For the first time in the history of the IDSA Student Merit Awards, an all-female slate of winners has emerged. The 2017 honorees are:
- Central District: Chloe Georgiades, S/IDSA, University of Cincinnati, graduated in April 2017. The Cincinnati native is already working full-time at New Deal Design in San Francisco. "I'm first and foremost a problem solver, so I think I'd be happy designing almost anything—as long as it's different, challenging and addressing a real need. I'm interested in applying somewhat of a systematic approach to new and varying scenarios," she says.
- Midwest District: Erin Rice, S/IDSA, University of Notre Dame, is graduating in May 2017 with a dual concentration in industrial design and visual communications design. She'll join the Professional Internship Program with the Walt Disney Imagineering design team in Orlando in June 2017. What's ahead? "I hope to work in a highly collaborative workplace as a future industrial designer focusing on problem framing, ethnographic research and design for social impact," she says.
- Northeast District: Sofia Frilund, S/IDSA, Parsons School of Design, is from Denmark. She is earning a BFA in product design in May 2017. "I was very happy that I was able to communicate to the panel the concepts and meaning of my designs," she says. "My plan after graduation is to start my own design studio or another entrepreneurial project, either solo or with others."
- South District: Claire Puginier, S/IDSA, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), will graduate in December 2017. She was overwhelmed when her name was announced at the IDSA South District Design Conference 2017. "it didn't really sink in until later," recalls Puginier. "I'm a shy person and seeing my name appear on the screen in 2,000 point size made me feel a bit like my knees were on backwards."
- West District: Judy Leung, S/IDSA, California College of the Arts was born and raised in Hong Kong. She will earn her BFA in industrial design in May 2017. What's fascinating about ID? "How we're integrating technology into the materials we use and wear, to create more meaningful solutions," answers Leung. "I'm interested in the blend and integration between soft and hard goods; utility and fashion—where both the emotional and rational aspect of the solution is considered and weaved into our everyday life."
Each winner was chosen in April from among winners at about a dozen schools in each District, at their respective District Design Conferences in Cincinnati, OH; Milwaukee, WI; Providence, RI; Houston, TX; and Portland, OR. See the school-level winners.
Now, the District-level winners are invited to attend the IDSA International Design Conference 2017: Design IS Business from Aug. 16 to 19 in Atlanta, where they will be recognized on stage at the IDSA Awards. The IDSA Student Merit Awards 2017 are sponsored by Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks. Congratulate the winners using #IDSASMA on Twitter @IDSA and on Instagram @IDSAdesign.