IIDA WI Student Essay Competition

The annual Essay Competition award recognizes the student's ability to convey design ideas through the written word.  Great design starts with a great idea and the ability to convey that idea through the written and spoken word.  Judges will be concentrating on writing style and capabilities, not design solution or designer qualifications.  The Susan Wohlitz Memorial Fund will award one (1) $1000.00 scholarship annually.


Student entrant requirements:

  • Must be a student pursuing a degree in Interior Design in the state of Wisconsin
  • Must be an IIDA Student Member
  • No grade-level requirements


                                        (entries closed for 2021)


  • Call for Entries : Closed
  • Student completed entry : January 31st, 2020
  • Award of Scholarship : At The Great Bag Bash, February 20, 2020




Judging criteria:

  • Inclusion of all components with the submission (Executive Summary and Designer Qualifications)
  • Writing style and written capabilities
    • How well were the design elements articulated in the executive summary, did it create a mental image of the solution?
    • Were the requirements and company mission addressed in the summary?
    • How well were the designer/student qualifications described, are they clear and concise?
  • Do not include your name in the submission (use fictitious names in the uploaded work – student names should not appear in the summary or description to keep the competition anonymous)?

Please provide the following elements in a minimum of 500 words:




GNBP Design is a marketing/PR firm located in the Midwest.  We are looking to open a second office location in Madison, WI.  We have signed a lease in a tenant building one block from the Capitol Square.   Our business focus is creating evolved, strategic marketing and coming up with the 'big ideas' for our customers.  We work in multiple media formats and need to hire the best talent to keep up in this competitive hiring market.  We are also focused on public health initiatives, education, and outreach opportunities for the community in which we work. 

Our Space Requirements:

  • Workspace for approximately 15 staff, with room to accommodate doubling our staff in 2-4 years.
  • A space designed to attract and retain top talent
  • We are exploring the use of alternative work styles for all employees.  We are open to a less than 1:1 sharing ratio and flexible work environments, especially as we grow.  The majority of the staff will focus on design work. 
  • Provide areas throughout the space that encourage healthy choices.  (Opportunities for flexible work styles -standing/sitting/walking/lounging, etc)
  • There will be one HR person that will deal with sensitive information and employee needs. 
  • Requirements for pin-up space - for work and show for clients and community
  • Client interaction spaces
  • Community space for break/social function/larger meetings – want to be able to provide educational opportunities and engage the neighborhood in which we work   
  • Technical Services Room - plotter, Multi-function copier, scanner, printer, office supplies, shipping supplies, etc.  

Please provide a written executive summary of your design ideas for GNBP's new Madison location.  Also, include a short introduction of your design firm (use a fictitious name – student names should not appear in the text of the submission).