Durkan student design competition names winner

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Ishanya Singha

Calhoun, Ga.—Durkan, together in partnership with NEWH, awarded Ishanya Singhal of the Savannah College of Art and Design the grand prize in the 2020 dscvr Student Design Competition.

Nearly 11,000 votes were cast as part of the contest’s first year with public voting, shining light on an alluring portfolio of 10 striking, innovative and realizable concepts representing the future of hospitality and the next generation of design. As this year’s first-place recipient, Singhal has won a $2,500 NEWH scholarship and a bespoke design experience exclusively curated for her by Durkan.

Singhal’s contest entry for “Sentiment”

According to Singhal’s contest entry for “Sentiment,” an expression of love is different for every individual, from small gestures to grand displays of affection. The passage of time strengthens both the intended meaning behind and reception of the sentiment, which becomes even more precious and never fades away. Both ends of the spectrum are represented in her concept.

“The boldness in Ishanya’s patterning makes the ballroom composition very dramatic,” said Arnavaz Barshan, director of design for Durkan. “The linear flower work in the pre-function area is delicate yet masculine in appearance, which is something we are seeing on trend. Besides it being engaging, her concept is also well balanced in the space, which is very critical when designing for these kinds of larger hospitality public areas.”

This year’s first runner-up and second-place winner is Megan Orme of Utah State University, with “Ostenti.” According to her dscvr entry, the concept is a representation of direction, relation and connection, created using topographical maps from across the world. Orme is the recipient of a $1,000 NEWH scholarship from Durkan.

Securing their place as 2020 competition runners-up were Ashtyn Chance, third place, of the University of Northern Iowa, winning a $500 scholarship with “Rocky Waters;” Sinead Hornak, fourth place, also of SCAD, winning $300 for “Withering Roots;” and completing the list of the top five finalists, Candace Buttars of Utah State University, winning a $200 scholarship for “Marina.”

“Our addition of voting to the contest platform this year has allowed us to solicit the valuable feedback of a wide range of established designers, college students, peers and other members of the design community,” Barshan added. “We are fortunate to have such wonderful and creative entries each year for dscvr. They are truly inspiring and we know each of this year’s top five have a promising future ahead.”

The contest challenged the student designers to create floorscapes for ballroom and pre-function that were envisioned as separate but coordinating components using 12 colors or less. Submissions were initially reviewed by a panel of Durkan associates and narrowed down to 10 finalists, all judged based on concept, presentation and market feasibility. All designs will be cataloged by the flooring manufacturer. Previous competitions have jump-started careers in the hospitality flooring sector and have even inspired new carpet collections, including Durkan’s Up Color.

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