Vectorworks’ Richard Diehl Award: Highlighting the Grand Prize Winner

Posted by Carter Hartong on 6/16/21 11:46 AM  |  4 min read time

Each year, we offer the Vectorworks Design Scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students in major disciplines related to architecture, landscape architecture, entertainment, and interior design. This scholarship is a unique opportunity for students to take the next step in their journey of professional development.

Our 2021 Scholarship Winner

Our 2021 Richard Diehl Scholarship winner is the incredibly talented Leslie Majer.

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Majer attended Bauhaus Universität Weimar, where she received a bachelor’s degree. In fact, Majer’s project which won her the Richard Diehl Scholarship was also used as her bachelor thesis project. Majer’s newly-won scholarship is aiding in her pursuit of a graduate degree at ETH.

Majer’s Award-Winning Design Project

Majer’s award-winning public bathhouse is located near the medieval center of Erfurt, the capital of the German state of Thuringia. It is here where Majer decided to experiment with the modern idea of the “bath” by looking towards the past. Majer stated, “Today, the ‘bath’ as concept has become reduced to its sportive functions . . . [swimming pools and spas] have mostly lost their meaning as public buildings.” Majer further explained her guiding inspiration by saying, “Historically, the bath was a place to gather and meet, but also a place of cleanliness, care, and deep connection with water as a natural element.”

When discussing both the design and atmosphere of her project, Majer regularly returns to one word: “simple.” There is simplicity in the space in which her design lives. Majer said, “Based on the simple design of old river baths with a low figure and deep eaves, the special atmosphere of the place remains in balance. With its materiality, too, it fits into the small scale of the medieval city center in half-timbered construction and sandstone.”

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The simplicity doesn’t stop there for Majer. In fact, it’s the guiding principle for the construction method. The designer first shared how “five layers of simple roof battens are screwed together and fixed with prefabricated frames.” She then went on to say, “Although a simple construction method, it is not only enormously sustainable due to its material, but also makes for an efficient construction process.” Majer concludes about a misconception she perceives in the industry, noting that “innovation” can be a simple, yet powerful solution.

We, frankly, love this point made by the award-winner. And, such a strategy is another one to consider when creating eco-conscious designs.

What’s Next from the Award Winner? 

“Generally, it is important to me to stay aware of the political and environmental issues connected to architectural design and practice. As a student, I have the privilege to not be part of the market, and therefore to not be forced to adapt too much to these sorts of restraints,” said Majer. “Ultimately, it is very important to me within these framework conditions — to never forget about the beauty of proportion, form, and eventually atmosphere.” 

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The Design Scholarship winner also noted her award, saying how appreciative she was for the recognition. Majer said, “I would have never expected that a project of this manageable size would be [able] to win such a prize and gain such a forum.”

Using Vectorworks to Create Award-Winning Designs

While discussing the early stages of her design, Majer said, “Vectorworks as a digital tool is simply the fastest way to draw, I feel.” She continued, “In architectural design, time is very often the crucial factor. As a program, it’s very intuitive to handle. Also, I very much appreciate the easy connection between Vectorworks and Cinema 4D to create renderings."

Vectorworks Availability for Students

Majer was compelled to enter the Vectorworks Design Scholarship because she heard about it from friends in the student union. “I just found it a great opportunity,” she stated. 

Vectorworks wants to help students develop professional skills and push their creativity. To learn more about Vectorworks academic programs, click here. Students and professors can also download an individual copy of Vectorworks Designer.

Topics: Academic, Project Highlight, News

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