Metropolis Future100 Interior Design Undergraduates

Future100 Interior Design Undergraduate Winners

These are the top interior design undergraduate students in the United States and Canada as selected by the Metropolis team. View the full 2023 Future100 cohort here.

the exterior of a building with a lattice work facade

Nicolas Burbano Diaz | Toronto Metropolitan University

NOMINATOR: Jonathon Anderson, Associate Professor + Director

Nicolas’ portfolio shows a range of projects that vary in complexity and scale, but the common threads throughout the portfolio demonstrates his overall design rigor, advanced conceptual development, and technical knowledge that celebrate his commitment to advancing the profession.

a rendering of the interior of a gallery

Lisa Burnett | Belmont University

NOMINATOR: Finis Eliot, Assistant Professor of Interior Design

Lisa’s design work elegantly integrates art, science, and technology, rethinking and reimagining how we inhabit and experience our built environment. My words or testimonial cannot do her work adequate justice, as it stands entirely on its own merit.

a rendering of the interior of a lobby

Constance Chu | New Jersey Institute of Technology

NOMINATOR: David Brothers, Interior Design Program Coordinator

It is no exaggeration to say that Constance ranks among the top one percent of these many dedicated and talented students. Constance brings an inquisitiveness and insight to her work that is more often seen in graduate students. She is sharp in her analyses and astute in her judgement and it is evident in the projects she has developed throughout her academic career.

a cafe bar with white chairs

Emily Creek | University of Arkansas

NOMINATOR: Jinoh Park, Assistant Professor

Having demonstrated expertise in implementing abstract concepts into space with consistency, Emily gradually adapts to evidence-based design with a commitment to perfection and continues to evolve professionally.

a speculative drawing

Elizabeth Doepker | University of Cincinnati DAAP

NOMINATOR: Edward Mitchell, Director

Elizabeth is in her final year of the University of Cincinnati BSINTD degree. During her time in the program, she has combined her aesthetic interest and practical knowledge in her student work and her experience in our coop programs. She has been on the Dean’s list all five years and has been one of the student leaders in the Interior Design program.

a workplace design

Cora Embree | Virginia Tech

NOMINATOR: Alp Tural, Assistant Professor of Interior Design

Elegant choice of colors and materials, a refined interplay of electric and natural light along with strong conceptual design are evident in Cora’s interior design work.

a workplace design with red chairs and a red ceiling

Katie Gagle | Kent State University

NOMINATOR: Ronn M. Daniel, M.Arch, IDEC, NCIDQ, Associate Professor

Katie is a truly exceptional interior design student. I know her well, having had the pleasure of teaching her in design theory seminar and studio, and critiquing her work during end-of-semester reviews. Katie combines a precise and imaginative intelligence with a ferocious work ethic. Her studio projects are consistently excellent: always deeply-researched, brave in their ethical commitments, rich with iterative explorations, expressive in spatial and volumetric organization, and then sensitively drawn, rendered, analyzed and documented.

a restaurant with human figures in it

Eva Groos | Syracuse University

NOMINATOR: Zoriana Dunham, Program Coordinator

An extremely hard worker and straight A student, she possesses strong skills in all aspects of design. She is an extremely talented and detail oriented designer, a strong leader and team player, and above all has a passion for design that motivates her to excel in every task. Any employer would be lucky to have her on their team. She has an extremely bright future.

a blue and red restaurant interior

Alison Hicks | University of Oregon

NOMINATOR: Kyuho Ahn, Interior Architecture Head & Associate Professor

Alison is an exceptionally talented and bright individual. In my class, she demonstrated her passion in interior architecture and a great deal of understanding human contexts within a built-in environment. She demonstrated outstanding academic performances in both individual and team settings. She was a natural leader and supporter in any tasks.

a collage of a garden

Vivian (Anh Thu) Huynh | Savannah College of Art and Design

NOMINATOR: Chi-Thien Nguyen, Chair of Interior Design and Preservation Design

Vivian approaches design with a keen eye for detail and a vision that spans across regions. With a poetic soul yearning for arts, she has designed meaningful spaces entailing timeless stories that encapsulate the viewers’ sights and minds.

an interior with plants

David (Yu) Kim | British Columbia Institute of Technology

NOMINATOR: Tiia Manson, Program Head, Bachelor of Interior Design

During his studies in the Interior Design Program at BCIT, David has consistently produced in-depth research and well-developed concepts for a wide variety of project typologies from residential, retail, restaurant, and intergenerational design. His competence extends to concept development, programming, planning, modelling, and building code analysis. His understanding and execution of detailed interior construction drawings and specifications are exemplary.

the interior of a gallery

Young Kim | Parsons School of Design

NOMINATOR: Carly Cannell, Interim Director of BFA Interior Design Program and Assistant Professor of Interior Design

A true innovator, Young’s mutli-valent and sensitive design approach is rooted in exploration and inspired by fashion; the relationship between construction, aesthetics and the body. Centered on storytelling through materiality, space and form, Young’s approach to interior design is exemplified through his rich visualization skills, resulting in a narrative that is innovative and provocative.

the interior of an office

Kasey Kruse | Colorado State University

NOMINATOR: Jain Kwon, Ph.D., ASID, IDEC, Assistant Professor of Interior Architecture & Design

Kasey’s projects represent her creativity as well as her understanding of the greater context of interior environments. Her academic and internship experiences in interior design, construction management, and design-build have prepared her to be a competent designer. She consistently goes above and beyond in studio work and in volunteering with her community.

