Designers to Watch

We here at i+s have had the honor of meeting so many wonderful and talented designers over the years, and now we’d like to return the favor. Every month we will be introducing design students and recent alumni recognized for going above and beyond.

01/03/2017 By Jenna Lippin


As the only full-time student who requested (and was approved) to attend i+s Design Connections: Education, Daniela Marquez stands out as an ambitious, accomplished future A&D professional. She currently attends the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design, and has already worked on several standout projects.        

During her time at SCAD, Marquez has helped design two spaces in Atlanta: 3form’s showroom for SCAD’s Retail Studio, and the Children’s Wish Foundation International (CWFI) headquarters for the school’s Corporate Studio. “I wanted to address [3form’s] ‘new’ hypothetical physical presence in Atlanta, their company culture, and, more specifically, their humanitarian efforts through their Full Circle line,” she explained.

“Through the concept of connection, I was able to really explore user interaction and journey both with products, the Atlanta community, and the company’s humanitarian endeavors. When designing CWFI’s headquarters for our Corporate Studio, I was able to explore more of the emotional effects of a space in aiding employees who deal with very tough subject matter on a daily basis. I hoped to rekindle joy and lightheartedness through discovery zones of one’s childhood such as a treehouse space or garden space that allowed for different levels of privacy and organization based on an employee’s specific task. It was a lot of fun to design child-inspired spaces in a refined manner for adult users.”

In addition, Marquez is currently working on what she considers her “most notable project,” which encourages social awareness and acceptance of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in South America. “Being from South America, this project is extremely near and dear to my heart,” she said. “Through a proposed children’s center that offers diagnostics and research, light healthcare, and inclusive education in a public setting, the goal is for it to be used as a model for facilities regarding ASD in a region where there is very little awareness and acceptance due to societal and class structures.”

When visualizing her future career, Marquez would like to continue working on projects that involve humanitarian efforts. She envisions herself contributing to spaces with significant impacts on communities, such as schools and hospitals. “My first quarter at SCAD, I went to a lecture by MASS Design Group delineating their Butaro District Hospital project in Rwanda and the effects of the project on the community, region, economy, etc.,” she reflected, “I knew right then and there, that’s the kind of work that I wanted to do and be a part of—projects that go beyond the agenda of a well-designed building but can also create a positive and lasting impact on a community.”    

Designers who inspire Marquez and her work, she said, include Alexandra Champalimaud, founder of Champalimaud Design based in New York. After the designer spoke at SCAD a few years ago, Marquez saw Champalimaud as a person she would “strive to be like … her passion for design is just intoxicating. We all referred to her as ‘the Mary Poppins of design’ after the lecture because she was just magical to [listen to]—confident, precise, hardworking, and humble."

Marquez will graduate from SCAD in May and is currently applying to graduate school M.Arch programs, hoping to start in the fall. Her portfolio is available at