Hayden Wyrick, a graduating interior architecture and design student at the U of A, was selected as a finalist in the 2023 Student Portfolio Competition, hosted by the American Society of Interior Designers.
Hayden Wyrick, a graduating interior architecture and design student at the U of A, was selected as a finalist in the 2023 Student Portfolio Competition hosted by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The organization announced the winners and finalists of this year’s competition earlier this week.
Wyrick, an Honors College student from Denver, Colorado, is also one of four Senior Scholars in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, graduating with the highest grade point average. Wyrick was recently awarded the Interior Architecture and Design Medal of Excellence as the first-ranked, final-year interior architecture and design student, in recognition of scholastic achievement.
Wyrick was among six students selected from across the country as finalists in this year’s ASID Student Portfolio Competition. There were three student winners; two of them are graduate students.
Two other Fay Jones School undergraduate students, also graduating seniors, were selected as semi-finalists in this year’s competition: Taylor Brown, from Shreveport, Louisiana, and Emily Creek, from St. Louis, Missouri.
Submissions for the competition were evaluated on conceptual thought, the content of work submitted and the student’s record of achievement, according to a press release from ASID.
“ASID is committed to supporting the next generation of excellence in design,” said Khoi Vo, CEO of ASID. “The winners and finalists of this year’s Student Portfolio Competition, in addition to all of the submissions, showcase some of the top student design projects in the U.S. As a former educator, I am proud that ASID can uplift students, showcase their work and provide them resources for their continued growth in the interior design industry.”
ASID Student Portfolio Competition winners and finalists will receive complimentary access to GATHER 2023, the National Conference by ASID, held in August in Los Angeles, where winners will formally present their portfolios and design processes. Winners also receive a scholarship to help further their interior design journey and empower them in their chosen careers.
ASID’s Student Portfolio Competition is sponsored by Benjamin Moore. Additional information about the program, winners and finalists can be found on ASID’s website.
Impacting Lives Through Design
Wyrick has been interested in design since childhood. She recalls that, in fourth grade, she would draw different layouts of the classroom or sketch different apartment floor plan iterations in her notebook. She maintained her interest and took a class in high school related to interior design.
When it came time to choose a college, Wyrick narrowed her search to mainly Southeastern Conference schools because “they carry such great tradition with them, and many of them have notable design programs.”
She picked the Fay Jones School at the U of A because she felt that it would offer her better opportunities than the design programs within her home state. The campus in Fayetteville also appealed to her because she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and experience living in the South.
“When touring the Fay Jones School and hearing all about the amazing opportunities students are provided, I knew it was the right place for me,” she said.
During her four years in the Fay Jones School, Wyrick established good relationships with the faculty and staff, and they provided her with a solid support system. She also values her fellow classmates, who regularly inspired her and others to excel.
“The Fay Jones School seems to grow in its success every year, and I think that is due to the faculty, staff and students and the dedication they have every day to impact others’ lives through design,” she said.
Over the past two years, Wyrick has worked with Jennifer Webb, an associate professor of interior architecture and design. She said that Webb has instilled in her the principle that “as designers, we have a responsibility to be innovative and introduce new ideas to the world. Otherwise, the whole point of being a designer is not being honored. I take this advice with me through almost everything I create now.”
Wyrick said she decided to enter the ASID Student Portfolio Competition as a way to motivate her to complete her portfolio of design work and to help her find a job upon graduation.
“Working on a portfolio can be a very daunting task, especially as a senior who has to thoughtfully compile projects from the last four years into a 20-page document,” she said.
She also was aware that some past Fay Jones School students had been semi-finalists in the competition, and that there had been one finalist (Sloan Aulgur in 2019). Wyrick is still surprised she made it as far as she did in the competition. And she values the opportunity and the feedback from the judges.
“They all were impressed by my graphic design skills, and the overall curated composition impressed them,” she said. “It was a neat experience to hear designers from some of my favorite design firms tell me that they loved my work.”
As she’s designing a space, Wyrick said that she focuses on the needs of the people who’ll use it. In the past four years, she built her knowledge and understanding about how people navigate spaces and what kind of human factors need to be considered when designing those spaces.
“After all, design is for the people, and with that I believe a space should be able to offer them everything they need and more,” Wyrick said. “I also believe in the idea of equity when it comes to design. No matter who the client is or how big someone’s budget is, everyone deserves a beautifully designed space.”