Campus: Old Westbury Major: Interior Design, B.F.A.
Ashley Sarazen is a student studying interior design and the recipient of a scholarship from the Hospitality Industry Network (NEWH), a nonprofit organization dedicated to education, leadership, and business development. She was a member of the faculty-student team who represented NYIT at the SaloneSatellite exhibition for emerging designers at the 2012 Milan Furniture Fair in Italy.
Why study at NYIT?
Because NYIT's interior design program is accredited by CIDA and students learn both the disciplines of architecture and interior design. I came to an open house and met with Martha Siegel, chair of the Department of Interior Design, and knew then that I wanted to study here.
NEWH scholarship recipient
Receiving the 2012 NEWH Icon of Industry Honorable Mention scholarship has helped financially and given me a glimpse into the industry. In April 2013, I attended BD West, a boutique design trade fair in San Diego, Calif., where Herbert V. Kohler Jr., CEO of the manufacturing company Kohler, presented an award to me. The opportunity to have exposure at this point in my schooling is wonderful.
I am president-elect of the Interior Design Club, which I co-founded with other NYIT students in 2012, and will hold office in fall 2013. We are building our membership and excited about taking part in some group efforts, like Hurricane Sandy relief in conjunction with Operation Resilient Long Island. We have been looking into doing renovation work for Momma's House, an organization that provides a home for young, single mothers. Also, our four board members and I have been given the opportunity to attend NeoCon in Chicago in June 2013, courtesy of the Friends of NYIT School of Architecture and Design. It is North America's largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors.
As an interior design intern at Bentel & Bentel, my responsibilities range from keeping the firm's materials library in order, to communicating with product representatives. I do a lot of sample-ordering and update a manufacturer database. I have also helped designers in the office to prepare for furniture proposal presentations and to create material boards.
Without a doubt, attending the Milan Furniture Fair. Representing NYIT was a humbling experience and a real eye-opener for me. Each day at the fair, we were able to tell visitors to our exhibition booth about the interior design program and all it has to offer. This opportunity is largely responsible for the pride I have in my school. We are accomplishing great things and I am honored to be part of it. Thanks to this experience, I now see design as so much more than just interiors. It is products, graphics, and everything in between.
To work for a firm specializing in hospitality design in New York City. I'm interested in taking the NCIDQ exam to become a certified interior designer and going for LEED certification. I've got my sights set on a few different facets of the design world that I want to explore throughout my career in the long termlighting design is one of these.
Favorite apps for designers
The Houzz app is a source of creativity and good for learning about recent architecture. I also use the Dropbox app several times a day. It's the best way to share drawings, photos, or any other design document.
A family friend and his wife turned me on to the profession when I was in high school. Around this time, I designed a floor-to-ceiling headboard in my bedroom. Doing this sparked the idea that I could design spaces as a career and I have never looked back.
Spaces of interest
My favorite architect is Louis Kahn. I visited the Salk Institute he designed in April 2013 in La Jolla, Calif., and took many photographs! I'm also fascinated by the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, N.Y. The building designed by Herzog & de Meuron is oriented to take advantage of northern light on the siteinside, it's beautiful.
NYIT students, alumni, and professors. I like to learn from others who have passed through the design program before me. There is always something to learn and room to grow.
Day-to-day spontaneous encounters more than anything else. I catch ideas in conversations and observations of people.
I'm involved with a Christian church called Glory Zone and have gone on several of its missionary trips over the past six years. They have been to impoverished areas of Mexico, where we have brought food and clothing, and performed skits and lessons for the children in nearby villages.
Advice to live by
My father told me, "Act as though you belong, and you will." I visited the New York Design Center as a freshman at NYITwith boldness I acted as a professional and was able to walk around a few showrooms for the first time. This advice gives me greater confidence in myself to act as the person I dream of becoming.