Before realizing her true passion was in interior design, Rachel Edelstein studied at the University of Delaware as an English major. After a year, she decided to apply to NYSID to gain a valuable design education, while receiving opportunities New York City had to offer. Rachel recently entered her fourth year in NYSID’s BFA program.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I currently am a design assistant at Todd Klein, Inc., a small residential firm in New York City where I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects in Kentucky, San Francisco, and the Bahamas. As I enter my final year and prepare for life after graduation, I plan to trial a wide range of design, including residential, commercial, and hospitality, as well as set design. Ultimately, I aspire to have my own line of fabric.
What led you to choose NYSID over other design schools?
As I was researching design schools in New York City, I discovered that NYSID not only offered a prestigious education but also offered great opportunities to students whose backgrounds weren’t in interior design. I decided to attend an open house before making my final decision and it was by far the best decision that I had made, in regards to my future. NYSID’s guest speaker at open house spoke about leaving his accounting job to enroll into NYSID to pursue a career interior design. His story was so inspiring it made me feel like NYSID was absolutely the right place for me as I was transitioning into a new career change.
What have you enjoyed most about your program at NYSID?
While I thoroughly enjoy the wide range of projects and the great classes offered in the BFA program, what I have enjoyed the most are the friends I’ve made. Being in the BFA program, I’ve been with the same group of amazing students for the past three years. We have grown to love and support one another. We’re always uplifting, encouraging, and supporting one another during frustrating times. It is that environment that makes the entire process a little bit easier.
Can you tell us about an "aha" moment you’ve had as a student at NYSID?
One “aha” moment I have had come after a negative critique on a project I loved so much. I ran into one of my favorite designers, Miles Redd, at an office holiday party a week after my presentation had gone poorly. During our conversation, he said that the best thing you can do as a designer is to “own it” – whatever it may be. After hearing that piece of advice, I’ve tried to actively “own” every design decision I make and stand behind my work. I think it makes you an even better designer when you feel strongly about what you have produced.
What are your plans after graduation?
Though graduation is only one year away, I’m still not sure what facet of the design world I’d like to be a part of. My plan is to try to experience many different types of design so that I can decide what suits me best. I’m excited for the process of figuring it out!