Archived Emerging Professional Profiles: 2012
Diane Torrisi – Diane Torrisi Designs, Naples, FL
What should we know about you? Interior Design has always a passion of mine - going back to college at the age of 49 was the bestthing I ever did for myself! Perhaps the 2nd best thing I did, while in college, was become the ASID student president! By putting myself out there, I was not only able to meet celebrity designers but rub shoulders with the many fabulous local designers here in Southwest Florida! I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason so one Satuday, at a nail salon! I met Peggy Oberlin (at the time President-elect for ASID!). To make a long story short - Peggy became my mentor (and close friend!) and today I work a long side her on many of her fabulous projects as well as have her supervise some of my own! !
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? I couldn't imagine being this confident as an EP had I not joined ASID as a student and made the connections (and friendships!) that I have today. Each and every day in the design field is different and very often exciting! The learning process never ends!
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? Besides Peggy Oberlin as my mentor, I am a huge fan of Mary MacDonald and Martin Lawrence Bullard - both of whom I had the thrill of meeting while they were in Florida promoting their new books.
Favorite website/app: I'm a total Pinterest addict (with 455 followers!)
Andrea Pack – Apackdesigns, Co., Seattle, WA
What should we know about you? As an entry-level Interior Designer in the Seattle area, I am pursuing my dreams that I have always had since childhood. At the age of six years old, I would design entire residential interiors using my Commodore-64 computer on a program called" KidPix." I would take shoe boxes, and design to-scale models of homes, complete with wall colors, flooring, and furnishings. While most people go through life looking for their passion, I believe I was born to design, and feel blessed to have this niche.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Upon entering the field as an Emerging Professional, I have learned a lot. The most important aspect of being new in this industry is to stay on top of the newest trends, as well as thinking completely outside of the box. In previous design jobs, I have found my strong computer rendering skills to be highly useful in showing clients the ideas I have prior to beginning construction. Because I am naturally a people-person, I have truly enjoyed the networking aspect of this field, and have met some amazingly talented Designers, who inspire me beyond words.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? My greatest mentor has been Nicholas Bunning, a New York architect, that I worked under for a few months, doing construction documents and renderings for his penthouse in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. He was not only inspirational, but taught me a lot. His eccentricity and colorful personality were a plus, too.
Favorite website/app: My favorite website is Houzz.com. I love to see the many endless ideas that are out there in this ever-growing, and exciting industry.
Joanne Levreault, Allied ASID – JEL Design, San Diego, CA
What should we know about you? I am an aspiring interior designer who is passionate about Architecture and Design. I strive to bring intrigue, harmony and productivity to the spaces I design. I love to travel, outdoor activities and find time to relax with friends and family.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? As and EP, I have learned the on-going support and resources available to me through ASID, as well as sharing my knowledge I have gained as an EP chair with other EPs I meet.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I will always credit the first interior designer I worked with in Colorado, Kathy MacQuillan, and my mentor Anne Kellet, an ASID member.
Favorite website/app: houzz.com, dwell.com and asid.org
Maureen Baker, Allied ASID – Thom Filicia Inc., New York, NY
What should we know about you? I love to explore, and my explorations have taken me down paths slightly less travelled by. I prefer these routes because as a designer I am attracted to the undefined, and even if I can’t solve every puzzle I take each lesson learned with me on my travels.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Although my education is never-ending, so to speak, since graduation I have been mentored by some of the most intelligent and talented designers, all of whom have left an indelible mark. One of them once told me to be passionate about my craft, even in the face of adversity, because true passion is the most effective form of persuasion. Another once said that a good attitude is just as important as skills on a resume, but that neither will make up for a lack of the other.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? My design idol(s) are Charles and Ray Eames. Beyond the tangible legacies they created, such as classic furniture and striking spaces, I identify with their design philosophies. My favorite quote is one by Charles Eames, "Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely, and to the best of your ability, and that way you may change the world."
Jeffrey Ramirez, Allied ASID – Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, AZ
What should we know about you? Originally from Puerto Rico, I recently received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the Southwest University in Visual Arts in August 2012. During my college experience, I was awarded 1st place in Commercial Design and 2nd place in Residential Design in the ASID Excellence Award Student Session. In addition, I also won the London Olympics Athletes Lounge Competition held by ASID and Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti. Due to this achievement, I was one of two students to have the opportunity to take a summer course, free of charge, in Milan, Italy this past summer. After interning at Lori Carroll & Associates and receiving my Bachelor’s degree, I am now an interior designer at a prestigious interior design firm located in Tucson. My tasks at Lori Carroll & Associates include creating CAD drawings, specifications, presentation binders, and anything else that comes my way.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? As an emerging professional, I have learned that the hard work at school – those endless days – is just a preview of what the professional world is like, but it is starting to pay off.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I am very passionate about design and am inspired by designers such as Armani, Versage, Ralph Lauren, Calatrava, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Zaha Hadid, and Eero Saarine. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be an interior designer for this wonderful company because it is what I am passionate about.
Francesca Cavallin Mead, Allied ASID – SentireDesign, Los Angeles, CA
What should we know about you? Born and raised in the Venice area, Italy, I have always had a deep passion for design and a genuine curiosity about the world. My desire to travel abroad brought me to study, work and live in London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Los Angeles. Sunny California and its laid back disposition ultimately lured me into settling down in Los Angeles. Here I completed the Professional Certificate in Interior Design from UCLA Extension, and the Master's Degree in Interior Architecture from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Guided by the desire to bring balance and harmony in people’s lives, I founded my own interior design company, SentireDesign, to promote design as a comprehensive sensory experience.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Having a professional background different from design turned out to be one of my most valuable assets. It allows me to tackle the various aspects of running a business with a methodical and professional approach. Then, when it’s design time, I can confidently switch off the left side of the brain and focus on the fun part.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? Kelly Wearsler is a design powerhouse. From fashion, to interiors, to books, everything she engages in is passionate, personal, and glamorous. She is definitely my quintessential designer idol. My mentor is Katherine Fern, President-Elect of the ASID Los Angeles Chapter. Since the days she unveiled all the behind-the-scenes of running a design business, in her Business Strategies class taught at UCLA, she has been a knowledgeable resource for industry-related questions, a steady point of reference as my career unfolds, and a dear friend.