ASID Announces 2013 Shelter Student Design Competition Winners

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Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2014) | The American Society of Interior Designers today announced the winners of the 2013 ASID Student Design Competition: SHELTER. Participants were required to create a temporary shelter that addressed the health, safety and welfare of a community in crisis. The first place winner will receive $2,000 and a trip to Los Angeles where she will be honored at the annual ASID design gala, CELEBRATION, on June 21, 2014.

The SHELTER competition challenged interior design students to envision mass care emergency shelter needs in the aftermath of a man-made tragedy or natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy. The project called for developing insightful and creative concepts that considered ways existing, vacant buildings can be temporarily converted into shelters. Participants conducted needs assessments and rigorously researched design solutions that met code requirements and specified locations for sanitation, electrical power, technology interfaces, food, water and supplies. Most importantly, proposed designs need to accommodate a potentially large number of disparate individuals.

Students were encouraged to submit their proposal as though it were being presented to a government agency, such as FEMA and leaders of the affected community, by preparing a written concept/statement, as well as design concept boards that visually represented their ideas.

ASID appointed a distinguished panel of industry leaders to judge the competition: Chrysanthe B. Broikos, architectural historian and curator at the National Building Museum; Vincent G. Carter, FASID, senior program manager and architect for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Gisela Garrett, marketing strategist with Perkins+Will; and Michael P. Murphy, co-founder and CEO of MASS Design Group.

The judges selected one winner for outstanding achievement:


Sarah Wadding, Student ASID
Anderson University, Anderson, S.C.
Wadding created “The Anchor,” a flexible shelter solution applicable to a wide variety of displacement situations from the Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake to the tornado in Kansas or the Syrian civil war. A transportable prefabrication pod system that provides swift, secure refuge, the concept provides basic essentials including food, water, sleep and sanitation before addressing tertiary needs such as emotional well-being and next steps.

Judges commended Wadding, a senior design major in the School of Interior Design at Anderson University, for submitting a strong overall proposal elevated by her in-depth research and the insightful rationale expressed in her problem and concept statements. The panel also noted that her project was one of the first to explore what a “shelter aesthetic” might look like.

Three students received honorable mention:


Yating Chang
Parsons The New School for Design, New York, N.Y.
Chang proposed a utopian “Shelter for the People of New York City” that can operate up to one year after a natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy and considers the safety and comfort of evacuees, offering a place where public and private areas coexist.

Xie Xin
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Xin conceived an “Emergency Clinic & Eco Healing Complex” for Hurricane Katrina evacuees based upon portable, prefabricated cubic units that can be assembled and disassembled in temporary and more long-term facilities that provide a range of rescue and shelter services.

Xuan Liu, Student ASID
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va.
With the Sichuan, China, earthquake in mind, Liu designed “HOPE” (Hold on Pain Ends), a functional “safe haven” that provides a residential core, storage and interactive communal space for emergency, transitional and durable shelter.

ASID will showcase the projects of all four students at NeoCon 2014 in Chicago (June 9–11) and Dwell on Design in Los Angeles (June 20–22).

To learn more about the competition and the winning projects, visit