Congratulations to SUNY Buffalo State students Julia Hagen and Tara Hollingsworth. Julia and Tara have earned a spot to compete in a national interior design competition focused on next generation learning spaces. Their entries were selected by a panel of area design professionals to represent Buffalo State in the Steelcase NEXT Student Design Competition.
Students had to develop new spaces for a new academic building at a small liberal arts institution, the fictional NEXT University. Students are responsible for submitting a design for classrooms, a faculty center and a student WorkCafé using Steelcase products. The challenge is to design a learning environment for the future that helps increase student engagement and retention.
Julia Hagen’s entry, with its focus on natural light and theme of bringing the outside indoors, caught the judges’ attention with its floor to ceiling detail including a sustainable green roof. Tara Hollingsworth’s entry was also inspired by natural elements, drawing from aquatic shapes and colors for a University learning space based near the ocean.
The competition is open to college junior and senior level design students from Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)-accredited programs across North America. One grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a matching contribution to their school’s design program. All finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to Steelcase University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to present the winning design to the panel of judges and meet with Steelcase executives. Finalists will also spend time with thought leaders and explore what’s NEXT in education, workplace and healthcare environments.