The Future of Design

Graduating student named to METROPOLIS Future100 list

Graduating interior design student Skylar Billingsley has been named to the METROPOLIS Future100 class of 2024, a nationally recognized architecture and design distinction given by the publication known for its focus on sustainability. 

Billingsley, Class of 2024, is the first Suffolk student to ever receive this honor. She was nominated by Associate Professor of Interior Architecture Anna Gitelman, who says that “Skylar’s studio projects consistently stand out for their thorough research, unwavering commitment to ethical considerations, a wealth of iterative explorations, thoughtful spatial and volumetric organization, and meticulous drawings, renderings, analyses, and documentation.”

Gitelman met with Billingsley several times to plan and rework her portfolio until it was finally ready to submit.

'“I’m really grateful for her support because I would have never applied otherwise,” says Billingsley.

portrait of Skylar Billingsley smiling in front of a wall of greenery and hanging lights
Interior design student Skylar Billingsley
digital rendering of a design for a museum exhibit gallery with a bold full-wall installation on the right contrasted with a gray wall on the left
Museum gallery design by Skylar Billingsley, Class of 2024

About the Future100

Every year METROPOLIS announces a list of the top 100 graduating architecture and interior design students in the United States and Canada. Chosen by a panel of experts, the 100 students featured represent some of North America’s most promising young designers. 

“We were blown away by the quality of work,” said Editor in Chief Avinash Rajagopal in her acceptance letter. “We feel that you represent a bright future for our industry—one of beautiful, thoughtful, innovative, sustainable, and inclusive design.”

Billingsley’s portfolio demonstrates designs for several beautiful spaces and buildings, and addresses different approaches to community needs and natural resources, while being mindful of culture, inclusivity, and sustainability.

She’s enjoying seeing the work of her fellow award-winners. “All of our portfolios are completely different. But it’s cool because we all have our own niche things that we are good at or specialize in, and it’s interesting to see how the architecture and design community is growing and what the trends are.” 

Digital rendering of a design for a museum cafe shows a bar separated from a seating area by a large installation of grass
One view of Skylar Billingsley's design for a museum cafe

Focused on her future

Billingsley, a Texas native, will be relocating to Miami after graduation to intern at the multidisciplinary design firm, Meyer Davis. 

“They do a lot of hospitality work, which is what I’m more focused on,” says Billingsley, who recently visited the city for the first time. “I can’t believe people live here full time! I feel like I’m on vacation. The weather’s amazing. And I was able to visit the firm and just kind of get a feel for that area.” 

Billingsley says her time at Suffolk, including studying abroad in Florence, Italy during her sophomore year, shaped who she has become as a designer and will benefit her moving forward. That experience completely changed the trajectory of my educational journey and how I designed. I kind of found myself. And when I came back it was like all the professors here kind of pushed me to go outside the boundaries of what I felt safe doing and to try new things.”

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Greg Gatlin
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