Skip to main content

Looking back: Rave-worthy designs from the PAVE student competition


Rave-worthy designs from the PAVE student

The competition’s winner was Jolean Hackney with a ‘Pick your Path’ theme.

Everyone likes a little friendly competition, right? We thought so, which is why SketchUp teamed up with the Planning and Visual Education (PAVE) Student Design Competition. The PAVE Student Design Competition happens every year and promotes a “real-world” design experience for college-level students interested in pursuing careers in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. SketchUp sponsored the 2020 competition, and amidst a pandemic, college students worldwide got creative from their homes to compete for cash prizes and SketchUp licenses. 

With massive disruptions to daily life, the annual affair looked a little different in 2020; it was the first time in 26 years that the PAVE competition was hosted virtually. The competition’s success was a testament to the power of digital collaboration and empowered the belief that design is for everyone, anywhere, even in unusual circumstances. 

The SketchUp challenge? Design an innovative brand experience for a pop-up space using SketchUp. Student designers had to show how their creation was adaptable, mobile, and transformable. The objective was to highlight SketchUp’s design potential and convince store visitors to adopt SketchUp.

SketchUp staff and selected PAVE judges from the professional community decided the competition winners. The judging panel was astonished — but not surprised — by the ingenuity of all the student submissions but ultimately decided on three champs (and an honorable mention). Drum roll, please. 

1st Place: Jolean Hackney

2nd Place: Fanny Hilyatunnisa & Azizah Rigma Arum Pawestri 

3rd Place: Julia De Brocq

Honorable Mention: Ielyzaveta Ignatyeva

This year, we caught up with the 2020 winners to see how they weathered the pandemic. Check out their winning projects from the competition and where they are now: 

1st Place

Jolean Hackney

First place belongs to the talented Jolean Hackney, a then senior at Missouri State University, US, with a Pick your Path theme. Given their popularity and mobility, Jolean used shipping containers for the structure. She kept the design modern and simple to keep visitors’ focus on the SketchUp software. 

The design consists of two different shipping containers that face each other, with a patio section in the middle. Added solar panels are eco-friendly and allow you to set up anywhere without the need for an electrical connection. A LED path traverses the floor to highlight the walkable journey through the pop-up space. The color palette closely matches SketchUp’s colors (mainly black, blues, and greys) to create a continuous brand experience. Large central screens display SketchUp purchasing options, and side rooms showcase different use-cases, including kitchen interiors, VR for architecture, urban planning for cityscapes, and residential construction.

A bright future

A bright future

We caught up with Jolean to see what was new. She graduated last summer with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and started a new job as an Associate Interior Designer at Torgerson Design Partners in Ozark, MO. Plus, she’s getting married in May! Congratulations on all your accomplishments, Jolean.

2nd Place

Fanny Hilyatunnisa and Azizah Rigma Arum Pawestri

Sliding into second place is the power duo from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, Fanny Hilyatunnisa and Azizah Rigma Arum Pawestri.

Their Mad-Block, Nomad Glassbock design’s substructure is a simple cube, the building block of the iterative space. The pop-up unfolds as a cube, with the walls blossoming open to become the outer floors. A futuristic vibe and interactive screens explore the role of technology in architectural design. Flexible spaces expand into larger gathering spaces, and a large cubed wall creates a feedback loop for visitor reviews. The model gets bonus points for easy disassembly and transportation; we love that you can put this pop-up on a truck and move the cube around the globe!

Fanny Hilyatunnisa and Azizah Rigma Arum Pawestri’s design unfolds and refolds

Fanny Hilyatunnisa and Azizah Rigma Arum Pawestri’s design unfolds and refolds. 

Playing on SketchUp’s Push/Pull command

Playing on SketchUp’s Push/Pull command, the modular blocks push outward to expand the space. 


Flexible walls transform small areas into larger gathering spaces

Flexible walls transform small areas into larger gathering spaces.

Life updates, please

Here’s the scoop on where they are now: Fanny continues her studies as a master’s degree candidate in Bandung, Indonesia. Rigma graduated and is currently working at an architecture firm in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. We can’t wait to see what they design next!

3rd Place 

Julia De Brocq from Appalachian State University

Julia De Brocq from Appalachian State University, US, takes third place with her Make It Simple, But Significant motif. Her design concept embodies SketchUp’s efficiency and simplicity while celebrating its design potential. The pop-up’s outer contours resemble a tiny home and tie into SketchUp’s advocacy for efficient home design. Topping off her design cake, Julia whipped up inclusive user profiles with, dare we say, very fashionable scale figures.

 create and visualize the SketchUp experience

Julia matched each industry persona to an interactive experience in which one can explore, create and visualize the SketchUp experience.

VR station for people to explore the models

The adjustable panels can be closed off to make room for discussions and classes. This room also features a VR station for people to explore the models they created in the industry section. 

Honorable Mention 

Ielyzaveta Ignatyeva’s design

Ielyzaveta Ignatyeva’s design was so good we couldn’t leave her out. Hailing from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), US, Ielyzaveta’s Immersive Pop-Up idea translates the SketchUp interface into physical space; there are natural objects that you can push and pull as if you were using the software. The layout displays all that SketchUp offers as a tool, resource, and connected community of designers. We applaud her adaptive reuse of old shipping containers and eco-friendly materials. 

The left-hand wall contains objects you can push and pull as if you were using SketchUp. 

Rock on, Ielyzaveta

Ielyzaveta graduated from FIT with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, magna cum laude, in May 2021. Currently, she’s an architectural designer at KCC design + build in Long Island City, NYC. Her design team focuses on commercial and hospitality projects across several states, including bars, restaurants, and luxury gyms. 

Clap your hands!

Can we get a round of applause for the 2020 PAVE Student Design Competition winners? Their projects were remarkable — also, cheers to the PAVE organization. Every year, they connect students, educators, and professionals in a meaningful way. SketchUp sponsors these types of competitions regularly because we value education and student empowerment. So scholars, keep your ears open for ways to show off your SketchUp prowess in the future. 

SketchUp offers discounted software plans for students, educators, and tiered packages for universities. Let's find the right SketchUp for you.

Need to take SketchUp for a test drive first? Start your 3D journey with our free, 30-day trial

About the Author

When not creating content, Rianna enjoys indulging her curiosity. You can find her reading a book with her dog snuggled into her side, enjoying trips and outdoor adventures with her friends and family, and eating tasty meals (preferably cooked by others).

Profile Photo of Rianna Lowrance