Interior Design Alumni Spotlight with Lydia Myers of HOK in Kansas City
Interior Design graduates are doing extraordinary things! Interior Design Alumni Spotlights are a new feature highlighting our talented graduates. These interviews allow you to learn about where our alumni work, the types of projects they do, and how their experiences during their time at UCO helped shape them into the designers they are today.
UCO DES: Where are you from?
Lydia Myers: Tulsa, Oklahoma
DES: What year did you graduate from UCO?
LM: May 2016
DES: What got you interested in interior design?
LM: I remember wanting to be an interior designer at the young age of eleven or twelve. I loved watching HGTV, and I thought I wanted to be a residential designer.
DES: Why did you decide to major in interior design?
LM: After taking an interior design course at Tulsa Tech, which exposed me to the world of commercial design, I knew I wanted to become a commercial designer.
DES: Did you double major or get a minor when you were in school? If so, what other areas did you study?
LM: I got a minor in Graphic Design. I also took a textile class and a sewing class.
DES: Where are you working? What areas do you specialize in with your design work?
LM: I am an interior design professional at HOK in Kansas City, where I mainly work on sports projects. Designing locker rooms, clubs, suites, and recreation facilities.
DES: When you were a student, did you work? If so, where?
LM: I worked at a resort as an event staff member over the weekends. One of the biggest tasks of the weekend was working on housekeeping. We cleaned every building after the guests left. It really taught me to pay attention to small details, from folding towels down to cleaning windows, leaving no smudge behind.
DES: Where did you do your internship? How did that experience shape your future?
LM: I worked at Sherwin Williams paint store. I didn’t do an architecture/interior design internship; fortunately, that did not prevent me from getting my current job. I learned quite a bit about paints and stains while at Sherwin Williams, which was valuable in my career.
DES: What was your first job out of college?
LM: I did an internship with Panolam Surfaces for the summer after graduation. It was a great experience. I was able to travel all over the United States and also to Vancouver. Before doing the internship, I planned on working in Oklahoma. However, after traveling to cities I had never been to before, I realized I was willing to leave Oklahoma. Without that internship, I might not have ever considered leaving.
DES: Were you involved in any campus activities or organizations when you were in school? Were you in a leadership position?
LM: I volunteered in SIDA. I helped create posters and social media posts.
DES: Are you a member of a professional organization now as a practicing designer?
LM: I am a member of IIDA.
DES: Have you taken the NCIDQ exam? Any advice?
LM: I am currently studying for the NCIDQ. My advice is to take the first exam in school. I wish I had. Also, get a study group. It really helps to have a small support system all studying together to review questions and help each other.
DES: What is one of your fondest memories of your time at UCO?
LM: I am so blessed to have met my best friend while at UCO. We spent so much time together over those four years, eating, kayaking, hiking, shopping, and of course sitting on our sofas with laptops in our lap, designing magic!
DES: What advice can you give our current students?
LM: Get a minor in graphic design; it will serve you well!
DES: Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on to date?
LM: One of my favorite projects was Lynn Family Stadium for the Louisville City Football Club. I worked on this project from design development through to completion. My favorite part of the design process was punching at the end of the project. I helped punch every seat in the 15,000 seat stadium. In addition, it had several outdoor bars, including one under the giant video board. There are 18 suites, a club serving those suites, along with the men’s and women’s locker rooms.
LM: The picture of my colleagues and me sitting in the cubbies was from when we punched the Louisville City Football Club Stadium. This is the men’s soccer locker room.
The links below are to projects Lydia has worked on with HOK:
University of Wisconsin Natatorium (This is the biggest project I have been a part of. We were drawing construction documents while working from home during the 2020 COVID pandemic. It will be complete in Spring of 2023, but you can follow the link above to the construction cam.)
HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm with 1,600 employees who collaborate across a network of 23 offices on three continents. Fast Company ranked them as one of the most innovative companies of 2021. To learn more, visit: https://www.hok.com/