Academy Graduate Captures Distinguished IIDA Scholarship Award

Share Article

Interior Architecture & Design Grad Competes Against Students Across Northern California

Academy of Art University Interior Design School graduate Tanvi Shah was recently awarded a 2009 Scholarship Award from the Northern California (NC) Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). Tanvi was presented the award last week during IIDA-NC's Pioneers in Design + Honor Awards ceremony at the newly renovated Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif.

Tanvi was one of three interior architecture students honored at the ceremony. A native of India, she chose to earn her Masters degree at Academy of Art University, one of the top interior design schools in the nation, to familiarize herself with U.S. styles and standards. It became her passion to create a thesis project that brought the flavor and culture of India to San Francisco.

Dubbed "Spice Village," the project spoke directly to the IIDA competition topic - "Blurring Boundaries." The art school's Director of Interior Architecture and Design Marlene Farrell believed Tanvi's thesis was perfect for the competition and encouraged her to enter.

Farrell describes Tanvi's project as a "celebration of Indian food and culture. Her designs are well thought out and timeless."

Tanvi was inspired to create Spice Village after realizing that the diverse city of San Francisco had almost no representation of the Indian culture. "I have to go to the South Bay for good Indian food, groceries or movies. The whole idea came to me after I watched this movie Mistress of Spices," she said. "Spices are a big part of India, the taste, the aroma, and the colors. I thought a Spice Village, kind of like Chinatown, in San Francisco would be great for locals and people with Indian backgrounds."

Her thesis included a Bollywood movie theater, a performance theater, boutiques and Indian restaurants. She modeled different areas after different sections of India: North, West and South.

"My main challenge was to appeal to Indians as well as other cultures. Spice Village couldn't be too Indian or too modern," she said.

Farrell points out that though Spice Village has a distinct style, Tanvi's skill set is extremely versatile and can be tailored to the needs of any project. "Our design school students are prepared to create whatever needs to be designed," she said.

Academy of Art University offers interior design courses in San Francisco and online. Learn about residential and commercial interior design, furniture design, interior architecture, color and lighting and more.

About Academy of Art University, San Francisco

With over 13,000 students, Academy of Art University is the nation's largest private art and design university. Established in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BFA, M.Arch and MFA programs in 13 different majors, as well as continuing art education with classes in copywriting, fashion merchandising, fashion journalism, interior design, new media, computer animation, sculpture, graphic design, cinematography, industrial design, digital photography and car design. Multimedia Communications is the school's newest major, offering BA and MA degrees. Students can also enroll in a flexible online degree program in art and design.

Academy of Art University is an accredited member of WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (BFA-IAD) and NAAB (M-ARCH).

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Amanda Wardell
Visit website