ASID foundation announces recipients of legacy scholarships, Polsky award & prize, ENO grant  and David Barrett Memorial Scholarship

2023 Submissions Highlight Design in Education, Wellness and Academic Achievement 

(July 2023- Washington, D.C.) – The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation has announced the winners of its Legacy Scholarships, Polsky Award and Prize, Eno Grant, and the David Barrett Memorial Scholarship. The ASID Foundation, in partnership with ASID Industry Partners, provides annual scholarships and grants to expand research and knowledge around the impact of interior design on behavior, health, and well-being. 

“The ASID Foundation plays an integral role in ASID’s commitment to foster the future of design by providing aid and assistance to students and design professionals who will impact the design community,” said Khoi Vo, chief executive officer, ASID. “Each year, we highlight applicants who demonstrate exemplary academic achievement, contributions, and innovations with the goal to support the industry that is motived to build a better world for all.” 

The Legacy Scholarships are awarded to students of interior design that demonstrate academic accomplishment and creative achievement. The Polsky Award recognizes an outstanding interior design research project or thesis by students. The Polsky Prize acknowledges industry professionals’ outstanding academic contributions to interior design through print or digital communication. The Eno Grant is awarded to students, educators, or interior design practitioners who are developing educational programs or project that is dedicated to health, safety, and welfare. The David Barret Memorial Scholarship is awarded biennially to recognize the work of an outstanding student who demonstrates an interest and ability in utilizing classical design elements and traditional materials in their work.

The awardees of these scholarships and grants demonstrated estimable solutions, innovation, and measurable results on the impact of design.
The 2023 recipients of the Legacy Scholarships are Soorin Chung and Joshua Protil. 

Soorin Chung
As an interdisciplinary designer, Chung is passionate about enhancing people’s quality of life through empathetic design. With a master’s in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master’s in design from the University of Illinois at Chicago Chung brings a diverse skill set and experiences to her work. Chung’s work as an art therapy intern at the New Horizon Center for Children with Autism and time at the Diamond Headache Clinic inspired her work to design devices and spaces that suit specific needs.  For her thesis project in Industrial Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chung designed supportive therapeutic spaces, such as a relaxation pod, to address the mental health and well-being of university students on campuses. She is currently pursuing a master’s in interior architecture at George Washington University, with her capstone project focusing on designing a kindergarten for children with autism. 

Joshua Protil 
Protil is a third-year student at Virginia Tech pursuing a bachelor’s in interior design with a minor in pathways to sustainability. Before studying interior design, Protil studied architecture for two years, where he learned about the craft of design and the impact of interior environments. Here is where he developed a passion for curating discovery and focusing on how people can interact with space. This past fall semester, one of his collaborative studio projects was selected as a program finalist for the one-week, 2023 IDEC student competition. Last Spring, Protil was recognized with a scholarship for exemplary interior design studio work during the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 academic year, and most recently, was awarded the Studio Design Excellence Award for outstanding work during the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 academic year. Protil is passionate about enriching human experiences and investing his time and energy into creative solutions, and his projects reflect his initiative: to develop an elevated human experience by immersing the senses that turn the power of architecture into the empowerment of people.

The 2023 recipient of the Polsky Award is Rudy Dieudonne and the recipient of the Polsky Prizeis Sabah Mohammed.

Rudy Dieudonne
Dieudonne is currently a Doctoral Candidate within the department of design studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. His current research investigates the neurological effects of the standard classroom interior environment (acoustics & lighting) on preschool students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He entered this Doctoral program after completing a few years of professional practice as an architectural designer, where he specialized in educational facility design (K-12). Prior to entering the industry, he received his master’s in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his bachelor’s in design from the University of Florida (UF).

