LEAD Questionnaire 2022

Name: Krista Easterly
Company: Sasaki
Concentration: Higher Education
Title/Role: Senior Interior Designer / Associate
Years in the industry: 14

What past project of yours holds the most meaning to you and why?: My first academic project, McGauvran Center at UMass Lowell was a pivotal part of my career. It was my first time working on a large-scale design project and I loved the project type so much I was sold on academic work. I haven’t looked back since!

How would you describe your leadership style in 3 words?: Empathetic, Understanding, Engaging
What advice would you give to this year's class of emerging leaders?:  I would tell them to show up and engage! This program is tailored for us as designers and if effort is put into the program and work is done, you will reap the rewards. The ELN program was such a wonderful experience for me when I was a part of it. I made friends across the industry and learned a lot about how my career would progress. The great experience I had in ELN pushed me to apply for LEAD!
Recall a moment you felt the most empowered as a professional Interior Designer?: Presenting in my first design meeting to a client and receiving positive feedback not only from the client, but from my colleagues. It built my confidence that this is something I can do and tackle on larger scales.
What makes a project successful for you?: Projects are the most successful to me when the client and the design team are happy with the end result. Working as a team with everyone working towards a shared vision makes a project so much more successful. Everyone is on the same team!
How has IIDA helped you the most in your career?: It has allowed me to develop management and social skills that I would never have developed without it. Working on the Fashion Show committee for years and then taking on the VP of Advocacy role has challenged me to work on communication skills and time management skills to make sure I do not drop the ball on anything. But more importantly, IIDA has introduced me to life long friends who I can’t imagine life without!
How would you explain the difference between a professional Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator to a stranger?: Interior Designers are not just decorating spaces. They are not picking out finishes and furniture and paint colors. Although we do engage in those activities as a part of our daily work, Interior Designers are trained and educated in life safety, code compliance and design standards. We focus on creating environments that enhance the human experience. We seek to protect and improve human health and wellness in our designs and focus on shaping interior spaces to create great experiences for users. We are qualified and educated to design!