ASID Brings Students to NYC for 2019 SCALE

By: Jen Levisen, Communications Director, Mortarr

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) held its national student summit, 2019 SCALE, March 1-3 in New York City. Over 400 students and educators from across the country attended the three-day event held at the Grand Hyatt New York, which prepares students for their first professional roles in the design industry.


“ASID is invested in the future of design, and that means supporting its scholars and next generation of leaders,” says Randy Fiser, ASID CEO. “Through SCALE, we’re able to provide rich insight, mentorship opportunities, and first-hand looks at the design world to give students a glimpse into their futures.”


Friday morning began with a series of firm and showroom tours at industry leaders Gensler, HOK, Haworth, ICRAVE, Benjamin Moore, Rockwell Group, Herman Miller, Perkins Eastman, Teknion, A+I, TOTO, Sandow, Perkins + Will, Gunlocke, NBBJ and IA.


SCALE officially kicked off Friday with the announcement of the ASID Student Portfolio Competition Winners. The opening keynote was a discussion on the business of design led by Fiser and featuring Mindi Weichman, Studio O+A Design Director; Elizabeth Von Lehe, HDR Design and Brand Strategy Principal; David Taglione, ICRAVE Executive Team Leader; and Andrea Mango, Benjamin Moore Color and Design Expert. They shared what each company looks for when hiring new talent and while reviewing portfolios, each gave advice on navigating internships and first jobs, and discussed the importance of defining your voice and passion.

Friday wrapped with additional breakout sessions, the ASID National Student Career Fair, and an evening opening reception at Humanscale.

Saturday’s opening keynote was from ASID National Chair BJ Miller, founder and principal of the Vision Group and Managing Director of Indigo Companies. Miller shared the peaks and valleys of her own path toward leadership, and the importance of developing that path no matter the end goal.


Saturday’s tours featured recently completed projects in New York City, including Delos, Etsy, STK Grace, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center – David H. Koch Center for Cancer, and American Copper.

The afternoon’s keynote was led by Liz Ogbu, founder and principal of Studio O, who shared that regardless of specialty, designers are caretakers of the built environment and their choices in their work have consequences. Ogbu talked through what it is like to think of design in this context and how designers can take the opportunity to more strongly leverage their roles and work to improve human life, foster better communities, and a more just world.


Breakout sessions on the impact of design on the environment, human behavior, and social justice, rounded out the day.


One session, Creating Purpose-Driven Spaces, was led by Meena Krenek, Design Director at Gensler, and discussed the importance of understanding human emotion and human behavior as it impacts engagement in spaces.


“In today’s world, everything is so highly competitive and constantly evolving that when designers create purpose-driven spaces, they develop a level of captivation and engagement with the environment with sets them apart,” says Krenek.

SCALE concluded Sunday with breakout sessions focused on the impact of technology on the industry, and a keynote conversation between George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelburg, moderated by Cindy Allen, Interior Design Editor-in-Chief. Yabu and Pushelberg talked through the design process used in their multidisciplinary practice that includes environments, destinations, and products – all design solutions that address the layers of human experience.

To learn more about ASID and how design can transform lives check out their website.

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