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Sherwin-Williams names winners of student design competition
May 17, 2018
Melissa Studach

An affordable housing unit designed with doses of bright color, the work of student designer Nia Gibbs has earned top residential honors in Sherwin-Williams’s eighth-annual Student Design Challenge. Contest winners were announced earlier this month, following the judging by Sue Wadden, Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing, and designers Vanessa Deleon and Nancy Fire.

Sherwin-Williams Student Design Challenge
First-place winner: Nia Gibbs of Ringling College of Art, who won second place in last year's competition; rendering courtesy Sherwin-Williams

“It’s always exciting to see the creativity and innovation of the next generation of interior designers, and this year’s Student Design Challenge was no exception,” said Wadden. “The winners pushed design boundaries to think beyond aesthetics and consider how the space will be used and the role that color plays.”

Competition guidelines asked students from across North America to create a color rendering of a residential or commercial space using at least three Sherwin-Williams colors. This marks the second year of recognition for Gibbs, a student at Ringling College of Art, who was awarded second place in the category last year.

Sherwin-Williams Student Design Challenge
Second-place winner: Margaret Gouthro of the University of Georgia; rendering courtesy Sherwin-Williams

Second and third place were awarded to Margaret Gouthro of the University of Georgia and Amber McCullough of the University of North Carolina, respectively.

“From the natural light and soothing colors in Gouthro’s tropical tree house to McCullough’s modern yet soothing design style, it was a pleasure judging this year’s competition and immersing myself in all of the unique, winning projects,” said Fire. “I especially loved the bright colors and openness of Gibbs’s affordable housing project, which challenged the conventional palette typically used for this market.”

Sherwin-Williams Student Design Challenge
Third-place winner: Amber McCullough of the University of North Carolina; rendering courtesy Sherwin-Williams

Gibbs will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Sherwin-Williams’s Stir magazine, as well as features in the paint company’s newsletter and social media accounts. Her university will also be given $1,000 toward design programs. Gouthro and McCullough will be awarded $1,000 and $500, respectively.

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