ASID Website screenshot with the words: ASID Student Portfolio Competition
Apr. 17, 2024

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) just announced the winners of their national Student Portfolio Competition, and two of our talented students, Han Bui (third year student) and Catherine Douglas (fourth year student), are among the nine finalists this year.

Selected from a highly competitive pool of over 200 applicants nationwide, their achievement is a tremendous honor for both the students and UNLV.

"Having one student as a finalist is a huge accomplishment," says Dak Kopec, "but having two from the same school is a significant feat that can be directly attributed to the mentorship of two junior faculty members: Nastaran Hashemi and Saman Jamshidi. These two have been amazing and invaluable additions to the Interior Design team at the School of Architecture. It is also worth acknowledging Director Danny Ortega's work in fostering a positive and supportive community among our junior faculty. It’s been a while since our students have participated in these competitions. I believe the can-do attitude among the SOA’s junior faculty can be directly attributed to Danny’s leadership style. In this regard, I can say we are all winners!"

Traditionally, top design schools like Savannah College of Art and Design consistently have multiple finalists. This year, however, UNLV placed two finalists, while SCAD only had one. Other finalists come from some top institutions like George Washington University and UC Berkeley Extension.

The ASID Student Portfolio Competition (SPC) generates the best collection of student design projects in the nation, showcasing exceptional thought, innovation, and creativity. Submissions are evaluated on concept, content, context, and execution.

"We're especially proud of Han for receiving internship offers from HKS and HDR on the competition interview day," said Nastaran Hashemi, "It’s important to note that this year's competition was exceptionally strong with some finalists even being graduate students, as evidenced by the winners' portfolios. Reaching the finals is a significant accomplishment for our program at UNLV Architecture. As part of a new mentorship program Saman and I developed, we encourage students to participate in national competitions. We then select students willing to dedicate time and guide them through the preparation process, including portfolio development and mock interviews. This is the first year that we started the program, and the results have been phenomenal! Both students we mentored became finalists. This is the first time students from our program have received recognition at this level, and this achievement truly puts our school on the map."