Inspiring Trendsetters—LPK Partners with Interior Design Students for International Design Competition

17 Dec 2013
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For the past four years, the LPK Trends team has partnered with the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) to provide trend insights and strategy to prepare students for the annual Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) design competition.

In its 19th year, PAVE’s annual competition is focused on encouraging students to create a real-life retail design experience. The students were challenged to reimagine Sephora’s store design and visual merchandising, and DAAP students represented three of the top six winners out of more than 500 entries submitted from across the globe.

“LPK works to identify the stage of various retail and category trends to help our clients maintain relevance and a competitive advantage,” said Creative Director of Trends Bryan Goodpaster. “With our partnership with DAAP, it only made sense that we would teach students how to leverage trends to create their own competitive edge.”

At LPK, we are committed to inspiring and being inspired as creatives. There’s nothing we enjoy more than sharing our insights with the future leaders of our industry.

“LPK was a huge source of inspiration in the initial phases of my project,” says UC DAAP student Jennifer Bukovec. “I wanted to focus on the idea of storytelling but was unsure of how to make it tangible for both Sephora as a retailer and for the consumers. When LPK shared their insight on trends in retail it really shaped my concept of how to tell a branded story that engages the consumer.”


Left: An excerpt from Jennifer Bukovec’s project. Right: Three of the six winners at the 17th annual PAVE gala. Photo credit: Jennifer Bukovec

Bukovec’s design focused on making an experiential storyboard where Sephora becomes the setting, the client becomes the main character and the fixtures and products become the props. It featured elements that physically responded to clients in the form of interactive screens, light installations and virtual mirrors. These empowered each customer to engage and truly become the author of their own story.

“The students came to LPK with great ideas already,” said Vice President and Managing Creative Director Liz Grubow. “We helped them consider evaluating their projects outside a North American perspective and apply a global filter to their work. When a business sees how something comes to life in a global sense, it makes that idea much more relevant.”

Congratulations to Interior Design students Lauren Ferrell and Gabrielle Enzweiler for placing first and third, respectively, in the visual merchandising category and to Interior Design student Jennifer Bukovec for placing second in the story design category.

Click here to read more about the PAVE design award competition.

Bryan Goodpaster is a creative director at LPK, where he is often called upon for his non-traditional approach and strategic consultancy—helping crack wicked brand problems and strategic conundrums for many category-leading brands. Part semiotician, part psychologist, Bryan has known what you really meant by that for over 15 years. Follow Bryan on Twitter at @bryangoodpaster or email him at

Liz Grubow is a vice president and managing creative director at LPK. With over 20 years of experience and through her extensive travels around the globe, her insights have led to holistic brand identities for leading global beauty brands. Email Liz at