Author Archives: Emma Silverman

Student Spotlight: Alex Goetz


Name: Alex Goetz
Membership Type: Student
School/Experience: I am a fifth year Interior Architecture student at University of Oregon and have previously interned with Maharam as well as Veronica Shean Interior Design.
IIDA member since: 2013

Favorite IIDA event: I have loved the opportunity to go on tours of amazingly designed spaces like the University of Oregon Hatfield-Dowlin Complex. I missed the Design Crawl, but would have loved to see all those spaces too!

Hobbies?: Netflix, baking, spending time with friends, and Netflix.

What gets you excited about design?: The potential that each project has. There’s so much you can do to transform a space and having the power to make that change is incredible. I get the most excited when I get to work on adaptive reuse buildings with worn brick and exposed structural components… Love it!

Favorite color at the moment?: I have always gravitated towards bright colors. My all-time favorite is a yellow-green color (and variations of that), but I’ve also been liking this seafoam/teal color lately. Whenever I have the chance, one of those will most likely be incorporated into my designs.

Why are you a member of IIDA?: Throughout college, IIDA has really given me the opportunity to meet people in the interior architecture field, which will be extremely beneficial for my future. You learn a lot and get to share your passion with others, which makes it even better!

Member Spotlight: Kate Stuart



Name: Kate Stuart
Membership Type: Professional
Company/Position: GBD Architects / Interior Designer
Years of Experience: 3
IIDA Member since: 2008

Why did you decide to take the NCIDQ?: I decided to take the NCIDQ to further my career as a professional interior designer. Although it is not required in the state of Oregon I believe it further distinguishes me as a design professional with the knowledge and abilities to enhance the wellbeing of people!

What does having your license mean to you?: I am not a decorator! Having my license is a great accomplishment to me! It shows to my employer and other design professionals that I possess the knowledge and skills to create healthy and safe environments. But…to the state of Oregon it means very little! I could already call myself an interior designer and I still need an Architect’s stamp on drawings that I create. This really struck me recently when a family member asked what it meant to pass the NCIDQ, I laughed and said well not much in Oregon!

If you could choose a title act or a practice act, which would you choose and why?: I would choose the practice act. I don’t think having a title is enough to reflect what I do. Years of work experience and passing the NCIDQ examination ensures my ability to create safe interior environments. By requiring an Architect’s stamp ($$$!) on interior drawings I could not be competitive starting my own small business. Having the ability to practice interior design on my own guarantees Oregonians with safe, healthy, and sustainable environments!

How does having your license affect your career?: I am now eligible to become an Associate within the Architecture firm I work for.

Member Spotlight: Maddy Gorman

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Name: Maddy Gorman
Membership Type: Student
School/Experience: I am currently a 5th year student at the University of Oregon studying Interior Architecture. I was also a student interior design intern for Ankrom Moisan Architects this past summer.

Favorite IIDA event: The Student Design Charrette last Spring was my first and favorite IIDA event (so far). I wanted to get more involved as a student, so I convinced myself to attend, despite being nervous about working on a fast-paced project with someone I had never met before. It ended up being incredibly invigorating. I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses by working with my partner, and about how I think as a designer. It was also the first time applying what I have learned in school to something outside of my classes. I highly recommend this event to students. It is so much fun, you start connecting with people in the design field early, and it shows you what you are capable of that you may not have realized.

Favorite space designed in Portland: This isn’t a commercial project, but the Harpoon House in SE Portland has really influenced the way that I think about space. I was fortunate to tour the home last fall for my Micro Living studio. I think it successfully demonstrates how you can make a small space feel large using windows, outdoor space, multi-functional furniture, and clever ways of combining functions and activities. It is only about 700 square feet but feels so easily livable – the thought put into how the owners use the space, the creative ways in which the spaces are organized and how the circulation wraps up through the house is really inspiring.

Hobbies: Rock scrambling, kayaking, rafting, hiking, and bike rides are some of the things I enjoy most when I have the time. I also love road trips, especially to National Parks. My mother makes jewelry, so I spend time creating necklaces with her when I am home on breaks. Pinterest has a way of getting my endorphins going and being a great time suck.

Interesting fact: This is more of a message to all of the struggling and confused beginning design students. When I entered the IARC program at the University of Oregon my freshman year, I knew close to nothing about architecture (I didn’t even know who Frank Lloyd Wright was). I went in to one of my professor’s office multiple times that year crying, because I kept comparing myself to everyone else and believed that I wasn’t meant to be designer because I was too practical, too much of a “concrete thinker.” One day, I drew a diagram showing how I felt – sometimes I felt inspired and excited, other times I felt that I wasn’t cut out for this field. She just looked at me and pointed out the fact that I had just drawn a diagram to show my thoughts, and that is part of what designers do. She explained that some students come in with knowledge and some don’t, but at some point, it would mostly level out. Long story short, that tiny seed of visual thinking kept me in the program, and I stuck with it and have no regrets. I slowly grew from knowing nothing to feeling like I have found my niche and am very excited for my future. The lesson: You will learn, and you will grow, and you will exercise all areas of your mind over time, so do not compare yourself because people learn at different rates. You don’t have to be the best as long as you are your best. You will get there if it is what you want to do.

Why are you a member of IIDA?: I became an official member at the same time that I joined the executive board for University of Oregon IIDA. It became really important to me to get involved, to offer great opportunities for students newer to the IARC program, and encouraging others to get involved and use all of the great resources. I have met so many talented designers and people within the field, and it has been a great way to make connections and prepare myself for becoming a professional. I think it is pretty unique that people in the same field who work in all different places throughout the city and state can come together and develop relationships, and it is always a lot of fun. I look forward to being able to attend more events in Portland once I move back!

Member Spotlight: Kirsten Justice

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Name: Kirsten Justice
Membership Type: Associate
Company/Position: ZGF Architects | Associate Interior Designer
Years of Experience: 14 years @ ZGF | 16 years of experience total
IIDA Member since: 2012

What gets you excited about design?: Designing for challenging, compact spaces. I’m currently helping a friend in the Netherlands make his dream of designing and moving into a mini-house come true.

Favorite design magazine/blog?: One of my favorite design websites is It covers anything from new sustainable technologies to European design trends.

On a typical Saturday where can we find you?: Cheering for my kids on the soccer field and for sure in the yoga studio. Yoga is the perfect way to recharge my batteries.

Interesting fact?: I’ve lived in Portland for 14 years and I still find it hard to like coffee…

Why are you a member of IIDA?: My degree is in Architecture and after being undecided for about 10 years I decided to join IIDA. It provides the perfect opportunity to engage with the design community. This IIDA chapter is so supportive and dedicated that I regret having missed on great events all those years.