identity? They did what all good designers do… client research. But they did it differently. Instead of researching what clients that might want to go to a hotel want, they researched those that would rarely be inclined to visit a hotel. A win/win. For the company (increased market share) and for the customer, a new experience that turns what it means to be a hotel upside down.

A Moxy Hotel is planned to open in San Francisco at Fisherman’s Warf early 2018.

Fisherman's Warf, San Francisco 2018

Fisherman’s Warf, San Francisco 2018

Four Tips To Landing Your First Job

I get asked … a lot, “What’s the best way to get a job once I’m out of school? Ultimately it comes down to only three things: Network, Network and Network. Oh… did I mention Network?

Yes of course your education is foundationally importantbusiness-networking, without that you don’t have anything to bring to the table but, if I may push the metaphor a bit, if your education is the meal, your networks are the utensils.

In a recent article by Christina Green of Boutique Design she states “While web savvy may help recruiters find your resume, in the hospitality design industry, it’s getting out and talking to people that often results in real-world commissions and acts as insurance for future employment.” She emphasizes the point by saying “…it’s a very small world (the hospitality design industry). The importance of buddying up with potential clients, designers in other firms and local FF&E reps is paramount. Burning bridges is the ultimate career fail.”

The article goes on to remind new designers that “Up-and-coming designers don’t have the luxury of relying on a perfect portfolio. They’re forced to ditch their screens and put in real face time at networking events. Yes, that sometimes means reaching out to total strangers. And yes, it can be awkward.”

Designer Ricardo Moreno-Aviña, senior designer/project manager of El Segundo-based Clear On Black said it this way “For as large as we are, our industry has a small-town mentality. Face-to-face networking is the single most important thing in our sector. As designers we are trying to connect ourselves to the world through our visions. The best way for a potential collaborator to get you is to know you. Be true to yourself and what makes your design story and perspective unique.”

So…the case is made, you are convinced, how does one exactly do that? Here are four ways you can increase the likelihood of you getting that great job after graduation.

Participate in industry events. Research and find out when industry organizations are having events. IIDA and ASID both run events throughout the year and most are student friendly. Volunteer for service opportunities at these events.

Seek opportunities for job shadowing, even for a day. Ask people that work in firms if you can just come and be a “fly on the wall” for a day, just to observe what they do and how they do it. Who knows, maybe your winning smile might land you an internship.

People, particularly business people, can spot a phony a mile away therefore be yourself!! But also be professional. Dress appropriately, get pointers on your demeanor from friends and family and observe those who are now where you would like to be in 5-10 years.

Approach all new relationships with more than “what can you do for me?” Think of what you can bring to a potential contact. Maybe your skill set, maybe a passion for what you do, maybe even an empathetic ear having someone listen to them for a change.

So, get out there and who knows, in the words of Ms. Green “The person you meet could be your next employer—or client.”

Parts of this article taken from

Boutique Design “It’s a Very Small World” by Christina Green

Copyright © 2016 ST Media Group International. Accessed 12/28/2016


Singapore’s Newest Jewel

Singapore welcomes it’s newest luxury resort,

(Photo: RENDY ARYANTO/Visual Verve Studios)

(Photos: RENDY ARYANTO/Visual Verve Studios)

the JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. The dual-tower hotel was designed by London-based architecture firm Foster and Partners, while its interiors are by famed French designer Philippe Starck.

It seeks to seamlessly interweave historic and newly constructed buildings, and houses a multi-million dollar collection of more than 30 works and installations by high-profile artists. In addition to its sleek, state-of-the-art accommodations by Starck, the hotel will feature a total of nine dining options.

Interiors by Philippe Starck

Interiors by Philippe Starck

Cool off in the hotel's pool

Cool off in the hotel’s pool

Article and pictures taken from boutique,

(December 2016) posted on Fri Dec 16, 2016

NEWH Scholarship Opportunity

NEWH – The Hospitality Industry Network has made available a $4000.00 scholarship. Sponsored by Symmons, it will be for either undergrad or grad students who’s primary interest is in Hospitality Design.

