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Two students in College of Architecture and Urban Studies take top honors in design competition


Chessman's design for La Comunidad, a global advertising agency, won first place. Hanna Chessman's design for La Comunidad, a global advertising agency, won first place.

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 14, 2012 – The College of Architecture and Urban Studies had two winners in a student design competition sponsored by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Hannah Chessman of Charleston, S.C., a 2012 graduate in interior design, took home first place in the competition, and Jennifer Boyd of Chantilly, Va., a 2012 graduate in interior design, was awarded an honorable mention.

Now in its ninth year of sponsoring the competition, the ASID challenged students to look forward to the year 2025, and submit design solutions that address the human, economic, and environmental needs of a future society.

For her winning entry, Chessman designed an office and public gathering space for La Comunidad, a global advertising agency. Key issues that her design addressed were indoor air quality, a connection to nature, and general health of the occupants. Floral and vegetable gardens, grass-lined walkways, and a 45,000-square-foot park directly behind the building all help increase connections to nature and the community and are key elements of the design.

In her entry description, Chessman said, “The substantial amounts of vegetation combat both poor air quality and the negative psychological effects of urbanization. The design creates an office space environment that encourages movement and collaboration.”

Chessman received at $2,000 cash prize. Her design will be displayed during the NeoCon design convention in Chicago this summer.

Boyd’s design was for an office building for Burnkit, a sustainable advertising and media company. The concept for the new three-story structure was to incorporate a desire for a sustainable, collaborative, and flexible environment through a permeable building membrane that used natural forces such as heat and wind to support the daily functions of the building. The design incorporates passive heating and cooling, purified air, and sustainable vegetation, which is used in the building’s restaurant.

ASID is a community of designers, industry representatives, educators, and students who are committed to interior design. The organization has more than 30,000 members and a network of 48 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies is composed of four schools: the School of Architecture + Design, including architecture, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture; the School of Public and International Affairs, including urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy and government and international affairs; the Myers-Lawson School of Construction, which includes building construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and construction engineering management in the College of Engineering; and the School of the Visual Arts, including programs in studio art, visual communication and art history.