AIGA VT Student Design Challenge Winners Announced

The AIGA Vermont chapter announced the winners of the fourth annual Student Design Challenge at a reception for the designers on Monday. In early March, Vermont college students were challenged to develop and brand a proposal to commercialize the Moran plant on the Burlington waterfront. The competition, sponsored by Adobe, Champlain College, Communication Arts and advertising agency Kelliher Samets Volk (KSV), has encouraged students to actively engage in design thinking and community building.

Design proposals ranged from creating a year-round farmer's market, an indoor community greenhouse garden, an indoor maze and a regional design and art gallery center. The City of Burlington has been working on repurposing the former 30-megawatt power plant built in 1952 and known for its architecture and innovation. The Moran Plant was decommissioned in 1986 and since then, the building has been vacant, except for a small portion of the basement utilized by the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. It is now a derelict structure owned by the city that will be redeveloped to encourage year-round use, economic activity and public access. In 2010, the city began executing plans for a rehabilitation of the plant and site.

KSV hosted an opening reception at 212 Battery St. in Burlington to exhibit the students' work. Each entry consists of a fully branded proposal with a clear system of assets including an initial launch strategy for both online and print, name, logo, brand development and other components to be determined by the student. The exhibit will be up through April and features work by Champlain Communications and Creative Media Division graphic design students,

  • Kevin Potter '13
  • Dayna Comeau '13
  • Rosie Strom '13
  • Brandon Cohen '13
  • Chris Erickson '13
  • Cassandra Bertrand '13
  • Sarah Gingras '13
  • Skylar Ridabock '13
  • Kelsey Belcourt '13
  • Nick Pugliese '13
  • Zachary Allott '14
  • Devin Carter '14
  • Brian Culmo '15
  • Ellen Voorheis '15

At the opening reception, top prizes were awarded to two 'Best of Show' pieces and four honorable mentions. Devin Carter '14 and Rosie Strom '13 were selected as 'Best of Show' and received a 12-month membership to Adobe Create Cloud and an Apple iPad for their submissions. Four runners-up included Kevin Potter '13, Brandon Cohen '13, Cassanda Bertrand '13, and Zachary Allot '14; they each received Communication Arts subscriptions.

Top submissions were chosen by judges John Siddle, creative director at JDK, Linda Kelliher and David Coates, partners at KSV, and Peter Owens, director of Community and Economic Development in Burlington.

"We were thrilled to be able to present this challenge to inspire young designers to utilize their future profession in a way that benefits the Vermont community," notes Michelle Hobbs, president, AIGA Vermont.

For more information about the Student Design Challenge, please contact: Michelle Hobbs, AIGA Vermont president at

About AIGA

AIGA, the professional association for design, stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. AIGA's mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, and is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational institution. For more information about AIGA, please visit

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit