Meet some of our amazing 2019 graduates: Dylan Bagnasco, Subu Bhandari, Patrick Keogh, Elizabeth Ott, Niklos Toldi, and Kyra Wu. These students are representative of our graduates’ dedication to their craft, commitment to academic excellence, collaborative spirit, innovative nature and overall resilience. They’ve worked diligently to reach graduation and now have reflected on their experience as well as offered advice for younger students. We thank these students and send congratulations to all our 2019 graduates.
NiklosToldi is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture.Toldi is from Memphis, Tennessee and was the Gensler Brinkmann scholarship winner in his fourth year. In addition to the scholarship, Toldi also interned with Gensler in San Francisco during summer 2018. At the college’s annual end-of-year celebration Brag + Blues 2019, Toldi won the Tau Sigma Delta Bronze Medal and the Faculty Award of Design Excellence.
What inspired you to choose a path in Interior Architecture? How has your view or perspective of the field evolved since beginning the program?
I have always gravitated toward the arts and other creative outlets; however, my dad and brother are both engineers, so I have always been incredibly logical and methodical when approaching projects. I discovered Interior Architecture when searching for a discipline that allowed me to integrate both arts and engineering in a unique way. Over the past four years, my outlook and drive as a designer have become much bolder. Being yourself and discovering something that inspires you personally are truly unique to design.
How has your Gensler internship affected your outlook of interior architecture? What did you gain from the Gensler Brinkmann scholarship experience?
Working for a firm like Gensler has dramatically changed my path as a designer. Being able to live in the heart of a big city working with like-minded individuals was invaluable. It made me realize the importance of interior designers. The entire atmosphere and quality of our built environment are dependent on choices interior designers make.
Can you tell me your favorite memory over the past four years?
My favorite memory was when I found out I had won the Gensler Brinkmann scholarship. I still feel so honored and humbled by the doors that opened and the drive it gave me to continue pursuing what I love. I have also loved getting to know my other classmates. The studio environment is so unique and interesting. You can always learn something from anyone at any time, and I will always value the relationships and friendships I have made during my time at school.
What advice do you have for incoming students about college/ the program/ getting involved?
My biggest advice for people starting out is to design with your interests in mind and discover what makes you passionate. Professors are invaluable to your learning, but don’t design something for your professor. Design something that evokes inspiration and drive within yourself, and if your professor sees that passion, they will help you make it even better. Also, make as many connections as possible with faculty, students, organizations and any others. More is always better. Finally, utilize the equipment that we are fortunate enough to have and use. Always be making something and never be afraid to learn new skills.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I am participating in the 4+2: Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture and Master of Architecturedual degree, so I will be back in the fall to begin my Master of Architecture. However, this summer I will be in Chicago for an internship.
Anything else you’d like to share about your time at UT/ in the college?
My time in the Interior Architecture program has been invaluable. I think if there is anyone out there who can’t decide between Architecture and Interior Architecture, the 4+2 dual degree is a great option. Starting with Interior Architecture gave me an incredibly unique perspective on the built environment, scale and representation of my projects. Finally, this sounds cheesy, but have fun. Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes because so many lessons come from experimentation and exploring through design.