Lissette Carrera received a BFA from a design school in her native state of Florida in 2003 and a Master’s degree (MFA-2 program) from NYSID in 2007. She was an interior designer at the Rockwell Group for three years and is currently senior interior designer at Charles Farruggio LLC, a boutique interior design firm that specializes in high-end hospitality and residential projects. She recently returned to NYSID as a faculty member, teaching graduate-level courses.
Why did you choose NYSID for your MFA?
I was working in Miami Beach doing hospitality design and restoration when I decided I wanted to get my master’s in interior design. And I knew I wanted to come to New York. The city is such a great place to study design. Everything is right here at your fingertips. You have access to showrooms, design spaces, galleries, and museums. And the city itself has a nurturing creative spirit.
I applied to several schools, but NYSID was my first choice. NYSID’s program catered more to people with a background in design and the program seemed to be a lot more focused. There was an advanced course selection, so I didn’t have to go back to square one.
What did you like most about the MFA program?
I liked that the classes were small; there were usually only about 11 or 12 people in a class. You really get to know your classmates and you have a lot of one-on-one time with your professors. I also always felt like there was enough studio time; I didn’t feel rushed. The facilities were great — and now, with the new Graduate Center, they are even better.
Many colleges feel impersonal, but NYSID always felt intimate. There is an informal approach and everyone is always accessible. Even though it’s grown a lot over the past few years, it still feels like a small school. I loved being a student at NYSID.
And now you are teaching at the College. Could you talk a little about that?
I started teaching the Design and Drawing course in the graduate program last semester. At first it felt a bit strange to be on the other side of the podium but I think that actually works to my advantage—and hopefully my students’ advantage—because I remember how the students feel and I can empathize with them.