Design Criteria

Festival of the Trees 2024 DESIGN STATEMENT:

Celebrating 36 years, the Festival of Trees is an annual fundraising event for FIU’s Interior Architecture students and programs. 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.The theme for this year’s festival is Design Enchantment. Imagine the cherished memories and traditions that evoke the festive spirit and energy of holiday season. Whether it’s the warmth of reuniting with family and friends, or the unique sensory experiences that come with this time of year, the magic of the winter holidays fuels our creativity and the joy we share. For this year’s Festival of Trees, we invite designers to create trees that capture the enchantment of the winter holidays in how it shapes our aesthetics and transform our spaces, whether they’re our homes, our community, or our public spaces.

Signage / Location / Electricity

The Festival of the Trees Committee will provide a sign with the Designer/Sponsor credits. No advertising will be permitted as part of the display. The location of your tree is at the discretion of the Festival Committee who will strategically display all the submissions on pedestals in the gallery setting. Note: If you need electricity for your tree, advise a month prior.


The physical model submission dimensions should not exceed 24”x 24”x 48” (2’x2’x4′).The model should be determined by stability and practicality. Your design must be able to stand on top of an 18” square x 42” high pedestal. The weight should not exceed 80lbs, and should be able to be moved easily by two people. All trees must be displayed on the pedestal provided. The pedestal provided is NOT to be altered or covered. Please don’t include LIVE ANIMALS in your tree submission. ADEQUATE PACKAGING MATERIAL MUST BE INCLUDED so that your tree can be transported easily and safely that same evening. Proper packaging should include bubble wrap and a box for safe transportation. If dimensions are not met, then the tree will be disqualified and removed.


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 (, 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. All trees must be removed at the end of the evening.

*All entries must be an original design and concept. If any entry is not original or does not follow the criteria, the tree will be disqualified from all awards. The Festival of the Trees is not responsible for any lost, late, or damaged entries. Upon the “tree” drop off at the venue, the “tree” will become FIU property.

Important Dates

May 15: FOT Kick-Off,Online Early Bird Tickets available, Sponsorship Levels open

September 21: Deadline for Early Bird Tickets and Tree Sponsorship

October 21: Design credits due: designer or firm name, sponsor name, concept statement, sketch or photograph of piece

October 26: Deadline to have your name included in the program

November 21:

Drop off of trees at Coral Gables Country Club 10am to 2pm

Gala Opening Event 6:30pm to 9:30pm Coral Gables Country Club

Award Categories

  • Most Elegant
  • Most Colorful
  • Most Sustainable
  • Most Creative
  • Most Illuminating
  • Most Progressive
  • Most Whimsical
  • Most Thematic
  • Most Animat
  • Honorable Mentions
  • People’s Choice

Contact Information

Rocio Rico Gutierrez
Co-Chair of Festival of the Trees Event

Jissette Jimenez
Co-Chair of Festival of the Trees Event


Charlotte Raynaud
FIU Special Events Manager

For more information: