GBC students make finals of design competition and will show their work at interior design trade show in Toronto

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Three George Brown College students will show their stuff at an interior design trade show in Toronto as finalists in an annual design competition. The team beat nearly 20 other submissions from college and university students across southern Ontario. 

Organizers of the Metropolitan Design Challenge recently announced the four finalists, including the GBC team of Interior Design students Dinh Quan and Raina Chang and business student Allie Quan. The winning team will be announced on January 20, 2023, at IDS (Interior Design Show) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 

Metropolitan is a hardwood flooring company. Competitors were tasked with transforming a 10' x 10' x 8' space using a product from its Kentwood line. After drafting and submitting a successful plan, as finalists the GBC team will now bring the design to life. The final product will be featured in an IDS exhibitor booth. 

"I was shocked," Dinh said about making the finals. "We participated in the competition for the learning experience with no expectation of winning." 

GBC students' design for 2023 Metropolitan Design Competition

A design focused on transition 

The team's design features wood walls adorned with mirrors and a sculpture made of wood in the centre of the space. The room is split in two, with one side representing the past and the other representing the future. Together, the two sides, the sculpture and the mirrors, are meant to symbolize self-reflection and transition.  

The Lunar New Year on January 22, 2023, sparked the idea for the design, as it nearly coincides with IDS and the competition finals. 

"We developed the concept of moving from an old version of oneself to a newer version and having the Lunar New Year as the middle point," Dinh said. 

As the students considered how visitors will interact with their work, they agreed mirrors would be an effective material. 

"Mirrors can be interactive, and people can take photos," Raina said. "And they demonstrate the idea of self-reflection." 

Design challenges 

Bringing an abstract design concept to life has its challenges. For the GBC team, figuring out the precise dimensions for the wood panels needed for the build took extra effort. The team ordered around 150 wood panels for the project. 

"We calculated so many dimensions," Allie said. "Luckily, we had a lot of support from the vendor."  

The Interior Design program is offered at the School of Architectural Studies within the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies.

"This team has shown innovative and creative thinking with this stunning design," Dr. Adel Esayed, Dean of the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies, said. "We can wait to see the final product on display in January." 

Stay tuned for an update on the design challenge's final results! 

Hand drawn plan for student interior design project
GBC team's hand-drawn plan.