13 proves lucky for Lakeland’s interior design program

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August 8, 2016
For the 13th consecutive year, Lakeland College interior design technology students earned top place finishes in student design competitions
Coming in first place in the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) 2015-16 Charette Design Competition is Sydney Melnyk and in second place is Sara Downing. Rebecca Kurczaba received honourable mention. All three graduated in June.

“Congratulations to our award-winning students. We know how hard they worked to excel in their field. We are proud of their achievements and the incredible level of talent and skill they have developed. Lakeland’s interior design technology team continually strives to provide our students with the best program possible so that they are able to take the lead and achieve their goals. The success of our students reflects the high quality of our interior design technology program,” says Dave King, dean of the School of Trades and Technology.Sydney Melnyk

Close to 100 NKBA student members from 11 colleges across North America participated in the challenge in the spring. They were tasked with creating a functional kitchen in a three-hour time frame. Their submissions had to include a kitchen floor plan with specifications, a design statement and a perspective or elevation of a kitchen featuring appliances. 

The news of earning first place in the competition is still sinking in for Melnyk, who was awarded a $5,000 scholarship for the top spot.

“You knew at the start of the program that there would eventually be competitions that we would enter in our second and final year. So, all along we were preparing, asking questions and practicing with our awesome instructors. They were so good at making sure we understood what we’re doing and that we’re doing it well,” says Melnyk, who graduated with distinction in June and now works as an interior design technologist at Henry Downing Architects in Saskatoon, Sask. 

For Downing, securing second in the competition is a testament to the quality of the program and its skill-building opportunities.

“With all of the courses we took over the two years, I know I went into the competition feeling confident. I think the program prepared us incredibly well to compete and succeed,” says Downing, who received a $4,000 scholarship for her second-place finish. “Knowing that we brought the total number of years Lakeland students have won to 13, it speaks volumes about Lakeland and the program they have to offer. Huge thanks to our instructors because without them none of us would have been able to do so well in this competition and in school.”

Photo: Extensive practice and preparation are what Sydney Melnyk says helped her earn a first place finish in the NKBA 2015-16 Charette Design Competition.