ASID Honors Winners of 2023 National Awards Program

Recipients Recognized for Transformative Work in Interior Design 

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) announced the winners of sixty-two awards, exemplifying excellence in design. Spanning categories including individuals, firms and projects, as well as career levels from student to seasoned professionals, the awards were announced in Los Angeles during “A Night with the Stars,” the ASID awards reception at the GATHER national conference. Categories awarded included the ASID Ones to Watch program, the ASID Student Portfolio Competition, the ASID Foundation Scholarships and Grants, and the organization’s highest professional recognition, the ASID National Awards.

This year, new categories were added to ASID’s national awards program to increase inclusivity and accessibility for designers, firms and projects. The honorees are being celebrated across three main categories: the Legacy Awards, the Annual Awards, and the FOCUS Awards. Open to ASID members and non-members alike, the awards allow the organization to maximize inclusiveness in recognizing design excellence.

“ASID is proud to honor the projects and people that design to impact and improve the lives around us,” said Khoi Vo, chief executive officer, ASID. “Across firms, individuals and projects, ASID’s National Award winners exemplify our core values of design excellence, advocacy, thought leadership and community. We congratulate all of our winners and thank them for their outstanding contributions to making the world a better place through design.”

The Legacy Awards honor interior designers for their work and careers who are dedicated to furthering the practice. This year’s winners, awarded for Designer of Distinction, Luminary of Distinction, and Firm of Distinction, are Charisse Johnston, FASID, Jennifer Kolstad, ASID, and CannonDesign.

  • Designer of Distinction | Charisse Johnston, FASID, WELL AP, LEED AP ID+C
  • Luminary of Distinction | Jennifer Kolstad, ASID, Associate AIA
  • Firm of Distinction | CannonDesign

The Annual Awards celebrate the work and achievements of practitioners with significant design achievements throughout the year honoring educators, students, volunteers, advocates and more. Chelsey Beardsley, Tracey Fillmore, Nicole Hollis, Supporter ASID, Taneshia West Albert, Emmy Williams, the ASID New York Metro Chapter Ronald McDonald House renovation  and TBA Studio are recipients of the Annual Awards.

  • Student of the Year | Chelsey Beardsley, Allied ASID
  • Volunteer of the Year | Tracey Fillmore, ASID, NCIDQ, CAPS, EDAC, RID
  • Designer of the Year | Nicole Hollis, Supporter ASID
  • Educator of the Year | Taneshia West Albert, ASID, IDEC, EDAC, NCIDQ
  • Advocate of the Year | Emmy Williams, ASID, NCIDQ, NC RID
  • Community Impact of the Year | ASID New York Metro Chapter
  • Firm of the Year | TBA Studio

The FOCUS Awards spotlight stellar design projects that address different areas of global issues. Addressing either wellness, diversity, community or climate, projects were selected on their ability to provide a framework and call to action to advance design in their respective category.  Winning projects of the FOCUS Awards are the Water Works Pavilion, the Lilian DesMarias Youth Library, the Seven Acre Dairy Company, the Family Tree Clinic, The Shop by Porter, Makers and Social-Impact Programs, “The Sanctuary” home project in Kansas and the Falstone Residence. Merit Recipients of the FOCUS Awards category are D’Youville University’s Health Professions Hub and the U.S. Green Building Council’s HQ Renovation. 

  • FOCUS Community – Large Firm | Water Works Pavilion by HGA
  • FOCUS Community – Medium Firm | Lilian DesMarias Youth Library by bcDESIGNGROUP
  • FOCUS Community – Small Firm | Seven Acre Dairy Company by InteriorLOGIC, Inc.
  • FOCUS Diversity – Large Firm | Family Tree Clinic by Perkins&Will
  • FOCUS Diversity – Medium Firm | The Shop by Porter, Makers and Social-Impact Programs
  • FOCUS Wellness – Small Firm | “The Sanctuary” home project by Signature Design + Studio
  • FOCUS Wellness – Small Firm | Falstone Residence by Shine Interior Design Studio
  • FOCUS Community – Large Firm Merit Recipient | D’Youville University Health Professions Hub by CannonDesign
  • FOCUS Wellness – Large Firm Merit Recipient | U.S. Green Building Council Headquarters Renovation by Perkins&Will

