Texas Tech University

Interior Design Student Awarded Diversity in Design Pipeline Scholarship

Ashley Brister

September 24, 2021

Raquel Rodriguez Department of Design Scholarship Recipient

Thermador, in partnership with the Interior Design Society, selected Raquel Rodrigues as one of its 2021 scholarship recipients

This summer, Thermador launched its first-ever Diversity in Design Pipeline scholarship initiative in partnership with the Interior Design Society. This program focuses on providing Interior Design students from underrepresented communities with the essential tools needed to enter the competitive industry successfully. This includes a comprehensive scholarship package and tailored year-long mentorship program with an esteemed designer, in addition to design industry perks such as an IDS membership and access to exclusive events. 

Interior Design major Raquel Rodrigues was selected from Texas Tech University. Students like Rodrigues were chosen for the passion, perspective, and vision they bring to the table as emerging student designers. 

"It is very honoring to know that I'm representing my family's immigration story and my Portuguese heritage," Raquel said. "My family's immigration story and the sacrifices they made to provide me a better life in the United States has influenced my design perspective immensely. I believe diversity generates design, and designers are meant to heal and preserve cultural communities. The selection of this scholarship provides me the opportunity to represent that and work towards creating a better future."

As a transfer student, Rodrigues came to Texas Tech after hearing about the program's opportunities from alumni in the field.

"The interior design program here offers the ability to pursue a minor in Architecture, which is something that very few universities offer," Rodrigues said. "This was the main reason I chose to transfer to Texas Tech, and I am very glad that I did."

The scholarship will support Rodrigues as she works towards working for a design firm and graduate school following her graduation in the spring. 

"My number one goal is to work for a firm that upholds social responsibility within the design field," Rodrigues said. "I chose to pursue Interior Design because I want to be a part of the few that are driven to empower, heal, restore, and respect communities across the nation. I am confident that I can reach those goals because Texas Tech's Design program has well prepared me for what lies ahead."

Looking back on her undergraduate journey to date, Rodrigues says that her internship at an architecture firm and the opportunity to serve as an undergraduate researcher for the Design for Health Innovation Lab stand out.

"These experiences would not have been possible without the lessons I learned from my early years of design education," Rodrigues said. "I think all would agree that one of the biggest lessons you learn in design would be that of self-discipline. You really must commit a lot of your time and energy towards your projects. There were many all-nighters, weekends dedicated to homework, and hours spent on AutoCAD to eventually see that design built and shaped me as a person. If there's one piece of advice that I could give to a young design major: take breaks - it's amazing what comes to a clear mind and not a stressed one."