Student Success
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Two Lethbridge College Interior Design Technology (IDT) students have been named the inaugural winners of the Ashcroft Design Challenge. First-year designer Lina Wiebe and second-year animator and virtual reality creator Jada Kot were selected as the winners by a panel of judges from Ashcroft Master Builder. The winners were announced during surRENDER, Lethbridge College’s annual IDT design showcase event, on Wednesday evening.

Students were tasked with designing a home that combines modern elements with real-life considerations such as construction costs and marketability. Wiebe and Kot’s winning design, The Emberly, will now be built by Ashcroft, with the two students earning the opportunity to work on the project as interns. The proceeds from the sale of the home will be donated back to the college. 

“These two were a dream team from day one and worked so well together, from the research phase, to planning and architectural package to the final animation,” says Cherie Reitzel, Interior Design Technology instructor. “Lina is so skilled at combining modern features with funky retro elements from the ‘60s and ‘70s, which creates a combination that is fresh and new and hot. Jada is not only an amazing architectural illustrator, but she has a real sense for the total production package. Even the music she uses to set the stage for the home animation is effective in drawing us in. I hope these talented ladies will lead me through this amazing home before it hits the market.”

The Ashcroft Design Challenge was launched in January as a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Lethbridge College students. Each first-year student created a home design and was then paired with a second-year student who brought the design to life. Representatives from Ashcroft chose the three finalists and selected the winners.

“We were blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of the students, as well as the design skills they already possess so early in their journeys into the world of design,” says Rodrigo Esparza, Ashcroft Master Builder General Manager and Partner. “We have thoroughly enjoyed this process of engaging with the students, and we look forward to the next steps as Lina and Jada watch their design come to life.”

The Ashcroft Design Challenge is another example of the industry partnerships that are vital to Lethbridge College’s success. By working closely with a company that frequently hires the college’s graduates, students gain exposure to a potential employer, while receiving industry-specific training.

“This has been such an amazing opportunity and I am so thankful to Ashcroft for this design challenge,” says Wiebe. “This past semester has been a non-stop learning experience, my instructors have been so great with my never-ending questions and my classmates challenged me every step of the way. I am honoured to win this competition and very excited to move forward with the project and to gain some experience with the building process.”

Her design partner says the experience was unlike anything she had experienced before.

“Wow, what an amazing opportunity for me to experience,” says Kot. “I am so honoured to win the competition with my partner Lina. She did such an amazing job and I loved working with her. I can’t wait to see the house being constructed and the finished product. I am very grateful!”

Ashcroft Master Builder Ltd. is an award-winning home builder based in Lethbridge; it was one of the first builders to take part in The College Home project with Lethbridge College and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Lethbridge Region.

Interior Design Technology is a two-year diploma program offered by Lethbridge College. To make sure that students are fully trained to the always-evolving standards of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, the program relies on many types of technology, including virtual reality. VR allows designers to bring their visions to life in a three-dimensional way, engulfing the client in the world they’ve envisioned, whether it’s for a home, a restaurant, a retail space or any other space.