More information about the National Awards winners:

The Legacy Award Winners

Charrisse Johnston | Designer of Distinction:
With a background in behavioral biology and an MBA in management, Johnston was a Wall Street executive before turning to interior design. She was a designer and project manager at Gensler before she established Steinberg Architects’ interiors practice, and she is a Fellow and a past chair of ASID. Johnston is now a Principal of StudioSALT, a design firm in Cape Town, South Africa, and Chair of the African Institute of Interior Design Professions. She teaches at the UCLA Extension – Cal Poly Pomona master’s of interior architecture and IE University’s master’s of strategic interior design programs, and she sits on the boards of IDCEC and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She is currently a member of the WELL Mind Advisory and the ASID DEI Committee. She is also working with other African interior design professional associations to establish a continent-wide African Council of Interior Architects & Designers.

Jennifer Kolstad | Luminary of Distinction:
Kolstad is a past chair of the American Society of Interior Designers (2020/21). She served on the ASID National Board from 2015-2021 and was Co-Chair of the ASID CEO Search Committee (2021-23). Kolstad earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and was a recipient of the SOM Graduate Fellowship. She has undergraduate degrees in interior design, art and art history. She has designed at Ford, SOM, Gensler, HKS, and ALDAR in the United Arab Emirates. Kolstad is an invited NASA Luminary. She has appeared on PBS Newshour, NBC News, Fortune’s 2022 Brainstorm and Microsoft Envision, speaking on human-centered design. She has presented at the ANFA/Salk Annual Conference, IDEC’s Annual Conference and The Design Museum Everywhere Innovation Summit. Kolstad has been an invited keynote, lecturer and juror at the Darden School of Business, Utah State University, UT Austin, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins and National ASID Conferences.

CannonDesign | Firm of Distinction:
CannonDesign is a design practice at the nexus of strategy, experience, architecture, engineering and social impact. The company imagines, creates and implements solutions that advance human vitality, further equity, optimize business and protect our planet all at once. Living-Centered Design is CannonDesign’s ethos and design approach. Inspired by the best attributes of human-centered and systems-based design methods, it addresses challenges through the lens of the broader ecosystems they exist within—helping organizations and communities realize more impactful, systemic change. CannonDesign has existed for a century, but is more ready than ever to positively influence a brighter future.

The Annual Award Winners

Chelsey Beardsley | Student of the Year:
Beardsley is a non-traditional interior architecture and design student at Colorado State University and an interior designer for Clark & Enersen, a full-service architecture, design and engineering commercial firm. Large-scale, commercial interior design has been a passion since her high school years when Beardsley participated in a mentorship program. She was immediately hooked and has dedicated her time since to developing a commercial design career. She enjoys the challenge and impact of commercial design, the balance between codes, budgets, phasing, life safety and aesthetics. Paying forward the help from her incredible mentors, Beardsley has had fulfilling experiences serving and mentoring other interior design students at the college, state and national level.

Tracey Fillmore | Volunteer of the Year:
Fillmore currently serves as Senior Facilities Designer for Lee Health, a large healthcare organization in southwest Florida. Prior to becoming an interior designer, Fillmore was a fire safety inspector, and then owned her own construction and design firm. Fillmore recently served as Chair of ASID’s Advocate by Design Council for four years. She currently sits on two National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committees, an international coalition working toward creating the first-ever international fire safety standards, with over 60 countries represented, and she also leads a group of subject matter experts working toward creating the first ICC Interior Design Code Specialist Certification. When Fillmore is not working in healthcare design she is advocating with and for her colleagues and the industry she loves.

Nicole Hollis | Designer of the Year:
Before founding her namesake San Francisco-based interior design firm, Hollis attended the Interior Design Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology and later studied in Paris at the Université de Paris. In 1997, Hollis joined Starwood Hotels as a founding member of the design team that launched the company’s flagship W Hotels. Later, she joined architects Backen, Gillam & Kroeger, where she was tapped to head their interiors department. In 2002, Hollis founded NICOLEHOLLIS with the help of her husband and current company CEO, Lewis Heathcote.

