ASID UCLA Extension

Community Service Project of the Year 2012-2013 • Faculty Advisor of the Year 2013-2014


Have you ever been scared to start something because you felt that your current skill set was not adequate? Maybe your graphic skills were lacking, or your communication skills were just not up to par. Whatever it is, it is that sense of “I’m not yet there” that frightens us and can hold us back.


The simple fact is that these feelings of inadequacy and the confusion over how to start are completely normal. In fact, they are a great opportunity for us to realize that maybe it’s time to learn a new skill, and as long as our intention is there, intention will triumph over talent.


First, be honest and okay with where you currently are. Understand that this is only temporary, and this is the beginning of your journey and design career. From there, make a master list of all the skills/ certifications/work experience that you would like to acquire in your career as a designer. It is said that people who write down their goals, are ten times more successful than people who don’t.


As designers, the industry we work in is so heavily influenced by technology, trends, computer programs, culture, communication, and a myriad of other facets. If for example, you were to set out and decide to obtain your LEED ID+C certification, first establish a strong sense of intention and seek out those who have gone through the certification process. Check out their official website: Most of all, ask questions, research online, plan out a realistic study timeline, and fully understand what materials will be tested.


For some of us, we are just about to finish our studies, and are on our first steps towards creating our portfolio. Yet for such a widely used word, and integral component of our professional careers, many of us do not know where to start. This is a common issue, so don’t fret just yet. Check out some great online websites such as ASID and IIDA. Here is a link that highlights what employers are looking for: Speak to your instructors, ask your fellow students and don’t be afraid to ask about what makes a good and enticing portfolio.


This month, we will be featuring a special office tour of Gensler, where everything from industry trends, to portfolio requirements will be discussed, don’t forget to check it out! Click here for more information. In addition, a Portfolio Workshop will be hosted, solely dedicated to reviewing and providing insight on industry expectations for all aspects of the portfolio. Coming to you this October!


With all this being said, whatever new skill or talent you want to achieve, remember: “you can do what you want, but you cannot want what you want.” So as long as you develop the right intention, talent will naturally result as a byproduct.


Until next time,

Nancy Peng

President, ASID UCLA Extension Student Chapter Board

Alumni Feature Article

Alumni Feature Article
This month we are excited to feature Laura Schwartz-Muller, UCLA Extension Alumni, ASID LA President Elect, and successful business owner.  Laura was kind enough to share a few insights regarding her experience at UCLA Extension and how it has impacted her professional career.

Name: Laura Schwartz-Muller

Title: Founder | CEO + Principal

Company: Four Point Design + Construction Inc. An award winning full-service residential and commercial interior design build firm



Please describe your role within your current company:

As the Creative Director for Four Point, I lead our talented design-build team, overseeing both the design and construction verticals of my company. In addition to dazzling our design clients with creative solutions with a strategic eye for detail, my company has completed some of Los Angeles’ most exciting construction projects. My company is founded on a #givemore value system. We commit 20% of our time + resources to pro bono work in the greater LA area, working with organizations such as World Vision and Step up on Second. As President Elect of ASID LA, one of my goals for 2016 is to create a broader sense of collaboration and develop positive communication between the many diverse associations. My focus will be on building a more exciting and resourceful community within our interior design-build industry.


What did you like about the UCLA Extension Arc+ID program?

The expectation of professional-like performance from the students; The access to thriving, cutting edge, and mature professionals currently working in the field; realistic curriculum; and faculty mentorship.


How did the program help prepare you for what you are currently doing?

The classes are designed for the “professional” and in many classrooms, simulate a realistic professional office or job site environment. The pace is crisp and focused. The instructors are first-rate and invested.

Generating industry professional contacts is a bonus.


What do you enjoy most about what you are currently doing?

For me it’s all about day-to-day collaboration and teamwork, and the wholeness and totality of Design-Build excites me. I am blessed and grateful to have the opportunity to work with my husband (our General Contractor); to have amazing clients and fantastic projects; and to create my dream design build firm.


Any advice for students currently in the program?

Ask questions, work hard, take it seriously and build relationships.


Did you participate on the ASID UCLA Student Board while you were a student?

Yes, I was the 2007 Student Representative to the Board and I lead many event committees in the years that followed.

Downtown LA Urban-Luxe Loft Apartment                            
  Penthouse Loft/ Hollywood                      



Save the Date!Gensler
Thursday, August 20th
Time: 11:45AM – 1:00PM
Join us for a special private office tour at the world’s #1 leading architectural & design firm. Keep your eyes out for more info, and don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity! Event capacity: 30 participants
Tickets: Members $10 – Nonmembers $15
All tickets are non-refundable.
Watch out for our flyers and event invites coming soon!

Celebrating ASID’s 40th Anniversary : The Impact of Design



Content and Artwork Wanted for our Newsletter

Are there any topics you have wanted to see in this newsletter? Do you have a perspective you would like to share? Do you have artwork or designs you would like to feature? We would love to hear from you! We are currently reviewing submissions for editorial articles, and original artwork or designs to feature in upcoming issues of our ASID UCLA Extension Student Chapter newsletter. The newsletter is a great way for your work to reach students, design industry professionals, and alumni!

Please submit entries to

Amber Sokolowski, Communications Manager, ASID UCLA Extension Student Chapter 2015-2016

© 2015 ASID UCLA Extension

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