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Student wins national design competition

Rendering of a hotel lobby with exposed brick, a green, living wall of plants, and orb lights.
The lobby of Keyaira Mumford's awarding winning hotel design includes exposed brick with a green, living wall of plants, and orb lights.

Interior design student Keyaira Mumford has won a national competition in sustainable design.

Mumford, who is a junior in the School of Design and Construction, won the Green Voice Design Competition, sponsored by the Hospitality Industry Network. She receives a scholarship as well as a travel award to attend the association’s exposition that will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in May.

The design competition called on interior design or architecture students to design a renovation of an existing building into a new hotel. The design had to encompass sustainability in areas such as the site selection, water efficiency, energy conservation, products and materials used, and indoor environmental quality.

Mumford selected a historic building in the Gastown district of Vancouver, British Columbia for her renovation design. The project was part of a class assignment, taught by Matthew Melcher, associate professor in the School of Design and Construction.

Mumford named her hotel, “Hygge,” which is a reference to a Danish term for coziness, comfort, and conviviality. Her design focused on creating a comfortable atmosphere through the use of materials, such as dark woods, warm colors, and soft textures. Her lobby design includes exposed brick with a green, living wall of plants, and orb lights. A rooftop bar includes fire pits and a gathering area for restaurant users. Her design would expose the building’s historic building elements and outside facade while including modern, energy efficient elements.

Originally from Juneau, Alaska, Mumford became interested in interior design and the built environment in high school when she was studying environmental studies.

“The design world for me represents an opportunity to make a difference and to make the world a better, healthier place to live,” she said. “As a designer, I hope to make an impact by testing the bounds of the way we think about the design of a building and the natural environment. I hope to tackle problems of balancing the humans needs and comforts with that of the environment to create a space that is easier then breathing to live in.”

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