Recent LSU School of Interior Design graduate Ashley Libys won an Interior Design Excellence Award in the student commercial category for her senior capstone project at the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Delta Regional Chapter Awards Gala.
The gala provides a forum for recognizing excellence in interior design within the region of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The competition’s purpose is to celebrate outstanding examples of designed interior spaces. This recognition provides IIDA the opportunity to promote public awareness of design excellence, elevating the interior design profession. The award submissions are peer reviewed through a blind jury.
“Ashley was an extraordinary student and has a very promising future in the profession,” said Associate Professor Marsha Cuddeback, Ashley’s capstone advisor. “During the year-long capstone process, she was focused and relentless in her pursuit of an innovative research project and design solution. Her capstone project certainly adds value to the body of knowledge in hospitality interior design.”
Ashley’s senior capstone project, “Stays to Remember: Enhancing Hotel Experiences through Design,” investigates and explores the psychological effects of interior spaces in the hospitality industry in order to understand how the elements of design create memorable experiences to distinguish hotels from their competitors and increase repeat guests. As the hospitality industry adapts to an increasing clientele of the millennial generation—more concerned with the design or experience of a space rather than reliable, friendly staff, Ashley argues—unique design experiences of hotels are crucial.
The building and site for her adaptive reuse hotel was the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. “Hotel Fusion” is designed to support the millennial generation and create positive memorable hotel experiences consistently through every stay. The design is inspired by Louisiana landscapes, including long views, intimate wetlands, and tall pine forests. The hotel features a variety of community based amenity spaces, including a social lounge, pizza kitchen, wine bar, spa, gym, and an outdoor infinity pool. Each space blends multifunctional activity spaces for socializing, technology, and privacy.
Ashley became interested in interior design at a young age as she observed her parents working with designers and architects to build their dream home. Her early fascination with how different wall colors, floorings, and light fixtures affect people’s emotional responses within each space sparked her interest in design and led her to pursue her capstone investigation.
“Receiving this award is exciting and a big honor,” said Ashley. “The emotional impact that spaces have on people is what sparked my interest in pursuing a career in design. I worked really hard throughout the year to translate my research into a design. It was exciting to see my hard work be recognized.”
Ashley graduated from the School of Interior Design in May 2015 and plans to pursue a graduate degree in architecture.
IIDA is a professional networking and educational association of more than 13,000 members in 10 specialty forums in 31 chapters around the world. The organization is committed to enhancing the quality of life through excellence in interior design and advancing interior design through knowledge. Visit iida-delta.org for more information about the IIDA Delta Regional Chapter.