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MIAD’s "designing women" continue to reap national awards, most recently in a national competition to design a transit stop for the Milwaukee County Transit System.

Interior Architecture and Design juniors Danielle (“D”) Jones and Annabelle Luedtke won first place in a competition sponsored by the Vinyl Institute and administered by the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS).

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Reflecting the AIAS theme “Architecture in Motion,” the women’s winning team design featured a field of illuminated vinyl cubes, and a shelter enclosed in translucent vinyl and built around a tree. The jury of five architects and a Milwaukee Transit System official said, “This graceful and completely usable simple bus shelter provides an iconic landmark in the fabric of downtown Milwaukee, successfully integrating the practices and professions of architecture and city planning in the solution.”

Jones and Luedtke received their awards at the AIAS Forum 2007 held Dec. 28, 2007 – Jan. 1, 2008 in Milwaukee. Junior Heather Purrazzo joined the list of winners with a Merit Award for Aesthetics.

The three women are Interior Architecture and Design majors at Wisconsin’s only independent college of art and design. According to their professor, Robert Lynch, “Our students were up against some of the best programs in the country, including Ivy League schools and highly acclaimed graduate programs. It would be truly extraordinary if the winning scheme could be produced – the field of illuminated rectilinear forms would be an instant landmark and wonderful gateway to the Fifth Ward.”

Said Jones and Luedtke, “The competition pushed us to realize how much we are capable of accomplishing in a short amount of time. Beyond developing conceptual and meaningful design, learning to trust your instincts is essential in producing work you are satisfied with. We think it is important for students to realize that taking advantage of external resources is crucial to maximizing your education and experience.”

Jones, Luedtke and Purrazzo join an additional trio of “designing women” at MIAD who have won international and national awards. Last fall, Industrial Design seniors Natalie Schraufnagel won the 2007 Gold International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America for her “Smart Opt” adjustable soldering base station; Meghan McGuire was a first-place winner in the national Interzinc design contest for a sliding-glass door lock design; and Dawn Stelter won the Association of Rotational Molders International Student Design Competition for the “Bloopy” stackable children’s chair.

The transit design entries by Jones, Luedtke and Purrazzo will be displayed at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention and Design Exposition in Boston, May 15-17.