Dan Rolf
Architecture & Design

KU Design wins Best School, multiple individual honors at national design competition

Thu, 04/29/2021

LAWRENCE — Department of Design students represented the University of Kansas at the 2021 National Student Show design competition and brought home the Best School Award, along with multiple individual honors. The winners were announced during a virtual ceremony in early April.  

Image from Anna Matuella’s Best Branding Campaign submission.This is not the first time the KU design department has won the Best School Award, but the relatively small number of entries makes this year’s win particularly notable. The 2021 Best School Award was built entirely on the strength of the limited total entries. KU students won two judge’s choice awards, five best of category awards, and junior Erin Bugee was awarded Best in Show. 

Image from Conner O’Neill’s Best Sophomore Portfolio submission.The National Student Show is, according to its website, “a professionally judged creative competition and conference built for students and their educators.” The national design competition awards $20,000 in scholarships and prizes to undergraduate students annually.  

The KU design department was also honored with the Best School Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

With Connor O’Neill’s award this year for Best Sophomore Portfolio, a KU design student has won this category 13 straight years.

Individual student awardees and categories:

  • Erin Bugee, St. Louis: Best in Show; Best Zine; Judges Choice, Zine; Judges Choice, Book
  • Anna Matuella, Omaha, Nebraska: Best Junior Portfolio; Best Branding Campaign
  • Connor O’Neill, Overland Park: Best Sophomore Portfolio
  • Ellen Rice, St. Louis: Best Concept
  • Hampton Williams, Leawood: Second Place Senior Portfolio.

Top image: Image from Anna Matuella’s Best Branding Campaign submission.

Bottom image: Image from Conner O’Neill’s Best Sophomore Portfolio submission.

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