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AUS student team builds wall from reclaimed wood
In order to create a "sustainable" project, interior design students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) created a wall made of reclaimed materials taken from a Bee'ah landfill. The wall is the result of a semester-long design/build project for the Interior Design 402 Studio at the AUS College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD).
Design/build is a growing educational approach to teaching design where students are presented with real-life experience dealing with clients, budget, schedules, collaboration, planning, material use and actual fabrication.
The idea was for the students to create a "practically free" project by combining sweat equity and reclaimed materials and accomplishing all aspects of delivery themselves. According to the students involved in the project, their approach navigated the blurred horizon between what they expected and what they thought was possible. The resulting design was a wall made of reclaimed wood from Bee'ah landfills constructed next to the dean's office in the CAAD building, a space tailored for reflection and inspiration.
"As graduating seniors, the design/build class helped us move beyond modeling software into a real world experience where we faced the real challenges of building; including issues such as satisfying client needs, scheduling and handling budget. Our clients were absolutely pleased with the outcome, and we now feel prepared to begin our careers," said Reem Helal.
"Design/build removes the abstraction of the traditional fictitious design project; it allows students to test their ideas in real time and it empowers them with the confidence and knowledge of seeing a project through from beginning to end," said Daniel Chavez, laboratory instructor at CAAD. "While CAAD has had many successful design/build studios for the architecture program, this is the first design/build studio implemented for interior design. This culminates the four-year program by giving senior students an opportunity to see their ideas realized."
As the instructor of the studio, Chavez provided conceptual and logistical direction to the course using his experience as an architect and fabricator. The studio was initially imagined as a young design firm that received its first project. The students conducted interviews with the clients, in this case the administrators CAAD from the Dean to the administration personnel.
The studio is a required course in the AUS Bachelor of Interior Design degree program.