Feature Stories 2023: Kassidey Star '23: An award-winning designer

Senior Interior Architecture & Design major Kassidey Star
Feature Stories 2023: Kassidey Star '23: An award-winning designer
Kassidey Star '23: An award-winning designer

Senior interior architecture and design major believes she was meant for IAD program

Why UMassD?

Describe UMassD in one word:


What brought you here? 

"The interior architecture & design (IAD) program."

How did you decide on your major? 

"I transferred here specifically for this program! I spent my first year of college dual-enrolled at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. I spent my first year exploring a variety of classes as an undecided major and Wentworth led me to a passion for interior architecture."

Interior Architecture + Design 

What are you hoping to do in IAD? 

"With interior architecture and design, I am hoping to pursue a career that is both creative and logical." 

Have you had a favorite class or professor? 

"All of our professors in the IAD program want to see us succeed and I think that is the most important thing. Their support, validation, and encouragement are what drives us, educates us, and keeps us motivated to put our best foot forward."

Have you participated in any service-learning projects?

"During one of my studio courses, my classmates and I designed conceptual floor plans and models for an addition to Carney Academy in New Bedford. The addition was an Autism Spectrum Disorder wing that could accommodate the school's growing student population and promote community within. This experience was so beyond rewarding and eye-opening for us both as learners and the staff of the school who realized what an amazing space they need and deserve!"

IFDA best student design award 

What did it mean to you to be recognized by the International Furnishings & Design Association? 

"This award meant so much to me. It truly felt like others recognized the hard work that I was putting into each of my projects. I felt such an immense amount of support from my colleagues, my family, and those that I spoke with at the awards ceremony. It was such a great feeling to be recognized, rewarded, and encouraged to continue."

Internship experience 

Have you had any internships? 

"In the summer and fall of 2022, I interned for a high-end residential firm called Dane Austin Design in Boston."

What did your day-to-day role look like? 

"Every day was a different experience during this internship. Daily tasks ranged from creating marketing packets to assisting with client consultations. Dane and his team were great about including me and giving me an overview of different things to expect in the field."

How did this position shape your career goals? 

"During my first time working alongside interior designers, I learned a lot about not only myself as a person but also how I can see myself fitting into a business and what I see myself doing within the field. I haven’t found all of the answers just yet, but the experience as a whole was a great way to be introduced to the broad possibilities." 

Why should other students look for internships? 

"I highly recommend that students who are looking to get a taste of their fields try out an internship during their college career. Nothing compares to stepping out of your comfort zone and placing yourself in the path of hands-on experience."

Looking back 

How do you know UMassD was the right choice for you?

"UMassD provided me with a unique and strong IAD program that I couldn’t have found anywhere else. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason; I believe that I was meant to experience this program."

Is there one thing you’ll miss most about your time at UMassD?  

"Although my time at UMassD felt short and sweet because of COVID-19 and transferring in, I will definitely miss having the people around me that made the experience and program what it was. There was so much comfort in being surrounded by people experiencing similar things to me and we really bonded over that."

Looking ahead 

What's next for you? 

"Right now, I am most excited to take some time to travel and experience the world before finding a place to settle in for a while. As much as I love New England, it might be time for a change!"

How prepared do you feel to enter the next phase of your life? 

"I know that I'm not alone in feeling the pressures of the ‘real world’. When all you know is school, it definitely feels like a reality check to enter a phase of such uncertainty. As scary as it sounds, I do think that I am well prepared to enter this next phase and really focus on myself, family, and a future career. I try to keep in mind that everyone is doing this for the first time, and I find a lot of comfort in that."

Connect with Kassidey

Kassidey welcomes readers to view her designs on her webpage and connect with her on LinkedIn.