I Like Design

Student Design Competition: Enter for chance to win an internship

The I Like Design challenge is exclusively available to students who are looking to hone their design skills and make a name for themselves in the industry. The winner will be covered by interiors+sources and will receive a summer internship with the legendary Michael Architecture & Design (MGA&D) in Princeton, N.J.

Accommodations will be provided for the duration of the internship. Plus, the winner will join i+s on an all-expenses-paid trip to NeoCon, June 11-13, 2018, in Chicago.

Thanks to our sponsors—MGA&DINSTALLRoppe, MDC and Arauco—for making this possible.

A little information about our 2017 winners:

Last year's winners were given exclusive opportunities to meet and collaborate with industry experts, preparing them for entering the design world after graduation. First-place winner, Savannah Colestock, who recently graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stout, visited NeoCon for the first time with i+s.

"NeoCon is so fun and so overwhelming, but in the best way ... I'm so thankful to have won [I Like Design]. It's so awesome," Colestock said, while in attendance at the show. "I loved walking around and seeing some of the showrooms ... it's so amazing to see all of the materials that I'm going to be using [as a designer]."

ILD winner Savannah Colestock, left, with John McGrath of INSTALL and i+s’ Editor-in-Chief Kadie Yale.

ILD winner Savannah Colestock, left, with John McGrath of INSTALL and i+s’ Editor-in-Chief Kadie Yale.​

The second winner, Hannah Viparina, a graduate student at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), won the internship of a lifetime with Michael Architecture & Design (MGA&D). Both Viparina and MGA&D reported a mutually beneficial, enjoyable experience, leading the firm to help sponsor the competition once again.

Other sponsors include INSTALL, Roppe, MDC, and Arauco

The winner of the 2018 ILD competition will be announced on March 31, 2018.

interiors+sources is committed to helping design students learn about life in the industry after completing their undergraduate and graduate work. Be sure to keep a look out for industry up-and-comers in our monthly "Designers to Watch" feature, alongside our other coverage of budding designers.

Mike Stanley, executive director of i+s, on one of his regular visits to SCAD.

Mike Stanley, executive director of i+s, on one of his regular visits to SCAD.

For 2018 I Like Design contest details (and to enter), continue reading below.

The student-based interiors+sources I Like Design Competition focuses on providing current students with an opportunity to showcase their work and connect with design professionals. The challenge will push students to consider space limitations, the use of materials, and industry standards they will need in the field.

The winner of the 2018 I Like Design challenge will receive a summer internship with Michael Graves Architecture & Design in Princeton, N.J., with accommodations paid for by the I Like Design sponsors.

2018 Design Challenge—Students are tasked with creating one of three projects in either workplace, retail, or hospitality. The International WELL Building Institute focuses on seven elements that impact the built environment. These elements include air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. WELL takes into consideration the ways in which design affects the user’s overall health and well-being.

Each of these three imagined scenarios should take into consideration the local population and general characteristics of the area or region in which it is located. The square footage of each location is 1,500, and each design must use at least one product from each the sponsors. The space should be considered an open floor totaling 1,500 square feet, 30' wide by 50' long. The ceiling should be 12' high. 

Students are encouraged to include windows, doors, and walls where they see appropriate. If they were given a totally blank space and asked to create their ideal, WELL Building approved space, what would that look like?

There is no budget associated with the project itself, although the design needs to be practical, buildable, usable, and realistic based on the client.

The seven considerations of the WELL Building Standard: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort, and Mind. The design and accompanying description should clearly illustrate and explain the ways in which the design optimizes the space using the WELL Building Institute’s Project Checklist for New and Existing Interiors.

Disregarding the required preconditions of the checklist, the design needs to be able to achieve at least Silver status by utilizing Optimization Features. For more information on the seven concepts and for the checklist, please visit wellcertified.com/node/3430. For scoring guidelines, please see standard.wellcertified.com/scoring.

3 Design Project Scenarios (select one for the competition)

Workplace: Design a workspace for a non-profit staff of 10 full-time employees.

This hypothetical organization helps young adults with varied physical and mental abilities enter the workforce and find gainful employment with local companies. Each staff member works an average of 35 hours a week, and about 20 people are within the space every day (employees and visitors).

Retail: Conceptualize a modern take on the traditional local bookstore. An average of 75-100 people visit the store daily, and 20 percent of those individuals spend an hour or more browsing, shopping, working, or relaxing.

Reimagine the space, and revitalize the client experience of an “urban” bookstore to attract more in-store customers. It is optional to add amenities, such as a food and beverage space or charging stations, as part of the efforts to attract people to a brick-and-mortar retail space.

