September 2014, Volume 18, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight


An Eye for Healthier Clinics

In their very first foray into the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) SunCon Student Challenge, students from MDC’s School of Architecture and Interior Design made a clean sweep of the awards on offer.

MDC Kendall Campus students from Professor Marcia Lopes de Mello’s Interior Design 4 studio class wrested not just the top prize but also both honorable mentions away from all the other colleges in this year’s contest.

The competition was part of the IIDA regional professional trade show. Students were tasked with designing reception and waiting areas for a clinic. The entries were evaluated by a jury of regional design leaders.

Cynthia Rondon, the first-place winner, was awarded $1,000 and an iPad; Karine Mompremier and Nicole Tenhagen won honorable mentions and each received an iPad as well.

“This was a comprehensive professional design project,” said Lopes de Mello. “What makes the students’ awards so impressive is that they are associate degree students going up against many competitors from four-year schools. We did a lot of upper-division work in this class.”

In addition to being eco-friendly and economical to establish and maintain, the projects had to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and meet a host of other criteria. Also, since health care research increasingly shows how patient health and well-being can be enhanced by ambient factors, the students carefully developed design concepts and selected color palettes and materials to promote relaxation.

“This is great for students because they get to spend time with design professionals,” said Lopes de Mello. “Many students get scholarships and job offers as a result of their participation in contests like this.”

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