Industry Insights – Part IV

Industry Insights – Education Design

Four designers. Four specialties. One industry.

This summer, Corporate Design Interiors will be giving you some insight into the interior design industry through four very talented designers. Each week, we will be featuring a new designer and specialty. Not only will you have the opportunity to hear about recent trends in various aspects of interior design, but you will also have the opportunity to get to know four distinguished, seasoned designers in the Milwaukee area.

Allison Turdo

Company: Milwaukee Area Technical College
Favorite Material: Soelberg textured wall panels. We use them everywhere!
Favorite Kimball piece: I have four: Fit chair, Traxx, Dwell and Villa. Those aren’t in any order.
Advice to young designers: Get a lot of experience and take every opportunity you get. You never know what you’ll find that you enjoy!
Dream Job: MATC!


In the final installment of Industry Insight we bring you Allison Turdo. With over 14 years of experience, Allison brings a tremendous amount of talent to Milwaukee Area Technical College. Not only has she worked in education design but she also has worked in corporate design and at several furniture dealers around Milwaukee.

Tell us a little about your hometown and family?
I was born in Bayview, WI and then my family moved to Oak Creek, WI when I was seven. Growing up, my mom was a stay at home mom but she loved helping me on school projects and encouraged me to be creative.

What was your first job in the industry and how did you transition into education design?
[My first job,] I was a designer at Manpower and worked there a little over a year. While in school for Interior Design at MATC, I was also interning in their Design Department.  I loved working in education, but wanted to see what else was out there.

Ultimately, after working in both corporate design and at a furniture dealer, I realized that I was happiest designing educational spaces since there such a high demand and there are a variety of projects you work on.

Once a position at MATC opened up, I knew it was meant to be!

What are some of the biggest trends in education right now?
Collaborative spaces and the ability to sit quickly and work. We are also seeing a ton of large tables where people can collaborate. Lounge spaces with technology plug-ins have been popular as well.

What is one trend you think is overrated?
White finishes. They look beautiful, but don’t work well in [education] environments.

Are institutions open to changing with new trends? How has the millennial generation impacted your designs?
We are very open to new ideas.

We feel that whatever makes our students comfortable and happiest is what works for us. Ultimately, we want to keep it appealing for recruiting future students.

The millennial generation has really impacted [education] design! We need to ensure that every space has technology, is flexible, creative and allows for multi-tasking so that we stay current and above our competition in academia.

Join us for Industry Insights – Part II when we discuss Corporate Design with a local area designer.