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

December 12, 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 Miek Payette at the National Theatre School of Canada. 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," says 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," says 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 UK and the US. An expert panel of international judges evaluated 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 Elishca 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 Ostroda" 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 Involvment - Publiv 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 Theatre 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," says 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 in their local currency. As the Richard Diehl Award winner, 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 Designs Ste software at

To learn more about Vectorworks academic programs, visit