UNC Greensboro’s interior architecture program recently earned a nod from global coatings giant Sherwin-Williams, when senior Amber McCullough snagged third place for residential design in the eighth-annual Sherwin-Williams Student Design Challenge.

The challenge? Create a rendering of a residential or commercial interior space using a minimum of three Sherwin-Williams colors.

Rendering of the inside of a retreat center - empty with windows on all sides.

Contemplation Studio, Strava Mountain Retreat

Students who applied to the contest were tasked with designing a structure from the ground up, demonstrating an understanding for how color plays an integral role in interior design and architecture.

McCullough submitted a project she completed while learning building information modeling (BMI) software in the IARC 311 (Computer-Aided Design for Interior Architecture) course, taught by visiting professor Cam Whitley. In the class, she produced a virtual rendering of a mountain retreat in Fancy Gap, Virginia, for the popular mobile app and website Strava, the “social network for athletes.”

McCullough researched the company and identified its mission and goals, which she discovered was to inspire fitness and persistence – “Strava” is Swedish for “strive.” She wanted to make sure the design demonstrated opportunities for exercise and well-being.

Rendering of a dining room area with table, chairs, couches, earthy colors.

Dining Room, Strava Mountain Retreat

The Sherwin-Williams colors she selected (“high reflective white,” “dakota wheat,” “flower pot”) were variations on the company’s orange and white branding and were chosen to reflect calm and improve well-being.

McCullough, from Washington, North Carolina, said when she came to UNCG for the IARC program, she was primarily interested in commercial design, but the contest made her realize she enjoys residential design as well.

“I like to build from the ground up and see the processes,” McCullough said. “It showed me there are more avenues that you can do with residential.”

Front view of rendering of retreat center.

Front view, Strava Mountain Retreat

She added that the IARC program is hard work, but having opportunities like the Sherwin-Williams Student Design Challenge produces students who are prepared for life after college.

“I do think we’ll be able to adjust easier in real world,” she said. “Everything we’re learning may not be the norm in the workforce, but the professors show us how we can adjust to what we have learned to real life.”

 

Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications
Renderings provided by Amber McCullough