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Sources: Peggy Honey, 785-532-1306, peghoney@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-2535, kmayes@k-state.edu

Thursday, May 6, 2010

K-STATE INTERIOR DESIGN SENIORS WIN FIRST PLACE IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

MANHATTAN -- A team of two Kansas State University interior design students has won the international student design competition of the Interior Design Educators Council.

Members of the winning K-State team are seniors Kristen Henriksen, Courtland, and Morgan Zwickel, Overland Park.

"We're very proud of Kristen and Morgan," said Peggy Honey, associate professor of interior design and one of the faculty advisers for the project. "Their thorough and thoughtful approach to the project was very impressive."

Students from the College of Human Ecology's interior design program were asked to design a learning commons in a university library, which is a relatively new approach to creating libraries to meet the evolving needs of students in the digital age.

The competition project took place over two weeks. During the first week, students researched the existing best practices in the design of university libraries. They were then given an empty 3,800 square foot floor plan and only one week to design a flexible learning environment. Student designs also had to address the issues of accessibility, sustainability and meet all applicable building codes. Honey and Carolyn Thompson, adjunct interior design faculty member, oversaw K-State's project.

"We were additionally heartened that they are our second team in three years to win this award," Honey said. "Our students' success is reflective of the quality of our program and the faculty's efforts to encourage the thoughtful problem-solving skills necessary to find solutions in today's challenging world."

The team's win came at the annual international conference of the Interior Design Educators Council in Atlanta, Ga.

The K-State team advanced to the finals of the competition by being one of the top three finalists at the council's Midwest regional competition.