Four Exceptional Interior Design Students Were Recognized As This Year’s Scholarship Winners
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gensler, an award-winning global architecture and design firm, is proud to announce four emerging designers have been selected as recipients of the 2023 Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship, an annual program that celebrates design excellence and innovative thinking.
Established in 1999 as a memorial to Donald G. Brinkmann, an inspirational interior designer and former Gensler principal who personified the essence of design, vision, and leadership, this year marks the 25th anniversary of his passing.
To celebrate and honor this anniversary, Robin Klehr Avia, Regional Managing Principal of Gensler’s Northeast Region, brought together a jury comprised of Don Brinkmann Award Winners, which is an internal award bestowed annually to a staff member whose exemplary talent, leadership, and vision deserves recognition. This year’s jury was chaired by Robin Klehr Avia and included Brian Vitale (2022), Jeff Barber (2020), Susana Covarrubias (2019), EJ Lee (2018), James Young (2017), Philippe Pare (2016), David Epstein (2014), Carlos Martinez (2011), Collin Burry (2008), Mark Morton (2006), and John Bricker (2002).
“Don’s legacy within Gensler, and the design community at large, is unparalleled,” says Robin Klehr Avia, Regional Managing Principal for Gensler’s Northeast region. “On the 25th anniversary of the Brinkmann Scholarship, we couldn’t think of a better way to enrich the program than by having our past Brinkmann Award winners select this year’s scholarship and mentorship recipients.”
This year’s top prizes went to Jason Côté, an undergraduate interior architecture and design student at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas; Meixi Xu, an undergraduate student at the School of Visual Arts in New York; Henry Hammes, a graduate student at Kansas State University; and Peter Huesemann-Odom, a graduate student at Georgia State University. The four outstanding students will be awarded $5,000 each in scholarships.2023 Brinkmann Scholarship Recipients
Jason Côté has always been a creative jack of all trades, finding joy and fulfillment in a wide variety of artistic mediums such as film, music production, photography, fashion, and culinary work. After taking time away from academics to travel and explore, Cote approached his next journey at the University of Arkansas with a renewed passion for creating narratives through places and spaces — discovering that interior design was the perfect mix of mediums that would allow him to curate his craft and cultivate his skills to make a positive impact on the built environment.
His standout submission takes a human-centric approach to design a 12,000-square-foot robotics office in Boston, where the goal was to address the myriad of emotional states employees navigate in a single day — nearly 400, according to his research — and create different zones that cater to the needs of each emotion.