Senior interior design major wins two awards

Posted April 13, 2010

Fabrics. Patterns. Detailed specifications. These things don't concern most budget-conscious college students. That is unless the student happens to be an interior design major at Abilene Christian University. ACU is school to some of the most talented interior design students in the nation. One in particular, senior Melody Lessly from Plano, has the awards to prove it. Lessly received two prizes in a national design competition.

The Brass Ring Awards 24 competition, sponsored by Oklahoma Christian University, is designed to motivate and reward students for excellence in art and design. The 2010 competition gathered 411 entries from 60 universities. Winners were announced April 3.

Lessly won first place in the Commercial Spaces Over 2500 Square Feet category. Her design for a Japanese Sushi Bar and Restaurant, Yoί, created a branded design solution to launch a new franchise eatery, including the adjacent franchise offices. She developed a central concept for the solution, performed research to solidify her concept and illustrated the design with detailed lighting, furniture and finishes specifications.

Her entry, Great Escapes Travel, was named a Merit Award winner. This project showcased Lessly's solution for a technologically savvy travel agency. She developed a green-design solution that included environmentally friendly materials and design features to aid the health, safety and welfare of the buildings' occupants.

"Melody's top winning prize is evidence of her excellence," says Kathryn Wasemiller, interior design program director for ACU. "She serves as a good representation of the nationally acclaimed interior design program at ACU."

ACU's interior design program is in an elite group as one of 150 programs to be accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). For further information about the ACU interior design program in the Department of Art and Design, contact Kitty Wasemiller, at


Did You Know? ACU's The Optimist became the first university newspaper to publish on the Apple iPad with the recent release of an iPad app, created and maintained by cross-departmental team of students and faculty from ACU's Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Department of Art and Design, and School of Information Technology and Computing. Watch our video