Laura Valentine of Nashville, Tenn., and Colorado Springs, Colo., a fourth-year interior design student in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has won the gold prize in the Odegard Award for Excellence in Rug Design competition.

Odegard, the maker of high-end, handmade carpets, sponsors the competition to show student designers how combining modern designs with traditional hand-knotting techniques can increase awareness and respect for the legacy of textile and carpet weaving.

Valentine’s design was selected from more than 900 entries from schools across the United States and from five foreign countries. The entries were judged on the merits of artistic execution and the originality of their design vision, combined with the use of natural materials.

Valentine received a 6 x 9foot carpet produced by Odegard from her design; a $2,500 cash prize; and has been offered a three-month, paid internship at one of Odegard’s U.S. showrooms. She will also receive royalties on the sale of her design, which will be offered for sale in all Odegard showrooms.

A rug design by Mariana Gonzalez of Clifton, Va., a third-year Virginia Tech interior design student, will also go into production. Gonzalez will receive $500 and 5 percent royalties.

Valentine’s win marks the second year in a row that Virginia Tech interior design students have won first place in a national design competition.

To view the winning rug design, visit Odegard's website.

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is one of the largest of its type in the nation. The college is composed of three schools and the Department of Art and Art History, part of the multi-college School of the Arts. The School of Architecture + Design includes programs in architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture. The School of Public and International Affairs includes programs in urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy, and government and international affairs. The Myers-Lawson School of Construction, a joint school of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Engineering, includes programs in building construction and construction management. The college enrolls more than 2,000 students offering 25 degrees taught by 160 faculty members.

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