IFDA NY Chapter Presented “Rising Stars of Design: Awards at Celebratory Evening

The Rising Stars Line Up: From left to right, Jake Szymanski; David Santiago, IFDA NY President-Elect; Andrea Warriner, IFDA NY President; Patrick Ryan; Amy Lau; Tina Ramchandani; Tamara Stephenson; Andrea Algaze, IFDA NY Selects Committee Co-Chair; Susan Young; Rose Hittmeyer, IFDA NY Selects Committee Co-Chair.


The stage was set and the Rising Stars of Design selected by a committee co-chaired by Andrea Algaze, IFDA NY Vice President of Programs, and Rose Hittmeyer, IFDA NY Chapter Administrator, did not disappoint.  The event took place on the evening of Thursday, November 21st at FAIR, the resource for high-end, handcrafted design and craft headed by interior designer Brad Ford, a 2008 Rising Star, at NYDC 200 Lexington Avenue. All the honorees had to be in business less than six years and not have won another award.  Needless to say, the excitement and anticipation were palpable.

The presentation was moderated by designer Amy Lau of Amy Lau Design, who discussed how the trail-blazing life and work of artist Alma Thomas, known for her exuberant, colorful abstract compositions and who was the first African-American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York, serves as an inspiration.

First up on the stage, Tina Ramchandani of Tina Ramchandani Creative, who shared her joyful journey to becoming an interior designer under the watchful eyes of her immigrant parents. She says her style, Soulful Minimalism, incorporates her global perspective and her infatuation for amazingly crafted, custom elements.

Then came Patrick Ryan of Patrick Ryan’s Office, who transitioned from psychotherapy to interior design; professions he says that have more than a little in common.  He listens carefully to clients to help them achieve an ideal interior environment tailored to their own refined aesthetic.  He also designs custom furniture.

Jake Szymanski of J.M. Szymanski was named a Rising Star for product design.  His work demonstrates a fascination with severe geometries, raw materials and unique forms. Jake designs and fabricates his work at his Bronx studio. His design education was influenced by his early childhood where he lived in Nepal and travels to Spain and Morocco.

Last but not least, Tamara Stephenson & Susan Young of root cellar designs also were named Rising Stars for product design. They shared how they were friends since college and after years had gone by merged their backgrounds in textile design and interior design to form root cellars design.  They talked about how they built their business through exposure in charity events, showhouses and trade shows and now are in more showrooms than they can count, with more on the horizon.

None other than acclaimed influencer Rio Hamilton made sure the event got play on social media with multiple posts on the evening.

“We are proud to have celebrated the careers of these emerging industry talents and look forward to their future successes,” concluded Andrea Algaze and Rose Hittmeyer.

The Rising Stars take a time out in Brad Ford’s beautiful (and comfortable!) FAIR showroom at NYDC 200 Lexington Avenue. From left to right: Tamara Stephenson of root cellar designs; Patrick Ryan of Patrick Ryan Office; Susan Young of root cellar designs; Jake Szymanski of J.M. Szymanski and Tina Ramchandani of Tina Ramchandani Creative.

The International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), founded in New York City in 1947 and now with 11 chapters worldwide, provides a professional forum for communication and interaction among its high-profile members.  The IFDA, a not-for-profit volunteer-run association, also promotes career advancement and educational opportunities and is structured to increase public awareness of the furnishings and design industry through specialized programming, networking and service to the community.

IFDA NY thanks its INTERNATIONAL Gold Sponsor: Natuzzi Italia Chapter GOLD Sponsors:  Benjamin Moore & Co. | Hunter Douglas | Kravet Inc. | New York Design Center | Resource Furniture | Seigerman’s Furniture & Interior Design Center | Stacy Garcia New York.