Member Spotlight

September 2017

Yu-Hsiang Fu


Growing up in Taichung City, Taiwan, Yu-Hsiang was deeply influenced by his older brothers whose professional achievements served as a motivational example for him. He started his design journey as an Industrial Design student at Chang Gung University in Taiwan. However, his fascination with daily objects and their effect on people’s lives was soon replaced by a strong curiosity about interiors. After working for two and half years at a high-end residential and retail design firm in Taiwan, Yu-Hsiang applied to NYSID’s Master of Fine Arts (Post-Professional) in Interior Design program which he graduated from in May, 2017.

Yu-Hsiang completed internships at Input Creative Studio and multidisciplinary firm AVROKO. He is currently employed at Mapos Studio as an interior designer responsible for the retail design projects of the studio. His next step is to get involved in a variety of interesting projects and hone his film and photography skill. 

  

What is the best advice that you were ever given?

I was given the most impactful pieces of advice by my mentor and by my brother. They once told me - “Decide that your desire for something is stronger than your fear of it.” and “Opportunities come to those who are prepared”. Although they sound simple and probably a bit cliché, they keep me strong when I am faced with challenges. These powerful words help me set my goals even if they might seem unattainable at first.

How do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from the street, exhibitions, magazines, photos that I have taken and from Pinterest. I collect and categorize all images in separate Pinterest boards. That becomes a substantial database with more than 15 thousand images that keeps growing.

How have you been building your resume while still in school?

I'm always interested in attending events, workshops and competitions. I see them as opportunities to build and enhance my resume. While working on school projects, I like to push the boundaries and challenge myself to think outside the box. As a result, I became the Grand Prize Winner of the ASID National Student Portfolio Competition. My projects demonstrated fresh and unique ideas that amazed the professors, jurors and interviewers. Moreover, I got an internship at a leading hospitality design firm and several other interview opportunities.

What are your favorite new trends, materials, practices, software, etc.?

I’m interested in the new trends that are currently transforming retail design, including the connection between the online and the physical store and the new technologies used to enhance shopping experience such as AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), AL (Artificial Intelligence).

How has being an ASID member helped you?

As an ASID student member, I attended several ASID events and competitions so I could connect with various industry members and peers, and work on building my brand and reputation. I was impressed by the Student Portfolio Review Events, which helped me gain valuable advice from the mentors. Furthermore, as the Grand Prize winner of the ASID Student Portfolio Competition, I got the opportunities to network with leading manufacturers and professionals during the ASID Awards Gala, the SCALE student summit event and a tour of Hansgrohe’s headquarters.

You have already graduated and have found placement in an interior design firm. What comes next?

First, as a designer at Mapos Studio I am striving to implement what I have learned through the course of my Master’s degree and demonstrate my abilities and the value that I could bring to the company. Second, I will keep attending ASID events so I could expand my connections with more professionals which could bring me even more opportunities. Finally, I would like to further my knowledge and get involved in different types of projects such as industrial design, exhibition curating, photography, and projects that bring people with different backgrounds together.

 

To view more examples of Yu-Hsiang’s work visit  yuhsiangfu.com.
His portfolio can be viewed at https://issuu.com/yuhsiangfu/docs/portfolio

 

August, 2017

Allison Rothbart


What is the best advice that you were ever given?

A good friend once told me, "You can design your life exactly how you want it to be." She explained  that there is no rule book. If you like to cook, become a chef. If you love dogs, work at the ASPCA. For me, the one thing I always loved to do was interior design. I thought to myself, what if I could turn this passion and hobby into a career?

What are the traits that you think are essential for success in interior design?

My skills as a business owner were learned through my formal schooling; however, a lot of my skills as a designer were learned by practice in the field.  The foundation of having a business degree has been very valuable to running my own interior design business, Avenue Design Group. I learned about marketing, finance, entrepreneurship and operations management. However, professionalism is something that cannot be taught at school. It comes from within.  It shines through the genuine desire to make your client happy while creating a beautiful space.

How do you find inspiration?

I see design all around me. Especially when I'm watching TV shows and look at the set design - the style is often on point for the time period. I often can name the brand of each and every piece of furniture. This annoys my husband as I shout it out during a show! Also, when I walk into beautiful retail stores such as the Ralph Lauren store on Madison Avenue, for example, the design typically exudes style, right down to the scent in the air. I see these stores take a lot of design risks, both with the clothing and interior design, and they always pull it off flawlessly.

How do you keep up with new trends, materials, practices, software?

Going to the D&D Building and 200 Lexington Avenue, as well as other trade buildings is very helpful. That way when I need to bring a client there for an impromptu meeting, I know exactly where to find the best green ultra leather, for example. No guessing in front of the client! I try to go to as many trade shows as possible to meet new vendors. A designer is only as good as his or her vendors.

How has being an ASID member helped you?

Being an ASID member is a huge badge of honor for an interior designer. Not only does it link me to a huge network of talented trades people and other designers which I can collaborate with, but also there are constantly so many great trade events to attend. Moreover, just having ASID on my business card gives me confidence that when I give my card to a client or trades person, there is a enormous team behind me backing up my credibility.

Should an Interior Designer ever say NO to a job?

When I was first starting out as an independent interior designer, it was very hard for me to say no to a job. I actually took on jobs for small amounts of compensation just to get my foot in the door. However, as you become a little bit more senior, it is vital that you interview the client while the client is interviewing you. It needs to be a good mutual fit. I have a list of questions I run through with them such as: What is your decision-making style? How easy is it to contact you and if so by what means of communication? Do you like to work in person together or virtually? What is your desired budget? Have you ever worked with a designer before and if so what did you like and dislike about the experience? Why are you not working with that person anymore? Etc. At the end of the interview, I take some time on my own to collect my thoughts about the project and if doesn't seem like a good fit, I am always happy to refer them to a colleague who may be better suited for the work.

What would you be, if you weren't a designer?

I'm head over heels in love with my puppy Australian Shepard, Bill. If you don't believe me just check out my work Instagram @avenue.design.group. I would probably work with dogs in some capacity. Training or working at a pet shelter. Their compassion and love for others is unmatched by humans. And who can resist those puppy eyes?

For more information on Allison and her work head over to her website below:

www.avenuedesigngroupny.com