Monday, September 10, 2012

Save the Date

Save the date. Thursday, October 25 is the Retail Design Challenge. Plans are underway for signature annual event to celebrate local design firms and showcase their creative talent.

Join member and friends of the Retail Design Institute by rolling up your sleeves for an evening of creative collaboration, education and networking!

There will be a tour of Quiksilver's 585 Boardriders' Store in Venice with store design insights provided by Paul McAdam (senior VP and GM, Retail, Quiksilver Inc.) store features in DDI Magazine's June Issue. The night's event will also include a showcase of Southern California's submissions to the 2011 International Retail Store Design Awards Competition. Also a show reel of the 2011 International Store Design Winning Entries.

Tickets can be purchased in advance through Eventbrite closer to the date. Check our website for details.

Please send us an email if you're interested in participating as an individual, a group entrant, or to become a Sponsor!

There will be food, drinks, and DJ. Come and join us for a creative night of design.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Retail Design Institute Event

Tickets Going Fast!

We hope to see you in 2 weeks. A link to the self-guided tour locations will be sent out via email 1 week before the event, only those who pre-register below.

for the
Retail Tour & Social Mixer
in West Hollywood, August 22

Afternoon Tour (Optional) & Evening Mixer from 6:30pm -9:30pm

Take a self-guided afternoon tour of the latest retail spaces in West Hollywood curated by  Trend Habitat, followed by drinks overlooking the Hollywood Hills from the deck of the Essensuals London Salon - a signature brand of the Toni & Guy portfolio.

The evening promises to be a "highlight" networking event with key insights by owner  Kiera Smith & designer James Schnauer of Glow Studio into the design of a new WeHo salon experience. Meet new members and some of the new faces on our local Chapter board.

Enjoy a well deserved drink on the deck of Essentuals' Salon to network with fellow members and guests of the  Retail Design Institute.
Details of the tour will be provided to those who register. Please RSVP with Eventbrite to help us cater to numbers and use social media to coordinate tours with one another.
Free to all Members & Members Guests
Non-members $10
Numbers are limited.
RSVP on Eventbrite only.

Please click here now to register and receive tour details.

The Southern California Chapter would like to thank our host and sponsors for their generous support of the Institute: Trend Habitat and Essenuals London.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth from all of us at nextGEN! We hope that you have a wonderful and safe holiday! Enjoy the sunshine,  food, family and friends!

Source LF Stores

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Keep Up Your Skills

Our goal at nextGEN to expose you as students to the realities of the interior design industry. We wanted to take the time to stress the fact that you should keep up your computer skills and any other design related skills. There is no denying it, technology and social media are taking over the world! Not really, but in reality technology is become more and more advanced. Which brings us to the first point we made, "keep your computer skills up!" Many design firms are using programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign; just to name a few. Some firms are also making the transition from AutoCAD to Revit. What does that mean for you? Our answer, if you don't know it learn it!! In the land of the worldwide web, there are unlimited resources to help yourself strengthen your computer skills. We have previously posted about a valuable resource here. Maybe leaning online isn't your thing. Local community colleges offer classes for the various programs you are interested in learning.

However, even though technology is upping the ante you still need to keep up your sketching skills. In a world of smartphones, tablets, and computers, industry professionals still use hand sketching as a tool to convey their thoughts and ideas. Get yourself a sketchbook. Sketch the various thoughts that come across your mind. There is nothing more impressive that stacks of filled sketchbooks with your thoughts in them. Sketching is not only a creative outlet, you are able to strengthen your skills the more you do it. Sketch something today! One of the most common block for people when it comes to sketching is that is doesn't look right. Most people over think the idea of sketching. The goal is not to get a perfect piece of artwork. Sketching is a form of art, there are no mistakes in art!

Bottom line, keep your skills up. If you want to be competitive in today's job market you have to be the best of the best. Happy learning!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Go For the Gold: Having a Successful Internship

After hours and hours of research you landed an internship in the interior design industry! Congrats! Now it is time for a reality check. You need to make the most out of your internship. In a way, an internship could be somewhat like "test driving" your future career. Many individuals go into an internship with the hopes it will turn into a full time position. Now that you have your internship, what do you do next?
First things first be professional! You are entering into the real world of the interior design industry, so it is important you act the part. This begins with your attire. You can take a few tips on what to wear from a previous post. Make sure you find out what the companies dress policy is because that will also help you when it comes to attire. You only have one chance to make a first impression, make it a good one!
Decide what you want to get out of your internship. It is helpful to make a list of the goals you have. Ask you supervisor to sit down to discuss your objectives. Let them know what you would like to get out of your internship. Do not be afraid to ask questions either. No one learned anything by passively siting down. Ask questions about the company's design philosophy or their design development process. Dive in to the company culture head first! Find out everything you possibly can. The last thing you would want to do is waste their time and yours.

At the end of your internship if you are not offered a position, that's okay. You can always ask for a letter of recommendation or ask if they know anyone who is hiring. If you have a portfolio or resume, ask your supervisor if they could critic it for you. It doesn't hurt to get a second set of eyes to look at your work. Who knows, you could get some fresh ideas to revamp the layout of your work.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Why Should I Compete?

A design competition can seem a little intimidating to a student. You have homework, models to build, presentations to prep for, and may even be working. Many students ask the question "why should I compete?" Students want to know if competing in a competition will benefit them. Here are some benefits in competing.

You are able to get practice. In the classroom, students may be given a set program they need to follow when designing. However, when you compete you are able to step outside of the classroom and implement design in the real world. You are also able to test your skills under pressure.

You allow yourself to be exposed to the design industry. These competitions are not solely attended by students, professionals in the industry attend as well. Let's be honest, it is intimating for a student to approach a professional. However, during competitions the atmosphere is pleasant and easier for students to mingle with professionals.  Competitions provide opportunities for emerging professionals to be recognized for their fresh ideas and a platform to showcase their work. If you do win you can create a social media strategy that will draw attention to the story by sending and cross-referencing the news via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog and/or website, as well through the competition sponsors and by the press. Besides all the other pros, competing in competitions is fun!

We hope the next student competition that comes along, you decide to compete!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Competition Winner Spotlight: Rocio Vasquez

Rocio Vasquez was this year's student competition winner. We wanted to find out what Rocio is most passionate about the interior design industry.

What first inspired you about interior design? I grew up around "design" my whole life. My father is an automobile designer, so I loved learning about it. As I got older, I started understanding more about the field and the conceptual side of things and realized that buildings go through the same development process. That is where I developed my interest in architecture and interior design.

What area of the interior design industry are you most passionate about? I absolutely love hospitality and recreation design. There are endless possibilities in those areas. However, I am most passionate about institutional design. I feel most passionate when it comes to designing a place in which a person  is not only going to benefit from but also grow as an individual; whether it be anything from schools to religious facilities.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? In the next 5 years I see myself working in a firm here in Southern California and hopefully traveling at least once a year with non-profit organizations all around the world.

What would be your dream design job? Religion is a huge part of my life and defines me as an individual. My dream job would be to take part in the creation of a new cathedral. To me nothing would be more satisfying than to be able to partake in creating God's home.

Do you think competing in design competitions help benefit your career as a student?  I definitely believe that having taken part in the competition was a huge benefit for me as a student. Not only did it allow me to step out of my comfort zone when it came to presenting in front all the professionals, but it also tested my ability to work under pressure.

Would you recommend other students to compete in design competitions? Why? I would encourage other students to participate in design completions because it truly is a learning experience. It's also great and fun opportunity to network and meet professionals in the field.

For all of us at nextGEN, we wish you the best in your future endeavors!