Baylor Interior Design Students Rank in Top Three Regionally in 2021 IDEC Student Design Competition

April 23, 2021

Baylor interior design students won first and third place in the Southwest region in the annual Interior Design Educators Council's Student Design Competition.(Getty Images)

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by Cerenity Austin, student news writer, Baylor University Media and Public Relations

WACO, Texas (April 23, 2021) — Baylor interior design students won first and third place in the Southwest region in the annual IDEC Student Design Competition held virtually by the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC).

Baylor students competed in six to seven groups against 81 undergraduate students from 31 different universities. They worked in teams of three and presented concept design solutions for real-world problems.

“The central problem was to design, in the midst of the pandemic, a community that supports the health, safety and wellness for veterans,” said Anna Dean, junior interior design student. “Veterans often struggle with mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.”

Projects began on the first day of classes for the Fall 2020 semester and students were given three weeks to complete them. Students adapted to COVID-19 restrictions by meeting with teammates socially distanced and collaborating on advanced design software programs such as Autodesk Revit.

“The parameters for this project allowed 21 days to complete the design solution, so they had six working days in class and hours of work outside of class as well,” said Hillary Burgess, interior design adjunct lecturer and faculty sponsor for Bonsai. “They did a lot of Zoom calls and digitally shared files rather than sharing sketches and ideas on paper.”

Baylor submitted three projects for the competition and the winning teams, called Bonsai and Foxhole respectively, developed their unique concept designs with various color schemes, materials and lighting to create a cohesive solution for the project parameters.

“Our branding name is ‘Bonsai Harmony. Community. Heroes,’ Dean said. “We chose the Bonsai tree as a symbol in our design because it represents harmony, peace and balance, which we wanted to incorporate through the building by using natural elements and promoting a sense of nature.”

Baylor University’s 2021 IDEC competition teams:

First Place Winners: Bonsai

  • Anna Dean (Junior, Frisco, Texas)
  • Angeline Wong (Junior, Houston, Texas)
  • Victoria Segraves (Senior, Celina, Texas)

Third Place Winners: Foxhole

  • Madeline LeBlanc (Senior, Smyrna, Georgia)
  • Kate Reeves (Senior, Austin, Texas)
  • Lindsay Lightner (Senior, Robinson, Texas)

“The competition project was completed in the Design I, which is the first upper-level studio, so students have already taken courses such as building systems and codes, lighting and space planning,” said Elise King, MID, associate professor in human sciences and design, and faculty sponsor for Foxhole. “The upper-level studios focus on solving complex problems and emphasize the importance of research-based decision making.”

Burgess said students were presented with project parameters in class, performed progress checks with their groups and researched solutions extensively on materials to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to promoting a healthy environment.

“At the deadline, they submitted two presentation boards that contained evidence of their research, a written concept statement, a floor plan, materials, finish selections and many sketches and renderings to reinforce their design solution,” she said.

“The project was required to incorporate effectiveness of planning, including universal design, while following the International Building Codes (IBC) and ADA-accessible design guidelines,” Dean said. “It was also judged on how well we reflected and understood the needs of the veterans in the community.”

IDEC is a juried competition, and teams Bonsai and Foxhole were selected based on a blind review process.

Faculty sponsors for each team share a bond that they celebrate as faculty members.

“Professor Burgess and I both attended Baylor as undergraduates and majored in interior design, graduating a year apart,” King said. “As students, we would discuss our projects and coursework. And now as faculty, to be teaching the same studio and have students in each of our sections place in the top three, it’s been fun to be on this journey together.”

Burgess said that once the 2022 IDEC Student Design Competition project parameters are released, the interior design department will assess if the parameters fit the course description for their studio class in Fall 2021.

Click here for more information on IDEC and a full list of competition winning designs.


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