Top Design Gains Professional Opportunity for Student

A round of applause is in order for Siba Interior Design student, Brittany Dirnberger! Thanks to her winning commercial design submission, Brittany won an all-expenses-paid trip to the IIDA SHIFT Conference in Dallas this year!!

The annual SHIFT Conference, held in February and organized by the Oklahoma and Texas IIDA Chapters, provides a memorable, educational experience for the future of the design industry—uniting as one to guide students as they shift from their school careers to their professional careers. Of the event, Brittany says, “The conference lasts three days and is filled with events such as panel discussions, presentations, mock interviews, portfolio reviews, and networking events. As an attendee this year I was able to gain valuable knowledge and meet amazing interior design professionals from other parts of the country.”

In order to win her invitation to the conference, Brittany first submitted a commercial design concept, which was inspired by a project she’s working on at Siba for her Advanced Commercial Design class, to the local St. Louis IIDA Gateway chapter.

The plan so impressed judges that Brittany was one of just two students from our region to be awarded a complimentary trip to the  IIDA SHIFT Conference.  Although restaurant designs are always a popular project choice in the Advanced Commercial class, Brittany explained that she wanted to try a different kind of commercial space: “Rather than going with a restaurant layout, I opted to design a hair salon. The goal was to create a modern and elegant space with rich, bold colors.”

Reflecting on the experience, Brittany credits the role of her education at Siba in shaping her competition entry. “Several classes at Siba significantly contributed to my design. I was able to include a rendered lobby view in my presentation with the skills I’ve learn on Revit along with a floor plan that I drew in the AutoCAD program. My Textiles and Color Theory classes aided me in knowing what fabrics and colors to use together to complete my design.”

Winning the competition allowed Brittany to engage in a variety of events at SHIFT in Texas, including panel discussions, as well as networking sessions. All of which she found to be very educational. “The panels and talks that I attended were led by working designers who helped me to learn more about the current state of the industry as well as how to successfully transition from interior design student into interior design professional.”

Overall, the  IIDA SHIFT Conference 2024 highlighted the transformative power of design education and fostering connections within the design community. “I am beyond thankful for this experience.”  Congratulations to Brittany on such a huge accomplishment! We are SO proud of you!

Scroll to Top