Nicole Michelen

Nicole Michelen

Los Angeles, CA, US


PDF Portfolio


I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from The Art Institute of CA, San Diego, a CIDA Accredited School. After graduation, I worked with Collective Interiors as an intern before I moved to Los Angeles for a full time job. In Los Angeles I worked with dTank as a designer for a full year. I oversaw projects from the design face through the final build-out, introducing creative and customized designs to the great satisfaction of the high profile customers whom dtank serves. Alongside my education and work, I have been the interior designer for Cargo of Dreams, a successful non-profit organization that converts shipping containers into fully functional spaces for impoverished areas in Third World Countries. I have the ability to speak three languages fluently and Italian conversationally.

I have always been driven by my passion for design. I work well under pressure to meet goals and deadlines, while constantly striving for beauty in every detail. I have strong knowledge of Auto Cad, Sketch Up, and Photoshop among others, and I am an enthusiast fast learner. I have always been interested in sustainable practices and I am currently working on obtaining my LEED AP accreditation.



Cargo of Dreams, Irvine, CA, US, Interior Designer


Pro bono Interior Designer:
Design interiors used for the conversion of regular shipping containers into fully functional facilities that are now used in various 3rd world countries

• Perform interior project planning, research and design
• Develop space plan for interior walls, furniture and equipment
• Create 3D models using Sketch Up
• Select final material for renderings

Jul 2010 - current

Arista SA, Guatemala City, GT, Design Management/ Consultant


• Remapped entire design management and archive system for all 6 regions in Central America and Colombia
• Completed an in depth study of the company’s design process in order to upgrade the design software

Jun 2013 - Sep 2013

Dtank, Los Angeles, CA, US, Designer

Created concept driven designs and space planning for Corporate, Residential, Institutional and Commercial Spaces

• Consulted high profile clients such as: CNN, EMI Capitol Records, Ogilvy, Cartoon Network, BMW
• Developed custom furniture designs and entire project presentations based on client needs
• Verified field measurements in order to create accurate furniture and power location floor plans
• Communicated with vendors, contractors, architects and clients to maintain project schedules
• Made 3D models, specifications and call outs for final engineering drawings

Apr 2012 - Apr 2013

Collective Interiors, San Diego, CA, US, Interior Residential Design Intern


• Created 3D/ hand renderings and space planning
• Selected finishes, fixtures and furniture

Jan 2012 - Apr 2012

The Art Institute of California - San Diego, San Diego, CA, US, Tutor

Tutor in Auto CAD, perspective drawing and mathematics
to undergraduate and graduate students in the following majors:
Game Art, Animation, Graphic Design, Advertising, Fashion and Culinary Arts

Oct 2010 - Dec 2011


The Art Institute of California - San Diego, San Diego, CA, US, Bachelors, Interior Designer

Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from a CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation) accredited school. Currently in the process of getting a LEED AP.

Oct 2008 - Dec 2011

Lorenzo de' Medici, Florence, Italy, Interior Design, Figure Drawing, International Business and Italian courses

Jan 2008 - May 2008


Article in the Guatemalan News Paper_Prensa Libre, Honorable Mention

Featured in the Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre “Design and Color Changing Lives” 03/21/13 (printed and online)


Publication on-line, Honorable Mention

Interview for the Lovingly Simply Blog about my role in Cargo of Dreams.


LEED GA accredited, Other


ATKV Handevat Award - (The Afrikaanse Language and Culture Association), 1st Place

• Won the “ATKV Handevat Award” as Interior Designer for The Doxa Deo Project of Cargo of Dreams which received R50, 000 in cash and was featured on several documentary shows on national TV (Greenville, South Africa)

The ATKV, established in 1930, is one of the most prominent nonprofit organizations in South Africa. The direct translation for the ATKV acronym is; The Afrikaanse Language and Culture Association. Every year the ATKV evaluates entries from across the country of projects that made a significant impact on our country and serves the common good of our rainbow nation. The winners of the “ATKV Handevat Award” receives R50,000 in cash and are featured on several documentary shows on national television.
The Doxa Deo Project (Greenville, SC/South Africa) has been chosen as the ATKV Handevat Award Recipient for 2011. The project stood out among other entries for the diversity of people and businesses all working together on a single project for the common good of their community. The diverse range of participation options is a direct result of the creative design of the interior of the facility. We are please to acknowledge Miss. Nicole Michelen for her critical contribution in designing the interior of this facility. Her use of natural light, the blend of various cultural dynamics and the functional layout of the facility have set this project apart from the hundreds of other projects entries received.
Congratulation to you Miss Michelen for the amazing work done that paved the way for this project to receive our most prestigious award! We wish you the very best in your career wherever that may lead you.

On behalf of the staff at ATKV
Johan van Schoor


General, Other

• Awarded the O1 Visa (Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement) 2013
• LEED AP ID + C (Accredited Professional in Interior Design and Construction) Candidate
• Academic work selected for CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation) school analysis, October 2011
• Honor Roll and Dean’s Honor Roll for three years – The Art Institute of California, San Diego
• Selected for the ID Student Coalition Team, and exemplary work selected for program display boards (various terms) since 2009
• ASID Student Member (American Society of Interior Design)


Areas of Specialization 


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