American Society of Interior Designers Recognizes Berkeley College Student for Tabletop Sculpture

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Mid-Century Sculpture Inspired by Architectural Masterpiece Bell Works

Student Anna Rainko in the Gallery at Woodland Park.

Photo Caption: The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) recently recognized the work of Berkeley College student Anna Rainko in its Tabletop Sculpture Competition for her creation of a mid-century modern design using reclaimed materials (left). At right, Ms. Rainko sits in the Berkeley College design lab in The Gallery at Woodland Park, NJ. 

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) recently recognized the work of Berkeley College student Anna Rainko in its Tabletop Sculpture Competition. The competition challenged interior design students to create a mid-century modern design using reclaimed materials. Ms. Rainko’s creation, merging elegant and futuristic concepts of mid-century lighting, received second prize. It was displayed at the ASID New Jersey annual Design Symposium and Trade Show at Bell Works in Holmdel, NJ, in September 2019. 

Ms. Rainko said her project was inspired by her search to utilize the many old tools and building materials she had on hand. Reclaimed materials included light bulbs, measuring instruments, wood, cans and stripped electrical wire. The design also aligned with the setting of the Design Symposium and Trade Show – the former Bell Labs (now Bell Works) in Holmdel, NJ, a mid-century architectural masterpiece designed by Eero Saarinen. 

“I began thinking that lamps are objects of practicality and purpose,” she said. “I wanted to marry the design and artistic vision.” 

Ms. Rainko, a resident of Elmwood Park, NJ, is pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design at Berkeley College. 

“My career goal is ultimately to start my own design company,” said Ms. Rainko. “It is the planning and design of the places where people live, work and play that allow my creativity to come to fruition. I want to help people create homes that are not only beautiful, but support and nurture the goals and dreams of the families that live in them.” 

She described her favorite design styles as shabby chic, art deco and Victorian. “A design should last with time, and not just be the latest trend,” she added. 

Professor Jeffery McCullough, Interior Design, School of Professional Studies, serves as faculty advisor to the Berkeley College student chapter of ASID, and supported Ms. Rainko in her submission. 

“Competitions can serve as an important step in the career of a designer,” he said. “We’re very proud of Anna for taking the challenge of this competition and turning it into a sculpture that perfectly expresses her creativity within the framework of a design program.” 

Professor McCullough added that her work aligns with what is expected and celebrated in the professional design world. 

Ms. Rainko’s prize included a certificate and a monetary award. 

As she progresses in her academic and professional career, Ms. Rainko seeks to gain business acumen and experience in residential interior design, as well as exposure in other areas of the field. She credits Berkeley College and her professors with helping her to develop essential skills for starting a new career, and encouraged aspiring interior designers to pursue their dreams.

“Interior design brings out thought-provoking and artistic skills that can provide both practicality and great joy for yourself and your clients,” she said. “Returning to school has been not only exciting, but very rewarding.” 

About Berkeley College 

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College has campuses in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, as well as in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, with more than 5,700 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for six consecutive years. The website address is 

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.

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