September 27, 2023
by: AIA New York
Recipe for a Room 2023 winning project, a miniature room in green felt with a min chair and desk inside it
Judges Favorite: Rhythmic Citadel by Haochuan (Eric) Feng, Student, Pratt Institute, and Eric Gering, AIA, Founder, Eric Gering Architect.

Hosted by the AIANY Interiors Committee, Recipe for a Room is a model-making contest about building spatial, sculptural, miniature rooms while fostering creativity and professional mentorship. The 2023 edition benefits NAMI-NYC, the metro area organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families in the US.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater appreciation for what one can accomplish within a place of comfort, as well as increased societal awareness of mental health issues. This year’s contest asked student competitors to create a space of respite for one—a place to spend one day or one night, with the freedom to define what their room provides respite from. Two-person teams, each comprised of a student and architect mentor, designed small-scale places of respite using fabric as the building medium. Winners were determined during a live contest event on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. 


Judges Favorite: Rhythmic Citadel
Haochuan (Eric) Feng, Student, Pratt Institute
Eric Gering, AIA, Founder, Eric Gering Architect


Audience Favorite: A Bird’s Nest
Vernice Riego, Student, Syracuse University
Chuck Wolf, AIA, Associate Principal, Ennead Architects


Honorable Mention: The Lulling Lounge
Sherry Aine Te, Student, Columbia University
Andrew Bernheimer, FAIA, Founder, Bernheimer Architecture


The following additional teams had an opportunity to present their completed room to a live audience. Congratulations to all the participating teams!

Christy Thai, Student, Pratt Institute
Astrid Lipka, AIA, Principal, Rice+Lipka Architects
(Received Citation for Clarity of Presentation)

Inaya Imran, Student, Pratt Institute
Yunyuan Scott Deng, AIA, Senior Architect and Project Manager, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Evelyn Liu, Student, New York School of Interior Design
Samantha Josephat-Medina, RA, NCARB, NOMA, Principal, Studio 397 Architecture

Theodore Dokla, Student, Syracuse University
Varun Kohli, FAIA, Director of Sustainability, Corgan

Fabiha Anjum, Student, The Cooper Union
Jarrett Pelletier, Associate Partner, Ennead Architects

Shriya Arora, Student, The New School
Brian Messana, AIA, Founder, Messana O’Rorke

Amora McConnell, Student, Columbia University
Bethany Borel, WELL AP, Associate Partner, COOKFOX


Thank you to our renowned jury:

Mark Gardner, AIA, NOMA, Principal, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects
Latoya Nelson Kamdang, AIA, Director of Operations, Ennead Architects
Radhika Singh, Associate, WXY + architecture + urban design


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