McDonough ’12 Wins First Place in Local Design Competition

By whitlocd | November 15, 2011

For the second consecutive year, Arcadia University Interior Design student Sarah McDonough placed in the KlingStubbins charette design competition. As a junior she won honorable mention, but this year was even better. On Oct. 22 she competed against 60 of the top design students from the region and won first place and the grand prize.

A transfer student, McDonough always loved art, particularly sculpture, but also felt it was important to pursue a career path within a well-defined and established industry. As a student at Bucks County Community College, she took a course on career decision-making that helped her consider her talents and passions while narrowing down her career options. It ultimately led her to Interior Design. Her instructor encouraged her to apply to Arcadia. The process of transferring her credits was easy because of Arcadia’s core-to-core agreement with Bucks County Community College.

McDonough participated in Arcadia’s Italy Preview to Rome in 2010, where she was inspired by the ancient architecture. “I was always a fan of Modernism and simplicity in design, but after going on Preview I have a new appreciation for the traditional, Old World look.”

The KlingStubbins design competition is held annually by KlingStubbins, a full-service architecture, engineering, interior design, planning, and landscape architecture firm headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa. Without prior instruction or the use of computers, participants are given seven hours to complete a comprehensive design.

“We all were to design an office environment for a hypothetical company named GO Work and create an office environment that would allow entrepreneurs and non-traditional freelance workers, whose work is mobile, to rent temporary office and collaborative space. Spaces to include [were] hospitality/refreshment areas, presentation rooms […] seating accommodations, furniture, computers, etc. We had until 4 p.m. to draft a rendered plan, as well as a perspective of an important design element, and pick out finishes which were provided by KlingStubbins.”

McDonough designed her office environment as to maximize daylight and utilize a modern, youthful aesthetic. Her palate consisted of finishes in colors that were calming yet professional, inspired from a pinstripe suit, which she described as “clean, youthful and inviting.” McDonough also incorporated a lot of wood and other natural elements that would be calming and maximize productivity.

The winners announced at an awards ceremony on Nov. 10 at the Westin Hotel in Philadelphia, at which 37 of the competition’s sponsors were in attendance.

“Winning this competition will open so many doors for me,” she says. “I am so grateful to KlingStubbins for hosting this event for students every year.”