Welcome to IIDA Northland’s third Podcast episode of Community Pop! We are thrilled to introduce you to a new concept developed by our incredible team of volunteers with IIDA Northland.
We invite you to come back next month for our upcoming Community Pop Podcast with another exciting interviewee, nominated by this month’s Ingrid Youmans.
“I think designers are incredibly interesting people and we are all a little bit quirky and we all have just varying interests, but we’re passionate about what we do.”
Caitlin Wolff: Welcome to Community Pop, an IIDA northland podcast where we get to know members of our community. Where each Interviewee gets to nominate the next person for me to pop over and ask a question to. I’m your host Caitlin Wolff, and today I’m talking to Ingrid Youmans, Architecture and Design Manager at Steelcase. Hey, Ingrid, welcome to Community Pop!
IY: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.
CW: As you know, you were nominated by Claire Meints at IA and she has a question for you. But before we get to that, can you tell us first a little bit about your background and how you arrived in the interior design industry?
IY: I actually started going to Hamline University to be an artist and about a year or six months into my schooling, I realized it was ridiculous of me to go to Hamline to be an artist. And it’s kind of an expensive way to become an artist. So I transferred to Iowa State to be an interior designer after I was doing some soul searching and thinking about, you know, I think every designer members rearranging their bedroom in million ways and drawing plans up and I used to obsess about watching This Old House with my dad so that kind of helped direct me to design. So I went to Iowa State and got my BFA and then ended up in the Twin Cities at a few firms.
CW: And you practiced as an interior designer. Can you tell us about that and your current role as well?
IY: I started my career in the Twin Cities at Pope and spent about four years there. And then I practiced for two years at Studio Hive, which has now been since combined with DLR. I got curious about all sorts of things and started working for Coalesse now about 10 years ago, and that morphed its way into a role at Steelcase since the companies are, you know, Coalesse is owned by Steelcase. And over the years, my job has been, in one form or another, covering ancillary and working with the architecture and design community. And then as of this last year and a half, my role then expanded to include all of the Steelcase portfolio and the Twin Cities design community. So it’ll be 10 years this coming June.
CW: Let me ask, what brings you joy in your job?
IY: I always come back to designers. I think designers are incredibly interesting people and we are all a little bit quirky and we all have just varying interests, but we’re passionate about what we do and those, even those side hobbies, we just have such energy for. I love working with designers, so that’s what keeps me going.
CW: Well, Speaking of side hobbies, as you know, you were nominated by Claire Meints from IA and she has a related question for you:
Claire Meints: Hi Ingrid! What has sparked your interest in apparel design and what inspires you when creating a new pattern?
IY: I think I’ve been sewing probably since I was a teenager, started with quilts and whatnot. And then when I was on maternity leave with my daughter Violent about four years ago, I started actually sewing garments for the first time, working on clothing and many failures ensued. But my love for that craft started in earnest, and I think it comes from the fact that sewing is intense in a structured way, just like design and AutoCAD and you know, designers, we loved those puzzle type pieces of activities in our world. So I love that aspect of it. It’s very rigid and structured, but it also has this incredible freedom for creativity and pattern and design to it. So that’s why I love sewing. And when it comes to actually designing patterns which again is a new passion of mine, I think inspiration is everywhere and I’ve been surprised to find how easy it is to find inspiration in, like, too many places. basically. My next collection that I want to work on which sounds we were just even coming out of my mouth, is inspired by a painting we have of the Southwest and just the beautiful muted colors and I’m going to throw in some geometric shapes there.
CW: That’s amazing. And can you share where people might be able to find your goods and beautiful products?
IY: I’m still very much in my infancy of any of this, but you can print fabric or wallcovering from my designs on spoonflower.com and there will be more uploaded there soon.
CW: Well, now it’s time for our Lightning round. We’ve been inspired by Vogue’s 73 Questions style interviews. We don’t have time for 73 questions today, so we’re shortening it to 23. Go with your gut. Ingrid, Are you ready?
IY: I’m ready.
CW: What do you usually drink in the morning?
IY: I am a decaf herbal tea drinker.
CW: How do you define beauty?
IY: Embracing your true self despite societal pressures.
CW: Where’s your hometown?
IY: Rochester, Minnesota area.
CW: Describe the style of your home in 2 words.
IY: Simple yet textural.
CW: If you could be a tourist in the Twin Cities for a weekend, what hotel would you book?
IY: Hotel Alma. It’s dreamy.
CW: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
IY: I am not very adventurous, so I would say studying abroad.
CW: What’s your favorite space or place in the Twin Cities area?
IY: I’m gonna venture out a little bit and say William O’Brien State Park.
CW: Who’s your girl crush?
IY: I am really quite in love with Lisa Congdon’s art portfolio.
CW: What’s your least favorite color?
IY: Lime green.
CW: What makes you feel accomplished?
IY: A successful morning of meditating, creating and walking before I begin my day.
CW: Vintage or new?
IY: Definitely vintage.
CW: What’s the best thing that happened to you during COVID?
IY: Finding my inner artist.
CW: What’s the worst thing that happened to you during COVID?
IY: Wearing way too many hats at once, like teacher mom and employ all at the same time.
CW: What city would you move to in a heartbeat?
IY: Portland, Oregon.
CW: If you were to go back to school, what would you want to learn?
IY: I would love to know more about apparel design or midwifery.
CW: What’s your current TV obsession?
IY: Anything on Masterpiece Theater. PBS for us old ladies.
CW: What’s a design trend you would like to see disappear forever?
IY: Very boring, white, entirely white kitchens.
CW: What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to try, but you’ve been too scared to do?
IY: A hot air balloon ride.
CW: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
IY: I would say Lolito in Stillwater.
CW: What’s one ingredient you put in everything?
IY: As of late, it is my friend Eric’s custom salt blend.
CW: How do you decompress?
IY: Probably knitting or exercising.
CW: If you could make a documentary, what would it be about?
IY: This a little out of left field, but I would say the US birding system.
CW: What’s one goal you are determined to achieve in your lifetime?
IY: Regardless of what kind of art, I’m personally, and I would say developing a body of work or “oeuvre.”
CW: Ingrid, that is all the questions I have for you today. How can our listeners stay connected to you?
IY: Besides, you know steelcase.com, you can find on Instagram with my work account @lovehowyouwork_northland. If you want a peek at anything personally of my own, I’m on Instagram @studio_ingrid_ann. And then I send out a monthly newsletter as well that’s specific to the Twin Cities. So if you’re not on my mailing list, feel free to send me a note. I’m at email@example.com.
CW: Thanks so much for being a part of our podcast, Ingrid.
IY: Thanks for having me, Caitlin.
Caitlin Wolff – Social Spaces Specialist