IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 47

SOM's Velez is an example of someone who's doing it
right. Born in Colombia and trained in the United States,
he's designed interiors in 14 different countries, which
he's leveraged into a personal brand that he describes as
"global instead of local."
"When I'm working with clients or meeting with
vendors, I can bring up examples of things I've seen,
attitudes I've perceived, or strategies I have that have
been defined somewhere outside the local market," he
says. "That builds an aura around me that attracts people."
That's of tremendous benefit to SOM, according to
Velez, because the firm relies heavily on its global scale
and diverse talent pool. "I have become, to a degree, an
ambassador of the message that the firm wants to deliver
to the business community, which
helps SOM compete for clients," he
says. "We don't have one principal
who is leading the charge; SOM is a
firm of multiple voices, and that has
really shaped who I am and what I
bring to the firm."

Authenticity Always Wins
Sonal Kotecha also brings
a diverse perspective to the
corporate brand of Pallavi Dean
Interiors in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where she is a
senior interior designer.
"The company was founded and headed up by a female
entrepreneur, which is a very empowering aspect of the
company brand," Kotecha explains. "It's a primarily female
office, and we all take ownership of the projects we are
Chong
Chiu Fung

KILL IT O N
Let's be honest, when
compared with its social
media counterparts, LinkedIn's
vibe is pretty boring. But when
it comes to supporting your
personal brand, the power of
the networking site can't be
ignored.
"LinkedIn is the most
widely used tool in the B2B
community," says Terry
Whitaker, Terry Whitaker
Unlimited. "Designers
absolutely should be using it
to take charge of their brand."
But the full force of
LinkedIn won't be realized

working on. There is no hiding behind a
senior because the structure is transparent,
and this is even translated into the space we
work inside, which is in an entirely openplan format. We all know what everyone is
working on at any given time and encourage
internal critiquing of our own work so that
we can ensure our clients are getting the best
solution possible."
Because its brand celebrates collaborative design,
diverse opinions and experiences are important to PDI.
Kotecha tells that story via her personal brand in a way
that maximizes her contribution by emphasizing the
unique perspective she can share with her colleagues.
"In a word, [my personal brand is] diversity," says
Kotecha, a second-generation Indian who was born and
raised in the United Kingdom, has Kenyan-born parents
and now lives in the Middle East. Her design career has
included stints in a variety of sectors, including retail,
commercial, and residential design. "This variety is my
identity," she says.
Designers who don't see themselves in a firm's brand
probably shouldn't join that firm in the first place,
says Kotecha. "I don't think you should step into an
organization where you feel you need to reconcile your
brand identity," she says. "It's more important to be
authentic."
And while some designers might worry that their
company's brand will overshadow theirs, Chong says
that needn't be the case. "The [company] brand is the
skeleton," he says, "but you can add your own personal
touches on top of that framework." n

I don't think
you should
step into an
organization
where you
feel you
need to
reconcile
your brand
identity."
-Sonal Kotecha

LINKEDIN

unless you take advantage of
all it has to offer. Here are four
tips for getting started:

1

"

Use keywords: LinkedIn
isn't just a social
network; it's also a
search engine. In your
headline and introduction,
use the right keywords.
Instead of your title, for
example-project manager,
partner, or associate-
Whitaker recommends using
descriptive terms like "hotel
designer" that highlight your
expertise.

2

Stay active: If you
want to position
yourself as a thought
leader, participate. Share
professional status updates,
link to industry articles and
blog posts you've authored,
seek recommendations
and endorsements, and
participate in relevant
LinkedIn groups, suggests
Whitaker. And she's quick to
emphasize participating over
broadcasting. That means
not only posting your own
updates but also responding
and reacting to others.

3

Try Pulse: Want to be
a super user? Write an
original article in your
area of expertise and selfpublish it on LinkedIn's Pulse
platform to reach LinkedIn
users who are interested in
the topic.

4

Share your work:
LinkedIn allows you
to publish a digital
portfolio of publications and
projects. Use your profile to
share not only images of your
work but also to reveal the
stories behind it.

spring/summer 2017

perspective

47



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
Contents
From IIDA
Next
World View
Sum of Its Parts
Talk, Talk
Pre/Post
Data Viz
A Common Good
Pop Goes Design
A New School of Thought
Balancing Act
Scratch Pad
Insider Intel
Sound Bytes
IIDA News + Updates
Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Next
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 8
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - World View
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sum of Its Parts
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Talk, Talk
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pre/Post
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Data Viz
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A Common Good
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 28
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pop Goes Design
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 34
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A New School of Thought
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 42
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Balancing Act
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Scratch Pad
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Insider Intel
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sound Bytes
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA News + Updates
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover4
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