Simona Turco is the first OCAD University student to win the prestigious Angelo Donghia Foundation Senior Scholarship, given out annually to students in the field of interior design. Her project was one of 15 chosen from among of 68 submissions.
The $24,500 award will cover Turco’s tuition, books, materials and living expenses.
“Being able to have my work recognized on an international level by professionals in the industry is extremely exciting for me,” said Turco. “This award gives me the confidence and drive to continue producing innovative work that I am proud of.”
Angelo Donghia was an internationally known designer, entrepreneur and graduate of the Parsons School of Design in 1959. At the time of his passing in 1985, Donghia ventures involved furniture, textiles, showrooms and licensing. The Angelo Donghia Foundation provides support for the advancement of education in the field of interior design. The foundation also funds research into the causes and treatment of AIDS.
The Senior Student Scholarship Program in Interior Design was launched in 2002. Students submit their designs for a residential or commercial project for review by a blind jury consisting of interior design professionals, educators and editors.
The merit-based scholarship of up to U.S. $30,000 is to be applied to senior-year tuition, board, maintenance and books.
Students from schools including Pratt, Parsons, the School of Visual Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design were among the 2016 scholarship applicants. OCAD U’s Turco was the only student to be honoured from a Canadian institution.
“Our students are honoured to be offered this wonderful opportunity by the trustees of the Foundation and to be considered alongside students from some of the most prestigious design schools in North America. We are extremely excited that this win has occurred after only participating in the competition for three years,” said Colleen Reid, Associate Dean, Faculty of Design.
Turco’s winning submission is called Path House. It is a residential project conceived for a client with a visual impairment. The home incorporates a contemporary aesthetic with components that cater to clients with any degree of visual disability. Features include custom millwork with braille or raised English details, contrasting materials and textures, anti-glare finishes, natural light for wayfinding and double-height spaces for variations in acoustics.
The scholarship shines a light on the incredible talent emerging from OCAD U’s Environmental Design program, which focuses on the design of expressive and humane interior and architectural space.
This year’s judges included the following designers, architects and members of the press: Amy Lau, Amy Lau Design; Arianne Nardo, freelance editor; Barry Richards, Rockwell Group; Carolyn Englefield, editor, Veranda Interiors; Frank de Biasi, Frank de Biasi Interiors LLC; Jamie Drake, Drake Anderson; John Ike, Ike Kligerman Barkley; Julie Noran, president, The Editor at Large; Kathleen Walsh, Kathleen Walsh Interiors; Sophie Donelson, editor-in-chief, House Beautiful; Stephanie Odegard, Stephanie Odegard Collection; Stephen Burks, Stephen Burks Man Made; Tony Freund, editor-in-chief, 1stdibs Introspective; and Vicente Wolf, Vicente Wolf Associates Inc.