Regional Design Annual 2015: South

The Regional Design Annual is America’s preeminent design competition. View the winners of the 2015 RDA from the South below, or enter the 2016 RDA.

SFried okra, magnolias, the blues, Southern literature. These are a few bits of Southern nostalgia Ann Willoughby holds dear, as she was born and raised in Mississippi. The judge of the South region in the RDA exudes Southern charm and style, and it isn’t just because of her warming accent. The founder of Willoughby Design is engaging and has been a driving force in the design world for decades.

Perhaps it’s best to let Willoughby recap her own career in a nutshell: “Young girl in Mississippi, civil rights, visual merchandiser, fashion illustrator, freelancer, teacher, sketchbooks, startup, 37 years working with truly amazing designers and clients (Lee Jeans, Bagel and Bagel, Hallmark, IBC, AIGA, Aspen Design Conference, TED conference, Three Dog Bakery, Gordon Mackenzie, KU, KC Art Institute, HOW, Kevin Carroll, sketchbooks, Einstein Bros Bagels, Willoughby Barn, Spin Pizza, Kauff man Foundation, United Nations, sustainability, good food, Mohawk, Kansas City: Visit KC, KC Chamber, Max, Streetcar, Lyric Opera), AIGA Fellow, AIGA Medal, AIGA Centennial 2014, sketchbooks, young at heart woman in Kansas City.”

A self-proclaimed foodie, Willoughby’s appetite was fed by the surplus of RDA entries relating to cuisine. “Interest in regional food and restaurants has always been a hallmark of the South, and it is wonderful to see the fresh and inventive work in this category,” she says.

All told, she relished channeling her roots while judging the RDA this year. “Some of the best firms and designers live in the region now,” Willoughby says. “I am delighted to find work that feels fresh and joyful.”

Regional Design Annual Winners from the South