UNCG third-year interior architecture student Kim Young recently won first place in the national Bienenstock Furniture Library Interior Design Competition.

Young beat out 39 entries from design schools and programs across the nation – including Virginia Tech and Kendall College of Art & Design – to win the $5,000 scholarship prize. UNCG’s Department of Interior Architecture will also receive $1,000 for its academic programs.

Head shot of Kim Young

Kim Young

Competition participants were tasked with designing a holistic day spa specializing in therapeutic treatment for multiple sclerosis patients. The students were required to design a sustainable, environmentally-friendly facility with a healing environment.

Young’s “Prana Spa” incorporates the restorative qualities of nature to create a sleek, soothing design that fosters mental, physical and spiritual healing. Design elements include custom skylights, natural woods, living green walls and textural surfaces.

“The competition judges applauded Kim’s innovative, professional project and were impressed with the visual presentation and explanation of her ideas,” said Tommy Lambeth, associate professor of interior architecture and undergraduate program coordinator. “She worked extremely hard on the development of the project, and her conceptual foundation combined with superlative presentation skills made her project stand out among the other entries.”

For Young, a non-traditional student who decided to pursue a bachelor of fine arts in interior architecture after having worked in retail management for more than 10 years, the national recognition is a dream come true.

“I’m still a little shocked. It’s surreal,” Young said. “Without the support of my classmates and professors, I don’t think this would have been possible.”

Young began work on the project in August as part of her coursework and submitted the final designs in December.

“There was so much involved in this process,” Young said. “I had to do a lot of research on multiple sclerosis in order to design a functional space for everyone. This project is unique in that it’s a mix of health care, retail and residential spaces.”

The annual Bienenstock Furniture Library interior design and furniture design competitions – a collaborative effort among the American Society of Interior Designers, the American Society of Furniture Designers and the library – are open to any junior, senior or graduate student enrolled in an accredited college program. Since 1984, the library has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships. Designs are judged by a panel of industry experts.

For more information about Bienenstock Furniture Library, visit furniturelibrary.com. To learn more about the UNCG’s Department of Interior Architecture, visit uncg.edu/iar.


Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations
Rendering provided by Kim Young