Highlighting the SDO Show

Students in the interior design program gathered for this year’s Student Design Organization (SDO) Show held at the Campus Center on Feb. 26. 

The show is held each year for students to meet and connect with professionals in the interior design industry. It featured multiple activities, including a flower bouquet shop, free headshots, student awards for competition-based projects and a panel featuring Katie Vrabel, the Principal of Vrabel Consulting, and Amanda Medlin, the CEO of Interior Design Organization (IDO) Incorporated.  


Flower bouquets for sale at the SDO Show

Vrabel and Medlin spoke about their experiences within interior design and answered questions students had for them regarding advice for their career paths, some of which revolved around mentoring and networking.  

Networking was a major topic in this year’s event. The show also included vendor booths featuring various interior design companies for students to learn about and connect with.  

SDO’s president, Erica Steward, was a key part in planning the annual event. Steward, a senior in the interior design program, provided her insight into the organization and the buildup towards the SDO show.  

“We have monthly meetings that we call ‘Lunch and Learns.’ We have local reps for different companies, like flooring or a furniture company, bring us lunch while we learn about their products, and what they do in the industry,” Steward said.  

According to Steward, these meetings eventually culminate in the annual SDO show, where the primary goal is for students to showcase their skills and introduce themselves to companies and key figures in the industry. 


Student projects presented at the show

“The design competition is a big one because it’s the first time professionals are looking at their projects and judging them,” Steward said. 

This project-based student competition is one of the highlights of the yearly show. Students submit their class projects for professionals to review and decide which projects exceed their expectations, with some students winning awards for their work.  

Near the end of the event, the competition winners were announced, including Aaliyah Dillon, a sophomore majoring in interior design. Dillon spoke highly about being awarded for her work, as it gave her motivation and knowledge on where to go regarding her path in interior design.  

“It gave me a sense of, ‘I belong,’ because now that I have submitted this project others have seen it, they accept my work so I feel like I can push farther now,” Dillon said.  

Dillon shared the concept behind her award-winning project.  

“This was a residential project where we had an assigned floor plan and we had to go through and layout lighting as needed to make our space feel more personal and altered towards the client,” said Dillon.  

Vivian Crimmins, a junior majoring in interior design, also won an award based on her project and shared how her achievement taught her a lesson for her career path.  


Several other student projects in display

“(Last year) I did not submit any project because it was my first year and I did not know what to expect,” said Crimmins.  “Now that I have that kind of background of knowing what to expect I can do better in my next classes."  

Crimmins shared the process around her project as well, which centered around a boutique hotel in Greece.  

“For mine, it was our final project in textiles, and it was a commercial project,” Crimmins said. “We had to pick finishes for walls and for task and lobby chairs for the reception area as well as the floor applicant application.” 

Following the end of the awards, Crimmins gave her thoughts to people curious about pursuing interior design as a career path.  


Illustrations included at the show

“Kind of get your foot in the door a little bit and do a minor with it,” Crimmins said. “If you end up really liking it, then you can go fully majoring in it, I think that’s a good way to look at it.” 

Dylan shared similar thoughts and encouraged people who are interested to take a chance on interior design.  

“There’s a lot of creative freedom and just a lot of different areas that you can go into with interior design,” Dillon said. “If you feel like you want to do it, just go for it.”  

Daniel Guevara is a sophomore studying Journalism at the School of Liberal Arts. He is a campus writer for the Campus Citizen. 

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Campus Citizen, IUPUI