The Rising Star Scholarship recognizes designers in the Master Certification Program at Heritage School of Interior Design in Portland, Oregon. Kush Rugs founders Rebecca Lurie and Brian Robins were awarded academic scholarships that enabled them to pursue their passion. With a desire to give back, they aim to support the upcoming generation of interior designers.
Every year, three scholarships are offered, one for each term (Fall, Winter, Spring), and are open to all Master’s students in Portland who have completed the Fundamentals class.
The recipient of the scholarship is chosen by the Kush team based on a 300-500 word essay. It is our esteemed privilege to announce Casimira Thomas as the winner of the Rising Star Scholarship for the Spring Term of 2023 and to share her winning essay:
“Interior design is able to influence and improve the quality of people’s lives. It is estimated that we spend 90% of our lives indoors. Our homes and interiors affect our mental state, behaviors, and physical well-being. They are where we create our memories, provide sanctuary for loved ones, and allow us to express our individual cultural personalities. Some people believe that interior designers don’t add any value to society because they can do the work themselves. What they don’t know is that being an interior designer is a lot more than just adding pretty decor. Designing a space requires a lot of planning, both spatially and financially. The value designers add is learning about individuals and how quality, colors, and traditions influence their everyday indoor lives. Humans have always been drawn to beautiful environments. I am Native American and have seen firsthand how design affects the mental state of individuals on tribal lands. In our culture, colors and textures represent not only our identities but sacred ancestral traditions. Culture adds value to the design community because it allows others to understand the deeper meaning of the choices made when incorporating colors, artwork, and architectural elements. Native American traditions hold a valuable culture that unfortunately doesn’t get enough recognition. I, as a designer, want to add insight to future clients and the design community by speaking about how my culture and design correlate. Learning about other cultures will help everyone understand how design has shaped our way of modern life and will continue to influence our future generations. Design holds a relationship between society and cultures. When we feel good in our homes and workspaces, we become the best versions of ourselves. Designers encourage and influence architectural advancements worldwide. I want to add cultural insight, not only in the design field but in my Native American community as well. Design is inspiration and design is culture. Understanding and being able to represent both allows designers to influence the future because our creativity allows for statements to be made in the history of not only interior design but humankind as well”.
Congratulations, Casimira! We extend our heartfelt felicitations to you. Your eloquent words have truly ignited our inspiration, and we eagerly anticipate your Design journey.