Taneshia West Albert | Educator of the Year:
Professor West Albert is an enthusiastic, award-winning educator and design practitioner. Her research and creative scholarship explores cultural identity, meaning and trauma; diversity and inclusion; and methods to increase intercultural competency in design education and practice. Her design career is focused on design for healthcare environments, corporate interiors and higher education spaces with a unique background in medical equipment planning and facilities design and construction. Her community service – both in and outside of the university in which she is employed – focuses on issues of inclusion, diversity, and equity within design education and the design profession of historically underrepresented groups, specifically those from marginalized ethnic groups, who are uniquely physical and cognitively abled and who are from lower socioeconomic groups.

Emmy Willams | Advocate of the Year:
Williams is an award-winning interior designer with more than 40 years of dedicated membership in ASID. As the founder of Interior Solutions, Williams leads a comprehensive design firm team that consistently surpasses client expectations, fueled by her collaborative and inspiring approach. Throughout Williams’ career, she has advocated for the rights and advancement of interior designers. Notably, she played a pivotal role in groundbreaking legislation addressing sales tax issues and pioneered a bill granting interior designers full stamp and seal authority, a first in the nation. Williams serves as co-chair of the national ASID Advocacy Support Team. She is an advisor on the North Carolina Board of Architecture, an active participant in meetings held by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and a frequent speaker for ASID, IIDA and CIDQ, where she shares her advocacy expertise and inspires others.

ASID New York Metro Chapter | Community Impact of the Year:
ASID New York Metro Chapter harnessed the power of design in the renovation of the 13-bedroom Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley (RMHGHV). After 11 years of use and housing over 2,500 families, the ASID NY Metro Chapter took on the challenge of transforming the house into a better space for families requiring places to stay during their child’s medical treatment. In partnership with ASID designers, aspire design magazine, manufacturers, contractors, vendors and volunteers, the team planned the remodel from demolition to rebuilding and refurnishing.

TBA Studio | Firm of the Year:
TBA Studio is a full-service architectural & interior design firm dedicated to delivering exceptional service at every phase of planning, design, and construction. Founded in 2004 in West Monroe, Louisiana, the full-service architectural design firm has earned a reputation for a service-oriented approach to bringing big ideas to life. TBA’s commitment to creating an exceptional experience begins with their approach to service. Striving to build lasting relationships with clients and prioritize clear communication with all project partners helps them deliver projects that make a meaningful impact in their communities. With a strong focus on designing next-generation facilities for sports and higher education, the TBA team also carries extensive experience in delivering innovative institutional, commercial, and multifamily solutions. Today, TBA Studio has offices in West Monroe and Bossier City, Louisiana.

The FOCUS Award Winners

Water Works Pavilion by HGA | FOCUS Community – Large Firm
The Water Works Park Pavilion is located on the Mississippi River at the convergence of multiple cultural, physical and spiritual histories. Situated next to St. Anthony Falls, the site has a long and complicated past – one that spans precolonial, industrial and post-industrial eras The project takes on an ideology of “radical preservation” by attempting to mine and preserve the multitude of different histories that occur at the site – physical histories, cultural histories and spiritual histories. Through the re-use of old, abandoned and buried flour mill structures, a thoughtful connection to the surrounding community, and a vision looking towards the future, this project weaves together a complicated history into a place that reflects all of its many stories for now and for generations to come.

Lilian DesMarias Youth Library by bcDESIGNGROUP| FOCUS Community – Medium Firm
Designed by bcDESIGNGROUP, the Lilian DesMarias Youth Library is an immersive destination library for the youth of Livingston County located in Overland Park, KS. The library leadership wanted the library to be welcoming, adaptable, community-focused, generational, immersive, unique, whimsical and experience-driven. The Lilian DesMarias Youth Library is a space dedicated to helping local children connect with the community, learn, and grow. Community connection was the heart of this project.

Seven Acre Dairy Company by InteriorLOGIC, Inc. | FOCUS Community – Small Firm
The Seven Acre Dairy Company is a boutique hotel that was completed after two years of design and construction that includes a new main visitors entrance and greeting area for the 8-room hotel; an adjacent retail shop featuring Wisconsin – made ice-cream, incorporating a micro-dairy producing hand-made butter; a farm- to- table cafe and demonstration kitchen; and a riverside bar with a separate entrance for easy access from the patio and bike trail. The basis of our concept was the original historic creamery building as a destination for farmers who once delivered their milk by horse and wagon.  The collection of six additions totaling 21,000 sq. ft. span from 1888 to the 1970s, included varying floor levels, ceiling types, construction methods and materials, and were in various stages of disrepair.

