October 7, 2015 Collaborative Student Duo Excel in National Competition


One often hears of students in the College of Architecture and Design excelling in competitions.  When these successes result from multi-disciplinary collaboration, the success is even sweeter.  This type of collaboration benefits students beyond the boundaries of the competitions, and in fact, it’s this collaborative culture that helps set the UT College of Architecture and Design apart.

Kristin Bowman and Emanuel Huber-Feely represent the schools of Interior Design and Architecture, respectively.  Bowman graduated in May 2015, and Huber-Feely is in his fourth year.  During a spring 2015 joint studio, the duo teamed up to work together on an entry for the 15th Annual Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Steel Student Design Competition, and in September, they were informed that their entry had earned honorable mention in this renowned national competition.  In all, close to 500 entries were reviewed in the competition.

“Participating in the Steel Competition was an invaluable opportunity to test my design skills at the national level,” said Huber-Feely.  “The depth of the project couldn’t have been achieved without the joint disciplines of architecture and interior design, provided by my talented partner, Kristin Bowman.”


“The competition pushes designers to think about how to use steel in an innovative way, and our professors, Kevin Stevens and Lisa Mullikin, helped push our design thinking beyond what we would typically accept as possible,” Bowman added.  “As an interior design student, I was able to learn how to use the structure and architecture to inform the interior design elements and create environments in a whole new way. I consider myself very lucky that I had these opportunities to collaborate with architecture students to become a more well-rounded designer.”

As they progress through the college, students in the three schools that make up the College of Architecture and Design—Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture—have numerous opportunities to work jointly on projects and competition entries, including the Steel Student Design Competition.  “Architects think differently from interior designers, and we all saw this as an advantage,” said Lisa Mullikin, Associate Professor of Interior Design.

Bowman and Huber-Feely’s entry, entitled the Cormac McCarthy Library, was in Category I: Library.  The competition is intended to challenge students to explore design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction.  The “library” category challenged students to design a library that took a strong conceptual position about the changing nature of the library as a building type and as a mirror of contemporary culture.

“Kristin and Emanuel’s project was all about the relationship of the interior to the exterior, and it became a kind of urban project, addressing things at many scales,” Mullikin said.  “These two professions work together in the real world, and we see our collaborative studios as one of the best advantages to being a student here.  This collaboration is not typical in other schools, yet it is one of the most effective learning experiences.”

Click here for more information about the Steel Student Design Competition.

Click here to see Bowman and Huber-Feely’s competition entry:  Final Presentation – Bowman_Huber-Feely