“Martina and I have always had similar ideas about design and aesthetics,” Amanda Toles says of Martina Sencakova, with whom she collaborated on a thesis project for her BFA Interior Design degree. Martina agrees, adding, “Working on this project with Amanda was a memorable experience that allowed me to see the potential of an effective teamwork.”
Sencakova and Toles redesigned The New School’s building at 25 East 13th Street applying principles of sustainability. “Our focus was on increasing natural light and ventilation. We did so by ‘carving’ two light wells into the building that could change depending on weather conditions. In moderate weather, the interior skin of the space would open, allowing complete natural airflow, while in winter the space acts as a buffer between exterior and interior conditions. The spaces also brought natural light deep into the building through reflective surfaces.”
Although both students describe the curriculum as “intense,” they would not trade their experience at Parsons for any other. Sencakova says, “You learn so much more than technical skills. You become more responsible, organized, and willing to go beyond the expected. And because of the small classes, the relationships you establish are truly one of a kind.” Toles adds, “The workload is intense, but if you manage your time, it is completely doable. I learned how to think through a problem, apply myself creatively, and work efficiently.” Today, Toles works in marketing for a New York City retail and hospitality architectural design practice with clients and projects worldwide. Sencakova works as a 3D designer at an international exhibition display firm based in New Jersey and teaches interior design skills to high school students at Parsons’ Pre-College Academy.