1st Place Group: The Wild Gateway

DesignWeek 2023 kicked off the Spring semester with a bang! Envisioned as a dynamic and immersive experience to bring together students for an intensive one-week project, this collaborative endeavor replaced regular studio activities, allowing students to fully immerse themselves in the creative process. Working in groups of 8-10,  students from all years of undergraduate and graduate programs in landscape architecture and interior design joined forces to tackle a specific design challenge, leveraging their unique skill sets and perspectives. Each group was led by an upper-level student and was paired with a faculty advisor. The event served as a high-energy and collaborative experience, kickstarting the semester studios with enthusiasm and teamwork.

2nd Place Group: Kangaroo Kroo

DesignWeek was initiated and organized by a volunteer committee of landscape architecture and interior design faculty in the Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State. The objective was to invigorate and revitalize the studio culture at CAP, which had been affected by the challenging circumstances of COVID-19, with a clear intention to ignite a positive transformation. The focus was on reversing the temporary decline in vertical studio and cross-disciplinary interaction and nurturing a thriving and dynamic studio environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, and the exchange of ideas.

The result was a powerful opportunity to reignite the passion and camaraderie among students and faculty, creating a vibrant atmosphere and energy at the beginning of the semester.


3rd Place Group: The Human Exhibit

THE PROJECT – Indianapolis Zoo Café

The project for DesignWeek involved defining and creating a “Threshold” between indoor and outdoor spaces, focusing on a Café and its immediate surroundings at the Indianapolis Zoo. The chosen site provided a central location with both interior and exterior spaces. The decision to work with the zoo was also facilitated by the existing professional relationship with Browning Day, who provided base materials and served as the jury for the final projects. The project scope was deliberately open-ended to allow each group to tailor a response that drew on the unique skillsets of their members.

“This experience was outstanding! Students who all call CAP home were exposed to significant programs in other buildings that they had never experienced. They made new friends, learned common design skills, shared design strategies, learned to appreciate different points of view…the list goes on. At first, some students were hesitant to really go all-in because it was a new experience. But once the deadline started to get close and drawings started to get posted, the design energy got revved up and the students rose to the challenge.”   – Craig Farnsworth, Roan Distinguished Professor of Practice in Landscape Architecture


Jurors’ Award: Primate Paradise


The students gained valuable experience and outcomes from the Design Week event. It provided an opportunity for them to learn from people outside of their studio, interact with older students as role models, and develop common design skills. The collaborative experience between ID and LA students was described as outstanding, with students exposed to significant programs in other buildings and disciplines. They formed new friendships, learned to appreciate different points of view, and collectively rose to the challenge presented by the project.



Dr. Rob Shumaker, President and CEO, Indianapolis Zoo
Drew Braley, Browning Day, BSU BLA 2005
Tom Green, Browning Day, BSU BLA 2007
Larry Roan, Browning Day (retired), BSU BLA 1977


2nd-year landscape students Skylar Prewitt and Grace Provenzano share their favorite thing about DesignWeek here.



Note: Groups had 8-10 students, Teams combined 4 Groups. There were 7 Teams and 28 Groups.

  • 1st Place Team: Collaborative Con-zoo-vation (40 students)
  • 1st Place Group: The Wild Gateway (Ciera Silva, Jaclyn Bulmahn, Jesse Coakley, Noah Keinath, Destiny Moore, Shamari Muhammad, Kennady Sloniger, Danielle Stine, Marly Watson, Sarah Alfaro – Faculty Advisor)
  • 2nd Place Group: Kangaroo Kroo (Rianna Schwartz, Jared Heitkamp, Reese Higginbotham, Mallory Lehmkuhler, Courtney Mummert, Dharma Niles, Hayley Olson, Emma Peeler, Taylor Trowbridge, Sarah Weber, Natalie Yates – Faculty Advisor)
  • 3rd Place Group: The Human Exhibit (Ana Hooten, Leslie Cox, Ethan Craven, Kylie Hagerman, Danielle Hembrock, Jennifer Irby, Emilee Lemmer, Molly Page, Malcolm Cairns – Faculty Advisor)
  • Jurors’ Award: Primate Paradise (Morgan Getz, James DeRango, Holly Gillespie, Therese Jirgal, Tyler Muse, Skylar Prewitt, Prakritee Sharma Subedi, Tori Vega, Paige Zoran, Craig Farnsworth – Faculty Advisor)



Craig Farnsworth, LA
Russ Richey, ID
April Westcott, LA
Sarah Alfaro, ID
Jeremy Merrill, LA


Sarah Alfaro
Russ Richey
Jake Son
Shireen Kanakri
Reza Ahmadi
Ann Hildner
Laurynn Thieme
Chris Baas
Joe Blalock
Malcolm Cairns
Dorna Eshrati
Craig Farnsworth
Chris Marlow
Jeremy Merrill
Taylor Metz
Susan Tomizawa
April Westcott
Natalie Yates