Interior Design College Creates Exterior of 215 West, Chicago

An interior design college in Chicago presented its students with a contest being held by 215 West to design the exterior of the apartments in a way that draws pedestrians into their lobby.

The students at Harrington College of Design paired up to spearhead their challenge and produced design ideas that impressed the President of Jupiter Communities, LLC; the company that owns the apartment tower community.

The students at the interior design college began their challenge by drawing out their concepts for illustration and predicting the costs of their designs. They had to consider all facets of the building’s exterior, including considerations in how the elements will affect their designs. Other considerations with which the students become familiar during their coursework include appeal, lighting, and legalities surrounding exterior design. The city ordinances regarding signs and lighting, as well as electrical availability were imperative to the design process.

The projects provided the interior design students with an opportunity to learn about the business aspects of interior designing, as well. Although many of the skills required for a successful career in interior design are taught in the classroom, weighing budget considerations against the design concept is a skill best learned through real-world application.

The company ultimately chose a design by a couple of students that was “practical and effective as well as memorable” according to Kellie DeVilbiss, the President of Jupiter Communities. The design was also chosen because it would work best to garner attention in the day and in the night.

The winning interior design students, Erin Costello and Justin Ko, involved vertical banners around the entrance to the building and instituted lighting to draw attention to the entryway. Their design is also flexible, allowing 215 West the ability to update the appeal by changing the banners and lighting when they choose to do so.