28th Annual Festival of the Trees Gets More than 800 Guests!


The 28th annual Festival of the Trees at the Coral Gables Country Club on November 20, 2014 was a tremendous success! More than 800 people attended the event, which is a fundraiser coordinated by the FIU Department of Interior Architecture and its advisory board to raise scholarships for the department and its talented students.

With close to 100 students in our Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited Master of Interior Architecture program, the Interior Architecture Department at FIU is one of the premiere professional interior design programs in South Florida. The department is recognized as being the 9th best interior design program in the United States, the 4th best undergraduate program in the southern U.S., and the 2nd best Interior Design graduate program in the southern U.S. The department is known for the quality of its students, its excellent faculty, and its strong relationship with Miami design professionals. It provides its students with cutting edge award-winning facilities that house studios, galleries, labs, and workshops, and fosters a dynamic community of creative and ardent lifelong learners investigating design and its countless contributions to society.

Each year, Festival of the Trees Sponsors underwrite designers who design and build unique holiday creations and donate them to the event. The ‘trees’ are then displayed and auctioned at the gala opening, held for the first time this year at the Coral Gables Country Club. The lucky winning bidders enjoy having these extraordinary creations adorn their homes or offices during the holiday season. South Florida’s architecture and design community demonstrates its support for the department through both their participation in the creation of the trees and their attendance at the event. This holiday extravaganza has raised over $100,000 in funds that benefit FIU’s Interior Architecture Department and its students.

The 28th Annual Festival of the Trees was made possible by Janine King, Chair of FIU Interior Architecture and the following Advisory Board members, led by Committee Chair Lisette Boosooboy, M.C. Harry & Associates:

Lorraine Bragg, Heery-S&G
Raquel Salvato, Corporate Design Choice
Eve Cater, Sun Flooring Systems
Paula Hesch, Paula Hesch Design
Lucille McKey, Business Interiors, Inc
Dawn Starling, Starling & Associates
Julia Melhauser, Steelcase, Inc.
Monica Estrada, Artemide
Dwayne Boyce, Haworth
Anna Maria Valle, MGE
Cynthia Stehman, Alterna Corp
Kenzie Perry, Sandals Corp
Betty Mestre, Global Commercial Furnishings
Hector Ruiz, AECom
Peta Walker, CPD Design

Listed below are the highly-esteemed judges for the 28th Annual Festival of the Trees, along with the awarded designs and honorable mentions.

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Nathalie Cadet-James


Susan Cumins


 Sir Alan T.P. Duddle


  Kalyn James


 Steve Rothaus

Award Winners

Most Creative: Gensler, sponsored by Knoll, Knoll Textiles, Spinneybeck and Filzfelt
Most Illuminating: TSAO, sponsored by 3M
Most Progressive: Strang Architecture, sponsored by FLOS USA
Most Elegant and People’s Choice: ADD Inc, sponsored by Workscapes and Herman Miller

Honorable Mentions

VIA Design Studio, sponsored by Global Commercial Furnishings
G Alvarez Studio, sponsored by Shaw Contact Group
Studio 5 Design and Architecture, sponsored by Keys Granite Dal Tile
NBWW & Associates Inc., sponsored by AGC
FIU Architecture, sponsored by FIU Alumni Association

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