Fourth-Year Interior Design Students Receive the Student Project of the Year at IIDA Ohio Kentucky Design Awards

November 15, 2023

Fourth-Year Interior Design Students Receive the Student Project of the Year at IIDA Ohio Kentucky Design Awards

Brooke Koch and Averi Wolf accepting their IIDA Student Project of the Year Award.

By: Averi Wolf and Brooke Koch

At this year’s IIDA Ohio Kentucky Design Awards, fourth year interior design students, Brooke Koch and Averi Wolf, had the honor of receiving the Student Project of the Year. They submitted their project, Pando, created in Professor Rebekah Matheny’s Redefining Retail Collaborative Studio last spring. 

Confronted with the wicked problem of the slow food movement, they were challenged to create an innovative and sustainable retail food experience. Often excluded from the benefits of this movement are those that need them the most. Lower-income populations and marginalized communities do not have access to nutritious food due to economic disparity and living within a food desert. The Pando hub is a three-story community flagship located in the South Side of Chicago. It is focused on circular change to fight food insecurity and provide strength, longevity, and stability. “Pando” is derived from the forest of aspen found to be a single living organism with one massive underground root system. Pando is focused on intergenerational learning to be the connecting root system for Chicago.

A sustainable refillery and grocery store is located on the first floor. It supplies fresh food grown in the onsite greenhouse to provide affordable, healthy food options for the community.
A learning kitchen is located on the second floor, which offers cooking classes for all age ranges. It is used to educate the community on preparing healthy and affordable meals while instilling them with the tools for nutritious eating and self-sufficiency.
On the third floor is an enclosed rooftop community gathering space. It aims to cultivate a sense of togetherness in the diverse South Side of Chicago.

Brooke and Averi are very honored to receive this award, and want to thank the IIDA OH/KY chapter for this recognition. They would also like to thank their Industrial and Visual Communication Design team members, Ellie Armstrong, Brianna Gallagher, Jason Dionisio, and Theresa Pham, who were also a part of the Pando group. Lastly, they would like to thank their professor, Rebekah Matheny, for her guidance and mentorship throughout the project. They are looking forward to using their sustainable retail knowledge as they graduate this spring.

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