Family Tree Clinic by Perkins&Will| FOCUS Diversity – Large Firm
Designed by Perkins&Will, the Family Tree Clinic in Minneapolis, MN has the goal of creating a space where everyone feels welcome. In order to create a welcoming community space while maintaining safety and privacy for patients, the clinic proper is situated on the second floor towards the back of the building. The building was designed with two main principles in mind – creating an inviting, welcoming oasis for patients, staff and community members, and creating a safe, private, trauma-informed place of respite. These two ideas often felt in conflict with each other as we worked to find the balance between private and public.

The Shop by Porter, Makers and Social-Impact Programs | FOCUS Diversity – Medium Firm
The Shop by Porter, located in Seattle, WA, is a diverse and inclusive project committed to addressing DEIB challenges faced by the corporate real estate industry. The goal of the proje to identify barriers to entry and work towards removing them, redistribute wealth for traditionally under-resourced and historically excluded people, and nurture talent to create an inclusive community. By identifying and removing barriers of entry, redistributing wealth, nurturing talent and partnering with BIPOC-owned small businesses through their Makers program, they are investing in local economies and strengthening community ties.

“The Sanctuary” Home Project by Signature Design + Studio | FOCUS Wellness – Small Firm
The Sanctuary addresses the need to promote client health and wellness through a holistic design approach. The Sanctuary was remodeled from top to bottom, starting with decluttering and purging the home to furnishing with pieces only from thrift, consignment or “antique.” The epitome of human-centered design, the Sanctuary shows just how impactful interior design can be on the physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being of a regular ordinary person.

Falstone Residence by Shine Interior Design Studio | FOCUS Wellness – Small Firm:
This new construction Falstone residence was designed to accommodate the homeowner’s severe health condition. The clients approached the design team needing help with everything from careful materials selection to furnishing selection and installation. They not only wanted the home to be healthy but to be designed in a beautiful updated traditional style with old-world touches. Indoor air quality and healthy, sustainable materials were essential to the project. Anything containing latex or harmful off-gassing was problematic, so all decisions had to be made with these considerations as the utmost priority. Almost all the furnishings were to be new.  They wanted the home to be healthy and also serve as a retreat and a gathering space, as the health condition keeps the owner almost entirely homebound. They wanted a space for their children, grandchildren and friends to gather.

D’Youville University’s Health Professions Hub by CannonDesign | FOCUS Community – Large Firm:
D’Youville University has consistently referred to the Health Professions Hub as a “moonshot” project as it is designed in the face of multiple challenges. The solution to these myriad challenges is the Health Professions Hub itself. The building creates an deeply accessible ecosystem of education, health access and career mobility opportunities for Buffalo’s West Side community.  Specific components of the Hub include a primary healthcare center operated by Catholic Health, a full-service pharmacy, a Thrive rehabilitation and wellness center, the D’Lish Demonstration Kitchen, a state-of-the-art medical education simulation center, a Center for Health Equity and Innovation, coworking and study spaces and much more.

U.S. Green Building Council Headquarters Renovation by Perkins&Will | FOCUS Wellness – Large Firm:
The new headquarters for the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) embodies their brand and mission to reduce the negative impacts of the built environment. Designed to be innovative, functional, and educational, the design balances reducing greenhouse gas emissions with a focus on health and well-being, and in doing so, serves as an example for design that enhances the human condition. The project team leveraged a partnership with EC3 to research and specify materials with low embodied carbon impact and used USGBC’s previous headquarters as a material bank, evaluating opportunities to salvage, repurpose and reuse existing materials for the new space, further reducing the associated embodied carbon for the project.

About ASID

The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. Through its programs, networks and advocacy, ASID serves all those who are a part of the interior design profession and practice. ASID thrives on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional and residential. As a leader in shared conversations around topics that matter in design, from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being and sustainability, ASID showcases the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID will mark its 50th anniversary in 2025. Celebrating 50 years of industry leadership, ASID is committed to broadening the impact for the future of design in all of the places we work, play and heal. Learn more at