Click here for more information:


Light Fixture Design Competition


The annual Robert Bruce Thompson Student Design Competition has just been announced for 2017. The challenge: Design a light fixture for the lobby of a new modern art museum. This competition, open to all students, will run now until the submission deadline March 24th 2017.

The first prize will be $5,000.00

Second prize will be $2,500.00

Third prize will be $1000.00

There is a display of past winners going back to 2003 as well as an1stplace_indexpic expanded description of the design problem and the application form on the website

If you have any questions, please reach out to Mark Miller at

Tom Collom


Tom Collom is a successful designer, architect, entrepreneur Tom Collomand developer here in San Francisco. You may be familiar with some of his work, Market on Market is the latest. He also has Small Foods, a new concept in convenience markets, on 2nd street. He came to 601 Brannan recently to share his real world experience with our students when trying to create a retail food space.

Tom discusses the process of inspiration

Tom discusses the process of inspiration

Recently our own Luna Sibai sat down with Tom after his presentation in the Atrium.

Tom and Luna

Tom and Luna

Luna: How are you feeling today?

Tom: I’m good…I always wanted someone like me, with experience to meet when I was a student. I didn’t get that at the University of California. I felt that when I went out into the real world to get a job, I really didn’t have a clue about how the real world worked. It was like sink or swim…I’ve accumulated 30 years experience doing this and I think to be able to pass that information on is a great benefit to the community, to fellow designers and budding architects. I think it’s great that the Academy of Art wants this and sees its importance.

L: Do you have a signature style?

T: At heart I’m a modernist, I love modern design although I appreciate all design. I see the validity of why people design in different styles and in different ways. It keeps things interesting. At my core, I love modern, clean, simple. I think it’s more a timeless approach and not so much a fashion statement as a way to think about design. We should be able to look back in 10, 20, 30 years and it still seems fresh. It hasn’t gone out of style or fashion like say post modernism which was all the rage when I was going to school. A lot of people’s projects were starting to get this postmodern look because they were trying to be in with the current fashion of architecture. I see those projects now and they don’t look so good.

L: Where do you draw inspiration from? Is there a specific area that either it be from the environment or a memory or something that you’ve read that does the trick?

T: I’m an extremely visual person so I’m most inspired visually rather than say reading, even though I love reading. I would say in an art museum looking at a sculpture or a painting. It might be a relationship between things that I’ve never noticed or observed and found exciting.

L: Does Small Foods or The Market have an art piece from which you drew inspiration?


Small Foods On 2nd St.

Small Foods On 2nd St.

T: Well to say for the Small Foods design… it was really about recognizing that the spimg_0470bace itself was beautiful. Why mess with it? Just take away the stuff that didn’t belong and expose the bones and structure of the building. It has great industrial sash windows and allows for great natural light. The key is making it work for what it’s intended to do. It’s not so much a design project but maybe making it more functional and bringing its soul forth. And the Market was again another building that used to be a furniture mart so when I was a young designer would go there and look at the tables and chairs. Later it moved near the design center. The building became vacant and sort of just sat there. When Shorenstein purchased the building and they started cleaning it up and bring it back to life, they sand blasted all the concrete and took floors out to let light in and the beauty was revealed. It was sort of like Small Foods in that we didn’t “over design” it but just let the natural beauty come out. It was important for us to let the windows be exposed as much as possible. In many grocery stores they cover all the windows because they want maximum display area for the merchandise on the perimeter. We have food stations around the perimeter to let in light and display the tall merchandise in the center.

One of the many Food Stations (this one is Sushi) at The Market on Market

One of the many Food Stations (this one is Sushi) at The Market on Market

L: So I see that your key way of designing is simple is better

T: Oh definitely and it’s less expensive. (Laughing) I’ve learned that there’s budgets.

L: What got you into design and what pushed you into that direction?

