Design in the Real World

Designing with a strong foundation in the built environment and with real clients and projects allows you to apply your design knowledge within realistic constraints for responsible, thoughtful design solutions.

Some recent examples include:

Discovery Science and Outdoor Center of Ocala, Florida

Senior Interior Design students and faculty from the University of Florida collaborated with the city of Ocala to develop proposals for adaptively using and renovating the Tuscawilla Park Armory (ca.1940) as the new home of the Discovery Science and Outdoor Center (DSOC). The mission of DSOC is to create an opportunity for community members to explore the world around them through science, art, and nature through hands-on science and outdoor center. It features exhibits and special programs for children and adults.
Interior design students undertook pre-design research, including interviews with DSOC staff and analysis of other discovery science center to develop a program, design and branding concept. Students then developed schematic designs for adaptively using and adding onto the 13,000-square-foot Armory to accommodate, among other uses: offices, workshop spaces, and permanent and rotating exhibitions. Final designs were presented to representatives from the City of Ocala, DSOC staff and board members at the Armory.

Image: Senior Interior Design students and faculty from the UF-ID collaborated with the city of Ocala to develop proposals for renovating the Tuscawilla Park Armory (ca.1940) as the Discovery Science and Outdoor Center (DSOC). Axonometric by Jodie Mader.

 Riverview High School Project of Sarasota, Florida

Located near Siesta Key in Sarasota, Riverview High School was a seminal post-World War II school designed by renowned United States architect Paul Rudolph. The Sarasota County School Board announced that Riverview High School would be demolished and replaced with a new complex. Following an outcry from the architecture and design community, the School Board granted a one-year stay of demolition that would allow the newly-formed Save Riverview Committee of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) to develop alternatives for rehabilitating and reusing the original 1958 complex.
In collaboration with SAF, students studied Riverview High School first-hand by traveling to document and assess the building complex over a three-day period. After completing documentation and analysis, students, working in teams of four, developed design solutions for a range of mixed-use residential, office, and cultural purposes. Among the project outcomes, the existing conditions documentation, which was completed to the standards of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS), was used by SAF in the organization’s international rehabilitation and reuse design competition. The students’ proposals were well received at a public presentation held in the auditorium of the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Image: HABS documentation and design plans for the rehabilitation of a historic high school.

Living Green Residential Learning Community

Interior Design students developed a service-learning studio project in collaboration with the University of Florida campus housing authorities. Junior-level students explored design solutions for retrofitting the Diamond Village graduate and family housing complex. The studio project emphasized pre-design research through literature review, experiential activities, user surveys, and LEED assessment. Student projects were used by the institutional client to envision sustainability enhancements and possible application of the learning community model with a sustainability focus to this existing community. One of the student proposals earned first place in a statewide student competition.

Image:  Service learning opportunity looking at sustainability as important to design development.
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