GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The grand prize winner of the second annual NEXT Student Design Competition was announced by Steelcase Education on Monday, January 12. This design competition provided an opportunity for juniors and seniors in Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredited design programs to research, and ultimately rethink active learning environments.
The winning design was created by Emma Montgomery, a fourth-year student in the Interior Architecture and Product Design program at Kansas State University. Using the concept of "urban porosity," Montgomery was honored for focusing her design on the principles of collaboration, transparency and flexibility. She was also commended for her thoughtful approach to this new learning environment with solutions for both introverts and extroverts. Montgomery and the Kansas State design program are each receiving a $1,000 cash prize from Steelcase Design Alliances.
Montgomery and four finalists were recognized at Steelcase Education's headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI., for successfully mastering the challenge of designing academic spaces that increase student engagement and retention.
"Each of the student finalists submitted unique plans that focused on creating active learning environments, a key influencer in student success and outcomes," said Madelyn Hankins, Principal, Design Alliances at Steelcase. "The NEXT Competition is not only an opportunity for students to hone in on their skills, but it's a privilege for us to learn from their vision and how they foresee the ideal learning environment."
Design students in the NEXT Competition were directed to develop active learning spaces for a new academic building at a small liberal arts institution – "NEXT University." Participants submitted designs for a distance learning classroom, large active learning classroom, small active learning classrooms, a faculty center and a student WorkCafe primarily using Steelcase products.
"The integration of technology has transformed the modern-day learning space and has profoundly influenced the need for thoughtful classroom design and new pedagogies," said Jerry Holmes, Principal, Design Alliances at Steelcase. "Steelcase is a research-driven organization, so we are always looking to learn what students have to say about efficacy in today's classroom."
Other finalists include Erns Wall of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Heather Furman of Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia; Sara Diesburg of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois; and Shannon Myers of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.
The judges for the competition were: David Broz, firmwide education leader at Gensler; Bonnie Casamassima, project manager at Southface; Jim Luckey, recently retired from SHW Group/Stantec; Carrie Perrone, principal of learning environments at Smithgroup; and Dr. Lennie Scott-Webber, Director of Education Environments at Steelcase.
As lifelong learners, Steelcase Education aims to make a difference in education. For students, educators and designers, we create the most effective, rewarding and inspiring learning spaces. As a dedicated group within Steelcase exclusively focused on education, we bring evidence-based design, technology and innovative solutions to education environments, wherever learning happens.
SOURCE Steelcase Education