money series: hudreds of green dollar texture

Yea I thought that would get your attention.

The wonderful people at Houzz, the online design community, are making available a significant scholarship opportunity for Interior Design and Architecture students.


Who couldn’t use a bit of help with school next semester?

Check out their website and go to this link to see how you can apply.

Do it soon, do it today, DO IT NOW!

Holiday Card Contest

holidays_card_570What a chance to showcase your artistic skills? Good at watercolors? Pastels? Pen and ink? Maybe Adobe Illustrator? Well here’s your opportunity!!

The IAD Department is presenting all current IAD students with a chance to design our Winter Holiday card this year. All you have to do is create an image that will be professionally printed as the Holiday card that will go out to designs firms all over the Bay Area.

The winner, chosen by a blind panel, will receive a Starbucks gift card and have their name printed on the back of the card as the artist.

The simple rules are as follows:

  • The image must be all original work.
  • Any medium can be used, either computer or hand drawn/rendered
  • A high quality scanned/digital image at 150dpi minimum
  • Created/saved in CMYK if computer generated
  • Submitted as a TIFF, PNG, or Jpeg
  • Original images should be not smaller than 5” x 7”
  • Must creatively express IAD department, AAU, and/or the winter holiday season
  • Image only. No text.
  • Submission deadline is November 11th.
  • One submission per student
  • Must include student’s name/ID number on the email NOT on the image.

Email submissions to

Attach images as a separate file. Do not embed images into the email.

Any submissions not conforming to the guidelines will not be considered.

If you have any questions, contact Mark Miller at


Gary Hutton

gary_editedA successful designer can come from anywhere, a big city, a small town, even an apple orchard in Northern California. Such is the case with this month’s featured designer, Gary Hutton. As an art student at UC Davis in the 70’s, his exposure to significant artists informed and shaped his view on design that he continues to express with style and panache today.

After graduating from design school, his first project, a restaurant on Union Square, garnered him attention from San Francisco society and established his bona fides early in his career. Having that project published in Interior Design Magazine in 1979 certainly didn’t hurt!

In addition to continuing his cutting edge design work for clients, Gary branched out into designing furniture in 1986. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, he must feel quite flattered indeed. According to his website “his signature Ciao Table has been copied and reproduced by some of the biggest home retailers in America.”

His first book Art House, (Assouline, New York), will be unveiled at the Fall Art & Antiques Show at Ft. Mason on October 28th.

Our own Assel Abilova (Graduating SP 2017) caught up with Gary at his studio to ask him a few questions.

Assel: Your office looks amazing! _mg_5592

(Gary looking through files) Gary:  This is what it looked like before we got here. The skylight really excited me. This was originally a warehouse. It was used for flowers, eggs, even at one point a Chinese noodle factory. This building didn’t even have an address. There wasn’t any phone service._mg_5567

A: Could you describe your signature interior design style as it shows in the office? 

G: The work we do is primarily contemporary.  We’ve done some traditional work in the past, but it is not my passion.


A: I understand you also design furniture? How did that develop?

G: I was doing an interior design project and I couldn’t find what I needed, so I made it. Because, my first degree was in art practice and sculpture, I had an understanding about the materials needed. Then I found people who could make it for me. It sort of evolve into a furniture line from there.

A:  Where do you draw your decor inspiration from?

G: Fine art. My best client, Chara Schreyer, is a serious contemporary art collector. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at her art collection and being inspired by that.

A: Who is your favorite designer, architect?

G: I greatly admire, Orlando Diaz. I also admire Clodagh in New York. Zak Rouge from Paris he is very terrific, his work is very beautiful and lyrical. And there are so many great designers here in the Bay Area.

A: I understand that you taught classes at the Academy a few years ago. What did you enjoy most about that experience?

G: I really enjoyed the interaction with the students. Sitting down one on one, talking about the projects. That was fun.

A: What are some of your favorite sources for products here in the area?
G: There so many great resources in the Bay Area. Incredible Stone are wonderful people to work with. Lusy Artwork in Berkley with their bronze work. And there are all sorts of resources in the Design Center. There are wood workers and wallpapers, just a lot here in the area.

A: Any cool new projects you can tell me about?

