Kirchoff ’06 Earns Prestigious Award – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Kirchoff ’06 Earns Prestigious Award

Sarah M. Kirchoff ’06 recently received a prestigious award from the Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD), a national design organization. The “Do A Lot with a Little” Award recognized her Master of Fine Arts graphic design thesis project, completed in 2008 at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

As part of the award package, SEGD fully sponsored a trip to Washington, D.C., in early June for both Kirchoff and her thesis adviser Professor Deborah Beardslee to attend the 2010 SEGD Annual Conference. Many of the winning projects in the 2010 SEGD Design Awards Program were designed to spur interaction, says Henry Beer, co-founder of CommArts (Boulder, Colo.) and chair of the 2010 Design Awards jury.

“The more people feel engaged, the more emotionally connected they are with a place,” says Beer. “Environmental graphics can be an incredibly effective way to promote that connection.”

Kirchoff’s project was titled, “The Context of Consumption,” and jurists noted: “The designer used visual metaphor, wit, and a high degree of resourcefulness to communicate the consequences of runaway waste and consumption. Placed in high-traffic, high-visibility locations, these installations spark conversations and, one would hope, action on the part of students to use prudence and common sense to diminish the impact of our contemporary culture’s habits.”

While at William Smith, Kirchoff was an art concentration major who minored in media and society. She participated in the Herald, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and completed an honors project titled, “Matron, Virgin, Fallen Woman: Female Sexuality as Commodity in Ancient Rome.”

The 43 winning projects represented a diverse, international array of work. This year’s winners were chosen from a field of 430 entries, a record for the design awards program established in 1987. International entries were the highest ever, representing 27 percent of the total entries.

The 2010 SEGD Design Awards were juried by a multidisciplinary team representing architecture, environmental and experience design, exhibition design, interaction design, and retail and healthcare environment planning and design. In addition to Beer, the jurors included Min Wang, dean of the School of Design at China Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing); Vaughn Davies, director of urban design and principal at EDAW (Los Angeles); Graham Hanson, principal of Graham Hanson Design (New York); Mitchell Mauk, principal of Mauk Design (San Francisco); Michael McBride, manager of public art and environmental graphic design for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; Caroline Oh, graphic/interaction designer with Potion (New York); Robin Perkins, co-found of Selbert Perkins Design (Playa del Rey, Calif.); and Leslie Smolan, principal of Carbone Smolan Agency (New York).

Ten Honor awards, 22 Merit awards, six Jury awards, and five projects cited for Doing a Lot with a Little were recognized at a June 3 luncheon during SEGD’s 2010 Conference + Expo, held June 2-5, in Washington, D.C.

More detailed information on Kirchoff’s award-winning project, including photos and project description is available online at

In the photo above, Kirchoff is pictured with Professor Deborah Beardslee.