SPOKANE, Wash. — WSU Spokane interior design faculty members Judy Theodorson and Matt Melcher have both received first-place awards in a nationwide competition. Their works will be exhibited at the upcoming conference of the Design Communication Association, scheduled for January 2004 in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

The 2004 conference theme is “The Design Communication Relationship.” Submissions were honored that best represented communication value, relationship to the design process and storytelling. Theodorson and Melcher both received first-place awards in the faculty division for their work.

Theodorson’s “Machu Picchu: Design Elements,” took first place in the Observational Images category. Field sketches done in watercolor, pencil and black marker on recycled brown paper, “Machu Picchu” is a series of corresponding diagrams that study formal and spatial design elements in an attempt to uncover the patterns, ideas and design language used by the Incas.

Melcher’s submission, “Hybrid Drawing for an Agricultural Interpretive Center,” was the top selection in the Design Images category.  Consisting of a superimposition of concept images, textual information, site/situation photography and technical drawings, the drawing seeks to illustrate the complexities of the design process by combining technical, experiential and conceptual aspects into a single image.

WSU Pullman associate professor of interior design Robert J. Krikac has also been selected to exhibit his submission in the Observational Images category, “Of Light and Stone-U.S. State Capitols.”

Melcher is a two-time award winner for Best in Show from the Interior Design Educators Council.  His interior design work took first place in 2001, with WSU Spokane interior design faculty member Nancy Clark Brown and local designer Juliet Sinisterra, for work on the Holley-Mason Building, and again in 2003 for the remodel of a 1970s ranch home in Hangman Valley.

WSU’s interior design program, accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research, was named one of the top-10 programs in the nation by the International Interior Design Association in 1997. WSU Spokane offers what may be the only 4+1 articulated bachelor’s/master’s degree program in interior design in the nation, allowing students in interior design to begin their graduate degree studies in the final year of the bachelor’s program.

Faculty and students in interior design, architecture, landscape architecture and construction management work side by side at WSU Spokane’s Interdisciplinary Design Institute in studio facilities that provide opportunities for collaborative learning in a professional environment. Its interdisciplinary approach to learning was cited in a recent accreditation visit by FIDER as one of the strengths of the interior design program. Students and faculty in the design disciplines routinely win local, state and national awards for their creative scholarship.

Related Web links:

Design Communication Association, conference Web page: www.missouri.edu/~dcawww/conference.htm 
WSU Spokane Interdisciplinary Design Institute: www.idi.spokane.wsu.edu 
Design Institute honors and awards: www.spokane.wsu.edu/academic/design/honorsawards.html 
News release on 2003 Best in Show Award for Melcher: http://wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=3857
View images and read an article written by Theodorson on “Machu Picchu:” http://www.wsu.edu/NIS/Universe/Machu.html