The International Interior Design Association makes it’s comeback at OSU

Jr. Gonzalez, Practicum Contributor

Meet the millennials who decided to take what they learned from Legos and The Sims and apply that to real life- the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

The IIDA is an organization at Oregon State University that consists of 20 interior designers, all in which are in OSU’s interior design program. Three years ago, the club barely had life, let alone 20 members.

“There was a period of time when it was inactive,” said IIDA President, Vianka Ayala. “About three years ago, it was a pretty active club, but all the members were seniors. So after they graduated, the club died out and so did interest for it.”

Even though everyone seemed to have lost interest in IIDA, there was still one club member who wanted to keep it going.

“I kind of just stepped up and took over,” says Harry Armstrong, a member of the IIDA.

Armstrong had approached a fellow designer, Erin Bernot, with the intentions of revamping the club. They reestablished the goals of IIDA and began to recruit people in their cohort to join their organization.

“About two years ago, Harry Armstrong approached me and said ‘Hey, I really want to restart this club. Would you be interested in helping me do that?’” said Ayala.

The desire to get this organization back on it’s feet was all it took to gain some encouragement. The biggest problem that organizations at OSU face is this desire. According to the Dante Holloway, the Coordinator for Clubs and Organizations, clubs struggle the most when there is no leadership or assigned rolls.

“When I think about groups that tend to be more successful versus those that tend to struggle, it usually has much more to do with the organization structure and having a clear sense within the leadership team of who is supposed to do what,” said Holloway.

When these interior designers decided to give structure to their organization and create leadership roles, they already overcame their biggest obstacle. The next step for IIDA would be to begin a project.

The International Interior Design Association reached out to local businesses and organizations with interests of helping them create or redesign their interior spaces. One organization responded to them with interest- the Corvallis Police Department.

“We went out to the Corvallis Police Department and they had us redo one of their offices,” says Armstrong.

The CPD wanted to redesign one of their offices where most of their paperwork is done. IIDA was responsible for a design that took away cubicles and focused on a more open environment.

When IIDA has no project to work on, they still get together to explore other aspects of their program such as resume building and site tours.

“We are trying to put together a portfolio workshop,” said Ayala. “The internship class is gone so students don’t really know how to do that anymore.”

Portfolio workshops are just one of the ways that the group still comes together to connect and hone their design skills. No matter what, IIDA still meets every other Thursday to sharpen their skills and make sure that their organization stays on a progressive path.