Lakeland grad nabs design award

Published 7:43 pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rebecca Warren and her team of fellow students at Virginia Tech created this "spraycube," which will allow students a shelter to work on art projects outdoors.

Rebecca Warren and her team of fellow students at Virginia Tech created this “spraycube,” which will allow students a shelter to work on art projects outdoors.

By William Scott


A local young person was part of a team selected as a winner in a regional design competition.


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Rebecca Warren was pleased to hear she and her team had won in the Object Design category of the Inform Awards for their “spraycube” project.

The Inform Awards are a competition by Inform, an architecture magazine, for local architectural projects. The competition is split into three categories — Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Object Design.



The awards, open to entrants in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Washington, D.C., were announced April 22. Warren and her team were the only student-led project to be recognized.

A student at Virginia Tech, Warren was part of a group that was assigned by an architecture professor to design an area for spray-painting when working on art projects. The previous designated area for spray painting suffered a ventilation problem, which led to students finding other places to work on their projects.

“Our school has had a problem with students spray-painting models outside the building. They would spray paint their models, and it would get all over the sidewalk,” Warren said. “It was just really messy.”

Warren’s group’s solution was the spraycube, a small pavilion in the shape of a cube split in half with a bench inside. Composed of wood and polycarbonate, the building is designed to allow for ventilation of paint fumes with its open walls and outdoor placement. In addition, on the bench are three turntables that will rotate the model being painted. Fluorescent lights are included in the interior to allow for spray painting work after dark.

The jury that selected the spraycube as one of three winners in the Object Design category praised the work.

“This design exercise shows once again that innovative thinking, this time inside-the-box, can transform the most utilitarian object into an intriguing design item,” the jury wrote.

The spraycube was installed in the winter and has been met with positive reception from the students and staff.

Construction began in September and continued until November. Though it was not originally designed with the Inform Awards in mind, after the spraycube was finished Warren’s team decided to enter it into the competition.

Warren was raised in Suffolk and graduated from Lakeland High School in 2010. She has been active in the community by helping her local Ruritan Club and church.

She is entering her fourth year at Virginia Tech, focusing on architecture, and has interned at Suffolk’s McEntire Design for four years. Warren was inspired to go into architecture due to her family’s history in construction, as well as an interest in art and math courses.

Warren will be finishing her education at Virginia Tech in two years. She plans to study abroad next fall in Europe before continuing her studies in Virginia Tech’s Alexandria facilities.