March 22, 2016
Gensler Selects 2016 Brinkmann Scholarship Winners
Gensler is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Brinkmann Scholarship. Chloe Neuvirth, an undergraduate interior design student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, received first prize. Taylor Odom, an undergraduate interior design student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville received second prize. Both winners will receive scholarships and opportunities to intern with Gensler. Alexandra Marschman, a master’s candidate for interior architecture and product design from Kansas State University, also received honorable mention.
“The next wave of interior designers will enter a complex, dynamic and increasingly design-centric world that demands more sophistication than ever,” said Robin Klehr Avia, regional managing principal for Gensler’s Northeast and Latin America regions. “The Brinkmann Scholarship allows Gensler to identify and encourage the very best emerging talent and prepare them to meet the challenges of tomorrow. We are very impressed by Chloe and Taylor’s talents and look forward to seeing them grow professionally.”
Neuvirth’s winning submission proposes reinventing an abandoned art center in Lincoln, Nebraska, as a cultural hub where residents will not only experience local culture but also gain access to new sources of fresh food. Neuvirth’s idea demonstrates an understanding of a significant problem: Fresh food is not a staple of many urban residents’ daily diets. Reprogramming existing structures to help remedy this situation is one way to provide an invaluable service to urban communities. The submission impressed the selection committee by exhibiting an acute sense of how local craftsmanship can imbue projects with regional personality and depth of understanding. “Design is embedded in empathy,” said Neuvirth. “Without constant concern for the extreme user, a designer has lost touch to the purpose of design.”
Odom’s second place submission envisions a workplace in which moveable walls and adaptable workspaces provide employees with the type of flexibility contemporary knowledge work demands. Odom conveyed her vision for the project through a series of diagrams that explain the functionality of these spaces and anticipate user experience. Her submission explores the transformative nature of a workspace unmoored to the physical constraints found in traditional offices.
Established in 1999 as a memorial to Donald G. Brinkmann, a gifted interior designer, inspirational leader and former partner at Gensler, the Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship Fund celebrates Brinkmann’s career-long commitment to nurturing new design talent by presenting outstanding interior design students with scholarship and internship opportunities. Candidates are evaluated based upon their analysis and problem solving skills, design development, graphic presentation, communication skills and passion.