2021 Western Region Student Design Charette

The fifth annual – first-ever virtual – IIDA Western Region Student Design Charette was hosted by IIDA Northern California, on Zoom, over two days – Friday, April 9th and Saturday, April 10th. Local charette winners and other IIDA student members from all over the Western Region competed for cash awards and the Western Region Student Design Charette Champion title.

Day 1 – Reception

On the first day, students met Dr. Cristina Banks (Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces, Unv. of California, Berkeley) to learn about the psychological and physiological impacts our design choices have on those who move and live within the spaces we create. Dr. Banks was joined by Primo Orpilla (Co-founder and Principal of Studio O+A) and Randy Howder (Managing Director, Principal at Gensler – San Francisco) to discuss what those design choices may look like in a post-covid world. Day 1 concluded with a short mixer. Students, speakers, and other attendees were mixed randomly into breakout rooms to dissect what they learned. This would prep the students for the challenge that would come the next day.

Day 2 – Day of the Charette!

The following day, students logged onto zoom bright and early to be broken into their teams and given the design problem. Teams were made up of students from all regions, and the design problem had not been shared with them before! After an in-depth review of the challenge, students were released to their respective breakout rooms and they had the challenge of coming up with a design solution in four hours. Students were given some professional feedback and were expected to practice their presentations.

Once time was up, students were brought to the main room and were introduced to our esteemed panel of four judges – Dawn Fischer, Owner of ID Project; Konni Doi, Principal of HMC Architects, Eileen Thomas; Senior Director – Lighting Studio Leader of StudioK1; and Melissa Mizell, Principal of Gensler – Portland.

Each team had only seven minutes to present their concept and design solution to the challenge. This year, students had to design an office space (approx. 12,000 sq. feet) for a food kit delivery company moving into a new area. The design had to reflect the changing needs of hybrid work but still allow for the day-to-day activity typical to this type of client. Students were given suggestions for ‘work modes’ and employee profiles to help guide their thinking about design solutions that address the unique user needs of a hybrid and intergenerational workforce. After presentations were done, judges were sent to their breakout room to deliberate. Meanwhile, students remained in the main room and participated in some totally professional not-so-silly activities.

After a few rounds of students sharing hilarious items and dressing up in some truly fashionable attire, the judges returned to announce the winnings teams – starting with the third-place winners…

3rd Place Winning Team – Sierra Cascade Design

Students: Esperanza Zivkovic (IIDA Northern Pacific) – Bellevue College; Alison Hicks (IIDA Oregon) – University of Oregon; Amanda Rodman (IIDA NoCal) – California State University, Sacramento; Kelly Wilson (IIDA SoCal) – San Diego Mesa College; Christian Ojeda (IIDA SoCal) – Mt San Antonio College

Then came second…

2nd Place Winning Team – Global Escape

Students: Sam Reynolds (IIDA Oregon) – University of Oregon; Erin Wardle (IIDA NoCal) – California State University, Sacramento; Erica Yaw (IIDA SoCal) – Design Institute of San Diego; Melissa Sadowski (IIDA Southwest) – Northern Arizona University

And finally came time for the judges to announce this year’s IIDA Western Region Student Design Charette Champions!

1st Place Winning Team – Rise

Students: Oktay Bayrami (IIDA Northern Pacific) – Bellevue College; Jonny Bywater (IIDA NoCal) – City College of San Francisco; Ana-Paola Laveaga (IIDA SoCal) – ArtCenter College of Design; Emilia Raines (IIDA Southwest) – Arizona State University; Eliza Primo (IIDA NoCal) – Academy of Art University

Congratulations to all our winners, and we sincerely thank everybody who participated.

A massive thank you to our sponsors this year; without your generosity, we could not continue to hold this prestigious event. To Benjamin Moore, Gensler, Perkins & Will, Wolf Gordon, Fireclay Tile, L. Kershner Design, Callison RTKL, Hunstman, Mannington, Formica, Howard S. Wright, Source, ShawContract and Stantect we thank you so much! We hope 2021 brings the end to a very dark and challenging time for us all.

Next year’s regional, we look forward to bringing it back to where it all began – Southern California!

Arrow Created with Sketch. Back to Blog