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SVA Student Wins Prestigious Interior Design Award and $30,000

Current BFA Interior Design student Tina Kvelashvili was recently awarded $30,000 as part of the Angelo Donghia Foundation 2017 Student Scholarship Award for Interior Design. This is the 11th time since 2001 a BFA Interior Design student from SVA has won the prestigious award.

“It is such a huge help to receive the scholarship for my family and I,” Kvelashvili said of the prize, which is awarded each year to students entering their senior year to be applied to tuition, board, maintenance and books. “I would've never imagined winning anything this grand. It gave me more confidence than I've ever had.”

Kvelashvili was recognized for “Move With Heart,” a plan for a contemporary men’s spa and fitness center focused on creating a more holistic approach to men’s health. The aim is a sanctuary within the city that combines traditional masculine tropes and natural design elements. Her plans feature a variety of treatment rooms—hot and cold rooms as well as salt and amethyst therapy options—sleek, geometric furniture and, most notably, a wall drawing of a single pulsing heartbeat, as read on an EKG monitor, running throughout the buildings and grounds, uniting the different spaces.

The project was a course assignment and selected for the competition by the BFA Interior Design department. Faculty member Jack Travis was Kvelashvili’s Design Studio instructor and kept her on track, as she describes it. “I had so much support from my family and friends, and our SVA staff—they all believed in me when I didn't believe in myself,” she said. “It took a lot of patience, understanding, commitment, tears and everything in between.”

This year’s judges of the students’ work included designers, architects and journalists such as Adam Tihany of Tihany Design; Helene Oberman, managing editor of Interior Design Magazine; Jason Linde of Gensler; Lucinda Loya of Lucinda Loya Interiors; Mieke Ten Have, freelance editor for Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal and Cultured; and Rajni Alex of Rajni Alex Design, among others.

Named for the famed designer and company founder, the Angelo Donghia Foundation not only provides support for the advancement of education in the field of interior design, it also sponsors initiatives pertaining to the discovery of causes of AIDS and its related diseases and treatments. For more information, click here.

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