MCA Students Design Apartments in “ReStore for More” Contest

Contact: Carrie Corbett
Director of College Communications

Jan. 7, 2014

restoreformore-doubleM_presentation-crop-600The Double M team of Bailey Brocato (left) and Carly Lyons (right) make their presentation

MCA Students Design Apartments in “ReStore for More” Contest

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Three teams of specially selected MCA students are working in collaboration with The Venue Apartments and the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis ReStore in the “ReStore for More” design contest taking place this month. The contest was open to all MCA students, who first had to apply themselves and their skills by submitting work in order to be selected for one of the teams.

Students interested in participating attended an informational session to learn about the requirements and specifications of the contest. The students then formed teams and created design boards and project budgets to present to the judging committee in order to earn one of three team spots for the competition. The judging committee was comprised of MCA alumna Alexa LeNeave-Price, Habitat for Humanity Director of Marketing and Communications Jessica Hord, The Venue Apartments Marketing Director Wendy Fili and The Venue Apartments representative Suzanne Stovall.

The teams were judged not only on their design work but also on their ideas, their organization of materials and resources and their overall presentation. The teams selected are Bailey Bracato and Carly Lyons of team Double M (for Memphis), Laura Miller and Jess Vandenberg of team Modern West and Sam Herwehe and Evan Lebaroff of team Handmade American.

“The Venue Apartments approached Memphis College of Art in the fall with the idea of a design contest to showcase their one-bedroom apartments and the students’ work,” said MCA Director of Career Services Carrie Brooks. “The design contest idea was one that I had talked about with Memphis ReStore in previous months, but we lacked a location. Having The Venue Apartments on board opened the door for the collaboration to take place.”

Brooks views the contest as providing real-world experience for the students—a key factor in MCA’s Professional Practices (P2) programs. “All of the components of the contest create a real-life scenario that most artists must learn to negotiate—budget management, client communication and satisfaction, working as a team to see a project through to its completion. All of these items match well with what MCA is promoting throughout the curriculum and what Career Services provides through our programs and individual student advisement.”

The three design teams received keys to their designated apartments on Thursday, Jan. 2 and have until 8 a.m. on Jan. 21 to complete all design work. The Venue Apartments has allotted each team a budget of $500 for materials and $50 for supplies, plus a $100 gift certificate and an extra discount at the Memphis ReStore to help purchase items needed for their design. Additionally, each team will be provided with one queen-sized or two twin-sized beds with bed frames as well as a “mystery item.” The mystery item will be the same for each team and the teams will use it to create an art piece for their apartment design. The art pieces will later be auctioned to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis. Photos will be posted throughout the design process on The Venue Apartment’s Facebook page, as well as the Memphis ReStore and Memphis College of Art Facebook pages.

Following the completion of the redesign projects, the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite team in person and online. In-person voting will take place at The Venue Apartments from Jan. 21 through Feb. 1. Apartments will be open for viewing from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. In-person votes count twice as much as online votes. Online votes can be cast on The Venue Apartment’s Facebook page ( beginning on Jan. 21 and ending at 5 p.m. on Feb. 3. The Venue Apartments will award $1,000 for the first place finisher, $600 for second place and $300 for third place.

To follow the teams’ progress, visit the following Facebook pages and click “Like”:

Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. The region’s only independent art and design college, MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @memphisart.

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