Eyes on the (design) prize: students take state awards

By Ashley Yeaman

Interior design isn’t as easy as it looks. Those that do it right can win big, and those who try it at all at Baylor know the degree is far from fluff.

Some of Baylor’s best interior designers will walk away from the university with not just a diploma, but hardware to go with it.

Baylor interior design students won six awards at the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Texas Chapter 2011 Student Symposium in Dallas.

The competition took place on Oct. 14 and 15, and 16 colleges across Central and North Texas participated, including Abilene Christian University, the University of North Texas and the University of Texas.

The symposium, this year titled “Interior Design Boot Camp,” brings together not only students, but also practitioners, industry partners and educators from throughout the state.

Colleyville senior Kailey Rawson won first place in the “One Unique Space” category for her retail kiosk design, a project she said was the first one she created this semester.

“It’s a mall kiosk project inspired by a famous designer,” Rawson said. “I entered my model, which included what inspired it — floor plans, design details and I took pictures of the model.”

Rawson also won first place in the scholarship competition and was awarded $2,000.

McKinney senior Christine Clark placed first in the “Residential” category. Her design, “Low Country Project,” followed standards from the American Disabilities Act and incorporated elements from nature.

Along with Clark, Brownwood senior Natalie Rosato and Georgetown senior Jan Jordan submitted a group project into the collaboration category that won first place.

Michelle Brown, lecturer of interior design, said the project involved detailed research.

“They had to look at Waco and eye clinics, and they were specifically looking at pediatrics,” Brown said. “They had to design for the special needs of children, looking at materials that would attract their attention and interest, and materials that would hold up well in a community health facility situation.”

The students named the pediatric eye clinic Sprout.

All of these projects require hours of work, Rawson said.

“I’m working on a project right now that’s due in about a week and a half, and so far I’ve spent 180 hours on it,” Rawson said. “It’s frustrating, because a lot of people hear interior design, and they think that’s it’s an MRS degree, [or] that we’re just here to meet someone and get married, but it’s brutal. We don’t have time to do anything outside of class projects.”

Another category that took place at the symposium did not involve previous work. The on-site competition, called the speed charette, gave students two hours to work together in assigned groups with students from other schools. They were given a design problem that they had to solve through collaboration.

Rawson said this year the design problem involved filling a space with a lounge, coffee area and a meeting space for veterans and their families.

“It’s hard because you just met these people and you want to take the time to learn about their strengths, but you have to just jump into it,” Rawson said. “Someone always emerges as the leader, and they’re the one delegating assignments. It’s really intense, but it’s fun.”

Clark’s team won first place in the speed charette, and Rawson’s team placed third.