T: That’s a good question… I didn’t really have a good high school experience I didn’t really like it that much and my passion was skiing. I thought I wanted to be a skier in the Olympics so I moved to Lake Tahoe and skied a lot. My roommates where on the US ski team but I got bored with that so I thought I should do something with my mind. There was a little local college where I was living in Incline village and they focused on environmental design and alternative energy. I decided to enroll and many of the courses was taught by architects and engineers. I started to go to classes and found it absolutely fascinating. When they would hand out blue prints for us to analyze and do energy calculations and solar design I was hooked! That’s what triggered me to go towards architecture. Before that, we had no architects or designers in my family so I guess it was all just coming out naturally.

L: So nothing was pushed onto you?

T: Nope nothing. My dad’s a doctor and medicine was not an interest at all to me. He would take me to the hospital and I would think “No no I don’t like this” and “I hate this place.” I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I kind of “fell into” interior architecture.

L: Do any interior designers inspire you?

T: I don’t think I can name specifically only an interior designer that’s inspiring to me… I look at everything…I tend to look at architects who are doing exciting projects like Santiago Calatrava. He’s an engineer and an architect so just by virtue of creating these great buildings that are beautiful outside as well inside because they are so connected. The shell is one thing and the interior is another and these integrated spaces both parts of the work are inspiring.

L: I see that you mostly design in the SF area, where else would you like to design?

T: Well we kind of have done a lot of projects that were mostly stores so it doesn’t really let you stretch your wings. I would say potentially in some of the European countries where they seem to be pushing the envelope in terms of design. There are lot of exciting things going on in Germany and in the Netherlands and Paris and London. It seems there is more appreciation for good design. When I was in London not too long ago, I saw some of the new high rises that went up like The Shard or what they call the Gherkin pickle, the Norman Foster design. Those are great buildings. I think that’s a credit to London. I think San Francisco unfortunately doesn’t have that many particularly interesting high rise buildings. Chicago is another great city with a lot of great architecture. Don’t get me wrong, San Francisco has been wonderful to me but I would still love to do a project in another city.

L: This is to help the students a bit and that’s what do you look for when hiring an Intern?

T: Number one enthusiasm. People sometimes try to fake it but I can detect that pretty quickly. If a student comes to me and they show passion for what they’re doing and that they have found what they love, that means a lot to me. I know that they aren’t going to know everything and they will need some help and couching but as long as they have that core love then you can’t go wrong. I found it really frustrating when I was looking for a job after I graduated that I didn’t have any experience. I hoped in some firms I could just help around the office and let their knowledge rub off on me. But I felt a lot of resistance to that. I found it very frustrating so I never forgot that. Often a newly graduated student will come by and they exude this enthusiasm and their projects seem really interesting. I can see they thought a lot about them so I try to give them a chance. Yeah it may take a little bit more effort on my part but I feel it is worth it. I’d rather have that than someone who is burnt out and just doing a job. I find, yeah they may be good at auto cad but that’s about it.

L: Last questing is what is something you never thought you would be doing in your career?

The Market on Market

The Market on Market

T: Being in the food business! I never in a million years thought that! I’m also very entrepreneurial so after having a couple of jobs out of school for three or four years, I immediately wanted to have my own company. I also love lighting and lighting design so I started my own company. I guess food is just another entrepreneurial pursuit that maybe was back there in my mind somewhere and just kind of came out in this way. Surprisingly I do love the business side of say, a food store for example. It’s very interesting and a completely different world that lets me work different parts of my brain. Really, I’m now a client of myself so I’m also the operator yelling at myself “why did you do that” or “awe that’s terrible” so it’s been an interesting experience to see it full circle. Now when I think back on clients who were frustrated with me when I didn’t listen to them because I had a “vision” for what their space could look like I get it! Sometimes I would push so hard to implement my vision. I hope now I am a better listener to my clients because I appreciate that these places are hard to operate. They know what works and what doesn’t so I wouldn’t necessarily push a design so hard when a client pushes back.

L: Thank you so much for sitting here and sharing with me.

T: Thank YOU for listing.