G: We’ve just finished my book! It’s not available yet though. It will be in stores by the end of November. The book is about my client Chara and myself. We’ve worked together almost 40 years. It is about her art collection and the 5 houses I designed for her, 3 in the Bay Area and 2 in Los Angeles.  Her collection is amazing. It is so wonderful to work with her amazing pieces of art. In Los Angeles, we had a problem with sound proofing, so we came up with the idea of covering the walls with brushes.

A: If you could not be a designer, who would you be or what would you do?

G: I don’t know. (laughing). Probably a cook. It is my hobby.

A: What is your favorite cuisine then?

G: Italian.

A: What skills are you looking for when hiring interns and designers?

G: Computer skills are obviously very important. But more important is curiosity. People who are curious about things, and want to find out. We try to go about things (see things) in a different way. For example brushes on walls in the LA house. We had to a lot of research. We wanted to know and find out how things work. Not just using a flat carpet, and stripes on a chair. That’s perfectly fine, but it is not how we would design. In an apartment here in San Francisco, we used toilet paper rolls as screen, and the floors were white epoxy. It was around 10 years ago, nobody had done it before. Ultimately it’s about doing a lot of research and solving problems.

A: What’s your advice for aspiring interior designers?

G: Be curious! There is so much information right now! You’ve got to get out and experience!

A: Thank you so much.

G: My pleasure.

Museum House

‘Museum House is a complete renovation in Los Angeles, that was designed with a focus on housing an extraordinary collection of contemporary art while maintaining an accessible domestic quality. From a media room with sound absorbing brush panels to a custom dining table made of white Japanese glass and polished stainless steel, Gary Hutton Design shows that functional relationships needn’t be boring or expected.’




Check out all the amazing designs from Mr. Hutton on his website

Look for his new book Art House, (Assouline, New York), in bookstores in November.

Pictures provided by Gary Hutton Designs and used by permission

Silent Auction – Make Some Noise!

Imagine “The Imagine Bus Project.” A non profit organization that helps young people involved in the juvenile justice system, find new purpose through art.

The mission statement from their website reads:

Through arts education and community partnerships, The Imagine Bus Project engages and inspires incarcerated youth, and youth impacted by the juvenile justice system. We enable self-expression and positive personal development so that young people can successfully re-enter their communities and find a path to a fulfilling future.

Our own IAD club is partnering with “The Imagine Bus Project” to help raise money for young people in the program. 20 students and faculty members each created a unique tote bag. It’s YOUR job to bid on the bags and help us raise money for this worthwhile outreach. The winning bid on each bag  will get both that tote bag AND even more importantly, the knowledge that he or she has contributed to changing a troubled youth’s life.

Find the bags on your right just as you pass the double doors on the first floor of 601 Brannan.

I mean REALLY… where else can you change the world and get a “designer” bag for such a low price??

The Coach store has nothing on these beauties

The Coach store has nothing on these beauties


Ariel Magidson – Graduating SP2017


Hi! My name is Ariel and this is my last year here at the Academy. This school has brought me really wondrous opportunities and has guided me in all the right directions. I was a lost student when I first came here, I had just previously left University of Arizona with no clue what I was going to pursue, other than “I like art, I think?” I chose the IAD program because I’ve always loved re-arranging my room as well as my friends, whether they liked it or not. I’d even organize my parent’s office, kitchen, and living room in the middle of the night and wake up and say “surprise”! My mom would joke and call me “the cleaning fairy”, but in the back of my mind, I knew it was more than that. Fast forward 15 years, and here I am living my dream. I’m organizing spaces, planning, drawing, and creating. It never stops. I carry my sketch book everywhere. Sometimes I only write a quote, or a glimpse of a conversation I heard, but a majority of the time it holds doodles and quick sketches. It’s nothing special, but it has made me a stronger designer in all aspects. It isn’t about being the best, it is about doing your best.

