Durkan announced that for the very first time, the hospitality flooring manufacturer has opened the dscvr Student Design Competition for public voting. Each year, dscvr identifies and exhibits emerging talent in the field of hospitality design and contributes toward the education of these future designers. Sponsored by Durkan in partnership with NEWH, the contest challenged applicants to design coordinating floorscapes for ballroom and pre-function areas using 12 colors or less.

“NEWH continues to nurture and support the next generation of the hospitality industry, and we are thankful for partners like Durkan for providing opportunities for these students to shine,” said Shelia Lohmiller, executive director of NEWH, a leading networking organization for hospitality industry professionals. “The dscvr program provides a unique opportunity that allows these students to gain insights, exposure, and recognition for their incredible talents. NEWH is proud to be a part of the dscvr program again this year.”

The initial flurry of submissions was reviewed and judged based on concept, presentation and market feasibility. The architecture and design community is invited to vote for their favorite among a selection of the 10 highest-scoring design concepts to help choose and recognize the 2020 grand prize winner. Voting takes place exclusively on the dscvr platform through Friday, Nov. 13, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

“Year after year we anticipate this opportunity as a way to not only recognize the best of the best but to also help inspire the greater community of hospitality design as a whole,” said Arnavaz Barshan, director of design for Durkan. “This year’s submissions and the talented designers behind them are no exception, and we are delighted to be in the midst of the future of our industry.”

This year’s top 10 finalists include:

  • Aly Barlow, Utah State University: “Conchiolin”
  • Iris Dean Blackwood, Savannah College of Art and Design: “Fraternal”
  • Candice Buttars, Utah State University: “Marina”
  • Ashtyn Chance, University of Northern Iowa: “Rocky Waters”
  • Jacee Hammons, Utah State University: “Rakaia”
  • Sinead Hornak, Savannah College of Art and Design: “Withering Roots”
  • Danielle McColloch, Kirkwood Community College: “Tureen”
  • Megan Orme, Utah State University: “Ostenti”
  • Ishanya Singhal, Savannah College of Art and Design: “Sentiment”
  • Wenhan Zhang, School of the Art Institute of Chicago: “Flying Apsaras”

From this group of talented individuals, one winner will be awarded a $2,500 NEWH scholarship and a bespoke design experience exclusively curated by Durkan.

“With public voting as the newest addition to the competition, we are thrilled to involve established designers, peers and other members of our industry,” added Barshan. “Their valuable feedback on which designs they consider the most innovative, engaging, realizable and alluring will also indicate the concepts they feel most represent the future of hospitality interiors as we work together to collectively move design forward.”

Once the votes are tallied, the dscvr grand prize winner will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and posted to the official competition website and Durkan’s social media channels.

In the decade since its inception, dscvr has jump-started the careers of several designers in the hospitality industry. Durkan continues to maintain a catalog of all winning designs. One such concept by Utah State University student Heather Wilkinson not only helped the rising designer build her portfolio and secure a finalist spot in the 2019 program, but it also provided the inspiration for Durkan’s latest carpet collection – Up Color.

Taking cues from patterning and a biophilic color palette that pay tribute to the American Southwest, the multi-category collection was envisioned as a response to recent paradigm shifts and overtones that have dulled an outlook of the future – creating a new appreciation for visual stimulation. Up Color was developed as a bright and engaging line of hospitality carpeting that welcomes guests into public and private spaces, heightening their experience, and is the latest dscvr success story.

To learn more about the dscvr Student Design Competition, view 2020 finalists and their designs, and to cast your vote for your favorite, click here.