Julio Braga, FIIDA, was recently named the IIDA New York Chapter’s annual Leaders Breakfast Honoree.
Last month in New York, IA Design Director Julio Braga, FIIDA, was named the IIDA New York Chapter Leaders Breakfast Honoree for 2016. The Leaders Breakfast is an annual, international event series that honors individuals who are the legacy and/or the future of design, and selects one person, per city, who has made significant contributions to the design industry.
“People in our design industry who’ve worked with Julio, who has a strong reputation for mentoring and giving back constantly, has been inspired by him,” says Katie Michael-Battaglia, IIDA, 2015/2016 acting president of IIDA NY. “He deserves many honors, but we really appreciate everything he does and want him to know that he’s making a difference.” This year’s award also marks a shift in the chapter’s award strategy, moving away from a focus on those not directly tied to the design industry, and focusing instead on those who built the industry: Designers.
“Over the years, interaction with peers, colleagues, and mentors has been really important to my professional development,” Braga says. “That’s why I devote a significant amount of time to mentoring and knowledge-sharing with others.”
Born and raised in Argentina, Braga received a Master of Architecture from the University of Buenos Aires’ School of Architecture and Urban Studies, but lived and worked in New York for the last 25 years. In 1990, he joined an architectural practice that was doing a lot of interiors, but mainly watched from the periphery, from within the firm’s architecture group. “I didn’t have a good understanding of the complexities and challenges of designing good interiors,” Braga recalls. “I discovered a lot during those first years in New York.” After several years, he established his own commercial interiors firm with his wife, but dissolved the practice when he joined IA in 2005.
He describes his involvement with IIDA’s New York Chapter as a function of living and working in the city. “There are lots of activities to connect and meet people in my profession, in a way that even today is a great way to open the doors for new design communities coming to New York,” he says. Braga joined IIDA’s International Board of Directors in 2011, and served as Acting President in 2014/2015. As a Design Director in IA’s New York office, Braga guides all aspects of project design from initial concept to how one finish meets another. He has worked with clients including Bancolombia, HSBC, Univision, and J. Walter Thompson Worldwide.