1 in 5 students are constantly stressed

I think the stress level in schools are rising today more than ever.

With the onset of economic turmoil and the need for recent or soon to be graduates to find jobs, the amount of stress has multiplied. These soon-to-be job seekers are hoping their good grades will benefit them in landing a job. This leads to an even higher emphasis on grades than ever before.

The luxury of not working while in school seems like an old fairy tail. Many students are working full-time, or nearly, tomake ends meet. Many students have been reported to make themself sick from anxiety, lose their appetite, lose sleep, become easily aggrivated and simply give up with an overwhelming sense of desperation.

It’s reported 1 in 5 students have seriously considered dropping out entirely.

Hopefully with the turn of the economy we will see heart rates back to normal.





I thought is was about time I introduced myself. I am a soon to be recent graduate of the International Academy of Design & Technology in Tampa holding a shiny new BFA in Interior Design. During the last couple years here, I’ve had the opportunity to take advantage of the study abroad program in London. In London I studied at AIU and worked at a design firm in London known as the Gorgeous Group for a couple monthes.

The biggest difference I saw between American and English design philosophy is not necessarily the end result, but the process they took to get there. English design incorporates alot more hands on techniques vs. cutting edge technical software. While both regions use a combination of both these mediums, it is obvious in the prevelence in each country.  Havnig a heavy background in software like Autocad, Revit, Max, Sketchup, Photoshop… I felt I had an advantage over some of the other students but I also appreciated opportunites to make more models, such as a fruit presentation display (pan to me searching frantically in China town,  London for a coconut. FYI:there are no “stereotypical American” coconuts in London) to a community art gallery using props while speaking to the actual artists about what their needs.

The Gorgeous Group is fantastic. I assisted them designing everything from restaurants, hotels and bars to custom server trollies and silicone ice trays in the shape of an exclusive whiskey brand they were promoting at the time. The great thing about the Gorgeous Group is that they are dedicated and integrated into all aspects of promoting, training, customizing and designing anything and everything for the client they are working for. Clients like; Sofitel, Louis Vuitton, Starwood, Signet, Hilton…  Very exciting.

The atmosphere was very fast paced, the mantra being “to exceed expectations” which is why the founder, Robbie Bargh, was named #7 most influential people in the bar industry 2009.

Gorgeous Group Recruitment

I think the idea of not limiting the firm to specific roles, but talents, really made the company moldable to every clients needs. This philosophy is what started to get me to think in the broader sense of design. Why not make yourself as diversified and “moldable” for every client?

Fast forward to presently where I am taking this philosophy and  applying for a graduate degree in Industrial design at the University of Chicago. Industrial design is:

Industrial design is a combination of applied art and applied science, whereby the aesthetics, ergonomics and usability of products may be improved for marketability and production. The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions towards problems of form, usability, physical ergonomics, marketing, brand development and sales.                                                                                      [de Noblet, J., Industrial Design, Paris: A.F.A.A. (1993)]

This definition is very similiar to interior design; creating solutions using applied arts and science to improve aesthetics, ergonomics and usablility. Why not combine the two?


I love when I find truly inspiring design ideas. I am a big fan of the concept of using used cargo containers to create low carbon foot print houses that are equally beautiful as they are innovative. This phenomenon is called “cargotecture”-coined by HyBrid since 2004.

In the United States, there are over 700,000 cargo containers abandoned each year, according to Department of Transportation estimates. These modular, steel containers have limitless possibilities;

vacation homes

small carbon footprint homes

expo space

construction office

student housing

festival housing

movable restroom

…”box office” building.

12-unit, 32 container office.



Beautiful…just because

I had mentioned earlier how design needs to be smart, effective, available and sustainable while maintaining a unique experience for the end user.

While these are the fundamentals of good design, the old philosophy of everything must have a purpose to be relevent seems…dated. Technology and innovation allows us to create limitless solutions. 

The end product should not forget the original goal, to create an inspiring space for the end user.

Both the necessary and unnecessary are relevant when creating spaces. Sticking to the minimal necessary lacks a luster. We should try to embrace the unusual.

Design for all.

Smart design needs to be accessible to everyone in all phases of everyday life. Great design should not start and end at the high end, luxury level. New technology has led to advanced materials and manufacturing of products that can positively affect all end users. A tooth brush, pencil, garbage can, car, computer…all products in your day to day life are a precious commodity, they serve a purpose that is a necessity for your contribution on this planet. The objects that makeup your surroundings create a profound affect on you. These objects need to not only fulfill an obligation, but to do it well, economically, dependably and with style that creates an experience.

There is no excuse for bad design, un-sustainable materials and inflated prices on products and interiors that lack any excitement. Designers need to be held accountable to their users; the public. With economic turmoil leaving the masses to the whim of the market and designers with fewer options, the choice should be clear:

Make smart products available and affordable that create an experience. People should want to use the things that surround them not only because they are great quality but they are the best design.

Think Smart:

  • Conceptually
  • Technology
  • Versatility
  • Materials
  • Experience
  • Style
  • End Price
  • Ergonomically
  • Production
  • Options
  • Exciting
  • Interesting
  • Whimsical

Mass production is not a bad thing if it is designed very well. We must use every option we have available to make the largest positive impression we can on the world around us.

A spoon to a city. Innovative Design.

For a long time now, I’ve been considering the relationship between interior design and industrial design. Some of my favorite designers have their hands across the design spectrum. Designers like Philippe Starck, Mies van de Rohe, Marcel Wanders and Karim Rashid have all made waves with projects that span anywhere from industrial design, architecture, interior design and graphic design. Their work is influential and absalutely unique because of their ability to use all mediums of expression within their design. Their ability to step out of the box of specialization and incorporate all mediums is inspirational. I think any designer would be tempted by the idea of having complete control of all aspects a design, as Charles Eames said, when asked why he made furniture, “so [I] can design a piece of architecture that you can hold in your hand”.

The names that have left their mark in history as versatile designers are the ones that do not let details escape them, instead concentrate on the simplest object such as a spoon as if they were designing a city, as expressed by Argo Flores, a Viennese architect around the turn of the century,”…an architect should be able to design anything from a spoon to the city.” Or for Marcel Wanders; makeup products to hotels.

With all the technology and communication available to us in this present age there is nothing to limit the ability of designers today.