Charles Pavarini III

Charles Pavarini III, BFA ’81, is the founder and president of Charles Pavarini III Design Associates, a firm specializing in architecturally-based interior design. The grandson of a prominent New York builder, Charles Pavarini III reinterpreted the legacy of the Pavarini Construction Company, known for creating the Seagram Tower, the United Nations and many other landmarks, by focusing his passion for design on interior architecture. Pavarini has won 13 design awards from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).  The International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) inducted him into its “Circle of Excellence” and named him Designer of the Year in 2010. He has been as an active NYSID alumnus, volunteering as a guest critic for thesis projects, participating in NYSID’s public programs, and supporting the College’s fundraising efforts.

What do you value about your experience at NYSID?
I had been a performer in musical theater before I started at NYSID in the certificate program. It was my first sketch class that made me realize I had talent. That initial spark from one instructor gave me the confidence to go on and get my BFA. You can’t teach taste or talent, but education gives you the skills to be able to express what you have. I gained enormous confidence and discipline from my classes, particularly from my Residential Design 3 instructor, Mr. Maggio. 

What was the most important skill that you took from your NYSID education?
Drafting with a pencil on paper is critical. Interior design has changed so much with AutoCAD and Revit, but designers still need to draft and sketch by hand. I’m pleased that the College still emphasizes this skill. My drafting classes taught me how to see and draw scale. Drafting by hand helps one develop what I call the “third eye” or the “design eye,” that ability to project yourself into a room and see what a human needs to move through the space.

How did you get your start?    
The famous interior designer Ruben de Saavedra sat on the jury for my thesis. After my presentation, he asked to see me in his office. I thought I might be in trouble. He hired me on the spot.   

As the principal of a design firm, how do you regard NYSID graduates?
I know they are getting a great education. My advice to any young design student is to get an internship. I have hired interns and entry-level designers from NYSID. In fact, the vice president of my firm, Randall Tarasuk, is a NYSID alumnus who came in as an intern.     

Why do you give to NYSID?
At a certain point in one’s career, you need to give back. What better way than to give to the generation of designers coming up?

Alumni ProfilePhyllis Greer