LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design, and Planning’s Department of Design was named Best School at the Ninth National Student Show, which was Saturday, April 13. It is the second year in a row the department has won the show’s top academic award.
“We are thrilled to have won ‘Best School’ back-to-back years. There are schools with tremendous talent, and the competition is extremely intense,” said Andrea Herstowski, interim chair and associate professor.
The National Student Show is an annual three-day conference, exhibition and awards program put on by the Dallas Society of Visual Communications. It is the only graphic arts event in the U.S. where entries are limited to student work.
In February projects and portfolios were submitted for judging by an independent panel of graphic design professionals. Some 26 categories of work are considered. Students from 40 colleges submitted 1,200 entries this year.
KU students authored 50 of the 170 works selected for the exhibition. Of these, the judges chose KU work as “Best” in 11 classes. According to Herstowski, KU students brought home more than half of the $15,000 in prize money.
Herstowski is particularly pleased that Design Department students earned Best Sophomore, Junior and Senior Portfolio awards.
“Portfolios are comprehensive compilations of work,” she said. “Winning these categories shows we are successfully preparing students to do many things.”
Justin Zielke, Kechi tied for Best Illustration with another student—until the judges learned that he was also that other student, and had in effect tied himself.
According to the co-chair of the National Student Show Steven DeWitt, art director for The Marketing Arm, a Dallas-based firm, said, “I think it is the overall quality of the work that determines who wins the Best School Award, not the quantity of the work.
“KU seems to really pay attention to concepts and narrative in the design work. And that is really important as it draws in an audience and gives them something to engage with,” Dewitt said.
“I would also attribute a lot of your success to an amazing and supportive staff,” he said. “Congrats on having an awesome design team at your school.”
KU student work that was selected for exhibition at the National Student Show can be viewed online.
KU student work was judged Best in the following categories:
- Best Senior Portfolio First Place: Anna DeFazio, Wichita
- Best Senior Portfolio Second Place: Jing Jian, Placentia, Calif.
- Best Junior Portfolio: Sally Carmichael, Lenexa
- Best Sophomore Portfolio: Jonathan Heter, Lawrence
- Best Publication Design: Sally Carmichael
- Best Mobile App: Sally Carmichael
- Best Environmental Design: Emily Austin, Shawnee
- Best Group Project: Kiosk, Design Department-published magazine.
- Designers: Carmichael, DeFazio, Jian, Noel Rivard, Hutchinson; Rachel Roth, Overland Park; Voranouth Supadulya, Wichita, and Erin Zingré, Fort Scott
- Judge's Choice Award: Kiosk
- Best Total Campaign: Audrie Lathrop, Bentonville, Ark.
- Best Photography: Max Mikulecky, Overland Park
- Best Illustration: Justin Zielke, Kechi.