Changes in IAD with a word from our AAU President

“I am happy to announce that Archana Myer has been promoted to the role of executive director and will continue to provide leadership to the IAD team. Archana has spent the past few years as the Department Director and focused on dynamically revamping curriculum. Her efforts to maintain the highest level of professional accreditation were proven effective as the department had unprecedented success in their CIDA visit this spring. We appreciate Archana’s hard work and look forward to her continued success.<

Kathleen “Katie” Valkuchak has transitioned out of the Associate Director position and will be the new Department Director. Katie has been a core part of the IAD team for the past seven years and has had exceptional success in strengthening IAD studio culture. Her commitment to the students and partnerships with faculty have contributed substantially to the success of the department.

Please join me in congratulating both Archana and Katie to their new roles within the School of Interior Architecture & Design.  We look forward to the continuation of dynamic leadership.


Thank you,

Elisa Stephens, President”

SF Honor Awards Tour

SF Honor Awards Tour #2: 826 Valencia

Date: July 12
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: 826 Valencia Tenderloin Center
180 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco City Center

Alumni Spotlight with Mas Design


Recently featured in the California Homes Magazine 2017 and about the IAD MFA students who are making their mark!

“Dawn Carlson and Carol Perry met in 2008 while studying Interior Architecture and Design at the Academy of Art University (AAU) in San Francisco. They quickly realized they shared the same intense passion for everything design.

Dawn brings her flair for style, sophistication, and bold personal expression as well as her overall vision for the firm, which she founded in 2012. Carol joined the family in 2013 and brings to the firm not only her impeccable design eye and a steadfast refusal of anything short of perfection, but also 11 years of corporate identity and branding expertise. Combined, their skills allow MAS Design to succeed not only on residential projects, but also commercial ones, adding immense value to the deliverables that they provide the client.

The principal designers’ styles are complimentary, but different. Both believe in thoughtfully curated, elegant, but highly liveable spaces. (Spaces that are a reflection of their clients, most importantly). With MAS Design, a client will have the benefit of Carol’s sophisticated taste as well as a uniqueness and “edge” that Dawn’s perspective brings. There is rarely a need for compromise between the two designers – they believe in each other’s aesthetic and recognize how one enhances the other. Together, they create their spaces to be both chic and forward – a delicate yet critical balance. This balance is MAS’ signature aesthetic.

MAS is known for their aesthetic, but want you to know the process is as important! MAS’ approachable work style and fun-loving culture create an inspired experience for all involved. They create a dynamic with their clients that eases the stressors in what can be a daunting (and sometimes unsettling) process. Their attention to detail and tireless work ethic ensure projects are executed by a team who cares passionately about the project’s success. Their collaboration enhances each other’s vision, and together, they create designs that surpass mere aesthetics, and that instead are an inspired expression of who their clients are.

Read more about what working with MAS Design is like on Yelp and Houzz!”


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