Creative Backlit Designs at the 2011 IIDA Design Competition

Over the past several months, GPI Design has enjoyed the process of working with the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) to sponsor this year’s student design competition. Students from accredited interior design schools in Ohio and Kentucky were invited to submit design proposals for the renovation of our office lobby (a drab space which was failing to live up to the building’s namesake, “The Atrium”).

Our sincere thanks to each group or individual that submitted, it was an absolute pleasure reviewing all of the fresh ideas for our LED backlighting system! It was a tough decision, but these winners really stood out:

Winner of Best Overall Design – “Diffuse” (Kent State University)

Diffuse Winning Design for GPI Design IIDA Competition

This design embraced the existing spatial elements while updating the space with a few bold moves that communicate playfully with the existing architecture. This design considered the scale of the tall atrium space and the fact that its main viewing points are from above and on the elevator. The materiality and form of the curved staircase is translated in a new, but related, manner in the tall central feature. The existing floor is retained, along with the basic color scheme. Seating areas are created simply with basic forms. While striking a balance between high design and budget, the owner was drawn to the holistic treatment of the space.

Honoree for Best Use of Natural Elements –  “Oasis” (University of Kentucky)

Scale, pattern, texture and light were layered to create a garden setting that provides a soothing atmosphere to tenants of the Atrium building. An intimate setting broke down the scale of the large space with sophisticated design strategies. The strong central water feature anchors the space, while natural stone and greenery add natural texture.

Honoree for Most Creative Use of LED Backlighting: “EBA Designs” (The Ohio State University)

EBA Designs IIDA Best Backlighting Feature

The strong focal pull of GPI’s backlit stone panels was utilized in conjunction with the natural visual impact of the tall elevator. The staggered arrangement of the backlit stone panels creates a sense of movement and takes advantage of the verticality of the central atrium space. The design layout and surrounding finishes at the backlit panels make the features integral to the architecture (as opposed to mere decoration).

A special thank you to Dr. Terrence Uber for his assistance in orchestrating the competition!

Check out our Flickr album for some of the creative materials and technology that inspired the student designs >