Students Create Designs for Local Library
December 22, 2015
(DENVER, CO December 2015) – Interior Design students at The Art Institute of Colorado recently had the opportunity to turn the skills they’ve learned in the classroom into designs for a local library. When Pat Martin, the Digital Teacher-Librarian at Stevens Elementary in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, needed some design assistance, she turned to friend who happened to be a graduate of The Art Institute of Colorado. This friend got her connected to the school and Patrick Soran’s Presentation Techniques class, which led to a team of nine students taking on the project. “They were eager to jump into a real, real-world design problem,” Soran said.
That problem was to bring some liveliness to a bland box library designed for pure efficiency. Soran broke the class into three teams: programming, measuring and photographing. The programming team interviewed Pat Martin and the school’s principal extensively to discover exactly what they needed and wanted. The measuring team documented the existing space, measuring it and developing floor plans and interior elevations.
After the students shared their information, they prepared informal, desk presentations of their ideas. Since the class is focused on making presentations, they then took their design ideas and crafted hand-built design boards. The following week student presented individually to a group of 25 parents, teachers and administrators in the library at Stevens. “The designs are wonderful,” said one parent.
Designs ran the gamut from simple colors and signage to elaborate forest fantasies complete with student-created “forest friends.” Two students used Dr. Seuss books to create environments rich with images and inspirational quotations. One student created a trip back in time with vignettes of historic moments which would house books about that period. Another envisioned a trip into Alice’s Wonderland. “We are so honored that the students listened to our needs so carefully,” said Martin. “And responded so creatively.”
Martin set the boards up and created a voting system. Faculty, staff, parents, the library volunteers and the PTA voted to work together with student Juli Krueger-Andes, a student in the Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design degree program. Her concept is titled Eagle’s Nest. Krueger-Andes used the school’s mascot, an eagle, as a graphic symbol to help students find particular areas of the library. Using aspen-inspired wallcovering she turned a corner of the library into a retreat where adults and students both can work and read together. She selected adjustable tables that can be set to an adult’s or a child’s height. “I thought it was important to respond to everyone who uses the library,” Krueger-Andes says, “not just the kids.”
Juli will discuss an implementation plan with the library in early 2016.
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