CSU Interior Design student awarded second place at national competition

Colorado State University’s own Nicholas Hahn was awarded second place at the Durkan Dscvr18 student interior design competition in April.

Hahn, a sophomore in the Department of Design and Merchandising and majoring in interior design, took the challenge head-on achieving the award of first runner-up in the ninth annual event.

Hahn presents his award-winning carpet design at dscvr18.
Nicholas Hahn, right, presenting his award-winning carpet design.

Rising to the occasion

Durkan Dscvr18 presented its difficulties to Hahn, and required him to take a few steps out of his comfort zone. The competition called for its participants to create a design without an obvious repeated pattern. Hahn used his innovative design techniques to turn a challenge into triumph.

“It was difficult to come up with a design that did not have a repeating pattern,” Hahn said. “My personal design aesthetic incorporates a lot of symmetry and repetition to create balance, so I had to branch out to create a design with a more abstract and informal layout.”

Hahn’s creative perseverance and tenacity clearly paid off, leading to his national recognition.

“I am excited to have my work seen and appreciated by people in the design industry, and I am overwhelmed that my design is being recognized after all of the hard work and careful consideration I have put into it,” Hahn said.

The competition

As first runner-up, Hahn received a $1,000 scholarship for his custom carpet design courtesy of Durkan and the Network of the Hospitality Industry (NEWH), in addition to recognition at the Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas, held May 2-4.

“The competition was a great opportunity to be immersed in the field I am studying,” Hahn said. “The most interesting part of the competition was having the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to be presented my award.”

In partnership with NEWH, the Durkan Dscvr18 student design competition showcased the talent of collegiate hospitality designers from across the nation. Durkan is the nation’s leading manufacturer of custom carpet designs for the hospitality industry.

Hahn's ocean-blue carpet design with various patterns, made for the hospitality industry.
Nicholas Hahn’s award-winning hospitality carpet design.

Representing CSU

For Hahn, a Fort Collins native, majoring in interior design at Colorado State University was an easy decision to make.

“I grew up in Fort Collins, and I came to CSU because it is close to home and has a great interior design program,” Hahn said.

According to Interior-Design-Colleges.com, CSU ranks second in Colorado interior design schools and is among the top 50 of 211 programs in the nation.

Hahn’s achievement may not have been possible without his instructor, Conrad Marcus Rathmann. Though his design process and the competition was an individual effort, Hahn gives credit to Rathmann because the design he submitted was a product of Rathmann’s Design Studio course.

“I appreciate that Rathmann introduced us to the competition and asked us to submit,” Hahn said. “He also provided me with a basic knowledge in the programs I used to complete my design.”

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.