Interior Design Month continues as we interview student Mark Griffin, winner of the Interior Design prize in the FIDM National Scholarship Competition. Though only a first-year FIDM Interior Design Student, Mark is a participant in FIDM's "Chairing Styles" Program. He also works full-time and has a family. Talk about talent and focus! --Belissa
How did you come to enroll in FIDM?
I knew I wanted a career in some form of design. I frequently visited the FIDM website and the the FIDM National Scholarship Competition caught my eye. It was just about 5 days before the deadline to submit an entry when I had the project information emailed to me. I figured I had nothing to lose by trying so I put my creative juices to work. I had the project overnighted to arrive exactly on the due date.
To my surprise, two months later I received a call from my Admissions Advisor saying the competition judges were very impressed with my work, but I could not win until I had been accepted to the school.
It was a fast-paced race to get me through the grammar and math exams, get a hold of my high school transcripts, not to mention schedule an interview with the Director of Admissions.
The race was worth it! I was awarded the scholarship and was now enrolled in FIDM.
What drew you to FIDM?
I chose to apply to FIDM based on its reputation in the industry. My first step towards a risky career change was to start with the right education. I toured the school and was impressed with what I saw. Now it was a matter of, ”What am I doing?” Can I make it in college after being out of school for 22 years? I figured if FIDM had enough confidence in my work to award me one full year's tuition then I should do the same, so I dove right in!
What do you plan to do with your FIDM Interior Design degree?
When entering FIDM, I had my mind set on working my way into Set Design.
At this point, I am exploring all that the ID industry has to offer and keeping my options open. I feel that things are falling in place and my destiny with this will find me.
What is your dream job?
My dream job would be to work on a production team for a major motion picture or television series. I have had some experience in the entertainment industry and that is where my heart lies.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration for design in everything around me: In color, in pattern, in emotion. As for my inspiration to move forward or to go for my goals, I find that in my wife and kids.
Anything else you'd like to tell aspiring FIDM ID Students? It is never too late! you can go after your new dreams and reach new goals.
When looking at the very heavy work load that is involved with the FIDM Interior Design Program, don’t get overwhelmed. You can make it work.
Just look at me and all that I juggle. Even with all I have on my plate I have managed to maintain straight A’s for my first three quarters. If I can do it, then so can you!
How did you get involved in"Chairing Styles"?
I have always had an interest in furniture design.
When the opportunity came up to apply for “Chairing Styles” I jumped at it. Although I technically was too new to FIDM to be a candidate, I thought I would give the application process a shot. I was only in my second quarter and did not have all that was requested for the portfolio.
I gave them what I had and walked into the interview ready for the battle. I did my best to assure then I could face the challenge. I was so happy when I was picked!
What type of project are you working on for "Chairing Styles"?
"Chairing Styles" is a program and competition that is made up of a small collaborating group of Interior Design, Textile, and Fashion Design students. We are grouped into teams of three with one from each division. Our goal is to use the fabric designed by the Textile Student to create an inspired design for a chair and a dress.
As an ID student we go through the process of learning how to design a chair. We are then paired up
with furniture manufacturers who volunteer their time and materials to mentor us and take us through the manufacturing process.
This is an ongoing relationship that stretches through Summer and into early Spring, when the FIDM DEBUT takes place.
At the completion of this manufacturing process we are judged on our design and use of fabric. If you are the fortunate First Place Winner, you are awarded $8,000!
But we are all winners to have had this opportunity to gain the much-needed skills, not to mention how
the “Chairing Styles” Project looks on our resumes and in our portfolios.
(Mark's rendering of his "Chairing Styles" chair is above.)
Anything else you'd like to add?
I am very proud to have the opportunity to be a part of "Chairing Styles. I have great admiration and respect for my fellow students. It is a diverse group who have been nothing if not supportive of each other. I look forward to carrying my experience and these relationships with me into my future career!