NEW YORK, MAY 01, 2014 — Gensler, a leading global design firm, is pleased to announce the 2014 Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship winners. Rachael Laughter, a junior in the interior design program at The University of Texas in Austin, received the first place honor; and Natalia Mitre, a student pursuing a Master of Arts in Interior Architecture at the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University, won second place.
“The Brinkmann Scholarship program recognizes emerging talent and allows Gensler to contribute to the next generation of design professionals,” said Robin Klehr Avia, managing principal for Gensler’s Northeast and Latin America regions and chair of the Gensler board. “We commend Rachael and Natalia for their impressive submissions.”
Both winners received an academic scholarship and a summer internship. Laughter’s internship will take place in Gensler’s Houston office, and Mitre’s internship will be in the firm’s Boston office.
The selection committee was impressed by Laughter’s willingness to embrace an idea-driven design process, said Philippe Paré, jury member and principal at Gensler. “Laughter’s curiosity about space, form and pattern-making is evident, with compelling explorations produced through a variety of mediums,” said Paré. “We see a lot of potential in Rachael and hope this internship will give her an opportunity to grow further.”
Jurors were also impressed with Mitre, whose portfolio includes a De Stijl-inspired Children’s Museum that uses lines, forms and primary colors to make an engaging and stimulating space for children to learn and explore.
“I believe that we as designers have a significant role in society, and we need to assume that responsibility,” said Mitre. “We should use our talents and expertise to transform and enhance our community.”
The Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship Fund was established in 1999 as a memorial to Donald G. Brinkmann, an interior designer, inspirational leader and former partner at Gensler. The scholarship fund celebrates Brinkmann’s career-long commitment to nurturing new talent by presenting outstanding interior design students with an internship and scholarship for the students’ final year of school. Candidates for the scholarship must attend a CIDA-accredited school and are evaluated based upon their analysis and problem solving skills, design development, graphic presentation, communication skills and passion.