Alice Torvik is an Interior Designer at Target Commercial Interiors, and just celebrated her fifth anniversary here! Alice holds a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from the Art Institutes International Minnesota and a Specialized Associate of Science Degree in Architectural CAD Technology from Northwest Technical Institutes. She is also an Associate IIDA Member based in Minneapolis, MN.
Alice shared some fun work history in her interview, and described her current work life with Target Commercial Interiors.
Q. What was your first job?
A. A restaurant hostess. I also worked at a shoe store, which was my least favorite job.
Q. What was your best job?
A. I really enjoyed a job I had in high school, I worked at an assisted living home. I worked in the kitchen prepping food and dinner service. The residents were awesome and the food was great!
Other than that, my career with Target Commercial Interiors has been the most rewarding. There are continuous learning opportunities with new design software and technologies, and new designs and trends in commercial furniture and finishes. Space planning and design concept creation is an exhilarating prospect in today’s market as well. Designers are an integral part of organizational strategy because workspaces are a physical interpretation of a brand. Companies partner with us to bring forth concepts and deliver a tangible solution that meets all their needs.
I’ve been able to collaborate on more unusual projects also, involving specialty design of branding and graphics for sports stadiums, offices and hospitality.
Another highlight has been working with students and novice designers through professional organizations. I really enjoy mentoring and sharing insights into the challenges of working in the commercial interiors industry.
Q. In addition to earning a paycheck, how else has your career created value in your life?
A. I work on a lot of Target’s charitable contribution projects: School Library Makeover Program and Target House in Memphis TN. I feel very lucky to be able to help so many people though designing new spaces for them.
Q. What is your most memorable travel experience?
A. In 2012, I traveled to New York with the Target School Library Makeover team to work with Todd Oldham at his studio on a Target School Library Makeover. The project involved a custom design for the Staten Island school library, which incidentally was featured in NY Magazine. The experience was a personal highlight for me, and a memorable trip.
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I like to run and practice yoga. Also, a celebrity gossip junkie. Who isn’t?
Q. What lessons has your work life taught you?
A. To sit back and listen. This was especially useful for my role as the Design Lead for the Target School Library Makeover Program. Over a two-year period, we partnered with Target and individual schools to implement a kit-of-parts, or product standards, and deliver design management services for about 60 schools. Working with a diverse team meant intense collaboration, conducted face-to-face as well as over the phone. Practicing active listening was critical to understanding the participants’ needs, goals, and limitations.
Q. Do you have any favorite stories from your work life?
A. Working on stadiums is an aspect I never anticipated. I’ve worked on projects team for Chase Stadium in Phoenix, AZ and Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX. It was a great opportunity to dive deep into the culture of a brand and create environments that express it.
And of course, working with Target Corporation in Minneapolis is a delight because they are great to work with, welcome innovative ideas, and open opportunities for us to collaborate elsewhere in the organization, such as the Target House.
I also moonlight as Bullseye, which has brought me closer to fans of the Target brand. This is really the best part!
You can find Alice on Twitter at @AliceTorvik