interiorsandsources.com may2018 interiors+sources 17
Afshin Homayoonmehr has been named the winner of interiors+sources’ 2018 I Like Design (ILD) student design competition. Homayoonmehr, an Interior Design major at San Diego Mesa College who will be graduating
this year, conceptualized CASA FRONDOSA to address the ILD design challenge
as an innovative, modern bookstore that integrates elements of nature. A team
of judges comprised of i+s and Michael Graves Architecture & Design team
members selected CASA FRONDOSA from a pool of submissions.
ILD was part of the curriculum for Homayoonmehr’s Non-Residential Space
Planning class and served as the final project. When
considering his approach, Homayoonmehr said he first had to
get acquainted with the WELL Building Standard as it had to
play a significant role in the design concept.
“I got familiar with the Standard while designing CASA
FRONDOSA,” he said. “I think the WELL Standard and features
are useful and important in the design of any project; it can be
anything from a basic, simple approach to a more complex, high-tech approach. I
felt like many of the features had been borrowed from ancient architecture.”
The WELL Building Standard was incorporated into the design of CASA
FRONDOSA by way of the site location and exterior architecture for maximizing
daylight and natural ventilation in addition to the interior details like noise-reducing
finishes, placement of a luxury wash basin, and low-VOC materials. “This
project is designed to improve human health and well-being of the occupants,”
The name CASA FRONDOSA comes from the geographic location of
the store in San Diego Balboa Park. “A Spanish name starting with ‘CASA’
was selected to blend with the rest of the existing structures in the park,”
Homayoonmehr explained. “'Casa’ means house in Spanish and ‘Frondosa’
means lush and full of life. It is a unique word that is not that common but it
represents the interior design concept from the lush indoor plants to the unique
finishes and furniture used in the design.” It is also used in the Italian language,
he mentioned, which coincides with the modern Italian Art Deco style of the
store with its soft materials, pastel colors, and marble, porcelain, velvet, and
brass finishes throughout the space.
Finishes from ILD sponsoring companies include vinyl flooring by Roppe, felt
by MDC that covers bookcases to help absorb sound, and millwork by Aurauco.
Both the millwork and vinyl flooring are certified sustainable.
“I selected the bookstore option … because of the challenges these stores are
facing to stay in business these days; I wanted to find a solution,” Homayoonmehr
continued. “The design is the result of research and international case studies
combined with inspirations, products and resources, and software skills to create
an innovative concept store promoting book-reading culture, art, socializing,
human well-being, and retreat.” The store is a combination of retail and an indoor/
outdoor cafe. “It is an extraordinary space creating a unique experience for its
occupants and visitors blending new technology and an authentic experience of
relaxation and detachment from the exterior world.”
According to Homayoonmehr, he thought he had a good shot at winning the
competition. “Despite the feeling I had that I may win, I was shocked for a few
days when I found out I did. Then I was so happy and pleased that my design
was recognized by professionals. I do consider this award a great achievement,
proving to myself that I have special talent for design.”
As the ILD winner, Homayoonmehr will be a guest of i+s at NeoCon in June
and will have a summer internship with Michael Graves Architecture & Design
in Princeton, N.J. “I am super excited [about NeoCon],” he said. “It [will be] my
first time to go to the show in Chicago and I can`t wait to see all of the amazing
products and meet with the sponsors. And the internship is exactly what I need
at this point. I am sure I will learn a lot and it will be an impressive part of my
resume. I would want to learn more about their great product design department
and their international reach.”
After graduating, Homayoonmehr plans to continue his education and earn
a master’s degree in Interior Architecture before starting his professional career
Keep your eyes on interiorsandsources.com and i+s’ social media channels to
learn more about Homayoonmehr and his winning concept, in addition to further
information about the ILD sponsors: Arauco, INSTALL, MDC, and Roppe.
Compiled by Valerie Dennis Craven, Jenna Lippin, and Kadie Yale
A rendering from the winning design, CASA FRONDOSA, a unique bookstore that features interior
elements that contribute to human health and well-being.
i+s and Michael Graves Team Select 2018 ILD Winner
San Diego Mesa College senior Afshin Homayoonmehr has been awarded a trip to NeoCon and a summer internship.