Design Students Win Prestigious Award

April 12, 2010
By Cherry Crayton

Left to right: Matt Tomasulo, Rebecca Myers, Daria Khramtsova, Jeff Pleshek, and Maria Papiez. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Jacobs, Urban Land Institute)

Left to right: Matt Tomasulo, Rebecca Myers, Daria Khramtsova, Jeff Pleshek, and Maria Papiez. (Photo by Melissa Jacobs, Courtesy of Urban Land Institute)

Congratulations to NC State graduate design students Rebecca Myers, Maria Papiez, Jeff Pleshek, and Matt Tomasulo and UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Daria Khramtsova, who won the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. From the College of Design:

The competition — which carried a $50,000 cash prize — required student teams to re-imagine a section of downtown San Diego that has fallen on hard times.

“I can’t think of another competition I’d rather win,” said Rebecca Lea Myers, 33, a masters graduate student in landscape architecture at N.C. State’s College of Design, who traveled with her team to San Diego for final judging on Thursday.

And from The San Diego Tribune Union:

The five graduate students decided to be practical and proposed a family-oriented complex of housing, schools and parks.

“You guys have raised the bar,” said Dallas developer John M. Walsh III, a member of the jury that decided the winner. . . .

The contest was purely academic, since there’s no commitment on the part of any developer, the city or the students to carry forward with an actual construction plan. But young minds can sometimes see beyond their elders’ battle-weary imaginations.

That was somewhat behind the North Carolina team’s approach in what to propose, said team leader Maria Papiez, 29, who expects to receive her master’s in architecture degree at the end of the year.

“Our thinking is that San Diego has a great and vibrant community built up over the last 30-40 years,” Papiez said. But she said downtown needs more “diversity” in terms of housing types, particularly when it comes to families with school-age children.

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