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USM Interior Design Students Win Awards at Regional ASID Competition

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 07:41am | By: Ivonne Kawas Prado

Archbold's winning design

One of Alexia Archbold's winning designs

Students from the Interior Design program in the School of Construction and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) were recently honored with regional ASID Awards from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) South Central Chapter, including one Gold Award, four Silver Awards and one Bronze Award.

The South Central Chapter of ASID recognizes the most outstanding work by interior design students at its Annual Conference and Awards Gala, and includes member universities based in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. This year the competition was hosted virtually, and the entries were blind reviewed by professional interior designers from surrounding states.

“I am very proud of all our students that entered and won awards in the ASID student competitions. Winning these awards is an indication that our student work is meeting the highest standards in interior design education,” said Claire Hamilton, associate professor in interior design. “It is particularly nice that our seniors were able to be recognized in this way.”

Alexia Archbold, senior interior design major at USM from Picayune, Miss., was the only student to win a regional Gold Award in the Portfolio category and was also the recipient of a Silver Award for her Computer-generated Rendering.

Archbold’s portfolio, a showcase of her best projects during her time at Southern Miss, includes design concepts for a boutique hotel and an architecture firm. The boutique hotel, the Larimer Hotel, located in Denver, Colo., was expected to embody the culture of the district while reflecting the strong connection with the research developed about the history of the location. The program required it to include a lobby, grab & go, a back house, a restaurant with an adjacent courtyard, a retail shop, and ADA accessible guest suite, and a king-sized guest suite. The concept of the latter, Highlight Hurst Architecture, located in the Pennzoil Place building in Houston, Texas, features a collaborative open office floor plan with WELL building standards incorporated throughout.

“USM has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to fulfill my passion of creating original and exciting designs, while ensuring each of my concepts meet relevant codes and professional standards,” Archbold said. “Receiving recognition for my portfolio and computer-generated rendering is an honor, and I plan to accept these awards with confidence in myself and my accomplishments as I enter the professional world.”

Kayla Cole's winning designKayla Cole, senior interior design major from Philadelphia, Miss., was honored with a Silver Award in the Computer-generated Rendering category for her boutique hotel design and Bronze Award in the Portfolio category. Chemin de Fer, her boutique hotel design, was influenced by the local culture and industrial history of the area, as it is located in the North Loop District in an old warehouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Cole’s portfolio also showcases her best projects during her time at Southern Miss.

Chanler Baker, junior interior design major from Ellisville, Miss., was honored with a Silver Award in the Hand Rendering category. Baker’s hand rendering, completed as an assignment in her Junior Portfolio class, was inspired by an interior photo from Architectural Digest. Baker used Prisma-colored pencils over velum paper and blended a variety of colors together to create the right shade of color. As a finishing touch, Baker used a white pencil to create light and to blend the colors together.

Molly Hunter, senior interior design major Brandon, Miss., was honored with a Silver Award in the Small Residential–Showhouse category. For this project, Hunter and her classmates collaborated with local real estate vendors to stage a home on the market in the Hattiesburg area. Hunter staged the guest bedroom, bathroom and foyer area with her modern but chic designs.

Hamilton is very pleased that these students chose to participate in the competition this year and feels regional recognition will likely inspire more student participation next year.

“I am looking forward to seeing more students participate next year, as we have a lot of great work coming in this semester, despite the fact we are holding our studio classes online.”

For more information about Southern Miss Interior Design program visit