When opportunity knocks, Amani Miller answers! During her very first year as a Siba interior design student, Miller has embraced multiple opportunities to expand her knowledge and contacts in the St. Louis regional design community: 1) she participated in an internship at KDR Designer Showrooms where she mastered the management of their extensive textiles library; and 2) she stepped up to assume the role of President of Siba’s American Society of Interior Designer (ASID) student organization.
Most recently, Miller has added the title of Student Representative for ASID Missouri East to her list of achievements – representing the student component of the organization for the entire region. The new role earned her the invitation to travel to Washington, DC, to attend ASID’s annual student summit known as SCALE. Miller was thrilled to meet other interior design students from across the country and share information about their different classes, projects and goals.
“It was good to see what other students from all over the nation were doing – see what they were learning, as well as what kind of challenges they were facing. I gained friendships, professional contacts, and grew my base of experience.”
In addition to getting to know her peers, Miller networked with professionals already in the field and made connections with designers in cities across the U.S. She hopes to renew and further these relationships when she and her Siba classmates next visit Chicago for NeoCon, the annual tradeshow for Interior Designers.
The D.C. summit also featured influential speakers that broadened Miller’s perspective on the role of design to improve and enhance the sense of community. She was particularly impressed by a presentation from Kia Weatherspoon, President of DC-based Determined by Design.
“Kia’s company advocates for equity in access to design. Their mission states that architects and designers can create with empathy and develop thoughtful concepts to unite communities. Their efforts to eliminate the labels of “affordable,” “high-end,” “black,” and “white” and level the playing field really resonated with me.”
In addition to making influential contacts in her new field, Miller also received valuable feedback on how to build an outstanding portfolio and practical advice on how to achieve a healthy work/school/life balance. (Miller is a mother and wife, too!).
“My favorite part of the trip were the memories I created with other members of the committee. I developed diverse friendships and mentorships that I will cherish. The walks, scooter rides, and Ubers we shared while talking about how we chose interior design as a career are times I won’t forget.”
Miller’s role as student rep for ASID Missouri East isn’t all travel, though! Her responsibilities back home include serving as a mentor to other aspiring interior designers, networking with established professionals, and achieving growth within the ASID community. She looks forward to getting to know other students in the region, and collaborating on ideas on how to make the field of interior design work in both traditional and new career pathways.