Riley DeVareness Wins Second Place in Architecture Competition

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Sophomore Riley DeVareness placed second in the local NEF Design Drafting Competition as part of the National Association for Women in Construction.

Architecture II teacher Allan Prescott approached DeVareness about joining the competition.

“At first I was a little hesitant to join because I wasn’t experienced with the program I was using, but having Mr. Prescott’s support and encouragement motivated me to enter the competition,” DeVareness said.

This competition encourages female students to participate in architecture and construction.

“I think it’s a good stepping stone into life to kind of get used to competing and getting things done in time. Because there was a deadline, there was a whole bunch of stuff that she had to keep up with,” Prescott said.

Each year, there is a different competitive theme that the students have to interpret and design for. This year’s task was to build a tiny home –– a skill that the Architecture II students have practiced.

“[I used] the online program Revit to create a tiny house, which is basically a small house on wheels. [This is] along with plans that allow you to actually build it,” DeVareness said. “I tried to make it feel like a blend of nature but feel homey at the same time. Since it’s a tiny home, I focused on designing it so it felt roomy and kind of made you feel like you were outside.”

Competitors had two to three months to prepare their projects in time for the Feb. 28 deadline.

“I liked the challenge of working on the project. It was a lot of fun learning a new program,” DeVareness said.

After judging was completed Mar. 1, DeVareness was informed that she had placed in the competition. As a part of her award, she won a $500 cash prize.

“I was shocked when I found out I won second place. It really makes you feel good when you work hard for something and then it pays off,” DeVareness said. “My plans after winning this are to put some money in a college fund and to keep making things beautiful.”

According to Prescott, this competition is not only about architecture, but also design –– the main goal is to encourage girls to take part in construction or explore things related to architecture.

“[I was] not particularly [interested] in architecture but in that area of design for sure, DeVareness said. “The class itself really made me realize how interested I was in this field of design.”

This is the first year Oak Park has participated in the NEF Design Drafting Competition; Prescott said that he hopes to share the contest with more students and encourage more girls to compete.

“I would tell anyone that wants to enter this competition to put in their full effort,” DeVareness said. “I honestly believe that if you try you will succeed in some way.”

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