WantedDesign is a platform dedicated to promoting design and fostering the local and international creative community throughout the year.

Wanted Interiors Online

Wanted Interiors Online

“RIT’s Interior Design junior studio, Exhibition and Merchandising Design, charged 20 students with creating avant-garde themed proposals for the 2020 Wanted Interiors installation at WantedDesign Manhattan.

To help celebrate the 10th year of WantedDesign, in its new venue, students were challenged to make an unforgettable lounge space with a distinct identity and fresh perspective where visitors could unwind while meeting with colleagues and friends.

The pedagogical approach intended to coalesce 20 individual voices for the installation into a singular, buildable studio vision curated with partner products. After deconstructing the project brief and interviewing the WantedDesign team students prepared individual concepts and parti models.

Proposals included thematic approaches to concept development inspired by partner products, materiality and constructability, visitor engagement and experiential moments. The students then formed five teams to converge individual thinking into formative installations. 

Following a distance critique with the WantedDesign team we filtered the team projects into a singular studio proposal. As we prepared to head to NYC to meet with the team and project partners the outbreak of COVID-19 rapidly spread through New York City and the world began to self isolate. At this time RIT, like many universities went online and sadly NYCxDESIGN week was cancelled.

In the unprecedented shift to online learning the students returned home, some as far away as Japan, and we reset the studio via Zoom. It was now late March and while we were no longer building a physical installation the WantedDesign team, the students and I felt it important to persevere with preparing a WantedDesign Interiors installation for a digital launch. With uncertainty as to what to expect from the internet and distance learning looming large each student picked the project up from one of three points – the studio concept, their team proposal or their individual parti.

In a few short weeks, twenty diverse projects emerged from the studio to celebrate the 10th anniversary of WantedDesign. The WantedDesign team reviewed the proposals and selected the five projects with the most risk taking solution to the brief.

We are always proud and honored to be a part of WantedDesign and feel maintaining the presence of creative design and ingenuity are crucial vehicles of hope for humanity as we face this unprecedented time together.

This is a very special group of students who are close knit as a studio, kind and considerate to one another and exemplify that great things can happen when we trust one another and commit to seeing something through. It has been my pleasure to mentor them through this process and see their work recognized through WantedDesign Interiors.

We are grateful for the opportunity to share this work with our good friends Odile Hainaut  and Claire Pijoulat whose vision for a better world through design inspires us all. Congratulations on ten years of WantedDesign!”

Mary Golden, RIT (Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Program Director RIT Interior Design Program)

“It is always inspiring to be connected with design students and their take on contemporary space design. During the process we were able to sense the wonderful and distinct panorama blooming at RIT’s.  Among the selected projects we were able to identify clear strategies and possible design systems charged with poetry and technical viability for WantedDesign Manhattan. From an exhibition design perspective, these projects could be inserted within the Master Plan that we create without complications, adding diversity to the space and the overall experience, reinforcing the values of unity by design. ” – Rodolfo Agrella, designer @rodolfoagrella

Jury members: Mary Golden, RIT; Rodolfo Agrella, designer; Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, co-founders of WantedDesign

Special thanks to Shaw Contract, Ressource America, Emeco and Hush by David Trubridge/Wakanine.

The Best Projects


Designer: Emma Canny
Rochester Institute of Technology, Class of 2021, Interior Design
Instagram @emmacanny_designs

About Utopia
Wanted Interior’s newest installation, Utopia, fills the body with utmost tranquility. Your wild imagination turns into reality. Where dreams are built to fill the need of escape, finding your peace and inner bliss. Materials are explored and used in unexpected ways, creating a colorful, unconventional tactile experience.

Emma, what was the most exciting aspect of this project ?
This project has been a wonderful and exciting opportunity for myself as this was a great way to participate in a design where I could contribute to all factors. Such as design development, planning, manufacturing, installing, and exhibiting. All in one semester, which is a very big endeavor, but one that allowed for collaboration, design thinking, and a new way to approach design. Even though this project switched to an online platform, I still believe this was a great learning experience in my academic career and will lead to many more opportunities.  

What was the most challenging part and what did you learn during the process?
Creating an installation that was avant garde, original, unique, and sustainable was quite a challenge. Taking risks can be somewhat scary and a challenge being a young designer.  But with this design brief I truly got to think and propose designs that used materials in unexpected ways. Scraps that would be seen as garbage would be turned into unique design features that truly made this design original and showcased products in a sustainable way. This process has truly sparked a passion in my design thinking and I will be taking those risks in my future designs.


