Shelter Design Project- Interior Design Program

Shelter Design Project- Interior Design Program


– Knowing that our design was
going to be a benefit to others was really influential in how
we can move our careers forward to make design count for
something and help people. – It wasn’t about
impressing some client with a lot of money, and it
wasn’t about this huge space. It was about this
one small object that would be enough
for this one person. – We had an opportunity to
check out a current shelter at a church in lower
Queen Anne at St. Paul’s. And one thing that we
noticed is that they had mats on the floor and
storage bins for their things. So we wanted to
combine those things in a beautiful, functional way. – I think this is
a unique project to start with, because we
had real clients, clients that could talk about real
needs and what they experience. – We always kept this lady
in our mind and her words, and her– just the way that she was
talking, it felt super real. And I think that was the
most beneficial thing of this whole project. – And we also wanted to look
at the needs of the user and giving them a place of home,
a sense of place and autonomy. And being able to have a nightly
ritual is very important, and a good night’s sleep. – The other part
of it was actually building these prototypes. They had to understand
what their ideas– how they manifest
themselves and what it took to get something that built. – Usually, it’s kind of
like that we can see it in our computer, but it’s kind
of abstract to everyone else. Because we know our project
so well, but then when we get to see it actually
made– people can walk around and interact
with it, touch it, sit on it, it’s a completely
different experience. – The waiting [INAUDIBLE] – This is our chair
for changing the shoes or putting up your backpack. – Or before you go to sleep,
and just want to talk. – And some privacy– – And privacy, I know– – We had people with
sewing machines here. We had 3D printers. People were welding. They had all kinds of
ways to make these things. And we had an industrial
designer as part of the studio, so he was able to help
us navigate actually building prototypes. – So it was hard. It was a challenge,
because we wanted– I remember we wanted our bed
to sort of like slide out, but there was no like
actual tool or anything that actually did that function. And so we had to change
our project a little bit in order to actually
work in the real world. – How many can you
fit under there? – The way that
they’re designed now, not as many as you would like,
but with some adjustments we can get six underneath there. So it’s very nice
for six people. – It’s a modular. – It’s a modular. Nice. – At the end, they
also got to talk to elected officials and policy
makers about their projects. So they got to tell
people this is my idea, this is why I’m doing it,
and you should implement it. – We were really lucky to be
able to diversify our portfolio in this way and to have
different experiences that require different levels of
thought process and process work. – We did a lot of research
about homelessness. There’s been a lot
of articles written in the local
newspapers that were talking about the demographics. We were realizing that these
were really our neighbors. So it was really valuable
for us as designers to understand the
humanity and have some empathy for people
that are in this predicament at this point. – What we felt like was the
most important to these people was just having their own
space, their own private space in this huge place that
doesn’t seem like home. So we wanted every person to
have their own unique cabinet where they could store
their stuff in the back, and then they could
write their name on it. And it was the right
height for if they needed to write resumes,
or write letters, or iron their shirts. They had their own home. – And it just– – Our group, we really
want to focus on privacy, collapse-ability, and community. We decided to have
a product where they can use it to sit
together for a communal aspect, and use it for socialization,
kind of like a sofa. And then have one
side come down so that, that can be
adapted into a bed. – Moving on, I should think
of my projects in this way. Like, I should think of a real
person, of a real problem, and focus my design and my
design process on that idea. So I have to thank Michael
for such a great experience, because it really
was unforgettable, and we learned so
much from this.

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