For 18 years, Viviane Pedruco was a professional helicopter pilot in her native country of Brazil, following in her family’s footsteps through a career in aviation. But with a determined career change to pursue her longtime dream, she moved to the U.S. and enrolled in Marymount University’s Interior Design M.A. program – and is already gaining international acclaim before even earning her degree.
Of all of the most talented students at the best interior design and architecture schools in the U.S. and Canada, Pedruco was named a Future100 Interior Design Graduate Winner – one of only 10 recognized by Metropolis Magazine – earlier this month. She joins Nicolas Swaner, an Interior Design master’s student who received the same recognition in the Future100’s inaugural year in 2021, as recipients of the honor who have attended Marymount.
“Viviane’s persistence and dedication to the field of interior design are unparalleled,” said Jessica Bonness, Assistant Professor of Interior Design at Marymount University and Pedruco’s nominating faculty member for the Future100 List. “She has been my teaching assistant over the past semester in a new course with 62 undergraduate students. To watch her communicate her design knowledge, command attention and meet unexpected challenges has been incredible. She is unflappable, but also so kind and creative in her problem solving, both in the studio and with any team she is a part of. These traits set her apart as an excellent colleague, and they will be a commanding asset in her career. Any firm will be lucky to have her join them.”
Whether developing designs for a workplace, residence or hospitality venue, Pedruco brings originality and liberal doses of color to create dynamic interiors. This approach, she says, is rooted in the vibrancy and beauty of her hometown of Rio de Janeiro.
“I am passionate about color, and I like to think that I have a sunny personality. I am also a mix of many cultures, as I am the daughter of a Brazilian mother with extensive European heritage and a Portuguese father born in Macau, China,” Pedruco explained. “I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, and I am a proud ‘carioca’ – the nickname for people born there. I love my hometown, its colors, sounds, scents, contrasts, vibrancy and chaos.”
Pedruco first fell in love with interior design at the age of 12, when she attended the prominent public expo ‘CasaCor Rio’ with her grandmother. There, she recalls for the first time becoming ‘captivated and thrilled at the sheer number of creative ways to make the world more beautiful, and functional.’ However, she studied Aeronautical Studies instead for her bachelor’s degree and launched a lengthy first career as a helicopter pilot, honing critical skills in organization, time management, creative dexterity, responsibility and leadership.
“It isn’t easy to reinvent yourself completely after already knowing how it is to be successful, you know? I did not give up a career that did not value me, or did not pay me well. I gave up being a captain of a heavyweight helicopter and having a very good salary for this,” Pedruco reflected. “I love flying and I miss it a lot today, but the schedule took a huge toll on my personal life. So, I saved for 10 years and prepared myself to be able to stop flying and pursue my old-time career dream. And here I am now!”
Her experience in a career field that is completely different from her current pursuits has also influenced her artistic vision in incredible ways.
“Being a pilot, I was also part of nature. When you fly a helicopter, you become part of it – up in the air like a bird, feeling the actual consequences of nature in your decisions,” Pedruco said. “My designs reflect all of that – they are very colorful, vibrant, dynamic, always with a biophilic approach and, if I may be bold, very original.”
Pedruco’s entire portfolio was judged during the application process, as Metropolis reviewed a variety of her projects that included an ‘unconventional workplace’ that seeks to maximize sunshine for indoor lighting, a Catskills lodge which delivers a healthy and organic environment in the shape of a modern resort, and a family residence in Bethesda that aims to combine a Cote D’Azur aesthetic with handicap-accessible amenities and functionality.
Graduating students were eligible to apply for the Future 100 List if they are enrolled in an accredited interior design or architecture program in the U.S. or Canada and currently participating in final studio courses. Nominees were also required to be working on studio-based or research-based projects and to be in good academic standing, with a GPA of 3.0 or above. Pedruco, whose M.A. in Interior Design is expected this May, currently has a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Located just outside Washington, D.C., Marymount’s Interior Design program offers undergraduate and graduate degrees for traditional students, career changers or experts seeking to advance their industry knowledge. With an interdisciplinary approach to design, Marymount develops qualified professionals with an emphasis on critical thinking and lifelong learning. The University’s B.A. and first-professional M.A. programs are CIDA-accredited.