Interior Design Student Wins First Place in Jacobs Design Competition

Senior Aubrey Coughlin won a $5,500 scholarship for her design.

Aubrey Coughlin won a $5,500 scholarship for her coworking space design. Photos/Timothy Tiebout

Interior design senior Aubrey Coughlin won first place in the 16th annual Jacobs Student Design Competition, earning a $5,500 scholarship.

At the Jacobs Philadelphia Interiors Studio in Center City, 60-some students from six area universities competed in a one-day, eight-hour charrette to design and space plan a conceptual coworking space in Philly. The design had to include reception, open/private work areas, collaborative/meeting areas, support functions and hospitality/café space. Besides working under tight time constraints, students needed excellent hand-drawing skills since they couldn’t use digital tools in their projects.

“This demands that they can think on their feet, problem solve and present a complete design vision in a short timeframe,” said Lauren Baumbach, director of the interior design and interior architecture programs at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). “This is great preparation for the workplace.”

Winning the competition can boost a resume to potential employers, said Amanda Sickler, an interior designer at Jacobs and 2016 alumna from the University, noting the judges commending Coughlin for her cohesive presentation and materials palette.

Judges commending Aubrey Coughlin for her cohesive presentation and materials palette.

The judges commending Aubrey Coughlin for her cohesive presentation and materials palette.

“She had a well-defined brand/concept, which was carried out in her plan and perspective,” Sickler said. “The planning arrangement was thoughtful, and the sequence of spaces had great relationship adjacencies with a strong balance of quiet and private zones. Aubrey made great use out of alternative seating and clearly thought through how future generations prefer to work.”

Coughlin said she’s thrilled to have been chosen and thanks Jacobs for the opportunity to compete with other design students.

“I believe my experience this past summer as a corporate studio intern at Meyer Design, the support of my professors in CABE and my participation in the competition last year as a junior helped to prepare me to meet this challenge,” she said.

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