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K-State Today

October 22, 2015



Two design students, teammates win regional competition

By Jane P. Marshall

Two Kansas State University students were members of the winning team in a competition to develop a creative design for an existing interior space in downtown Kansas City. The students are Courtney Bruce, interior design senior in the apparel, textiles and interior design department in the College of Human Ecology, and Erin Heiden, graduate student in interior architecture & product design, College of Architecture Planning & Design.

The 2015 Design Wars were sponsored by the Mid-America Chapter of the International Interior Design Association, or IIDA, in Kansas City recently.

Students from different universities were assigned to teams. Each team had three hours to produce a spatial design, select finishes, and create a presentation of their concept for a panel of industry leaders.

The winning team's solution was a restaurant that placed the bar and butcher's shop in the front of the space so that it would be seen by pedestrians passing on two streets. High visual access was a key concept to encourage patronage during the evening hours. The team used a variety of materials, colors and textures to showcase the products in the butcher shop and to foster a connection between the inside of the space and the nightlife of the streetscape.

"I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with other students in different programs because it is fun to see how other people worked and the ideas they had," Bruce said.

"Everyone brings a different perspective, creating a dynamic experience that encourages students to communicate in a clear and concise way," added Heiden. "The collaboration skills exercised during the charrette directly relate to how interaction will work in the profession."

The other members of the winning team who shared in the $2,000 prize were from the University of Central Missouri and Park University.