Designer: Arjealy Wisseh
Rochester Institute of Technology, Class of 2021, Interior Design
Instagram @maiyndesign

About Kalm
When the mind is calm it relaxes the spirit allowing the body to sleep which recharges the brain. Trees are very sacred in African culture especially ones that are over thousands of years old. It is believed that certain trees posses all the memories of our ancestors and releases those memories when our ancestors returns from the after life. As their reincarnated selves grows the slowly retain those memories so they can be able to continue what they where doing in their previous life. These trees also possess the ability to calm a person when they are stress. It is very common and part of a lifestyle in rural Africa to take rest and naps under trees. As the matter of fact people will leave their houses (dwelling) in the mid-day and laid a piece of mat or fabric under these trees which, shades them from the sun to sleep. Relaxing their minds, calming their spirit, resting their bodies and recharging their brain for the rest of the day

Arjealy, what was the most exciting aspect of this project ?
The most exciting aspect of the project was the material was use. Though I used all the materials in a traditional way, I used it in a different traditional way. An example in the carpet. I used it on the floor but the undulating sections of the carpet represents a visible tree roots. 

What was the most challenging part and what did you learn during the process?
My most challenging part of this process was over thinking. It is has always been my challenge in almost everything I do.


Designer: Jonathan Sutton
Rochester Institute of Technology, Class of 2021, Interior Design
Instagram @jonathan_sutton_designs

About Oasis
The desert is a vast and scorching place. It can be overwhelming with its endless dunes and mysterious mirages. However, there are pockets of peace and shade, where life and water endures. These pockets are known as an Oasis. The Javits center is huge, and will be occupied by both the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and WantedDesign Manhattan in May, 2020. Both of these fairs in one space can be overwhelming, much like a desert. OASIS, is meant to be a place for people to stop, rest a moment or two, and grab a beverage. OASIS is where people can gather to converse in a space that is both aesthetically and acoustically pleasing. OASIS is an exhibition experience that collaborates and combines collections from Ressource, Shaw Contract, Emeco, as well as David Trubridge, Wakanine and the PLN group.

Jonathan, what was the most exciting aspect of this project ?
The most exciting aspect of this project for me was trying to create a space that fit into the scope of Wanted Interiors, while working with real world design partners and materials. 

What was the most challenging part and what did you learn during the process?
The most challenging part of this project was trying to find a way to showcase our design partners’ products and materials, while still addressing the project brief. The most important lesson I learned from this process, is the value of a simple design. 


Designer: Daeya Rose Shealy
Rochester Institute of Technology, Class of 2021, Interior Design
Instagram @daey.a

About Absensia
Absensia creates the feeling of exploring a world that is unfamiliar, the visitor is immersed in hanging panels of fabric as they travel through the installation. The material’s acoustic qualities create moments of stillness in an otherwise hectic soundscape.  Wanted Interiors’ is titled Absensia, referring to the idea of doing something when one is not physically present, and the senses. Absensia creates an experience of calm that one can refer to at any point during Design Week.

Daeya, what was the most exciting aspect of this project ?
It was very exciting to work with real product partners, and figure out how to showcase them in unique ways. In particular, I was immediately intrigued by the HUSH lights, and figuring out how to use that material to create an oasis of quiet within Wanted Design was so exciting. 

What was the most challenging part and what did you learn during the process?
This project pushed me out of my comfort zone in just about every way possible. I’d never worked on project with real product partners or designed a lounge space. I learned how to transfer my ideas about the space to understandable mediums, and how to create a cohesive experience for the visitor by integrating all the brands. I also got comfortable with a new software thanks to COVID-19.


Designer: Alexia Taft-Soriano
Rochester Institute of Technology, Class of 2021, Interior Design
Instagram @ataftsoriano

About Nomad
Nomad is an experience that focuses on shrinking and expanding sense of space through large sculptural forms, much like the changing of a sand dune through natural forces. Organic line forms within the space guide the user through active and passive activity areas, and differentiation in overhead clearances determine social and unplugged spaces. 

Alexia, what was the most exciting aspect of this project ?
I was excited for this project as soon as I read the brief! I grew up in a desert environment and have a strong nostalgic connection to the sensory experiences of an arid climate, and wanted to find aspects of that experience to emulate within the convention environment.

What was the most challenging part and what did you learn during the process?
The most challenging part of the design process for me was finding a way to create a sense of space within the openness of the Javits environment without erecting walls or solid barriers. I didn’t want visitors to feel restricted or closed-in while still providing an immersive experience. I’m also trying to refine my furniture selection skills and spatial aesthetics, which is always a challenge for me. Throughout the design process I learned that it’s okay to abandon ideas that don’t work, even if they’re good ideas on their own. Sometimes the project changes in ways you don’t expect, and learning to pivot as-needed is a challenge.

More about RIT online project showcase: rit.edu/artdesign/interiors-designweek


The approach for Wanted Interiors is to create an inspiring and engaging environment for visitors to experience products and discover brands in a new way. How to waken the curiosity of visitors by welcoming them to a space that’s between a product showcase and entertainment space, letting them interact with the products in a more intimate and lively way? How to give the participating companies a beautiful place to tell their story in a welcoming environment?

Launched in 2017, Wanted Interiors will continue offering new ways to discover and experience products, in the context of a living space at the heart of WantedDesign Manhattan at the Javits. The theme and the design of the space are the result of a collaboration between WantedDesign team, selected young Interior Designers and the manufacturers and companies sponsoring the space.

Contact us if you are interested to be part of Wanted Interiors 2021