One of the most rewarding feelings is giving back to a community through volunteer work. Several times this year, students in our studio have volunteered for the Jacksonville Center for the Arts doing various activities. On April 13th, the whole studio took a trip to the Jacksonville Center to help put together a shelving unit in one of their buildings and to help construct a shed-like structure. While we were there, we were to think about our newly assigned group projects – mine being redesigning the interior of the Straw Bale House (the building in which the shelving unit was installed).
While collaborating with a group of other interior design students, we decided that it was important to stay true to the Jacksonville Center’s mission and vision; “to facilitate and showcase artistic endeavors and creativity; to provide education in the arts throughout our rural community and region.” We also wanted to meet the various needs of the center by providing a space that could be easily transformable from a classroom, a gallery, a meeting spot, etc. With these in mind, it was easier to come up with a simple and affordable plan.
Taking each version the space would be used for (classroom, etc.) and coming up with a list of needs for each category helped to find overlaps where the needs would be the same. For example, a coffee table could easily be pulled out and double as a small child’s art table or a room dividing screen could easily double as a place to display artwork. By combining these needs, we were able to create a very versatile floor plan with furniture and other installments that estimated under $2,000 total.
I enjoyed this project because it allowed for the use and improvement of group working skills. Very quickly, we made a schedule and worked out hours we could meet and tried as best we could to evenly break up the work load. We used each other’s strengths to pull the project together cohesively. For example, someone could have been better at writing while another better at computer generated images, etc. The compromises and sacrifices we made as a group was a beneficial learning experience as it showed a little more clarity into our real world work-force.
Below are a few pictures of the Straw Bale House, the model we created, the poster we presented to the Jacksonville Center, and an informational booklet – enjoy!