The IIDA Great Plains Chapter annually invites all IIDA Members in good standing to submit their exceptional projects to the Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Competition.  IIDA GPC is honored to present this annual event that recognizes Interior Design work represented by the Des Moines, Omaha and Eastern Iowa City Centers.  IIDA Members from various design firms submit projects from numerous market sectors and compete for outstanding recognition among their peers.  Those selected as award winners are honored for their exceptional quality of work within the A&D industry and profession.  As part of the Chapter’s ongoing commitment to excellence in interior design, IIDA GPC hosts the IDEA ceremony each May to recognize the projects submitted, announce the finalists and award winners.

Project Categories

When registering to enter, you will be prompted to select the category or categories for your project submission(s).

[tds-columns] [tds-column third] Category [/tds-column] [tds-column twothird last]General Examples[/tds-column] [/tds-columns]
[tds-columns] [tds-column third]CORPORATE[/tds-column] [tds-column twothird last]Office, Financial Institution[/tds-column] [/tds-columns]
[tds-columns] [tds-column third]EDUCATION[/tds-column] [tds-column twothird last]PreK-12, High Ed, Dormitory[/tds-column] [/tds-columns]
[tds-columns] [tds-column third]HEALTHCARE[/tds-column] [tds-column twothird last]Hospital, Clinic, Assisted Living[/tds-column] [/tds-columns]
[tds-columns] [tds-column third]COMMUNITY & CIVIC[/tds-column] [tds-column twothird last]Sports & Recreation, Religious, Transportation, Municipal[/tds-column] [/tds-columns]
[tds-columns] [tds-column third]HOSPITALITY[/tds-column] [tds-column twothird last]Restaurants, Retail, Spa, Hotel, Residential[/tds-column] [/tds-columns]
[tds-columns] [tds-column third]PRODUCT DESIGN[/tds-column] [tds-column twothird last]Furniture, Millwork, Details, Textiles[/tds-column] [/tds-columns]


*No unbuilt projects will be allowed for submission in any categories.

Honor Award

Honor awards will be selected among the six project categories. Selecting a winner(s) is heavily dependent on the judges discretion to issue one or multiple honor awards.

Examples of Honor Award winners can include (but are not limited to) the examples listed below:

  • Innovative Use of Space
  • Innovation in Sustainable Design
  • Creative Use of Materials
  • Integration of Concept

Best of Show

One submission from the category finalists will be selected by the judges to win the Best of Show Award.  The Best of Show Award is the most prestigious award presented in the IDEA competition.

Entry Requirements

Professional, Associate, Affiliate and Student Members in good standing with the International Interior Design Association may submit entries. No unbuilt projects will be accepted as submissions. A project may only be submitted in one category. There are no limits on the number of projects a firm may submit. Projects previously published, submitted for other competitions, or previously submitted but not selected for the IIDA Great Plains Chapter Design Awards, may be submitted. Projects previously awarded in the IIDA Great Plains Chapter are not eligible and will be disqualified.

Entry Fee

Project entry fees will be collected at the time of project submission.  Payment can be made using a major credit card or pay by check.  Entry fees are non-refundable.

Judging Criteria

Each submission will be juried on the success with which it has met its individual requirements as well as concept, innovation and execution.  Submissions will also be juried on clarity of the project statement, appropriate and innovative use of materials, color and light as well as furniture (if applicable). Entries will be weighed individually and not in competition with others. Jury decisions will be made solely on the materials submitted. The authorship of each project will remain concealed throughout the deliberation of the jury.

Submissions will be judged by a panel of impartial professionals. Judges reserve the right to not select a winner from the entries submitted for any of the listed categories. The jury has the right to combine categories due to a lack of entrants and re-assign entries to a category if deemed more suitable. In the event of a dispute, the IIDA Great Plains Chapter President and non-participating IIDA Board Members reserve the option to disqualify an entry.

Project Submission Information

Project Submission Summary

The items outlined below are requirements in order to be considered by the judging panel. You will be contacted via email with a registration ID #, a Powerpoint template, additional project entry information and a link to the project submission form for reference and eventual project submission. One submission form is required per project submitted. Entries must include all required information and submittals. Submissions that do not meet the required criteria will be disqualified. Remove any firm names or logos prior to submitting. Any project with a firm name on any submission materials will be disqualified. Do not alter design elements of Powerpoint template as issued. The addition of graphics, artwork, text or colored background will result in project disqualification.

Project Submission Form

To complete the online project submission form you will need to provide the following

[tds-icon name=fa-check-square-o] Registration ID

[tds-icon name=fa-check-square-o] Project Statement

[tds-icon name=fa-check-square-o] Power Point file.  Name file with registration ID.  Example: “Hospitality_25767.ppxt”

[tds-icon name=fa-check-square-o] Project name, owner, address, completion date

[tds-icon name=fa-check-square-o] IIDA design team member(s)

Project Statement

Project Statement will be submitted via online project submittal form.
Maximum of 200 words
Project Statement should be a concise description of the specific solutions to the design challenges that can include, but are not limited to design concept, innovation, detail of finishes, benefit to client, use of materials, color, lighting & furniture.
Do not include your design firm in the project statement.  Project name references are acceptable.

Floor Plan and Images

NEW this year – Maximum of 14 slides can be submitted for each project.  Use the slides at your discretion.

