AMES, Iowa — An Iowa State University interior design senior has been named to the Metropolis Future100 list of the top architecture and interior design graduates of 2024.

Sponsored by Metropolis magazine, the Metropolis Future100 recognizes 50 interior design and 50 architecture students (roughly half undergraduate and half graduate) nationally who are nominated by their instructors and mentors for their outstanding leadership, design and advocacy for equity and inclusion. Their work is posted on the Metropolis website and will appear in the magazine’s summer issue.

Krista Smith, from Minburn, is among 33 undergraduate interior design students recognized this year. To be considered for this honor, she submitted a digital portfolio highlighting several design projects completed during her undergraduate studies, including concept development, color palette, floor plans, sections and perspectives.

Parks Library Third-Floor Lounge

Her portfolio features a redesign of the third and fourth floors of Iowa State’s Parks Library, an eco-friendly laundromat, a luxury home, booths for a company attending a trade show, a reception desk for a day care and an assisted living facility.

Smith was nominated by interior design assistant professor Daejin Kim, who also serves as her mentor. She participated in Kim’s spring 2022 residential interior design class that created home modifcation plans for older adults in Charles City to ensure their homes are safe and comfortable to navigate as they age.

“Krista’s approach to design is characterized by a relentless dedication and meticulous attention to detail,” Kim said. “Her ability to tirelessly refine and perfect her projects is a clear indicator of her commitment to excellence in design.”

Roots Residence

Smith created her “Roots Residence” assisted living facility project in a senior interior design course Kim taught last fall. The space aims to “encourage a sense of belonging within a diverse population of residents,” she said.

Roots Residence Second-Floor Spa

Designed to be housed on the second and third floors of the AMA Plaza in Chicago, the proposed facility features a spa, garden, library, coffee bar, community lounge and more.

Imagining many of the residents as immigrant seniors, Smith noted they could be prone to loneliness due to language limitations and lack of social support. Her space encourages community and interaction with multiple group meeting spaces with contemporary furnishings and lots of natural light.


Aiming to establish a more sustainable means of doing laundry, Smith modeled her “Blanc” project on a London-based company that focuses on eco-friendly dry cleaning, and tailoring and other services. She sited her conceptual business in downtown Ames, using earthy tones and greenery to convey a “commitment to sustainability,” she said.

Blanc Laundromat

“The laundromat area in this design is not something that the company has included in their other storefronts,” Smith said. “Including this area could bring in a larger college-aged crowd and get them more involved in sustainable practices.”

Smith will graduate with her bachelor of fine arts in interior design from Iowa State in May and will complete an internship with Mead and Hunt in Bloomington, Minnesota, this summer.


Krista Smith, Graduating Senior, Interior Design,
Daejin Kim, Assistant Professor, Interior Design,
Lauren Johnson, Communications Specialist, College of Design,