| Mar 10, 2013 |
Competition addresses social change through design
Boh staff
By Staff

The 10th annual American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Student Design Competition, themed REPurpose for Today, challenged design students to create an environment that helps address a current social crisis through design of an existing structure.

“There is no better way to demonstrate design’s real world impact than to highlight our design students’ solutions to some of our world’s most important social issues,” said Randy Fiser, executive vice president and CEO of ASID. “With the sponsorship of HGTV, we are able to communicate the importance of design to a larger audience of design enthusiasts and underscore the value of education. The caliber of the work submitted gives us great hope for the future of an industry which thrives on improving the human experience."

Here is a look at the winner and honorable mentions:

Winner: Molly Sherman, Student ASID—Pratt Institute

Wheels of Empowerment: Mobile Learning Environment for Migrant Farm workers

Wheels of Empowerment aims to create a stable and empowering learning environment for the migrant farm worker community. The design calls for a redesign of the seating on the common farm bus used by the migrant farming community. Simple modifications can create an adaptable environment that can be used as a classroom for the children, shaded seating for meals and a meeting space for community organizers.

Honorable Mention: Sarah Yacko, Student ASID—Ball State University

Rubble Revival: ASID Repurpose for Today

Rubble Revival explores innovative solutions for designers and planners to lead the way in revitalizing distressed communities through green solutions. The concept focuses on Gary, Ind., and cites the Person-Environment Theory that posits that connecting individuals to nature helps improve communities. Recommended strategies include the creation of community gardens to green the city and bring people together.

Honorable Mention: Kelsey Conroy, Student ASID—Virginia Tech

Pause for the Pulse Pay Phone Project

Mobile phone technology has almost eliminated the need for public landlines. At the same time, the rate at which we are advancing in technology is causing rapidly growing rates of e-waste that causes serious harm to the environment. The Pause for the Pulse Pay Phone Project recommissions unused pay phone booths on New York City sidewalks as donation and recycling centers for unused cell phones. The unused pay phone booths provide ideal structures on city streets to educate, while collecting and recycling e-waste.

Honorable Mention: Misty Brecht, Student ASID—Anderson University

On Track

Lancaster, S.C., was hit so hard by the economic depression that in 2008, it was named the most vulnerable town in America by Forbes. Providing a less expensive and more sustainable method of travel allows more people to work outside of Lancaster, thereby decreasing the unemployment rate. Underutilized existing railroad systems provide the possibility for the much needed link for transportation from Lancaster. This connection opens the potential for many more job opportunities in a wider variety of career fields and, thereby, lowering the unemployment rate. Reopening the rail lines for passenger travel and reusing existing passenger cars is a sustainable solution to utilize the existing track infrastructure to its fullest potential, getting both the trains and people’s lives back On Track.

Honorable Mention: Kerry Sherksnas, Student ASID—Brigham Young University

Idaho Repurpose for Today: Saint Joseph's Hospital

Saint Joseph’s Hospital has been out of use for several years. Using the principles of adaptive reuse design, the abandoned hospital would be used for academic classrooms, labs and a main kitchen area. The second floor would boast a gym and theater room for extracurricular activities. The third and fourth floor would contain residents’ bedrooms. By re-creating this haven for the area’s youth, crime rates would decrease and more children would have better lives and increased opportunities in education. The principles of adaptive reuse design would not only save Saint Joseph’s Hospital from dilapidation, it would also resurrect the building’s initial purpose: to save lives.

“HGTV is proud to partner with ASID on this initiative which honors future designers, sustainability and social good, said Vikki Neil, senior vice president and general manager, HGTV digital. “This competition underscores the value of how thoughtful planning can create spaces with purpose, one of the principles of good design.”

The winning entries will be exhibited during Dwell on Design, June 21 –23, and honored during the ASID Celebration Design Awards Ceremony, Fri. June 21. Full descriptions of the awards program and winning projects can be viewed online here.

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