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Design Challenge

Westminster Village residents select winning projects

By Anne Marie Yarbrough
THiNK Magazine

Over the past few months, sophomore interior design students at Purdue have been working hard to create new and improved living spaces for the residents of Westminster Village.

They worked in teams to collaborate with the residents and develop these designs and then presented their finished work at Westminster Village on March 3 for residents to review and vote for the winners. These presentations were the residents’ first look at the completed designs, and their presentations were an important part of the students’ projects.

Interior design professor Laura Bittner explained why this was a vital part of the process, as it applies for professional designers, as well.

“At this point in the design process, it’s all about selling your idea. It’s projecting yourself with enthusiasm and excitement,” Bittner said. “You have to be energized about this presentation that you’ve spent so much time on for someone else to feel energized about it.”

Video courtesy of Megan Furst, Westminster Village

After the presentations, the designs were displayed in the lobby of Westminster Village for another week. The students anxiously awaited the results of the vote, and the winners have finally been announced.

Each group of students was assigned a specific apartment layout to redesign, and two groups competed for each layout. The winners of the one-bedroom standard were Ryan Rivas, Danielle Henke, and Miranda McConnell. The winning design for the two-bedroom to one-bedroom-plus belonged to Korbin Williams, Sydney Kowal, and Fiona Cheung. The two-bedroom deluxe winners were Danielle Boulos, Haley Abdon, and Maddy Solis. The overall winners, having the winning designs for the two-bedroom standard and the Village Square shared living space, were Olivia Yarbrough, Mia Wallace, and Emma Gelbaugh.

The residents were involved throughout this project from providing feedback during the design process until the final presentations when it was time to vote. The students designined these living spaces specifically for residents of Westminster Village, so it was crucial to make sure they were actively involved in the design and voting processes.

In order to make a lasting and positive impression on the residents, the students had to sell their ideas during their presentations. Bittner explained the role of the final presentation in this type of interior design project.

“The best part of what they’re learning is how to really express themselves with design terms and having the knowledge to talk about scale, balance, color, texture,” Bittner said. “All of the things that make space aesthetically pleasing as well as work more functionally.”