Auburn interior design students recognized as nation’s best

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Auburn University has the nation’s best student chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, or ASID.

The organization recently recognized Auburn’s interior design students as its Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year at the ASID National Student Summit, SCALE, in Los Angeles. The award recognizes a single ASID student chapter that has provided exceptional service to its student members, professional associates and community. 

This is the second consecutive year Auburn made it into the top five of national chapters and its first ever first place finish.

Auburn’s ASID student chapter is called Auburn Societies as it also represents Auburn’s affiliation with the International Interior Design Association, or IIDA. Assistant Professor Melanie Duffey is the chapter’s faculty advisor.

“These students are an impressive group of young leaders that have taken the initiative to fill their chapter’s calendar with nationally recognized speakers, have engaged in philanthropic work in our community and have advocated for the importance of the interior design profession,” said Duffey. “It really has been an honor to work with this group of exceptional students.”

Additionally, Auburn seniors Rachael Snow and Briana Guin both placed in the ASID Student Portfolio Competition. They represented two of the eight student winners. Savannah College of Art and Design and New York School of Interior Design, which are both private institutions, also had two student winners each. Pratt Institute, a private school, and the University of Texas at Austin, a public school, had one winner each.

The portfolio competition seeks to generate the best collection of student design projects in the nation. Submissions were evaluated on conceptual thought, the content of the work submitted and the student’s record of achievement, with two rounds of online reviews and one round of finalist interviews at the student summit. The experience culminated in a presentation of portfolios to a panel of judges in the hope of securing a 2018 internship with Gensler, HKS Architects, HOK, Perkins+Will, iCrave or Studio O+A.

Snow, co-president of Auburn Societies, earned an internship with Perkins+Will, an international architectural and design firm, while Guin earned an internship with iCrave, a New York-based design studio. Both companies are among the top 100 in the design industry.

Such an acknowledgement for Auburn students reflects the university’s goal to provide an exceptional undergraduate student experience.

“This recognition for our program and our student’s work continues to propel our national presence in our already nationally ranked program,” said Duffey. “These students are receiving internships that will push their professional career to the next level. I can’t wait to see what they do next!”

DesignIntelligence magazine ranked Auburn’s Interior Design program as 11th in the nation for its annual survey of “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools 2017-2018.” It also recognized Duffey and Lecturer Anna Ruth Gatlin among the nation’s top 25 Most Admired Educators, a category that recognizes role models of excellence in education and education administration.

Auburn’s Interior Design program is in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences in the College of Human Sciences.

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