Belmont Students Win PAVE Design Challenge and Scholarship

This semester is off to a great start for three sophomores in the O’More College of Design. Architecture students Honor Thomas and Ryan Plowman recently placed first in the Planning and Visual Education (PAVE) Design Competition, and architecture major Vira Williams was awarded the Kevin Roche Recognition Scholarship, one of the newest scholarships offered by PAVE. 

The PAVE Design Challenge asked the students to come up with a solution to resume tourism to Nashville in the wake of the pandemic that would create a long-lasting experience for visitors. The students had only six to eight hours to come up with the perfect design. Thomas and Plowman worked with a team of 10-12 industry professionals who assisted them in creating the perfect experience.

“After about 5 hours of thinking and designing with the team, we created an experiential tour bus where tourists could walk in hooked up to a brain stimulation device that projects your feelings/memories on screens in the bus,” said Thomas. “We drew sketches of both the site and the kiosks’ designs.”

And their hard work paid off. Thomas and Plowman’s team placed first in the challenge resulting in $1,000 prize.

“The principles of design and the design process we’ve learned in our studio courses were the primary keys to our success,” said Plowman. “After a similar time crunch assignment the week before, the understanding of the need to work quickly was fresh on our minds and helped us feel prepared to jump into a condensed version of the whole process.”

Thomas and Plowman weren’t the only ones who won big. Sophomore architecture major Vira Williams won the Kevin Roche Recognition Scholarship. The Kevin Roche Recognition Scholarship, awarded on December 8, awards a $2,000 cash prize as well as one-on-one mentorship with founder of Roche Design Strategy Kevin Roche. To receive the scholarship, Williams answered several questions regarding her passion for design and submitted letters of recommendation.

“I was drawn in by the humanity, passion and intellect of Vira’s submission. I began to read her response to the three questions and could not look away,” said Roche. “Her willingness to tell her personal story so openly and seamlessly woven into her passion as a student of architecture and design shows real conviction and strength. Storytelling is a big part of what we do, both visually and verbally, and when it’s honest and full of original thought, it is believable and captivating!”

Read more about the PAVE Design Challenge and Kevin Roche Recognition Scholarship.