Now in its sixth year, Gensler’s Diversity Scholarship is a juried program recognizing emerging talent among African-American college students enrolled in an accredited architecture program. Larry Travis of Mississippi State University received first prize while second prize went to Miriam Strauss of The University of Arizona and Kevyn McPhail of Carnegie Mellon University.
All three winners will be offered an academic scholarship and an internship at Gensler. The judges, representing a range of design professions, selected the winners from numerous applications submitted by students from across the nation.
From left: Larry Travis, Miriam Strauss and Kevyn McPhail
In Travis’ winning submission, he demonstrated creativity and design talent through a reimagined library. Travis’s personality, passion and approach to design impressed the jury, according to Mariela Buendia-Corrochano, a member of the selection committee and a principal at Gensler.
“Larry’s work is holistic, thoughtful, and unassuming,” she said. “He thinks about the user experience in conjunction with the architectural relationships of the urban context. It is not about the architecture or interiors, it is about redesigning the concept of a library through an emotional journey of discovery.”
Judges were also impressed with the design sophistication exhibited by Strauss and McPhail. Strauss submitted a design for The University of Arizona Center for Information and Collaboration. McPhail submitted a design for the Institute for Integrative Design, a multidisciplinary collaborative workspace.
Gensler’s Diversity Scholarship program was founded to encourage a more robust dialogue between the architectural profession and African-American architecture students. It raises awareness of the architectural profession as a career choice, and it seeks to make design careers more accessible for African-American students.