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15 March 2005

ID Student Finalists - Hospitality Design Awards for Creative Achievement

Interior Design students Jessica Toro and Cara Williams are finalists in the Hospitality Design Awards for Creative Achievement.

Students from Virginia Tech’s Interior Design Program, in the School of Architecture + Design are finalists in Hospitality Design Magazaine’s annual Hospitality Design Awards for Creative Achievement. Four finalists were selected in the Student Project category and two of those winners were Virginia Tech interior design students.

Hospitality and Design Magazine is the premier trade magazine serving the field of hospitality design and it features the work of major interior designers, architects, and design firms that specifically design hospitality spaces such as restaurants, hotels, resorts, spas, nightclubs, conference centers, senior living facilities and all other hospitality-oriented projects. The magazine’s first annual design competition featured a student category. Jessica Toro of Norfolk, Va., a sophomore majoring in interior design and Cara Williams of Willis, Va., a sophomore majoring in interior design, were selected for their design of a restaurant and lounge.

The Virginia Tech finalists designed a restaurant and lounge to be located in Singapore. These designs were specifically selected for submission to the magazine by interior design faculty because of their conceptual depth in creatively designing a space that was both aesthetically unique and appropriately connected to the cultural context of the restaurant’s location. Brad Whitney and Katrina Choi were supervising interior design faculty.

Greg Tew, Chair, Interior Design Program in the School and Architecture + Design said, “We are always excited when our students are recognized for outstanding work, but our success in the Hospitality Design Awards competition is particularly satisfying. Design competition winners are typically senior level students working on semester long projects. We found out about this competition less than a month before the submission deadline and quickly created the restaurant assignment for our sophomore students to submit for the awards. For these students to be selected as finalists in an important competition shows how quickly our students develop the creative skills needed to be successful designers.”

Faculty selected six projects from a class of forty outstanding projects for submission to the competition. In addition to the finalists, the other Virginia Tech Interior Design students whose projects were selected for submission were sophomores Catherine Gengo of Manassas, Virginia, Jessica Toro of Norfolk, Virginia , Kimberly Picklap of Winchester, Virginia, Kristen Ruch or Midlothian, Virginia and Stephanie Brooker of Ladsdale, Pennsylvania.

Winners and finalists will be honored at an awards presentation and celebratory reception on Wednesday, June 8, 2005, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Hudson Theater in New York City, where the Best of Show will also be announced. Images from each project will be featured in the July issue of Hospitality Design Magazine.