Guidelines are below:

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] Floor plan(s), RCP, Sections, Details or Axonometrics to be at the beginning of the PowerPoint template.

    Use as many slides as needed for these items as part of the maximum total.

    Text can be included on these slides, but should be minimal if used at all.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] Maximum of (10) jpg images of completed project to follow plan slides in the PowerPoint template.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] Images can include photos of finishes, finish boards or photos related to project.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] More than one image per slide is acceptable if they are legible for presentation at the event.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] Label each slide with registration ID# as shown on template. Do not change the font.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] Label each slide with a basic name in the text box provided. For example: “ Floor Plan”, “Section”,

    Image slides should be labeled “Image 1”, “Image 2”, etc.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] No other information or additional explanation should be included on any of Image slides.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] Unless project interior is clearly visible from exterior, no more than one image of building

    exterior shall be included.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] File size should not exceed 15 MB.

People’s Choice (optional)

To submit for the People’s Choice award, use the template located on last slide.
On a single slide provide the following:

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] An abbreviated Project Statement, 75 words max.Do not change the font.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] A maximum of 5 images, selected from the images used in awards submission.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] Unless project interior is clearly visible from exterior, no more than one image of building exterior

    shall be included.

[tds-icon name=fa-chevron-circle-right] File size should not exceed 2 MB.

Past Judges

Scott Hierlinger

Scott Hierlinger IIDA, LEED® AP
Design Director & Managing Principal – NELSON – Minneapolis 

As the Interior Design Director and Co-Managing Principal of NELSON’s Minneapolis office, Scott serves as an expert in corporate interior design with 23 years of experience. Scott’s strong corporate interior design background allows him to provide creative and integrated project services to regional and national high profile interior design clients inclusive of Comerica Bank, Bank of America, Oracle, SPS Commerce, Piper Jaffray, Royal Bank of Canada, Ogilvy and Polaris Industries. He is responsible for all aspects of the design process including programming, space planning, design development, construction documentation and project management with special emphasis within the Advertising, Legal and the Financial Corporate Workplace.

Within NELSON, Scott Co-Chairs the National NELSON Design Consortium and is the Minneapolis Chair of the NELSON Legal Practice Workplace Team. Scott received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota and currently serves as student advisor within the U of M Interior Design program.

Scott has been an active leader within IIDA over the last many years and had served locally as the President of the IIDA Northland Chapter (2008 – 2009), and nationally as Chair of the IIDA National Nominating Committee (2011 2012), Vice President on the International Interior Design Association Board of Directors (2013 -2014) and currently serves as the President on the International Interior Design Association Board of Directors (2015-2016).

Deborah Wolf

Deborah Wolf, IIDA
Senior Interior Designer, Project Manager & Associate – LMN Architects – Seattle 

Deborah Wolf is a design leader and associate at LMN Architects.  Seattle-based LMN Architects specializes in the planning and design of significant public and private facilities, including convention centers, cultural arts venues, education facilities, office, multi-family residential, hospitality mixed-use developments and other urban environments that celebrate and enrich communities. Recipient of the 2016 American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award, LMN has earned an international reputation for design excellence, sustainable solutions, practice innovation and successful delivery of complex projects.  With over 18 years of design and management experience, Deb leads the interior architectural design of projects ranging from commercial office, convention and performing arts centers to residential projects. She is also dedicated to developing LMN’s custom furniture service and is currently working on a unique ancillary furniture collection to be catalogued in Summer of 2016.

Her recent projects include the Federal Way Performing Arts Center in Federal Way, Washington, and the transformative renovation of the Meydenbauer Convention Center in Bellevue, Washington.  She has also recently completed a number of high-rise office building repositioning projects in downtown Seattle and is currently working on the $125 million Greater Columbus Convention Center Interior Renovation and Expansion.

Deb has a passion for a multi discipline integration within a project, team and client relationship. Her drive extends out from her work at LMN to her board position as the VP of Advocacy of Northern Pacific Chapter of IIDA where she has developed programs such as Bridge which helps local not for profit groups revitalize their organization and Amplify which promotes the value and elevation of the interior design profession within our community. Deb received a Bachelor of Arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design where she has served as student advisor and adjunct professor.

Betsy Vohs

Betsy Vohs, LEED AP ID+C, Associate AIA, Associate IIDA 
Principal and Founder – Studio BV – Minneapolis

Betsy Vohs is the founder of Studio BV a multidisciplinary design studio that focuses on leveraging design to drive change in culture, communities, and action. Before launching Studio BV, she spent 7 years at Gensler Minneapolis where she led projects that ranged in typology from design strategy and commercial office buildings to workplace design and hospitality.

She believes that transformational design comes from investigating the places, contexts, and people to be shaped by the design. Her background in interior design and architecture gives her a distinct perspective on how to approach design problems. Betsy is passionate about giving back to the design community. She recently was a featured speaker at the AIA MN convention. She has shared her ideas on design as an adjunct lecture at the University of Minnesota and South Dakota State University. She is the University of Minnesota College of Design Alumni Board President and serves on the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Collegiate Council.

She has been a guest design critic at the University of Minnesota, Dunwoody College, and South Dakota State University, as well as having juried numerous design competitions. Her work has been featured in local and national publications and won multiple design awards, including Contract Magazine’s Inspiration Award, which honors that which creates social change in communities.