SF State design students contribute their work to local organizations

SF State interior design students capitalized on an opportunity to create artwork for more than self expression and public admiration.

The University chapter of ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers, faced the task of creating a piece for an HIV/AIDS fundraiser held by Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.

“The DIFFA Steering Committee, of which I’m a part of, collectively decided that this year’s theme for DIFFA Designs would be ‘connections,’” said Gus Vouchilas, an associate professor of interior design at SF State.

The students took that concept and created an installation called “Intertwine,” seven poles stacked with spheres made of twine. The structure symbolizes the way people from all walks of life are connected in one way or another and how it takes unity to build, maintain and improve a community.

“The twine illustrates that how we come together is simple and complex simultaneously,” Vouchilas said.

“This space itself, in terms of installation, is kinda hard to work with,” said Liz Person, SF State interior design major, in regards to their odd triangular display area, off to the side of the lobby between a staircase and an elevator. “We don’t have any walls to use or anything we can hang, so we had to build a standing structure.” She said one of the team members, Paul Boatright, saw the twine sphere online and thought it’d be easy to make, so they decided to make multiple ones.

Alaina Balian, an interior design major and president of SF State’s ASID, said they enlisted the help of other design students too.

“It was really great because we got our specific group of ASID, as well as the younger class beneath us to help with all of these twine chandelier balls,” Balian said.

Person and Balian were both excited and a little nervous at the event for getting a chance to experience the professional setting they strive to be a part of once they graduate. They said they received a lot of positive feedback on the installation, from the head of their department to the people running the DIFFA auction.

SF State’s ASID contributes to the DIFFA event every year, but it’s not the only organization they work with. Vouchilas said the ASID team has also partnered with the Boys and Girls Club, Hearth Homes and Habitat for Humanity. He said the partnerships involve volunteering, designing or both.

Person and Balian were grateful to be included in the DIFFA event, not only for the art but also for the purpose.

“The fact that it was for an event like this, for a good cause, it felt really good to be a part of that,” Balian said.