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Design Challenge

Students create hallway designs to help residents navigate facility

By Anne Marie Yarbrough
THiNK Magazine

Along with the Village Square meeting area and apartments at Westminster Village, sophomore interior design students at Purdue had the opportunity to redesign the hallways outside of the apartments.

The student teams in the Purdue Interior Design Challenge aimed to make the spaces as accessible, functional, and visually pleasing as possible to ensure that the residents feel like they’re at home. One of their goals was to differentiate the various hallways, making it easier for residents to find their way.

While conversing with residents to receive feedback and get a sense of what they were looking for, student Mia Wallace heard a story that inspired her group to focus on making it easier to navigate the apartment halls.

“It can be kind of confusing when each hallway looks the same on every floor,” Wallace said. “One of the residents I was paired with said that one time she even went to a completely different floor, went all the way to the door she thought was hers, and put her key in it. It took her until then to realize that she wasn’t on the right floor.”

It became clear that this was an issue that needed to be addressed, and it was a challenge that Wallace’s group was more than willing to accept. They brainstormed different ideas of how to make each hallway unique, functional, and appealing.

“Way-finding is a huge thing that we’re trying to incorporate,” Wallace said. “That can be done in a lot of different ways, whether it’s each floor is a different color or if it’s something within the flooring itself.”

By listening to the residents’ feedback and working in a collaborative environment, the students were able to adapt their designs to fit the needs of their clients at Westminster Village. These students presented their designs at Westminster Village on March 3, and they’re eagerly awaiting the outcome of the residents’ voting on the best design concepts.