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BYU student wins national award with grass shower design

Some people have their best ideas during their morning shower. For Brigham Young University industrial design student Jared Weston, his best idea was a morning shower.

As a result of his novel design -- a circular shower basin surrounded with 6-foot-tall, broad blades of green plastic that resemble grass -- the senior from Logan, Utah, won first place in a national competition.

"Walking on grass with bare feet is nice," said Weston. "So I thought about how great it would be to stand in tall, wet grass."

On April 11, Weston will travel to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Orlando, Fla., where he will see firsthand a working model of his shower design, called "Grassroots."

Richard Fry, program chair for BYU's industrial design program, said Weston's wilderness-imitating design illustrates how students are taught to combine art and technology.

"It is a good example of asking some fundamental questions of things we use and coming up with something that makes the user's life richer," Fry said.

For the competition, acrylic surface manufacturer Lucite asked students to create a unique shower, bath or sink design. Winners received $500 and a trip to Orlando to see a model of their work. Weston's entry was chosen from 70 submissions of students at colleges and universities across the nation.

"The people at Lucite seem to be excited about my design," Weston said. "I really wanted to make a whole new way to shower, and I feel like I did that."

The Kitchen and Bath Industry show runs April 11 to 13 and is expected to draw 40,000 visitors. Weston's shower will be the center of Lucite's display.

Jill Moore, public relations director for the Lucite competition, said students typically attract a lot of attention at the show, because interior design journalists attending the conference love to see up-and-coming designers.

As excited as Weston is that his project was selected as the competition's winning entry, he is even more eager to take his swimming suit to Orlando and see just how good his "Grassroots" design really is.

Writer: Betsy McIff

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