106 interiors+sources june2016 interiorsandsources.com
On June 12, Marlene Liriano, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, became the 2016-2017 President of the IIDA International Board of Directors. As a leader and a trailblazer, Liriano has been choos- ing—and defining—her path as an interior designer since
before she knew the name of the profession.
The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Liriano grew up believing she could
be anything she wanted, and from a young age, she gravitated toward interior
spaces, wondering how she could affect people’s experiences in those spaces.
Her passion for design has fueled a career that began with a college job at
an architectural firm, motivated her to open her own firm at the age of 24,
and propelled her to leadership positions that included Design Principal at both
Perkins+ Will and HOK and, most recently, Managing Director of the Miami
office of IA Interior Architects.
We talked with Liriano about what it means to be a leader in the industry,
how IIDA has been instrumental to her success, and why industry veterans
must take the time to mentor young designers. Here’s what she had to say:
IIDA: How has your perspective as a designer evolved as you have
moved into leadership and management roles?
LIRIANO: My love for design has not changed nor has my understanding
of how important and influential we are as designers. As I moved through
different design leadership positions, including design principal, I was
involved with the financial aspect of the business to a certain degree as
well as business development, but those roles are often ultimately about
delivering a project.
As managing director of the Miami office of IA, I’m touching a little bit of
By Louisa Fitzgerald | Photography courtesy of IIDA
Marlene Liriano Takes
On Her Next Leadership
Role as IIDA BOARD
It feels like home because the team at IIDA knows who we are, they know our
DNA, and I think we’ve done a really good job over the years to educate people about
what interior designers do.