University of Cincinnati interior design students brought home more prizes than any other school in the world after the Planning and Visual Education Partnership.
Fourth-year interior design students Liz Baverman of Green Township, and fellow student Kayla Reinbold, brought home two of three prizes awarded in the Store Design Category of the contest, which asked design students across the nation to envision, research and design new retail environments for beauty retailer Sephora.
Baverman won $5,000 for first place, and Reinbold won $2,500 for second place. Fellow student Joanna Chen won second place in the competition’s Visual Merchandising Category, earning $2,500, while student Diana Stercula of Medina, Ohio, received an Honorable Mention and $500 in prize money.
Further money, $3,000, will be given to DAAP because of the students' outstanding performance in a field of almost 500 entrants.
“While the prize money is appreciated since it will help fund my current cooperative education quarter in San Francisco, the gala itself was an incredible experience,” Baverman says. “We made professional contacts, and we were able to see that professionals in the field appreciated our work, valued our ideas and, overall, validated our potential. It encouraged me to continue in what is becoming a retail design specialty.”
The challenge was to design a 1,000-square-foot environment for a typical Sephora store, the sponsor of the competition, but as a more temporary, concentrated brand experience. Baverman’s first-place entry was a pop-up store and beauty bar that could be set up on college campuses.
The UC students not only had to envision improved retail environments and tools on behalf of Sephora for the contest, they also had to conduct research to determine the feasibility of their plans.
By Evan Wallis