The Festival of the Trees is an annual fundraising event benefiting students and program of FIU Interior Architecture. The prestigious event is made possible thanks to the remarkable coordination of the Department and its distinguished advisory board members. For more than 35 years, the South Florida architecture and design community has consistently showcased its unwavering commitment to promoting exceptional interior architecture education through their involvement in the Festival of the Trees (FOT) event.

Festival of the Trees serves as a significant source of support for the students and programs of FIU Interior Architecture. Each year, Festival of the Trees sponsors underwrite designers who design and build their unique holiday creations and donate the art pieces to the fundraising event. The “trees” are set on display at the gala opening and at the end of the evening the attendees are provided with the opportunity to make a donation to obtain and claim a beautiful holiday tree with them.

All attendees will have the opportunity to make a donation and take a tree home on a first-come-first-serve basis. Since the event is a fundraising event for FIU Interior Architecture students and programs, there will be a suggested donation of a minimum of $200 per tree. The unclaimed trees will be donated to the Angels Reach Foundation that same evening (www.angelsreach.org), which is a non-profit organization with the mission of revolutionizing the education sector by understanding genomic coding to identify its roles in cognitive barriers and learning disabilities.

The Festival of the Trees represents the design community’s dedication to South Florida and supporting new designers who are students at FIU.




Rocio Rico Gutierrez, Daltile / Keys Granite, Inc.
Committee Co-Chair
Jissette Jimenez, Bermello Ajamil & Partners Inc
Committee Co-Chair
Kenzie Perry, Ze Haus Interior Design Studio
Newton D’Souza, Chair and Professor FIU Interior Architecture 
Gabriela Luaces, Adjunct Professor at FIU Interior Architecture
Charlotte Raynaud, FIU School of Architecture Senior Special Events Manager
Zinaida Hirlemann, FIU Interior Architecture Sr. Program Coordinator
Maria Claverie, FIU Associate Director, Alumni Affairs and Advancement
Emmanuel Cabrera Munoz, CARTA Strategic Commuincations


FIU’s Interior Architecture program offers students a rich, diverse and internationally focused education in the technical, theoretical and practical dimensions of interior architecture. The department consists of renowned and award-winning faculty who are passionate about empowering the designer of tomorrow with a quality educational experience. Graduates from this program can be found working at leading design firms in South Florida and across the country. For more information about Interior Architecture, visit interiors.fiu.edu.

Driven by its mission to use the power of architecture, arts and design to engage our local and global communities to create, innovate and inspire solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems, the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts offers degrees to over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students majoring in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, music, theatre, visual arts, art history, and communication arts. For more information about the College, visit carta.fiu.edu.