Member Spotlight: Mia Allen, Associate IIDA

Name: Mia Allen
Company: SERA Architects
Position/Years of Experience: Interior Designer, 13 years
IIDA member since: 2013

Why are you a member of IIDA?: When I first joined IIDA, I signed up to be the Chair of Student Affairs. It was in this role that I acted as a liaison between students, educators and the professional community. I found this position to be very rewarding, as I was able to make a strong impact on students lives by planning events that were centered around education, networking and professional growth. After four years of being on the Student Affairs team I realized it was time to take the next big step. I saw the value of taking on a leadership role within the organization, as the leaders around me continued to amaze me everyday. The previous presidents had taken on initiatives that had a lasting impact on their work and the design community at large.  I am excited to continue to work on the many great initiatives they set in place, as well as build on new initiatives that support our chapter, as we continue to grow into the modern day chapter we are today.

Favorite IIDA event: Student Design Charette.  This event is one of my favorites. I helped to launch the IIDA Oregon Chapter local charette here in Portland during my first year on the board. We set the local student charette up to help prepare students for the national competition that IIDA HQ was hosting at Neocon each year. We decided the following year to encourage other western region chapters to host local charettes in their cities as well. Winning teams from each western region state, would then send winning teams on to compete regionally. Each year we moved the location of the regional charette to one of the cities of the participating western region states. This gave students the opportunity to travel and compete with a variety of students from different schools and years. We can proudly say we have sent  over 20+ students to compete regionally, some of which have made it into the final winning teams at the international level.

What are you currently working on?: I recently joined the workplace team at SERA and have been working on a variety of workplace projects large and small.  I am a design manager on a workplace cafe remodel project and a lead designer on a small tenant improvement office project here in Portland. I am also the lead Interior Designer for a new build workplace project in California that I am really excited about, as we have a great team gearing up to do some amazing work!

What does interior design legislation mean to you?: The more I have grown in my profession, the more important design legislation has become to me.  It is time we be recognized as qualified Interior Designers. I’m excited to lead the advocacy efforts with our chapter this year. We are looking to create a grassroots campaign, one that resonates with our members, our community and our government. We are putting advocacy at the heart of everything we do this year.  Please join us in this movement and be a design advocate for our profession. It is time to raise the glass ceiling.

What is your personal mantra?: To work hard, but also find time to enjoy the things you love.