Sabah Mohammed 
Mohammed is an architectural designer and researcher at Perkins&Will. Mohammed is passionate about addressing healthcare challenges through the lens of human-centered design. Previously, Mohammed was an E. Todd Wheeler Health Fellow at Perkins&Will, Atlanta where she conducted research on healing environments for patients with behavioral health needs. Her background in evidence-based design informs her interest in creating better, more equitable environments and services that are grounded in research. Mohammed serves as a member of the Health Guideline Revision committee for the 2026 Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) cycle. Mohammed graduated with a master’s in design and health from the Department of Human-Centered Design at Cornell University and holds a bachelor’s in architecture from the National Institute of Technology, India. At Cornell, she was the recipient of the Patricia J. Harris Scholarship; the Epperson Entrepreneurship Fellowship; the K.C. Mahindra Scholarship and was honored as the 2022 Cornell University Graduate School Degree Marshall.

The 2023 recipient of the Irene Winifred Eno Grant is Hessam Ghamari.

Hessam Ghamari, PhD, LEED Green Associate
Dr. Ghamari is an Associate Professor of Interior Design for the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Dr. Ghamari has more than 15+ years of working as an architect and an interior designer in Iran and the United States. He has experience working on healthcare, hospitality, commercial, and residential projects. Prior to his appointment at CSUN, Dr. Ghamari taught at Appalachian State University for four years. He received his Ph.D. in environmental interior design in 2014 from Texas Tech University. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences on environmental psychology, evidence-based design, and healthcare design. The decision-making process in the interior design discipline should take the physiological and psychological needs of the people. Dr. Ghamari’s design philosophy revolves around providing healthy and humanistic environments that can positively impact its users–to improve the quality of life of people in different settings. This attests to his interest in interdisciplinary approaches to improve health and well-being outcomes in healthcare environments. His design philosophy revolves around providing healthy and humanistic environments that can positively impact the users of those spaces. From his perspective, design can significantly improve the health and well-being of the user of the environment. He is also the co-founder of IDO (Interdisciplinary Design Organization).

The 2023 recipient of the David Barrett Memorial Scholarship is Aleksandra Tolovikova. 

Aleksandra Tolovikova
Tolovikova received her bachelor’s in architecture and master’s in architecture from the Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia, in 2013. After graduation, she spent several weeks in Auckland, New Zealand, having an experience in international studying. In the fall of 2013, Aleksandra joined the “Project 2.0” company in her hometown as a designer. Working on numerous projects of different types, including historical renovations, workplaces, hospitality, and residential design, she obtained a project manager position over several years. Tolovikova moved to the United States in 2018, and started to try her hand at a foreign design market. Joining the “Kattenburg Architects” in September 2018, she worked on residential renovations getting familiar with local industry and codes. In 2021 Aleksandra decided to upgrade her educational level and applied for the UC Berkeley Extension Certificate program in Interior Design and Interior Architecture. Aleksandra is planning to graduate in December of 2023, and she is thrilled to receive knowledge, be a part of the professional community, and be a student member of ASID and IIDA. Aleksandra participates in student design competitions, and her recent achievement is the Grand Prize in the residential category of the 2022 Emerging Professionals Design Competition by Dunn-Edwards.
For more information on the ASID Foundation, visit  About the ASID Foundation The ASID Foundation advances the interior design profession by drawing upon its resources to promote meaningful collaboration and research, award scholarships, and fund projects that broaden the value of interior design. Created in 1975, the ASID Foundation’s mission is to support endeavors that capture and disseminate knowledge, encourage innovation, and benefit the health, safety, and welfare of the public through interior design research, scholarships, and education. The Foundation’s current initiatives include the National Building Museum Capital Council; The 1+ project with Public Architecture; CIDA’s Standards Development Project; the Transform Research Grant; and a comprehensive scholarship program.  # # #About ASID          
The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design impacts lives. Through its programs, networks, and advocacy, ASID serves all those who are a part of the interior design profession and practice. ASID thrives on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. As a leader in shared conversations around topics that matter in design, from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability, ASID showcases the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.  

ASID will mark its 50th anniversary in 2025. Celebrating 50 years of industry leadership, ASID is committed to broadening the impact for the future of design in all of the places we work, play, and heal. Learn more at
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