LSU Interior Design Students Win National Award for Jewelry Store Designs

Two third-year interior design students have received national awards for their designs of a high-end jewelry store. Jeannie Leeder and Leah Fuerst took home second- and third-place prizes in the 2008 student design competition of the International Store Planners, which recently changed its name to the Retail Design Institute (RDI).

The RDI is a non-profit organization dedicated to the international profession of retail store planning and design, and its annual student competition is one of the most prestigious in the U.S. Leeder’s and Fuerst’s designs were chosen from a field of more than 800 entries from 50 schools of architecture, environmental design and interior design.

“This is the premier retail competition for students each year,” said T.L. Ritchie, director of the Dept. of Interior Design. “We’re very proud of our students. It is a positive reflection on our program, our faculty and the caliber of students we are able to attract.”

Jurors of the competition were also impressed. One such juror, Brian Dyches, thought so highly of the LSU students’ work he offered them internships this summer at his Costa Mesa, California design firm Little.

“He told us that of all the entries there were just five or so that jumped out of the pack and he knew they would be the winners,” says Phillip Tebbutt, an associate professor in the department of interior design. “He was particularly impressed at the level of sophistication and planning that went into our students’ designs.”

The ISP award was not the only award in which LSU’s interior design students had an opportunity to shine. They won or placed in six of the seven design competitions they entered.

“After the praise our department received during last year’s accreditation process, our faculty was anxious to get more of our students’ work out there,” Ritchie said. “It is very rewarding to see that others recognize the strength and quality of the program we have in the College of Art and Design.”