Interior Design Students Take Top Honors in IIDA Michigan Dr. Virginia North Student Competition

Posted May 22, 2017 in Interior Design, Student

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) Interior Design students Kelsey Ballast Pasma and Ashley Newton won first and second place, respectively, in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Michigan chapter’s 2017 Dr. Virginia North Student Competition.

The competition asked entrants to select one of their existing junior or senior level commercial design projects and explain how it impacts user wellness through a 500-word essay.

Ballast Pasma’s winning entry, a proposed redesign of the headquarters of international consulting company Kelton Global, focused on increasing workplace accessibility and mobility to in turn increase employees’ cognitive, physical, and emotional wellness.

work by student Kelsey Ballast PasmaExcerpt from project by Kelsey Ballast Pasma (image courtesy of Kelsey Ballast Pasma) 

“Allowing and encouraging employees to be more mobile in their work practices within their own work environment provides the power to choose how they focus, collaborate or socialize,” Ballast Pasma wrote in her essay. “Through multiple areas and custom design efforts, this solution aims to provide a variety of offerings.”

Newton entered a design for an education center that would prepare volunteers with the organization Save the Amazon for service learning trips to Suriname, where they would interface with indigenous populations to assist them in their efforts to protect and preserve the Amazon rainforest.

work by student Ashley NewtonExcerpt from project by Ashley Newton (image courtesy of Ashley Newton) 

“The divisions of space in this education center—where individuals and small teams have the opportunity to work in tandem with larger groups—reflects the spirit of these indigenous tribes and the organizations supporting them,” Newton wrote in her essay. “The goal to succeed both with help and on one’s own is the common thread between the learning that will take place in this U.S.-based center and the trainees’ experiences abroad.”

For her first-place finish, Ballast Pasma was awarded a $400 cash prize and an associate level IIDA membership for 2018. Newton was awarded a $250 cash prize. Learn more about KCAD’s Interior Design program at