Two juried panels – one international and one based in the U.S. – say that Monica Wilder’s got them.
A member of the CenterPoint Design Team at the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor, Benco Dental, and an Interior Architecture student at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Wilder (shown above, right) recently earned the second of two honors for her talent and innovation in her field.
The University’s School of Architecture’s two-student interior architecture team, Monica Wilder, junior interior architecture student, Auburn, N.Y., and Blair Lehman, junior interior architecture student, Carlisle, Pa., received first place in the 2016 International Student Design Competition: The Social Station, which is sponsored by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
Earlier this year, as part of a three-person team at CenterPoint Design, Wilder earned top position in the 2017 Incisal Edge Design Competition for dental practices with their Design of the Future.
Wilder and Lehman’s project was selected as the best design from hundreds of entries submitted from around the world. A formal public announcement will be made in the Spring 2017 issue of QUAD, the IIDA student newsletter. In addition to being highlighted in QUAD, the students will receive a cash prize and will be featured on a Design Matters podcast as well as on the IIDA website.
“When developing our design theme for this co-working office by day, retail store by night, it was important for my partner and I to accentuate collaboration for the occupants working in the building,” said Wilder, 21. “Collaboration is so important and is what makes a good business, a great one. Once we narrowed in on collaboration zones, we defined circulation for optimal movement of high traffic zones.”
She references a project to which they dedicated nearly six months and 12 iterations, entitled “Connection Network” which is designed to link a work environment for social retailers with the retail environment.
This year’s Student Design Competition challenged participants to create “Social Station,” a first-of-its-kind co-working space specialized for today’s social retailers.
“As the retail industry continues to shift, students are uniquely positioned to rethink how retailers appeal to the next generation of consumers,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “This year’s Student Design Competition jury had the difficult job of reviewing numerous entries that displayed cutting-edge innovation, creative thinking, and real-world retail design solutions.”
Entries were judged by a panel of design professionals, including Nick Blessinger (Director of Marketing and Education, OFS Brands); Krystal R. Lucero, IIDA (Senior Interior Designer, Edwards + Mulhausen Interior Design); Robyn Taylor, IIDA, CID (Director of Design, Westgroup Designs); and Betsy Vohs (Founder and CEO, Studio BV).
“The ‘connection’ concept is a strategic and holistic solution that illustrates a thoughtful and sophisticated response to flexible and intuitive wayfinding, unique lighting, and zone activities,” said Taylor. “This space also creates a smart canvas for various furniture and feature displays, supporting day and night functions.”
Wilder explained that their project included a unique lighting feature which consists of a set of long strip rings that can be turned on or off depending on where you would like to guide people through the space.
The IIDA student design competition celebrates original design and rewards individuals and/or teams whose projects demonstrate innovative, functional design solutions that have a positive environmental and human impact, while allowing emerging professionals the opportunity to showcase their work and fresh design ideas to professionals working in the field.
“The interior design industry is demanding, and means all-nighters and being able to scrap everything you’ve worked hard on and start all over again at any given moment, but it is extremely rewarding, ” said Wilder.
“I create the spaces that people occupy with their family and friends or staff, spaces that make people’s jaw drop or spaces where people just want to bring their computer and coffee to relax. Why would anyone not want that job?”
Wilder and Lehman await their June visit to IIDA headquarters in Chicago for the IIDA Gala, at which they will present their project.
In the meantime, Wilder continues to balance the rigors of working part-time at Benco Dental while earning her degree at Marywood University.
“The interior design experience I’ve learned from my fellow designers at Benco Dental has been extremely rewarding. They have shown me more about health care than I could’ve ever imagined. I love that now I am able to push the limits of health care design and think bigger and bolder.”
Wilder is the daughter of Terri (a Dental Hygenist) and David Wilder, of Auburn New York. She credits her professors at Marywood with challenging her “to be able to make every decision and know exactly why I’m doing so, and to never design something just to look beautiful.” She also offers thanks to a team of people who helped made the project a success, including: Andrew Doyle, Marywood University Interior Architecture Studio Professor, Maria McDonald, Marywood University Interior Architecture Lighting Professor, Ivan Hanson (Marywood University fourth year Architecture student and software specialist.