Future100: Students Demonstrate Nimble, Interdisciplinary Approach to Interior Design

Prepared for the ‘real world,’ young designers present portfolios that anticipate working across categories.

Interdisciplinary Design
NEXT Tech Satellite, an office concept based on Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, is the project in which Julia Sorenson flexes her interdisciplinary approach. In it, she reproduces the visual impact of the museum’s “infinitely reaching ramp” to give the office its own symbol of corporate outreach. Courtesy Julia Sorenson

One critical lesson new design practitioners learn is the value of flexibility. That’s because in the “real world” a firm’s long-term success often requires pivoting—from one building type to another, or between the disparate design languages of, say, health care and retail. Clients can come from anywhere, so that kind of readiness matters (as does trend-watching for the next bread-and-butter hybrids like condo-hotels and retail–health clinics). Some students’ portfolios already anticipate working across categories. Those graduates are likely to hit the ground running.

Interdisciplinary Design
Nicole Roberts’s Capitol Bar gilds an imagined Raffles Hotel. Its interior design scheme was inspired by the details of a chair. Courtesy Nicole Roberts

Visit metropolismag.com/future100 to see more groundbreaking student work.


Rochester Institute of Technology

Undergraduate Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Mary Golden, Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Program Director

Brown’s passion for interdisciplinary design is apparent in Aperture, a restaurant themed for The Eastman Kodak Company.


Sheridan College

Undergraduate Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Brad Culver, Program Coordinator

Butt’s interiors range from an African restaurant in Toronto called The Coast of Namibia and Sunrise Therapeutic Learning & Riding Centre, a stable-themed rehab facility.


Drexel University

Graduate Interior Architecture and Design

NOMINATOR: William Mangold, Program Director

Highlighting her grasp of interdisciplinary design and experimentation, England’s coworking concept Echo Memory incorporates sound-wave technology.


University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Undergraduate Interior Architecture and Design

NOMINATOR: Stephanie McGoldrick, Full-time Lecturer

Gresh’s portfolio showcases her background as an artist. The Edge Restaurant and Bar reflects her painterly approach to interiors: Sherbet hues saturate chairs, walls, and ceiling baffles.


University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Undergraduate Interior Architecture and Design

NOMINATOR: Stephanie McGoldrick, Full-time Lecturer

Kelly’s projects include an octopus-inspired hotel restaurant, among retail and residential designs with ample plantings and micro-agriculture.


Savannah College of Art and Design

Graduate Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Challie Schafer, Professor

Kuppadagathil’s “inclusive” Netflix head-quarters, Resto Bar in Chennai, India, and Soul Food Community Centre show that her vision straddles disciplines and continents.


University of Oklahoma

Graduate Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Mia Kile, Associate Professor

An impressive dexterity in illuminating surfaces marks Li’s portfolio from the chiaroscuro of carved wood models to edge-lit spaces that appear to float.


Florida State University

Graduate Interior Architecture and Design

NOMINATOR: Jill Pable, Professor, Department Chair

Ideas such as Bijou, a boutique hotel in Lisbon, and Holstein’s Market, a gourmet grocery, point to market shifts—and Ostrander’s interest in design at all scales.


Auburn University

Undergraduate Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Anna Ruth Gatlin, Assistant Professor

Pivoting between industrial and interior design, Roberts’s Raffles Hotel in Singapore and Higher Ground restaurant demonstrate her agility in playing with scale.


Virginia Tech

Undergraduate Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Lisa M. Tucker, Program Chair

Inspired by Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, Sorenson’s NEXT Tech Satellite office uses a gallery-like atmosphere to engage visitors.


University of Minnesota

Graduate Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Abimbola Asojo, Associate Dean for Research, Creative Scholarship and Engagement

Vo integrates creativity and analytics in her approach, presenting a range of work from a salon that merges industrial and vintage styles to an office that meaningfully captures the essence of its occupying brand.


Radford University

Undergraduate Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Joan Dickinson, Professor, MFA in Design Thinking Coordinator

Woods injects delight regardless of context: Prison Cell of the Future conceives uplifting finishes and furnishings as “a cell for rehabilitation and rejuvenation.”

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