Lauren came to interior design from performing arts. Her thesis focus was on creating spaces that speak to people and tell stories. She also had an ongoing interest in understanding how designers work. In her thesis she explored both of these ideas through the vehicle of a hotel. The endeavor took on the conceptual form of a Russian Nesting Doll. The inner most layer was the design of the hotel itself, including programming, planning, and furniture layouts, etc. The next layer was a study of how to tell the story of a place, in this case Chicago, through interior design. The outermost layer was an exploration and attempt to understand her own process and how she thinks through design problems and develops concepts. For example, one of the tools she used was conceptual photo collages to create a mood for a space. It was a lot to bite off, but Lauren’s fierce work ethic allowed her to pull it off.