interior designers of canada designers d'intérieur du canada

This year, IDC created a new opportunity exclusively for Canadian interior design students. The purpose of this competition is to provide students with a national platform to demonstrate the value of interior design and illustrate the positive impact design has on the users of the spaces, supported by evidence-based research.

Congratulations to Leah Lorentz and Basharatullah Rahmat! The two winners of the Innovation in Design Thinking – IDC Student Competition will be honoured at the IDC Awards Celebration on October 13, 2021.

Leah Lorentz, Award of Excellence for Innovation in Design Thinking
Project: ‘Our House: A shelter for those facing homelessness’


« Design changes lives, it can alter personal narratives, and assist in changing one’s trajectory in life.”




Leah Lorentz is a Kitchener, ON based Intern Interior Designer at SRM Architects where she is beginning her career with the intent to build a holistic understanding of the built environment. A recent graduate from the Bachelor of Interior Design (honours) degree program at Conestoga College, Leah graduated with distinction and a focus on the housing needs for those facing homelessness. Leah has a strong connection and passion towards projects that bring communities together, increase wellbeing, and reduce barriers between the built and natural environment.

Judges’ comments: This project utterly blew us away, initially with its written description, and then also with the resulting design solution. This student has a deep knowledge of and respect for the homeless community, and has designed a space that is inspired and informed by the complex human needs of homeless persons. What set this project apart was the evident research into the deep personal trauma that is at the root of 100% of the growing societal issue of homelessness. The resulting facility is a place of prospect and refuge, allowing residents to feel safe while supporting the individual journey towards re-integration into society and meaningful work.

Basharatullah Rahmat, Award of Merit for Innovation in Design Thinking
Project: ‘Wahid’



« What I love about design is how a building can serve a purpose while also being a work of art.”



Basharatullah’s passion for design sparked at a very young age when experimenting with 3D software. Ever since he has chased his passion and recently completed the Bachelor of Interior Design program with honors at Mount Royal University. During the four year degree, he expanded his expertise and skills in design while also discovering his own design style. In his second year, Basharatullah and a colleague started a freelance company called BASA Designs. When the pandemic hit and jobs decreased, BASA Designs allowed him to work from home while attending classes. Basharatullah continues to work as a freelance designer and is currently looking for a Junior / Intermediate Interior Design position this fall.

Judges’ comments: At the heart of this project is a very personal story of belonging. Wahid in Arabic means « one-ness », or « absolute one » and this project reflects on three aspects – monotheism, congregation, and unity. Wahid would provide a space where all can come together as one, to socialize, and feel welcomed. This student recognizes the societal norms of separation of men and women in the community, yet seeks to break physical design barriers to encourage perceived interactions of ‘wahid’, oneness of everyone within a shared Muslim facility of faith.

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