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Appalachian students bring home honors in international lighting design competition

By Meghan McCandless

BOONE, N.C.—For the fourth year in a row, an Appalachian State University student has won first place in the annual SOURCE awards competition, hosted by power management company Eaton.

View larger imageAppalachian State University graduate student Hazel Chang took home top honors at the 2017 SOURCE awards competition for her design “Sonata Music Classical Skybox.” Photo submitted by Hazel ChangView larger imageAppalachian student winners Emma Morris, Hazel Chang and Elizabeth Hundley at the SOURCE awards ceremony with Eaton representatives Lance Bennett, Rebecca Hadley-Catter and Brad Paine. Photo submitted by Karin Martin

Technology graduate student Hazel Chang’s design, “Sonata Music Classical Skybox,” was recognized as the winning entry at LIGHTFAIR® International, the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, held in May at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Two other Appalachian students were awarded honorable mentions at the competition as well.

Chang, a native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who spent her childhood in Essex, Massachusetts and Biddeford, Maine, is no stranger to the SOURCE awards. As an undergraduate interior design major at Appalachian, she placed first in 2014 and received an honorable mention in 2015. This year, she chose to focus on classical architecture and traditional design to bring her skybox to life.

“My inspiration behind the skybox design was rooted in the genre of music I chose: classical,” she shared. “I researched different classical musical elements, such as a sonata – hence the name – but I also dove into proportions and elements behind a traditional classical design: the classical order, pilasters and more.”

Before entering the competition, she sought feedback from industry experts and university faculty Jeanne Mercer-Ballard, associate professor of interior design, and Jason Miller, assistant professor of building science. One essential review came from mentor and internship host Don Duffy of Don Duffy Architecture, who met with Chang at the very beginning of the design process. Duffy has been so impressed with Chang that he has already hired her to work for his firm after she graduates in December 2017.

For her part, Chang is thrilled to be a three-peat winner at the SOURCE awards during her time as a student at Appalachian.

“I had the opportunity to go to LIGHTFAIR to be recognized, but to also network and learn about the latest lighting technologies just as I prepare to write my thesis next semester on how lighting impacts senior care living facilities,” she said. “With all my exposure to the lighting world, I hope to be able to use the skills I’ve learned at App to implement good lighting design in residential high end applications.”

May 2017 interior design graduate Elizabeth Hundley of Hickory and interior design senior Emma Morris of Charlotte were also honored at the SOURCE awards. Both received honorable mentions for their works “Incandescent” and “Bloom, a Turkish-American Restaurant,” respectively.

About the College of Fine and Applied Arts

Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.