Design Time

High School students in Mrs. Markum’s interior design class received an assignment from a special “client.” Head of School, Erick Streelman, tasked the class with developing a plan to revamping the High School lunch area.

Mr. Streelman shared his vision for the space — a coffee store feel (think Starbucks) in an outdoor bistro where students would want to “hang out,” designed to seat approximately 200 people at one time.

Students asked a variety of questions to help ascertain the parameters of the project. What is the budget? Can they have things built? What are the specific boundaries on campus that the area needs to be contained within?

Once they had a firm understanding of their client’s needs, students got to work. They implemented a series of planning steps that they had been learning about in class. For example, they measured their square footage, established where entrances and exits would need to go, and factored in standards for where major and minor walkways would need to be placed.

To help get the creative juices flowing, each student built a Pinterest page and posted pictures of designs and elements (e.g., furniture, decor) that inspired them, and then shared their their Top 10 Favorite posts in a slideshow presentation to Mr. Streelman.  Based on what he saw, Mr. Streelman provided additional feedback. This helped students further-define the project.

“After hearing from the client, students went back to the drawing board and developed ‘space plans’,” said Mrs. Markum. Using graph paper, they plotted the dimensions of the overall space and then overlaid additional pieces of graph paper, cut to size, for each individual element, such as furniture. “As they worked through their space plans, students needed to consider several specifications, such as how many people can sit at a table. Where needed, they rearranged their elements and reconfigured their plans.”

Once each student’s rough draft was approved, he/she prepared a final space plan which was ultimately presented to Mr. Streelman in a follow-up slideshow. “I was bowled over by what our kids did for this project!” said Mr. Streelman. “They totally caught the vision for what I was hoping to accomplish with this space — both creatively and functionally.”

Construction dates for the new lunch area have not yet been determined. In the meantime, our interior design students continue to build their knowledge base and learn more about how to make other spaces more visually appealing and functional.


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