Design Assistant Milan Chen Joins ASR Design Studio

Milan Chen, winner of several ASID Design Excellence awards in 2016, joined ASR Design Studio in December 2016 as Design Assistant.

At ASR Design Studio, Milan is in charge of helping bring our client’s visions to life by creating design documentation with AutoCAD.  She also creates design concepts for both residential and commercial clients, budget preparation and implementation, and coordination with contractors and vendors. 

Milan became interested in interior design after receiving Japanese floral arrangement training from Katsuko Thilke. Her first lesson was on how to trim (to take away the unnecessary).  Before placing each branch, each stem in a vase, she studied the materials to choose the best angle and composition to create each arrangement.  This editing required inner conversation with the materials, and was meditative.  By trimming, she preserved the best line, the least materials, to compose the design style.

Milan volunteered as a Floral Designer at Filoli Garden in 2015.  Milan’s significant flower arrangements included a soothing, peaceful, six-foot table-scape sun room arrangement.  She continues to help with staging and floral displays at community events and fundraisers. 

From her floral arrangement experiences, Milan learned that editing was an essential part of design. Her Asian background inspires her to design spaces that embrace nature and human stories that touch the heart.

In 2016, Milan won several gold and silver ASID Design Excellence Awards in Student Commercial Design, Community Services, and Student Residential Design categories.  Milan graduated from Cañada College in Redwood City, CA with an Interior Design and Staging certification.  Milan studied color under Leatrice Eiseman at the Eiseman Center for Color and Training.  Milan learned to use lighting, color, and texture to bring life to spaces.

Before ASR Design Studio, Milan interned at Haitani Design for over one year, assisting residential projects, and at Heike Shelton Interiors for several months, assisting with staging. 

For 6 months in 2015, as a student designer with the International Design Guild - Design for a Difference, she worked with a team of interior design students and Mark Brunetz, an interior designer, and host of “Clean House” on the Style Network, to upgrade Community Service Agency, a non-profit in Mountain View, CA that offers financial assistance.

In her free time, Milan loves yoga, art, and coffee.  Her causes include disaster and humanitarian relief and poverty alleviation.  Since December 2004, she volunteers at the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in San Jose, CA.  Milan visits seniors, especially Alzheimer’s patients, at their homes, and participates in food distributions and community outreach at under-privileged schools in San Francisco and Palo Alto.  Milan holds a Master degree in educational psychology from University of Washington.