projects

My design focuses on creating environments that keep people of all ages connected to the natural world.

Starting as a teen volunteering for non-profits, I developed a passion for bettering communities and I followed that path to American University studying international relations. I left AU and narrowed my focus to a hands-on, local scale, interning on permaculture farms and natural building projects. After several years, I realized I could make a bigger impact with a design degree in my hand. With my VCU interior design education I am able to weave my diverse experiences into design that popularizes sustainable, natural, materials into a modern world. 

My curiosity about how people interact with their environment has led me to receive grants to study biophilia, permaculture, and Danish forest kindergartens and how they can inspire interior design. In 2014, I received a grant that allowed me to teach permaculture garden design to middle and high school students from a public housing development.

No matter the circumstances, I believe there are ways to teach and learn sustainable ways of operating - whether you live in public housing, the suburbs, a tiny home, New York City, or off the grid. Sustainable choices need to permeate every aspect of our thinking and my success comes from showing others how we can thrive by making a closed-cycle world. Through my work and study I continue to expand my understanding of pattern, material, theory, and cultural differences in organizing space while foregrounding responsible, sustainable design in praxis.
Education
  • ‍Virginia Commonwealth University, Interior Design. Richmond, VA: Expected 2017, GPA:4.0
  • ‍Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Interior Design. Copenhagen, DK: 2015
  • Regenerative Leadership Institute, Permaculture Design Certification, Richmond, VA: 2013
  • American University, International Relations. Washington, DC: 2007-08
Experience

3Degrees Inc, Dominion Green Power Senior Outreach Associate, Richmond VA: 2014-Current

  • ‍Leader in selling commercial and residential clients our renewable energy option
  • ‍Contact and negotiate with clients
  • ‍Train and oversee outreach associates

Tricycle Gardens, Garden Educator at Peter Paul Development Center, RVA: 2014-2016

  • ‍Created elementary gardening curriculum independently
  • ‍Developed flexibility to quickly changing classroom
  • ‍Built and maintained relationships between two organizations

Razors of Richmond, Secretary and Certified Massage Therapist. Richmond, VA: 2012-2015

  • ‍Managed daily cash and bookkeeping
  • ‍Maintained client relationships
  • ‍Managed brand decisions
  • ‍Edited publications, advertisements, and internet marketing with InDesign/Squarespace

Feral Feet Community, Community Co-founder. Cookeville, TN: 2010 - 2011

  • ‍Designed and constructed cob house and permaculture garden
  • Designed website with Google Sites
  • ‍Managed and trained interns
Internships and Volunteering

Children’s Home of Virginia, Interior Designer Volunteer. Richmond, VA: 2016-Current

  • Make design boards on tight budget for foster youth’s first apartments
  • Lift heavy furniture and install apartments

Black Iris Gallery, Mood and Bartender Volunteer. Richmond, VA: 2015-Current

  • Welcome and entertain visiting artists/musicians
  • Set lighting and music per the event mood

Tricycle Gardens Farm Intern and Volunteer Coordinator. Richmond, VA: 2013

  • Managed weekly Four Seasons farm stand and Bon Secours farm stand
  • Trained and managed volunteers
  • Scouted in-kind donations
  • ‍Hosted and installed at Harvest Celebration

Permaculture Farm, Intern and Strawbale House Intern. Paoli, IN: 2009

  • Learned to take direction and work alone
  • Quickly learned new skills
Fellowships, Scholarships, Exhibitions

VCUQatar Tasmeem Student Exhibition and Conference, Doha, Qatar: 2017

  • Selected for Living Wallpaper design to present work in Doha

IFDA (Int’l Furnishings and Design Assoc.) Leaders Commemorative Scholarship: 2016

  • Awarded for work within the Richmond, VA non-profit community and beyond

VCUarts Dean’s International Study Grant, Copenhagen, DK: 2015

  • Contacted and visited forest kindergartens as inspiration for interior design

VCUarts Roger Baugh Interior Design Scholarship, Richmond, VA: 2015

  • Awarded for enthusiasm in interior design

VCU Global Education Office Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Copenhagen, DK: 2015

  • Created designs and poster presentation for interior design research based on forest kindergartens

VCU Community Engagement Fellowship, Permaculture Design Instructor, Richmond, VA: 2014

  • Developed and taught summer curriculum
  • Managed high-risk middle and high school students
  • ‍Created garden plan for African American Burial Ground
Skills

People

Nonviolent communication. Knowledge and love for engaging children. Vast experience with social skills. Works well with others. Successful with grant proposals. Innovative idea creation and problem-solving.

Computer

Working knowledge of Adobe Suite, Revit, Autocad, and SketchUp. Website design with Google Sites, Google Docs, and Google Fusion graphs. Able (and willing) to learn new computer programs quickly.

Life

Natural building skills, sculpting cob (mud, straw, water), straw bales, recycled bottles, bamboo, whole timber, repurposed wood, driftwood. Creative troubleshooting with biomass. Basic wood working skills using antique hand tools and power tools. General understanding of innovative water storage. Passive solar capturing, design, usage, and energy saving techniques. Permaculture design and understanding of systems ecology and agroforestry. Tincturing, canning, fermenting, and cooking.

March 11, 2016 :: As an interior designer I volunteered with The Children's Home Society of America, a non-profit that aims to nurture foster care alums, which was recently covered by The Richmond Times-Dispatch. With the alums input, I compiled a list of low cost items to augment the lot of donated items.

December 18, 2016 :: Tasmeem Doha, hosted by VCUQatar, has accepted my Biophilic Wallpaper in their biennial international art and design conference that attracts prominent speakers and artists from all over the world. Tasmeem addresses contemporary topics on art and design and brings together international designers, artists, academics, students and industry professionals.The intent of this conference is to explore the intersection between the analogue and digital within the context of our lived experience and to examine where the two modes differ, intertwine, and coexist. The gradual evolution of the last several decades is steady and unrelenting, and the ramifications of this transformation have just begun to be revealed and interrogated.