ID Connections

National awards program puts the spotlight on up-and-coming interior designers

Published by Julia Salerno, October 04, 2011.

Interior Designers of Canada announce the winners of the first annual Top 5 Under 5 Awards
Interior Designers of Canada is thrilled to announce the winners of its first annual Top 5 Under 5 Awards, a newly launched awards program aimed at recognizing the rising stars of Canadian interior design.

IDC accepted entries from Intern/Provisional Members of their association within the first five years of their professional experience - individuals well on their way to establishing themselves as qualified, successful professionals in their field. Five national winners were selected based on glowing recommendations from their supervisors as well as their unique solutions to a design concept dilemma - designing a self-contained living space survival pack for victims of natural disasters.

The Top 5 Under 5 Award winners were honoured at the IDC Annual Meeting, which took place Friday, September 23 as part of IIDEX/NeoCon Canada. Each were presented with a distinct sculpture designed by Canadian artist and sculptor Tim Forbes who was specially commissioned for the project.

"These five winners are the ones to watch!" exclaimed Donna Assaly of Assaly Interior Design Inc., IDC's President and one of five Judges chosen to evaluate entries. "Their submissions were innovative, thoughtful and impressively presented. Plus, all entrants to the Top 5 Under 5 Awards program came highly recommended from some of the top professionals in the industry."

While professional qualifications and educational standards vary slightly from province to province, full IDC membership requires the completion of a three to four year interior design college diploma or university degree, five years experience under a qualified and registered full IDC Member as well as passing of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). As Intern/Provisional Members within the first five years of their experience and under the supervision of Registered Members, winners of the Top 5 Under 5 Awards are on the right track to becoming qualified professionals.

"The experience of judging the Top 5 Under 5 Awards has reminded me that the future is bright for Canadian interior design," affirms Assaly. "The winners not only exude rare talent, but have made a commitment to being involved and upholding the highest standards or qualification and professionalism, a testimonial to the future generation practicing in our profession." View images of the Top 5 Under 5 Award winners.

IDC applauds each of the winners...

Siavash Mahdieh
With a glowing recommendation from Allen Chan, principal with the Toronto-based interior design firm The Design Agency, Sia, as he likes to be called, proved exceptional creativity and insight with his design solution submission and rose brilliantly to the challenge of this awards program. "Most importantly, it's been our pleasure to have him as part of our team," exclaimed Allen Chan. Sia is a consistent team member and is always eager to push the process forward."

Bradley Marks
Bradley Marks is an exceptionally talented designer who joined the Toronto-based interior design firm figure3 after graduating from the Ryerson University interior design program. Allan Guinan, principal designer with figure3, expressed enthusiasm for Marks' candidacy to the Top 5 Under 5 Awards Program: "He is respected by his peers for his talent, work ethic and personality, and admired by our clients for his maturity, responsiveness and understanding of their business needs."

Heather Waters
Cathy Knott of xdesign Inc. recommended Heather Waters for the Top 5 Under 5 Awards based on her sincere passion for the interior design profession. "She has a quiet talent and drive to succeed that has proved to be a refreshing addition to our team," explains Knott. "What's rare is Heather's ability to exude calm even under pressure." Waters is a graduate of the Interior Design Program at Sheridan College.

Karol Wojdaszka
Karol Wojdaszka was put forward as a candidate for the Top 5 Under 5 Awards program by Antonio De Gregorio, principal with Architecture and design firm DePM Inc. "He has been a great asset to the design team," explains De Gregorio. "I'm consistently impressed with his willingness to take on challenges, his commitment to a project and his pleasant demeanor."

Rolanda Williams
Rolanda Williams graduated with honours from Sheridan Institute of Technology & Design in 2009 with an advanced Diploma of Interior Design and is the 2008 winner of the Global Group Bursary for Outstanding Achievement in this Program. Her glowing recommendation from MMMC Architects' Managing Architect for their Brantford Studio, Dwight D. M. Lander further underlines her commitment to excellence in the field. Of Williams, Lander says "Her educational accomplishments attest to her drive and enthusiasm, which have continued into her career with MMMC Architects." Williams is currently studying for LEED GA and her goal is to continue toward her LEED AP+ ID qualification.

Special thanks to the Top 5 Under 5 Awards Partners:


Program support provided by:


National Industry Partners
keilhauer Williams Sonoma For The Trade PC350 Architex Shaw Contract Hunter Doulgas
Mohawk Group Lauzon Midgley Interface Arconas Samsung
Knoll Levey Industries Altex Caesarstone Canada Cosentino Benjamin Moore