Hospitality: Create a design for a boutique hotel lobby, serving as an entrance and gathering space for the location, which houses 100 guest rooms on the floors above. The concept should take cues from larger hospitality projects (think check-in area, sitting rooms, etc.), while maintaining a specialized, private feel.

Submission Requirements and Additional Info:

JUDGING—A panel of industry professionals will judge the submissions based on the following criteria:

  • How well the Seven Considerations of the WELL Building Institute are incorporated into the design.
  • Originality and feasibility of the space, using the Design Considerations listed below.
  • Thoughtful use of sponsored products (at least one from each of our sponsors).
  • Presentation including sketches, renderings, and written elements.

SPONSORS—Please use at least one product from each of the sponsors.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS—Projects must be submitted digitally through the competition website by 11:59 p.m. CST on March 1, 2018. Please upload all following documents as one (1) PDF, a max of 25mb.

Each submission must include the following:

1. Project/Contact entry form

2. Project title

3. Written description of the design challenge solution not to exceed 1000 words.

4. One (1) 24-inch x 36-inch digital presentation board in PDF format

a. One (1) Dimensioned floor plan drawn to scale

b. One (1) Furniture and materials plan

*Dimensioned floor plan and furniture plans can be combined.

c. Two (2) to four (4) Renderings of the completed space

d. Additional drawings of the space, mood boards, renderings, etc., as needed to explain the design concept

5. Digital submissions as outlined above should be sent as:

a. JPG format

b. CBYK color mode

*Note: PDF should include your project title and last name. I.e.: ProjectTitle_LastName.PDF*

REQUESTS FOR CLARIFICATION—Any requests for clarification should be sent to Kadie Yale by Monday November 20, 2017. Questions received after this date will not be answered.

All questions received will be responded to within 24 hours and posted on the website.

Competition opens: August 28, 2017.
Submission opens: October 1, 2017
Submission deadline: March 1, 2018.
Winner announced: March 31, 2018

ENTRY FEES—No entry fee for student participants. All entry fees have been generously donated by the I Like Design sponsors.

ELIGIBILITY—The Student Design Competition is open to students who are enrolled as of January 1, 2018 in an interior design program or institution in North America.

CONTEST AWARD—The winner of the I Like Design Competition will earn a summer internship at Michael Graves Architecture & Design (MGA&D), an iconic, global firm focusing on architecture, interiors, and product design in Princeton, N.J., as well as living accommodations during the internship period with MGA&D, and an all-expense trip to NeoCon in Chicago, June 11-13, 2018.

Additionally, interiors+sources will give extensive coverage to the winning entry, the student, their school, and instructors involved in the process. For more information on MGA&D visit: www.michaelgraves.com

A big thank you to all of our I Like Design 2018 competition sponsors:



The challenge will revolve around a retail and exploration theme. The student will be required to design a booth and accompanying fixtures that convey the theme and a strong sense of understanding for materials, display, and space flow. The winning design will be a booth that is inviting to attendees—acting as part classroom, part playground, and displaying material samples in an accessible way.

Design Parameters:

The design must meet the following criteria:

  1. Create a booth layout for 1,810 sq. ft.
  2. Create fixtures which can hold up to 200 samples at 12”x12”, and which can be fabricated and removed quickly and easily
  3. Signage and wayfinding locations must be identified
  4. The booth, fixtures, and signage should be created using Arauco products



Projects must be submitted digitally through the competition website by March 10, 2017, 11:59 pm central. Each submission must include the following in PDF, MS Word, and/or Jpeg format:

1. A submission page with the student’s name, expected graduation date, project title, contact information, and a 500-word description of your project.
2. A floor plan drawn to scale of the booth space.
3. A plan drawn to scale of each fixture that is included.
4. 1-3 renderings of the space.
5. Additional elements including specifications, color palettes, and signage placements.
6. Each file should have your last name included in the name.
7. Each document should include your last name and page number in the footer.


Entries will be narrowed down to 10 finalists by the interiors+sources editors and a special panel of judges. These 10 will be open for voting via the i+s website. The bottom two entries every week will be eliminated until one winner is announced on April 7, 2017.

The winning booth will be aesthetically alluring while providing good flow of space for approximately 3,000 attendees over 3 days, and effectively stores and displays sponsor product samples


March 10, 2017 (11:59 pm central)—Submissions close
March 15, 2017—Voting Opens on the final 10 chosen by i+s and the judges panel
April 7th, 2017—Winner Chosen
June 2017 issue—Designer to Watch Spread printed in i+s
August 2017 issue—Student-edited issue 

The winner will receive:

  • A $5,000 scholarship
  • The design will be built and promoted with the winner's information at the 2017 NeoCon Materials Pavilion
  • Editorial coverage in the June 2017 issue of interiors+sources
  • Role as student editor of the August 2017 issue of interiors+sources




Special thanks to our sponsor:


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