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Top 5 Under 5 Awards Profile Canada's Emerging Interior Designers

Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) is pleased to announce this year’s Top 5 Under 5: Canada’s Emerging Interior Designers. Presented in partnership with Interface and Knoll, this annual program, now in its third year, recognizes Canada’s up-and-coming interior design professionals. (See full list of winners below).

Five winners from across Canada were selected based on recommendations from their supervisors as well as their creative solutions to a design challenge. This year’s challenge asked applicants to design a retail and community space for Women’s Education and Literacy Nepal (WELNepal), a not-for-profit organization that aims to empower Nepalese women by providing them with opportunities for education and economic self-sufficiency.

The competition accepted entries from IDC’s Intern/Provisional members across the country – practitioners who have graduated from an accredited interior design program and are in the first five years of their supervised work experience, after which they will write their qualifying exams. The submissions were judged by a panel of experienced interior designers.
“I was very impressed with all five winners,” said Carol Jones, an interior designer who evaluated the entries. “Their work was creative, well-researched, practical and showed tremendous technical expertise.”

“Over the next few years, as the baby boomers retire and a new generation enters the profession, the face of interior design in Canada will change dramatically,” said Interior Designers of Canada CEO, Susan Wiggins. “Having seen the high level of talent, education and professionalism of our emerging interior designers, I can confidently say that the future of interior design in Canada is very bright indeed.”

IDC applauds each of the winners:

celeste_christie_head_shot.jpgCeleste Christie
“To Celeste, design and life are adventures to be explored and experienced,” said her supervisor Maureen Doyle, a principal at Synyshyn Architecture Interior Design Inc. “She approaches both with an enthusiasm and openness that allow her to look beyond the obvious and see opportunities where others might see obstacles.” Celeste joined the Winnipeg-based firm after graduating with a degree in interior design from Algonquin College.

erika_sammons.jpgErika Sammons
Erika Sammons joined the Winnipeg-based firm ft3 Architecture , Landscape & Interior Design after obtaining a master’s degree from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Interior Design in 2011.
“Erika's project work is intuitive, researched and logical,” said Joanne McFadden, principal at ft3. “She is passionate about design and is an incredible champion for our profession.”

sanderson,_melanie_feb2.jpgMel Sanderson
A recent graduate from Ryerson University’s School of Interior Design, Mel Sanderson has worked at IBI Group in Toronto since her third year of university.
“Mel demonstrates an exceptional aptitude for design and brings a level of enthusiasm and professionalism not often seen so early in one's career,” said Peter Heys, who recommended Mel. “She continues to be a stand out young
designer in our office, thriving off of the team spirit and collaborative nature of our work.”

yumiko_shukuda.jpegYumiko Shukuda
Eric Toker of Toker + Associates Architecture + Interior Design recommended Yumiko Shukuda based on her strong technical skills, meticulous attention to detail and dedication to the profession. “Her commitment to the profession of interior design can be seen in the thoughtful way in which she approaches each project,” said Toker. Originally from Japan where she studied interior design, Yumiko now practices in Calgary. 

heather_wallace_-_colour.jpgHeather Wallace
Judy Newcombe of Toronto-based firm Newcombe Design Associates Inc. recommended Heather Wallace based on her professionalism, creativity and appetite to learn.
“Heather is a highly motivated young designer,” said Newcombe. “She’s a hard worker and a team player.”
 A graduate of Sheridan College’s interior design program and a LEED Green Associate, Heather has previous experience in furniture design, space planning and retail design

Thank you to our partners:



National Industry Partners
Hunter Doulgas Lutron Cosentino Midgley Benjamin Moore keilhauer
Shaw Contract Knoll Levey Industries Samsung Architex Caesarstone Canada
Upper Canada Forest Products Milliken Mohawk Group