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Interior Design Students Win Big at National Daltile Student Competition

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016

a portion of an interior design by Ben Roghaar

Detail from a portion of Ben Roghaar's design. When the contest theme was announced, Roghaar thought of bioluminescence.

an interior design by USU student Ali Gyman

Ali Gyman's design. She and Ben Roghaar received Honorable Mention awards in a national competition that included a cash award of $2,500.

Two Utah State University interior design students from the Caine College of the Arts won prizes at the National Daltile Student Competition.

Ali Guyman and Ben Roghaar each took home honorable mentions and $2,500. USU’s Interior Design Program won a university grant of $10,000 for having the highest number of students entered in the competition.

The competition, presented by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation, focused on the unique relationship between nature and design.

 “As soon as the theme of this year’s Daltile competition was announced, I knew what I wanted to do,” Roghaar said. “This year’s theme of biophilia instantly got me thinking about bioluminescence. This natural phenomenon has always been a source of wonder and inspiration for me.”

Biophilia, the concept that people have an inherent desire to connect with nature and natural systems, gives designers an opportunity to positively impact the health, productivity, creativity and wellbeing of the people in the space.  

“We are thrilled with the competition results and honored to receive a prestigious grant from ASID,” Darrin Brooks, associate professor of interior design, said. “Our students’ success speaks to their ability to compete at a national level and garner the attention of the judging panel. USU interior design students have a long history of winning awards in this and other national competitions.”

The grant will benefit all students in the interior design program.

“We offer a competitive program and the faculty members regularly seek opportunities for our students to learn, grow and compete with students from other design programs across the county,” Brooks said. “These types of awards continue to raise the profile of our program. The long-term result is that major architectural and design firms across the country regularly seek USU graduates because of the strong skill sets of our students.”

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Writer and contact: Whitney Schulte, 435-797-9203,

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