Xie Xin, of Shanghai, China, a graduate student in interior design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, was the winner in a recent interior design competition sponsored by the Bienenstock Furniture Library. 

She will receive $10,000 to continue her studies in interior design and a one-year student membership in the American Society of Interior Designers. She will be awarded her prize during the 2013 High Point Market in late April.

The Bienenstock scholarships are open to any junior, senior, or graduate student enrolled in an accredited college design program. Students from 18 colleges and universities submitted entries to the 2013 competition, which was juried by a distinguished panel of industry experts. Xie Xin’s design was selected as the winner from a field of eight finalists.

Charli Zirk of Leesburg, Va., a junior majoring in interior design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, received an honorable mention in the competition.

Entrants were asked to complete a design project that incorporated residential and commercial spaces meeting certain specifications.

Xie Xin’s winning design, called Harmony House, was an organization for runaway youth. She combined residential space on the top floor with a sandwich shop on the ground floor where the youth could work. The ground floor also incorporated counseling and tutoring rooms.

Describing Xie Xin’s winning design, the judges noted, “This design is a great combination of creativity and function. It shows a wonderful understanding of the inhabitant, and a sensitive and lyrical expression of design that was both functional and a highly creative work of art.”

The win means a great deal to Xie Xin, who is an international student from China and has only been in the United States for a matter of months.

“Everything here is new and unfamiliar with me, and I knew no one when I came here. When I was doing my project in the last semester, I was struggling with all the new things in my daily life, so to be honest, it was quite a tough time,” said Xie Xin. “But this award tells me that I'm doing something right … I appreciate the many professionals helping me build my better future. The U.S. inspires me to create, to simply devote my talent to others, and Virginia Tech is the starting point of my future career.”

Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library, a worldwide center for research, design, and collaboration, holds the world’s largest collection of rare and significant books on the history and design of furniture. Founded in 1970 and endowed by the Bienenstock family, the library is devoted the advancement of knowledge about design, furniture, interiors, architecture, textiles, finishes, and constructions. Since 1984, the library has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarships to students in hundreds of colleges and universities.