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Vectorworks, Inc. Unveils 2023 Design Scholarship Winners, Selects Brenda Vaca Michan as Richard Diehl Winner

Press release -

Vectorworks, Inc. Unveils 2023 Design Scholarship Winners, Selects Brenda Vaca Michan as Richard Diehl Winner

Seventh Vectorworks Design Scholarship Honors 21 Talented Students with Awards.

Columbia, MD (December 11, 2023)—Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. has revealed the winners of this year’s Vectorworks Design Scholarship, naming Brenda Vaca Michan as the Richard Diehl Award winner. With over 1,000 submissions, scholarships were awarded to 21 students for 18 projects in the architecture, interior design, landscape and entertainment industries.

The winning Richard Diehl submission “Venus” by Vaca Michan is a lighting design project for the 19th-century play written by Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Mike Payette at the National Theater School of Canada. Vaca Michan utilized Vectorworks Spotlight for the lighting design to maintain consistency when working with the lighting plots for a diverse cast.

"Brenda's project description communicated the long and complicated journey of the main character and how she resonated with the plot," said Len Levine, lighting designer, International Cinema Lighting Society member and one of this year's Scholarship judges. "Secondly, she perfectly used light to create different moments as the set piece remained the same throughout while trying to maintain a cohesive look for the show. Finally, her clear documentation in the overhead and deck plots made the show straightforward to rigging.”

“Vectorworks has allowed me to understand space and light as an imperfect language,” said Vaca Michan. “I’m extremely appreciative of this award as it signifies strength to my thoughts, voice and creation.”

The selected winners represent many countries worldwide, including Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. An expert panel of international judgesevaluated all submissions on design, technology, originality, presentation and writing.

Vectorworks congratulates this year's winners:

Architecture Winners:

  • “Bunny” by Kenneth Anggara and Marco Kuo, University of British Columbia
  • “Cohabitation Berlin” by Lena Polte and Celina Rodewald, Leibniz University Hannover
  • “Loch on Wood” by Dylan Baliski, University of Dundee
  • “Over the Coal Ruins” by Nicolas Moraga, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
  • “Reground” by Elischa Bischof, ETH Zurich
  • “Sailing in the Valley” by Yuta Saito, Tokyo University of the Arts

Interior Design Winners:

  • “Designing security in isolation. Supportive penal architecture based on conceptual interior design project of women's prison in Ostróda” by Ksenia Makala, Academy of Fine Arts Katowice
  • “Nightsleeper - Redesign of the Interior” by Hanna Leiber, Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences
  • “Unite Student Accommodation Design Proposal” by Kimberly Affleck, Solent University
  • “[Waves] High Involvement – Public Art in the Park” by Li Zhounan, Osaka University of Art

Landscape Winners:

  • “Church Street Escape” by Zoya Mohsin, Barlett School of Architecture
  • “Journey - A Regeneration Process of New Life” by Muen Zhang, Harvard University
  • "Together City Alone" by Vincent Wenk and Katharina von Unold, Technical University of Munich
  • “Retrofitting for the Symbiocene” by Hannah Merrett-Kaufman, Victoria University of Wellington

Entertainment Winners:

  • “(Mourning) Star” by Xotchil Musser, Carnegie Mellon University
  • “The Gemstone Forum - Marc Palladis” by Jakob Grimm, Central Hesse University of Applied Sciences
  • “Urban Sprawl” by Enza Kim, University of the Arts London
  • “Venus” by Brenda Vaca Michan, National Theater School of Canada

“The winning project “Venus” has an excellent blend of design and intentionality that brings the true story of this play to fruition,” said Vectorworks Product Marketing Manager – Entertainment Joshua Schulman. “This year’s winners should be very proud of their achievements. It’s evident the next generation will continue to make ground-breaking contributions to the design community.”

Winners received the equivalent of up to $3,000 USD in their local currency. As the Richard Diehl Award winner, Vaca Michan received an additional prize package, including the equivalent of $7,000 USD in local currency and professional networking opportunities. Winners’ schools will also receive free Vectorworks Design Suite software and free virtual workshop training for faculty and students.

Visit the Vectorworks Design Scholarship web gallery to view all 18 winning designs, runner-up projects and projects from past years.

Students and instructors can apply for a free individual copy of Vectorworks Design Suite software at

To learn more about Vectorworks academic programs, visit



About the Nemetschek Group

The Nemetschek Group is a globally leading software provider for digital transformation in the AEC/O and media industries. Its intelligent software solutions cover the entire lifecycle of building and infrastructure projects and enable creatives to optimize their workflows. Customers can design, build, and manage buildings and infrastructures more efficiently and sustainably and develop digital content such as visualizations, films and computer games more creatively. The software provider is driving innovations such as digital twins as well as open standards (OPEN BIM), and sustainability in the AEC/O industry, constantly expanding its portfolio by also investing in deep-tech startups. Currently more than seven million users worldwide are shaping the world with the customer-focused solutions of our four divisions. Founded by Prof. Georg Nemetschek in 1963, the Nemetschek Group today employs around 3,600 experts globally.

Publicly listed since 1999 and quoted on the MDAX and TecDAX, the company generated revenues amounting to EUR 801.8 million and an EBITDA of EUR 257.0 million in 2022.


Jeremy Powell

Jeremy Powell

VP Marketing Vectorworks +1 443.542.0652