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College of Human Ecology

K-State student team wins international Interior Design competition

Monday, March 17, 2008

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

Members of the winning K-State team, all seniors, are Alexandra Sumpter, Leawood; Alison Hecht, Seneca; and Haley Van Wagenen, Orange Park, Fla. Their faculty adviser was Peggy Honey, assistant professor of interior design at K-State.

The team's win came at the annual international conference of the Interior Design Educators Council, March 5-8, in Montreal, Canada. The K-State team advanced to the finals of the competition by being among the top three finalists at the council's Midwest regional competition. K-State had two of the top three teams at the regional contest.

"This year's competition had a theme of social justice, more specifically, affordable housing in the U.S. and Canada," Honey said.

"The project took place over two weeks. The first week was spent in researching current efforts in affordable and sustainable housing, using the Department of Housing and Urban Development Web site as a starting point."

Students were then given a prefabricated housing unit floor plan of 4.5 by 15 meters.

"Having only a week to design, the students were given the challenge to take advantage of solar orientation, to design for all populations and design for reduced waste," Honey said.

Work on projects began in the fall 2007 semester as part of a senior design studio class. Students in the studio, in three-member teams, had their projects juried by faculty not involved in teaching their class, with the three best projects advancing to the Midwest regional.

"We're very proud of Alex, Haley and Alison," Honey said. "Their success is reflective of the quality of our program and the faculty's efforts to encourage the thoughtful problem-solving skills that are necessary to find solutions for today's challenging world."

The project by the K-State team of Catie Carpenter, Goddard; Kara Schmidt, North Newton; and Eva Newill, Macedonia, Iowa, also was among the top three at the Midwest regional and advanced to the final competition.

Source: Peggy Honey, 785-532-1306, peghoney@k-state.edu
Note to editor: Alison Hecht is a graduate of Bern High School.

This article was posted on Monday, March 17, 2008, and is filed under Apparel, Textiles, & Interior Design.