The past 4 years have been intense. I go to school every semester. Yes, that includes fall semester, winter intersession, spring semester, summer intersession and summer semester, every year for the past 4 years! I can’t get enough! I recently finished an internship with Bernhardt Design in their commercial San Francisco show room. I had applied using the AAU Job board, if you can, use this! There is so much information and jobs out there waiting for us to get our hands on! I met so many designers, sales reps, and others working in the Interior/architecture design industry. I’ve attended a few IIDA events, and have collected a huge stack of business cards; I even have my own now. Earlier this year I made it in the top 10 commercial designs for Sherwin Williams. I also was chosen 1st runner up winner for a design contest working with the famous designer Roger Thomas in Las Vegas. I most recently got a job at One Workplace San Francisco (via the AAU Job Board). I’m working 4 days a week right beside amazing designers. Just a few months ago, I was dreading the thought of graduation. Then I got a job in the industry I’ve been learning about for 3 years, and I couldn’t be any more excited. So many opportunities have come my way because I’ve worked extremely hard to get here as well as through the amazing support of the teachers and staff here at the Academy. I have learned success won’t just fall out of thin air, you must push yourself. Be a sponge and absorb all the information around you, it’s there for a reason! I’m currently studying to get my LEED AP, working, and finishing up my last two semesters, then off to the real world! I can’t wait to see what all of us do after graduation.


One Workplace’s Pig


Our Living Wall


I manage the Materials Library


IIDA Student Competition HERE!!

10998648_782268951852111_2605110845934113953_nThe International Interior Design Association has announced the 2016 Student Design Competition. It has been slated as a mixed use or better described as a co-working space. There are some really unique features and interesting challenges presented this year. The follow was taken from the IIDA-SDC Brief:

Social selling or social retail is a massive and disruptive change to the old and stale business-to-consumer retail model. Makers and sellers no longer need traditional distribution and big box stores to reach consumers with their products with companies like Stella & Dot, Matilda Jane, and Juice Plus being born from this model.

After 5 years of steady growth, co-working spaces are no longer a fad; they are part of today’s office ecosystem. The makers and sellers of the social retail boom need workspace, and the co-working model offers the right combination of affordability and flexibility to operate a business, make/generate their product, and display it. This year, IIDA would like SDC participants to look at the future of social retailing workspace with the creation of Social Station.

The 2016 IIDA SDC invites you to create Social Station—a first-of-its-kind co-working space specialized for today’s social retailers. Your program should be the integration of both social retail and a high-functioning co-working space. Encouraging adaptability, health, and well-being, and an emphasis on an active, engaging space should be priorities in your final design. It should also address new models and approaches to the co-working space.

SO… ready for a challenge? Want to show why Academy Of Art students are the best? Ready to make a national splash? If you are interested in working as part of a team for fame and fortune (yes there is a cash prize) then see Mark Miller in office 206H or email

Dropbox HQ San Francisco

Dropbox’s new San Francisco headquarters has been designed by two of our favorite design firms AvroKo and Rapt Studios. The overall design was done keeping its employees in mind, aiming to make working in it comfortable regardless of one’s current mood.

The design of the building is based on employees’ feedback that they like to change their environment based on the task that they are working on, and depending on how they are feeling at a certain time of the day, we keep seeing this type of design more and more in the tech office industry.


<p>Regular conference room</p>

Photos via Fast Co. Design]

Monday Morning Photo(S) China Edition

For today’s Monday Morning Photos we take you Hangzhou China where the new Zhongshuge bookstore has just recently opened its doors. The innovative space was designed by Shanghai-based architectural studio XL MUSE and located within the Star Avenue shopping complex, this extraordinary bookstore manages to transport its users out of their reality and into an immersive realm of fantasy with the use of mirrored ceilings and lighting.
Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Photo © Shao Feng.

Leo’s Oyster Bar

San Francisco well know interior designer Ken Fulk has designed a new hot spot in the city, Leo’s Oyster Bar located in the Financial District will be the new “it” place. The space has a 1950’s Beverly Hills meets Manhattan club style, “the mid century stunner” is a “quintessentially masculine space that introduces tension with feminine qualities,” says Ken Fulk. Some of the elements that caught our eye are the “Martinique” like wallpaper found in the main dining room, which gives the space a Beverly Hills hotel vibe. The space is lined with metallic leather banquettes and terra-cotta tile floors.


First four photos by Patricia Chang

Last two photos by  


One of our favorite London based retail spaces Selfridges has unveiled their new third floor Designer Studio, a 300 million dollar renovation project that will house 60 international labels, 22 new labels and five shop-in-shop concepts.

The space was modeled after a contemporary art gallery, ‘From rethought and unexpected brand adjacency to a completely fluid retail configuration framed by architectural installations that create focus, through to the breakdown of gender-definition in the way we are approaching ready-to-wear – this is a progressive move forward in the way we buy, present and think about fashion.’  explains buying director, Sebastian Manes

All images via and