Baylor Interior Design Students Win Awards at Dallas Competition

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Nov. 4, 2010

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A convenience store inspired by the Hopi Indians' respect for the earth, a retail kiosk in the shape of an ornate jewel box and a homeless assistance center with a theme of a tree's growth and strength are the interior design concepts that netted Baylor interior design students awards in Dallas recently.

Five students were named winners at the student symposium of the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Symposium theme was "Interior Design: Beyond the Reality Series."

Winners are:

• Blair Schrade -- First place in the new Unique Space design category.

• Taylor McCammon, Brooke Morrison and Erica Schneider -- First place in the Collaborative Design Category

• Erica Schneider -- Second place in the Small Scale Commercial Category

• Kailey Jo Rawson -- Third place in the Scholarship Category

Schrade, a senior interior design major from Rowlett, designed a retail space that potentially could be used in Waco's Richland Mall. Competitors were required to design their projects to reflect the style of a famous architect or designer. Schrade's kiosk was inspired by the late Louis Sullivan, an architect of the late 1880s known for his elaborate ornamentations in stone, wood, iron and terra cotta for structures ranging from theaters and auditoriums to offices, warehouses, stables and a mausoleum.

Schrade's theoretical kiosk, named The Jewel Box, was intended to sell ornate jewelry to customers. She designed an octagonal structure with an arched entrance, four circular windows and elaborate designs.

Designing the interior of an existing facility that could be used for a homeless assistance center in downtown Waco were interior design majors McCammon, a Houston senior; Morrison, a senior from Wheaton, Ill.; and Schneider, a senior from Columbus, Texas. Their group was among eight interior design teams who presented concepts in the spring to the city of Waco for a proposed homeless assistance center. Student research and concept development included extensive input from a Dallas architectural firm, Camargo/Copeland Architects; a walking tour of THE BRIDGE, a new Dallas homeless assistance center; and study of the Mayor's (Waco) 10-year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

"The project was huge," said Stan Love, AIA, Baylor University Architect and lecturer who authored the project for Baylor's interior design program. "The students spent five weeks working on this project, and they did a great job. It's important for the University to continue doing this kind of work with the community."

The team which entered the Dallas competition designed a center named The Core, marked with art and stylized motifs of roots and tree rings, said Michelle Brown, senior lecturer in interior design at Baylor.

"This wasn't just design; they had to research the 'whys' and 'hows,'" Brown said. The students did research on social justice and design to apply to Waco demographics, she said.

The roots symbolized setting a firm base for one's life, which leads to branching out toward new goals and destinations. Trees rings or "growth rings" are concentric circles that can be seen in a horizontal cross section cut through a tree trunk. That image was incorporated into the design to symbolize "healing from the inside out" and promote the center's holistic approach to well-being for the homeless.

Because many homeless people spend much of their outdoors, they are particularly sensitive to environmental cycles and some have an aversion to enclosed spaces, Brown said. To meet psychological needs and integrate indoors and outdoors, the students used broad expanses of glass and sunlight.

Because sustainability has become increasingly important, designs included such materials as bamboo, cork and even terrazzo, which often is made using recycled glass, Brown said.

Schneider's second place in the Small Scale Commercial category was for a design inspired by the Hopis of the Southwest, who are committed to stewardship of the earth. They often use a wave symbol in art and jewelry to symbolize the flow of life. Schneider designed a "Re-Fuel" convenience store to contribute to the "reduce, reuse and recycle" method of improving the environment.

It included a blue wave-shaped awning, wave-shaped counters, curved shelves and bamboo panels.

"Students had to research trends in convenience stores and deal with storage, office and restrooms as well as public spaces," Brown said. Competitors studied brand strategy, consumer research, graphic and lighting design and store planning and merchandising research.

Rawson, a senior interior design major from Colleyville, won third place -- $1,000 -- in the Scholarship Category. The award was based on the merit of her application, references and activities.

Contact: Terry Goodrich, Assistant Director of Media Communications, (254) 710-3321

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