The students joined forced with Central Michigan University staff members to redesign the interior of the Midland Shelter for abused women and children while making a friendly environment for adults and children who enter the shelter.
The majority of the work involved redesigning the children’s areas at the shelter, a project that was already in the works by the shelter’s program designers. The program designer worked with an interior design instructor in the past and called on her and her interior design students to help design the youth spaces at the shelter.
The interior design students came up with concepts and designs that would fit within the shelter’s limited funding options and people from the shelter and with other volunteers that were on hand to help bring those designs to life. As one of the tougher scenarios an interior designer might face in a real-world scenario, the students had to go back and adjust their ideas several times as budgeting and funding changed throughout the course of the design phase.
This is often the case with interior designs for non-profit agencies and those who want to help people on a limited budget. While the interior designs of the shelter are important to the recovery process, especially among children and teens, there are still funding limitations. One of the big limitations is labor options – for this particular project, students had to come up with designs that could be executed by the volunteer labor to which the shelter had access.
This means that the interior design concepts had to be simple enough for others to understand – even without a professional architect or carpenter on hand. In the end, the interior design class made a significant change to the tone of the teen and play rooms at the shelter by recruiting the skills and products of an area high school sewing class.