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Senior Amy Groome wins national interior design award

Virginia Tech interior design major Amy Groome won the top national prize at the Steelcase NEXT Student Design Competition last month – beating out more than 800 students from 65 colleges.

Groome, a senior in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies from Oakton, Virginia, won $2,500, along with a custom-ordered Think chair, a Campfire personal table, and a $2,500 contribution to Virginia Tech’s design program.

“Winning this competition during my last semester at Virginia Tech showed me how far I have come since the fall of 2013,” she said. “I was proud to represent Virginia Tech CAUS and excited to get positive feedback on the design approach I was taught here.”

Amy Groome presents her design to judges at the Steelcase NEXT Student Design Competition in Michigan.

Groome presented her plans for a fictitious Los Angeles architecture and design firm to a panel of industry leaders in the final challenge at Steelcase’s Michigan headquarters in February. Her design, inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was praised by judges for providing a “collaborative office culture” and “an ecosystem of spaces in order to cater to the needs of all generations and work styles.”

An honors student and LEED Green Associate, Groome is president of I.D.E.A.S. (Interior Designers for Education and Sustainability), where she’s been an officer all four years. She’s spent summers working as a junior designer at firms in San Francisco and Northern Virginia, and volunteers in service projects with Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity in the New River Valley.

After graduating in May, Groome plans to work at an architecture and design firm and obtain professional certification from the National Council for Interior Design and the WELL Building Standard.

“I am incredibly proud to be a student at CAUS,” Groome said. “The opportunities we have here, from cutting-edge technology to inspired research-driven professors, are invaluable. I know I am fortunate to have such close, personal relationships with my professors. Professor Lisa Tucker has been an incredible support system throughout my education, from giving me my tour of the program as a prospective student, to involving me in her research, and always challenging my thinking in the classroom. Each one of my studio professors has had a unique and profound impact on my experience as a design student.”

View her work at and at

The Steelcase NEXT Student Design Competition is hosted annually by Steelcase Inc., a leading manufacturer of furniture for offices, hospitals, and classrooms and a global, publicly traded company with fiscal 2016 revenue of $3.1 billion.