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Student to Receive National Award and Magazine Coverage for Design Efforts

The July issue of Hospitality Design magazine will include work by interior design student Tina Sevilla of Toledo, who is a finalist in a national design competition.

Date: 6/1/2006
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Lisa Ventre
UC ingot Tina Sevilla, a third-year student in UC’s number-one ranked interior design program, recently entered her first national design competition. And she’s got to be happy since she was recognized as one of two national finalists in the competition’s student category.

Tina Sevilla, at right, with co-op employer Rebekah Fellers
Tina Sevilla, at right, with co-op employer Rebekah Fellers

Recalls Tina, “I submitted a class project where we were required to design a restaurant within a former bank in Oakley. I’d opted to design a Japanese restaurant  because I’ve long been fascinated by Japanese culture and how it blends ancient sensibilities with modern ones.”

Ironically, Tina almost didn’t enter the project she created during a winter quarter studio led by Brian Davies, associate professor of design in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She states, “About mid-way through the quarter, I hit a lull. However, Prof. Davies really encouraged me to continue, saying that he expected a lot from me. He was challenging me and also showing he had confidence in me. It pushed me to a new level.”

So that’s how it was that Tina and a classmate were at Kinko’s copy center on April 6, the night before the project needed to be in the mail. They were making the required copies and binding the project and presentation. “Yes,” she admits, “I did wait till the last minute to mail it off, and at the time, I wondered if I wasn’t wasting my time and money to even bother to prepare it and send it off.”

And then, Tina almost didn’t get the call that she was one of two national finalists in the competition. She explains, “I got a call one day from Hospitality Design telling me that there was a winner and two finalists in the student category and that I was one of the finalists. The caller told me that she had also called me the day before and had left a message. I honestly never got the message so I was really glad she’d called back!”

Because she finally did get the news about being a finalist, Tina will travel to New York City for a June 7 awards ceremony, the Hospitality Design Awards. Her work will also be published in the July 2006 issue of Hospitality Design magazine. “I think the time in New York will be a great opportunity since many professional designers will be there. It’s never too early to start networking, seeing what other people are doing.”

While Tina is happy to be selected as a winner, there were other payoffs for her too. The design course in which she completed the restaurant project also helped to improve her Photoshop rendering skills. And it gave her confidence in herself and in her abilities.

Currently, Tina is working a cooperative education quarter with Rebekah Fellers Interior in Kentucky. Previous required co-ops have included paid, professional experience at Earl Swensson Architects in Nashville, Tenn.; as well as work for Interior Architects in New York City.  Over the summer, Tina will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of DAAP’s annual summer course in that country.


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