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Open House: Can Design Talent Be Inherent?

Drew University student and Charlotte Moss intern Maximilian Sinsteden made waves this week when his preppy, eclectic, and decorated-to-the-nines dorm room was featured in New York magazine. As it turns out, the 21-year-old senior, who has no formal design training, has already officially started his own interior-design company. He's had a knack for the art since before he was 12. So, where did he acquire his skills? It's “inherent and experience," he says. Do you think this is possible? Do you think interior design talent can be inherent? Or is it just picked up from experience? Do you think designers need formal training to succeed?

Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I think talent is somewhat inherent but at the same time it had to start somewhere right?!
SKC-Sparkle SKC-Sparkle 8 years
This picture caught my eye immediately, and I love how he has used the space and made it beautiful. He obviously has an innate talent for design, and I would love to see more work from him.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Sblilac, I don't think the laws about who can call themselves a 'designer' are consistent state-to-state. But I do think design talent has to be part inherent talent. As with all artistic/aesthetic pursuits, you have to have vision before skill.
sblilac sblilac 8 years
I would like to make a comment. An Interior Designer is one that has a formal education in interior design and has passed the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification). You, by law are not supposed to refer to yourself as a "designer unless you are licensed.Before that you are considered a decorator and are limited to only residential design. Now, I do not think that there is anything wrong with being a decorator but I do not think that the words should be thrown around so loosely, due to the fact that there are some who devote their life to interior design school to become a licensed and well respected member of the design community. There is so much more to Interior design than just the aesthetic aspect of it. And Yes I do think that a knack for design can just as much be inherent, as can it be acquired through hard work and dedication
eowynnie eowynnie 8 years
I think as with (nearly) any profession / calling, you'll have the prodigies who either don't need any formal education or training, or learn so quickly that they get their education and training done faster than most people take to memorize a new locker combination.
vunder vunder 8 years
I'd reckon some people are more focused on aesthetics from an early age, but a good portion of this kid's successes to me seem mostly about confidence. I knew kids like him growing up: They were the products of parents and social environments that encouraged-slash-indulged-slash-funded confidence, individuality and self-expression. After a certain age, some of these precocious aesthetes remained interesting and interested, while others became a bit insufferable for their self-perceived elevation.
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