Member Spotlight: MaKayla Page

Name: MaKayla Page
School/Year in School: Oregon State University/ Junior
IIDA member since: 2018, my freshman year.

Favorite IIDA event:

I think I would have to say my favorite event is the student design charette. I first competed in 2020 and was fortunate enough to win 1st place with my team in the Oregon regionals. Although, the preceding competitions were canceled because of the virus that shall not be named. Luckily, IIDA was able to transfer the experience into a remote format for 2021 where my team members and I were selected as 1st place winners in the Oregon region. I am now ready to move on to the next portion of the competition and look forward to the experience. IIDA and the charette has been incredibly impactful on me because I am a first generation high school grad and a first generation college student. Competing in these competitions have given me an immense amount of experience and knowledge of the scope of interior design and of my peers. Winning has given me a great deal of assurance in myself and my capabilities. The experience is stressful and hours pass like minutes, but I love it! I thrive in a collaborative environment and the pressure from the clock helps us create diamonds. 

Why did you choose to study interior design?

After many scholarship essays and applications, I think I have finally figured out the reason I chose interior design. I grew up in an environment where I didn’t always feel safe and I didn’t find much relief until I discovered interior decorating and interior design. I have experienced the effect of interior design on a person’s quality of life on a very personal and deep level. Our built environment is directly connected to our sense of safety and quality of life. Even though I found this career through HGTV, it is much more than what they show you. It is incredibly important, which is something I have learned in my time at OSU. There is psychology, anthropology, sustainability, art, sociology, observational sciences, color theory and so much wrapped up in this career choice. I look at it from a long term, sustainable, human centered and customer point of view. I want to create spaces that make people feel safe, comfortable, special and are unique to their needs that are also beautiful. 

What does being a designer mean to your life?:

I grew up with the identity of an art kid. My family really supported me within the fine arts. My grandfather specifically wanted me in art classes and got me any art supplies I wanted even though we were in a lower socioeconomic class and money was scarce. It never really felt right for me though. Something was off about it and I have come to realize I am much more a design kid than an art kid. Those who are not within these industries don’t really understand the difference or the true connections. Design is more structured and it is much more connected to functionality. It is an iterative process that relies heavily on one of my favorite things, brainstorming. It’s about building and evolving on what we have now. It’s progress. I am also an extremely empathetic person. I always want to help and care for everyone. Being a designer fits my personality like an ever morphing glove. Because of this connection with people and a progress focused career, I get to have an impact on our values and norms of our society. 

What project have you worked on that you are most proud of? Why?

My freshman year OSU offered a two term class where we could renovate a space located on campus. For my particular case it was spaces found in the lobby/ ground floor of a dormitory. We formed teams/ companies then pitched our ideas for the spaces we were interested in to the instructor and those within university housing. My team ended up with the north vestibule. No, this was not our top pick. However, I am thankful it’s the space we ended up with. Our company name was 6th Sense and we worked amazing together! This was the project that really showed me how much I enjoy working collaboratively. We presented several iterations and then those in charge of the project voted on what they liked best. We provided those within the university housing with a painting schedule and specifications for the design. We worked with a local designer to create a feature wall/ sign that reflected the specific communities within the dorm. Our design took hits from reality and we bounced forward. My team was amazing. The end result was gorgeous and I get to hear people on campus talk about how they really like our design thinking it was created by some professional architect. 

What is your personal mantra?:

“Live to be happy.” My grandfather lent me this mantra. It means to know what makes you happy and within our current “hustle culture” to live for now. It keeps you out of the past and too far into the future. It prevents you from living for someone else. It keeps the overall life goal to just be happy, whatever that may be in that point in time.