Our Faculty

Interior design faculty at convocation.
Paola GavilanezProgram Chair604.599.2712paola.gavilanez@kpu.caInterior Design
Erick VillagomezFaculty604.599.2717erick.villagomez@kpu.caInterior Design
Erika BalcombeFaculty604.599.2536erika.balcombe@kpu.caInterior Design
Jessica GingellFaculty604.599.2701jessica.gingell@kpu.caInterior Design
Mark PritchardFaculty604.599.2624mark.pritchard@kpu.caInterior Design
Marlis JollerFaculty604.599.2757marlis.joller@kpu.caInterior Design
Seng SengsavanhFaculty604-598-6193seng.sengsavanh@kpu.caInterior Design
Stephanie St. LoeFacultyEmail onlystephanie.st.loe@kpu.caInterior Design

Paola Gavilanez Program Chair & Faculty, Interior Design 

Paola Gavilanez has been an interior design practitioner and educator for over 20 years. She is a Registered Interior Designer, and both LEED AP ID+C and NCIDQ certified. Paola is formally trained in interior architecture and design and holds a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on both communications and sustainability. She is a current practitioner with a portfolio of experience that includes designing at the senior level for dozens of commercial, hospitality, and multi-unit residential projects. Paola's published research includes work in the development of interior designers’ teamwork skills, the analysis of multi-and-interdisciplinary design practices, and the application of ePortfolio pedagogy in design.

INTERESTS:  Multi & Interdisciplinary Design | ePortfolio Pedagogy | Sustainability | Travel | Teamwork Research

Erick Villagomez  Faculty, Interior Design

Erick Villagomez is an educator, independent researcher and designer with academic and professional interests in human settlements at all scales. He has taught at KPU’s Wilson School of Design within the Interior Design program since 2012, and is an adjunct professor at University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and School of Community and Regional Planning, where he teaches a number of graduate and undergraduate courses focused on settlements. 

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Erick is also the founding principal of Metis Design-Build - a practice that works on diverse projects ranging from small-scale architecture and urban design consulting to illustration and urban cartography- and the Editor-in-Chief of Spacing Vancouver - http://spacing.ca/vancouver/ - an online publication looking at Metro Vancouver’s public realm and urban landscape. His research, consulting and writing has influenced patterns of urban development locally and abroad - contributing to the adoption of ‘green’ urban design processes, plans, codes, standards, guidelines and prototypes. Constantly drawing and painting, he maintains a regular urban sketching column called Visual Thoughts on Spacing Vancouver. You can see some of his artistic gallivants at - http://evillago.tumblr.com/ - and @e_vill1

Erika Balcombe  Faculty, Interior Design
Erika Balcombe is an anthropologist and designer who has lived and worked across Canada. She joined KPU in 2010 after years of design work in the cultural, commercial, high tech, and game design sectors focusing on programming, concept development, and presentation. Her approach to teaching blends her academic foundations in social science with her applied, interdisciplinary design experience to offer unique perspectives on research, methodology, and design communication. She holds a PhD (c) in Design Anthropology (UBC, 2024), an MA in Anthropology, and BAs in both Museum Studies and Applied Design. While she primarily teaches in the Interior Design program, she has also taught in the Foundations of Design program, and for the Anthropology department at UBC as a sessional lecturer. When not in the office she can be found enjoying the sunshine, skiing, making lists, and doing informal, unstructured research on pop culture and gastronomy.  

INTERESTS:  Experiential & Multi-Sensory Design | Museum & Exhibition | Heritage & Memory | Material Culture | Socio-Cultural Impacts of Western Design Practice

Jessica Gingell  Faculty, Interior Design

Jessica Gingell was born and raised in Vancouver on the unceded territory of the Musqueam people. She attained her Bachelor of Applied Design in Interior Design at Kwantlen University and her Master of Architecture from the University of British Columbia. In 2016 she joined the faculty of interior design at Wilson School of Design with previous faculty appointments at Vancouver Community College and Interior Design Program Coordinator at the Art Institute of Vancouver. Jessica is a Registered Interior Designer, specializing in residential, multi-unit and hospitality design. Jessica is committed to the development of the interior design profession through education with interest in curriculum development, international educational partnerships, and applied learning experiences. Her aspirations in bridging the world of architecture, interior design, and education is inspired by her passion for architectural history and sustainable design practices.

INTERESTS:  Educational Design | Healthcare Design | Residential Design | Architectural/Travel Photography

Mark Pritchard  Faculty, Interior Design 

Mark Pritchard has been an instructor at KPU's Wilson School of Design since 2003 and brings to the classroom over 20+ years of continuous professional experience as an interior designer. A graduate of the accredited interior design program at the University of Manitoba, Mark is responsible for significant project achievements in hospitality, corporate, healthcare, and residential design, many of which have been published. Since 2003, he has operated his own design practice, Pritchard Design Inc, while fulfilling the role of a part time instructor at Kwantlen. As such, his teaching is informed by current ideas and ongoing, on-the-project experience. Mark's passion for creativity and experimentation in design, combined with his mastery of technical and theoretical issues, provides students with a comprehensive, real world foundation for practicing interior design today.

INTERESTS:  Material Culture | Restaurant & Retail Design | Lighting | Travel & Food Culture | Inclusive Design Research

Marlis Joller  Faculty, Interior Design 

Marlis Joller joined Kwantlen’s Interior Design department in 2016 with over 25 years of experience as a LEED accredited registered Interior Design, certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ). She is a member of NEWH, IDIBC, IDC and IALD and a director of IDI Advocacy Society. Marlis holds a bachelor degree in Home Economics from UBC, a Bachelor of Applied Design in Interior Design from Kwantlen, and a Culinary Diploma from Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. Prior to her time at Kwantlen, Marlis honed her commercial kitchen planning and project management skills working for leading Canadian restaurants (A+W and Earls) across Canada and the USA. She has practiced in residential design (single family & multi-unit projects), commercial, hospitality, and institutional projects (health care, government, education) and currently maintains a private design practice.  

INTERESTS:  Cycling | Urban Agriculture | Food Design | Travel | Sustainability

Seng Sengsavanh  Faculty, Interior Design 

Seng Sengsavanh is an empathetic interior designer and educator who resides in Richmond, BC on the unceded traditional, and ancestral lands of the Coast Salish People. Since entering the profession, he has practiced at some Vancouver's most prominent interior design studios and assumed senior management roles in design, marketing, business development and leadership. His professional interior design experience includes work in the residential (single and multi-unit), commercial, workplace, hospitality and exhibition sectors. Seng has a unique combination of design, teaching and senior academic administration and leadership experience. He holds a Master of Arts in Education, a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design (CIDA Accredited), a Management Certificate in Interior Design, and NCIDQ certification.

INTERESTS: Design Fundamentals | Workplace Design | Residential Design | Graphic Presentations | Food & Travel | Photography | Health & Fitness

Stephanie St. Loe  Faculty, Interior Design 

Stephanie St Loe, RID, LEED AP ND is a faculty member at Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Wilson School of Design teaching in the interior design department. She is also a researcher at the University of Hertfordshire as a doctoral candidate investigating tactile wayfinding for dementia. Her interior design practice has included healthcare, hospitality, workplace, transportation, retail and residential projects. As part of her PhD, Stef is pursuing the design and research of inclusive spaces and interventions that enable people and enhance the relatability of the built environment.

INTERESTS:  Dementia Environments | Evidence-Based Design | Human-Centered Design | Human-Environment Interaction | Universal Design | Sustainability