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Announcing the Mark V. Looper Award for Design Collaboration

There's a new award being offered in time for the 2018 Student Design Competition already underway.

“We've added the 'Mark V. Looper Award for Design Collaboration,' because Mark was a champion of collaboration,” notes Andrew McQuilkin, FRDI, chairman of the Student Design Competition." Throughout his career, McQuilkin explains, "Mark invited and inspired individuals to work together. So the Institute feels strongly about using this opportunity to recognize those who do at the earliest stages in their design profession."

The Institute's International Executive Board approved the recognition in January and determined the award would go to the Student Group winner -- in Mark's memory. The Student Design Prize Fund is currently funded with proceeds from the International Design Competition entry fees and the Awards Gala ticket sales. Now, anyone can contribute to the Looper award.

The Looper Award Committee has formed thanks to the leadership of McQuilkin along with Tony Camilletti, RDI, Nancy Jackson, Alison Embrey Medina, Marilyn Miller, Matt Nurre, RDI and Jessie Sanders, RDI, with a goal of raising several thousand dollars this year for the first recipients while building an endowment for future awards. Contributions from individuals and firms at any amount are welcome. All contributions will be acknowledged in future newsletters and on the Institute’s website. Have questions about contributing? Contact

About Mark V. Looper, RDI (1958 – 2017): Mark joined the Institute (then the Institute of Store Planners) in 1996 through the New York Chapter. At that time Mark was a young architect working for Tiffany & Co. as group director of store design. He would later hold positions with Old Navy as director of store and fixture design, and with Polo Ralph Lauren as director of store lifecycle planning. At the time of his passing last August, Mark was director of store design and construction at Payless ShoeSource, and a member of the St. Louis Chapter.

About the Student Design Competition: Since 1971 and every year since, the Institute offers a competition for design students that simulates the real world conceptual development of a retail store. The goal of the quarter/semester long curriculum is to give educators a tool that helps students develop a process around how they solve design problems. And, it's a way to encourage and recognize the emerging design talent. The Institute hopes that the competition is an effective way to interest students in the dynamic, customer-focused and strategic career of retail design.

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