NYIT interior design students pose with their winning design.


Interior Design Students’ Work Is Rock Solid

December 14, 2018

Five interior design students in NYIT School of Architecture and Design came in first place at the Elements of Style textile design challenge sponsored by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and Kravet, distributor of fabrics, furniture, wall coverings, trimmings, carpets, and accessories. The competition was held at The New York Design Center on September 25.

The winning team included Smruthi Balasubramanian, Olivia Blankson, Rosemary Mahoney, Karla Perez, and Nicole Wolert.

Students from schools throughout the metropolitan area were challenged to create a textile design based on an element, including stone, plant/flowers, glass, water, perfectly imperfect, leaves/forest, gems, and faux bois. The students had one day to come up with their design, which was then digitally printed at one of Kravet’s mills.


The students' mood board.

“The objective was for students to bridge their design education with the real design world,” said Adjunct Instructor Randi Halpern. “Students engaged in a series of brainstorming sessions, rapid problem-solving sequences, and experienced a totally diverse form of learning. This can prove to be a great source of self-evaluation for students and help nurture their experience and skills further.”

After an intense day of designing, the chairs were judged on October 3 and the winning pattern was revealed at a party on November 15.

“I was completely surprised when the judges revealed that we won!” said Blankson. “Overall, I was pleased with our ability to come together and create a winning design.”


The students had just one day to come up with their textile pattern.

This is the second time NYIT interior design students won this competition. They also took home the prize in 2016.

“Our program prides itself on winning interior design-related awards,” said Associate Professor Charles Matz. “[It] has a history of bringing home substantial prizes. So the benefits are real to each and every participant by shining a spotlight on their prowess.”

The students used their combined knowledge of analysis and sketching in order to create a cohesive design with their team. “Participating in the Kravet textile design competition was truly an experience,” said Blankson. “I learned firsthand just how important communication and teamwork is in the design world. Through all the ups and downs, we were finally able to produce a textile that represented our vision of stone.”