a gallery with blue walls and a blue ceiling

Natalia Laykov | Marymount University

NOMINATOR: Dr. Robert Paul Meden, AIA, IDEC, Educator IALD, Professor

Natalia has proven to be a student with a high level of dedication, one more concerned with figuring out the details than worrying about the grade. She seems to relish the idea of being able to go somewhere in design that she hasn’t been before. In my forty-six years of instructing over a thousand potential interior designers and architects, Natalia is clearly in the top 1%.

a rendering of a staircase

Reyha Mete | Fashion Institute of Technology

NOMINATOR: Joseph Goldstein, Professor

As an example of Reyha’s approach and design process, for a Girls for Gender Equity headquarters project, she researched a cross section of female artists’ work related to representations of female imagery to spark ideas for interpretations of womanhood in sync with the mission of this organization: an intergenerational organization committed to girls’ and women’s physical, psychological, social, and economic development.

Audrey Pace | University of Arkansas

NOMINATOR: Jinoh Park, Assistant Professor

Audrey’s ability to synthesize information such that the result is a unified design is one of her most distinctive qualities. When she gains knowledge and experience as a practitioner and has access to more information, as her friend, I look forward to experiencing her designs on an expanded scale.

a rendering of a bar

Yuleta Roeun | University of North Texas

NOMINATOR: Johnnie Stark, Associate Professor of Interior Design

Yuleta was interested in interior design at an early age, likening buildings to a human being. The exterior can draw you in, but if the interior does not make you feel safe and productive, you are unlikely to return. Her project work reflects consistent attention to these relationships, employing detailed processes, supported by research-based behavioral theories and material analysis.

white furniture inside a white room

Motomu (Lucia) Sakakibara | New York School of Interior Design

NOMINATOR: Ellen S. Fisher, Ph. D., VP for Academic Affairs and Dean

Motomu (Lucia) is a true storyteller, driven to communicate and connect the world through imaginative, powerful, and supportive interiors. Her work is visually sophisticated and engaging. However, her work is more than a set of pretty pictures; in fact, each design is based on extensive research. It is from the research that the design concept arises and flowers.

an office interior

Gillian Scheer | Baylor University

NOMINATOR: Elise King, Associate Professor

Gillian is both a talented designer and a deep thinker. A reserved and considerate leader, she is the backbone of team projects and a three-dimensional contributor who engages in all levels of the design process. Gillian’s professors describe her as “creative,” “thoughtful,” and “determined.” She is a self-motivated learner who takes initiative to pursue complex ideas.

a restaurant interior with red furnishings and walls

Maykwan Spector | Savannah College of Art and Design

NOMINATOR: Chi-Thien (CT) Nguyen, Chair of Interior Design

Maykwan always has the human-centric approach to design, whether a Gucci hotel or a sensory pod in the South of France. Her works always explore where beauty meets function to positively impact people. In her role as the Professional Outreach for the SCAD chapter of the Interior Design Organization (IDO), she takes pride in helping her peers engage with industry by organizing meetings with professionals, as well as activations for career preparation.

a latticework office

Caroline St. Clergy | University of Texas at Austin

NOMINATOR: Nerea Feliz, Associate Professor

Caroline St Clergy is an outstanding student whose design work has been repeatedly awarded at a national level. She uses a broad material palette and formal experimentation to respond plastically to the specifics of each design challenge in order to produce responsible environments that are formally rich and deeply stimulating.

a reception desk

Christina Van Meter | Virginia Tech

NOMINATOR: Alp Tural, Associate Professor

Christina’s design solutions, evidenced by empathetically selected materials and immersive 3D visuals, reflect her strong sensitivity to users’ spatial experiences.

a conference table

Emma Weaver | Kent State University

NOMINATOR: Tina Patel, Assistant Professor of Interior Design

Emma is an honors student in the program and has proven to be a take-charge person who can successfully develop plans and implement them. I feel confident that she has a bright future ahead of her in interior design practice. Emma is a very creative, enthusiastic, and dedicated learner and takes part fully in class discussions.

a collage of a building

Yilin Xu | Pratt Institute

NOMINATOR: Keena Suh, Associate Professor

Composed and versatile, Yilin exemplifies the highest level of performance in a student for her independent thinking, willingness to take risks, conceptual thinking, intellectual rigor, and expressive and adventurous explorations. She embodies the kind of earnest approach, dedication, and creative energy that anyone would be most fortunate to have around them.

a felt partition wall

Soojung Yoo | ArtCenter College of Design

NOMINATOR: David Mocarski, Department Chairman Graduate & Undergraduate Environmental Design

Soojung’s work is not confined to a single discipline which extends from spatial to product to graphics. She pushes her creative skill set on every project, both conceptually and technically. She is an extremely hardworking, persistent, and focused student. She has a level of commitment in all that she is involved in that is rarely seen these days.

the interior of a lobby

Lan (Judy) Zhou | Toronto Metropolitan University

NOMINATOR: Jonathon Anderson, Associate Professor + Director

Judy is undoubtedly one of the best students I have had the privilege of teaching: extremely dedicated, rigorous in her analysis, resourceful, autonomous, professional, creative, and imaginative. Her design work is thoughtfully grounded in research, often incorporating speculative and imaginative proposals that reframe the project’s bounds in surprising ways.

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