Interior Design Graduate Students Take Top Honors in National Competition

A pair of M.S. in Interior Architecture students won top honors in the national 2020-2021 Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) Student Design competition.

Hayley Wynne and Fullah Hazazi took first place in the graduate category of “Developing a Socially-Sustainable Living Community for Veterans” competition as judged by IDEC, which is “recognized as the leading association and authority on interior design education.”

Their entry—titled “Summit”—was limited to just three weeks last fall during which Wynne and Hazazi accomplished great pre-design research and design work. 

Lauren Baumbach, director of the interior design and interior architecture programs within the College of Architecture and the Built Environment, says the students were charged with supporting the important social dimensions of communities and addresses the high impact that “belonging” has on both physical and emotional well-being.

“This is particularly critical for the veteran community in the U.S.,” says Baumbach, in whose Design V studio course the winning project was created. “Their project states that ‘the living community supports veterans returning to civilian life as they seek to achieve wellness and build meaningful roles in their communities. The spaces and facility programming are designed to encourage healthy living, social connection, self-empowerment, skill acquisition, and community engagement and support.’”

Wynne and Hazazi applied both “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” and  “prospect and refuge” theory as a basis for the design of interior zones, walkways and courtyards where residents can feel both secure and sheltered yet open to social engagement and community life.

“I was very impressed with Hayley and Fullah’s collaboration as they worked through the design process,” says Baumbach, who sponsored the winning entry. “They did great in-depth design research that informed and strengthened the design, and they rose to the challenge of integrating two design visions into one seamless, holistic and powerful design solution. Their empathic approach to designing a ‘socially sustainable’ veterans living community was evident throughout the project.”

“Winning first prize in the national 2020-21 IDEC Student Design competition is another proof of the excellent education our interior architecture and interior design students are receiving in our top ranked programs,” says Barbara Klinkhammer, dean of the College of Architecture and the Built Environment. “IDEC is recognized as the leading organization on interior design education. Congratulations to Hayley Wynne and Fullah Hazazi!”