Member Spotlight: Melisa Gruber, Associate IIDA

Name: Melisa Gruber
Company / Position: SERA Architects / Interior Designer
IIDA member since: 2013

Favorite IIDA event: The IIDA Design Excellence Awards was the first IIDA Oregon Chapter event I attended. I was inspired by the chance to see how other designers were making an impact in our industry. Hearing the jurors discuss about the passion and importance behind their work was encouraging and influential to grow my career in a similar direction.

Why are you a member of IIDA?: I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the board as Secretary and Director of Event Sponsorship. There’s value in the amount of teamwork it takes to host an event, a forum, and an awards ceremony and being a part of that has been remarkable for my career growth. This kind of teamwork gave me a unique chance to network with my peers from other firms, tackle new design challenges, and feel a sense of pride for the positive impact we made through our invested time and hard work. Even though I am no longer on the board, I have stayed a member to maintain my connections with other designers in Oregon.

Tell us a bit about your creative process: My creative process starts with visualizing space in 3D. What’s the first thing you see? What welcomes you? A space should not only speak to a brand, but tell a story.

 What gets you excited about design? When I walk into a space, I tend to notice craftsmanship. I enjoy the level of detail and variety of small pieces that come together to create a thoughtful space.

 What is your personal mantra?: “It’s the journey, not the destination” This speaks tremendously to the ups and downs we face in our lives. Personally, it speaks to me about growth and the hard work I’ve had to put in to accomplish my goals. It’s also a reminder to consider opportunities hidden within challenges, instead of just rushing to a solution.