Since the mid-1990s, BWBR has hosted architectural and interior design students at universities from around the region in a competition that mimics the real-world experience in design and business development.
“We’re excited to have Dunwoody and Minnesota students join the BWBR Prize,” said Pete Smith, FAIA, president and CEO of BWBR. “Dunwoody College’s new program is serving a vital need to create new avenues for students from all backgrounds to enter the profession. Helping those students develop into the total design professional enhances what they are learning in the classroom and goes to the heart of our mission to foster development and produce distinguished architecture.”
The BWBR Prize is a unique student design competition that parallels the process today’s design firms face when clients consider hiring them. Targeted to students entering their last year of school in order to have an impact on their development as they finish their education, students are invited to participate in the Prize by faculty.
The two-step process involves a proposal that is reviewed by professionals and used to select finalists. Those chosen then come to Saint Paul during a spring weekend to present their proposals in front of a panel who then awards the Prize – a cash award – to respective winners at each school participating.
Dunwoody College and University of Minnesota join architectural programs at North Dakota State University and Iowa State University and the interior design program at University of Wisconsin-Stout to participate in the BWBR Prize.
This year’s students from Dunwoody are the first students from the college who are eligible to compete in the Prize. The new program started in 2014 after a four-year study that identified needs in the community and profession for a program that addressed both professional preparation and technological proficiency. Offering both a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree and a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree, the program is on track for accreditation in spring 2019.
“Those of us who are University of Minnesota graduates know first-hand what students from the design school produce, and based on student work that has already appeared in public, there’s good talent at the Dunwoody, too. We’re anxious to see what these students produce for the BWBR Prize,” Smith said.
This year’s BWBR Prize competition will take place on two Saturdays, April 22 and April 29.