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Designers to Watch

June 1, 2017

Stop by the interiors+sources Materials Pavilion (7th Floor, #7-1000) at NeoCon this year and say hello to Savanah Colestock, one of the two 2017 I Like Design student competition winners. She’ll be manning her winning design for the pavilion, which was constructed thanks to sponsors Roppe, INSTALL, and Arauco. She also received a $5,000 scholarship and will be offered the role of a student editor of the August 2017 issue of i+s. Colestock is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, majoring in Interior Design. While this will be her first visit to NeoCon, she was aware of the legendary crowding that can occur at the show and took that under great consideration while preparing her competition entry.

“My main focus was really good circulation and to offer a space that is open and airy,” she explained. Inspired by nature, the color palette and material selection reflect such, as she utilized a variety of transparent elements that allow visitors to see the entire space no matter where they’re standing while inside.

A strong anchor within Colestock’s design is a transparent curved wall that reinforces an ease of movement throughout the pavilion, giving guests a clear entry and exit, and allowing them to see all of the materials on display. “You don’t miss anything because there’s a clear path,” she noted. The layout also features a meeting space in the middle of the pavilion with seating to help take a break from trekking the show, examine more materials, or connect with a friend or new acquaintance.

Colestock hopes her design will create a new experience for NeoCon attendees. And as she prepares to enter the job market in a few short months, she wants her future work to do the same: create spaces that make positive impacts on the user. It’s why she majored in interior design in the first place. “I’ve always had an eye for artistic things, but also wanted my job to be something that would make a difference in people’s lives,” she explained to i+s. “So I was struggling with the question of, do I want to do something creative and artistic or something that directly helps people, like nursing? I didn’t really think of interior design as an option and kind of just fell into it as a major. But it really gives me the best of both of those worlds.”

Colestock wants to convey the importance of her chosen profession, and help the general public realize it’s much more than just decorating—a lesson she’s become entrenched in as an intern at Allina Health Design & Construction (soon to be named Allina Facilities Project Management) in Minneapolis, helping to design various healthcare facilities. It has allowed her to draw upon her artistic side and create spaces that are not only safe and welcoming, but also integrate unexpected elements, such as sculptural or art pieces. “These things can make a huge difference in the feel of a space. People don’t want to feel like they’re in a hospital.”

She will graduate in December and hopes her career path won’t lead her away from the Minneapolis area—or commercial design—just yet, but plans to seize any and all opportunities that come her way.

Renderings and headshot courtesy of Savanah Colestock

About the Author

AnnMarie Martin | Editor-in-Chief

AnnMarie has been covering the commercial design space since 2005 and has been on the editorial staff at i+s since 2011. Her style and vision has helped the brand evolve into a thought leader in purpose-driven design and cultural movements shaping the way we live and work. She returned to the role of editor in chief at the start of 2023 and her journalism and fiction writing background have helped to craft bi-monthly issues that don’t just report the latest industry news, but tell a cohesive tale of some of the biggest topics facing designers today.

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