For the third year in a row, an Interior Design student at Marymount University has been named as a Future100 Interior Design winner by Metropolis Magazine, which honors the most talented students at the best interior design and architecture schools in the U.S. and Canada each year.
Natalia Laykov, a senior at Marymount, was included in the 2023 Metropolis cohort that was announced last week. Originally from Kazan, Russia, she moved to the U.S. five years ago to “embark on a new adventure and seize the opportunity to make my dreams come true.”
“This recognition holds a special significance for me as it represents the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and passion for interior design. It is truly a remarkable moment in my academic and professional journey,” Laykov said. “I am excited about the opportunities that this award will open up for me in my future career in interior design, and I am eager to continue pushing the boundaries of design and innovation in this field.”
“She has proven to be a student with a high level of dedication, one more concerned with figuring out the details than worrying about the grade. She seems to relish the idea of being able to go somewhere in design that she hasn’t been before,” explained Dr. Robert Meden, Professor of Interior Design at Marymount University, who has instructed Laykov in three separate courses over the last two years and nominated her for the Future100 honor. “In my 46 years of instructing over a thousand potential interior designers and architects, Natalia is clearly in the top one percent. Aside from being a team player who is outgoing, personable, considerate and polite, her capacity to learn, her awareness of the details, her concern for success and her ability to develop ideas place her at the head of the class.”
Laykov’s passion for interior design began as a child, as living in tight quarters with her family taught her to pay attention to the needs of people, the space around them and the importance of communication. She also developed a love for nature while observing its sensual beauty and its healing effects while walking through a nearby forest. These interests later collided for her while working as a nurse at a state medical clinic, as she noticed how a park immediately adjacent to the hospital provided patients – and staff – with hope and strength for recovery after their visits to nature.
“Working in a hospital department with intense physical and emotional demands was a significant challenge, especially given the long 12-hour shifts,” Laykov reflected. “The department was constantly overcrowded, with many seriously ill patients. And unfortunately, death was not rare. I vividly remember holding patients in their final moments, and the emotional weight of meeting with grieving relatives in the corridors was a constant source of stress.”
“After these emotionally exhausting shifts, I found solace in spending time in the nearby park, where I could quiet my thoughts and appreciate the restorative power of nature. It almost goes without saying that creating unique spaces that change a person’s life has become my inspiration.”
For Laykov’s capstone project within her portfolio submitted to Metropolis for Future100 award consideration, her focus was on creating a coworking hotel where multifunctional spaces for living and working are harmoniously intertwined and in balance with surrounding nature.
“Knowledge of the careful juxtaposition between humans and the environment and rational use of resources has become a huge and inspiring discovery for me, opening up new opportunities for human interaction with the outside world,” Laykov reflected.
Graduating students were eligible to apply for the Future100 List if they are enrolled in an accredited interior design or architecture program in the United States or Canada and are currently participating in final studio courses. They also were required to be working on studio-based or research-based projects and be in good academic standing to qualify for the Future100 List, with a GPA of 3.0 or above.
To view the full Future100 List, click here.
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.