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Interior design students nominated for professional industry award
An office space designed and constructed by interior design students and faculty from the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) from American University of Sharjah (AUS) has been shortlisted for a Commercial Interior Design Award this month. The design embodies sustainable use of materials and office practices.
A group of 15 senior interior design students transformed the AUS Office of Sustainability in December 2017 from a traditional working space into a layout that reflects the philosophy and practice of the office. The Office of Sustainability aims to transform AUS into the most sustainable university community in the region.
Shelving systems and furniture for the office were made by the students using construction waste from a local contractor, while new materials such as paint and carpet were sustainable products. Furthermore, the class defined a sustainable office as having good views to the exterior, a variation of workspace possibilities, an abundance of live plants and specially made task lighting to eliminate the use of overhead lights.
The project reflects CAAD’s “culture of making” and was entirely prefabricated on campus within the college’s state-of-the-art material fabrication lab, which includes a woodshop and a metal shop.
The student project is in the running for a Commercial Interior Design (CID) Award in the “Office” category. The CID Awards recognize outstanding projects, interior design firms and designers within the region’s interior design industry. Winners of the award will be announced at a ceremony in Dubai on September 19, 2018.
The project was led by Assistant Professor Daniel Chavez, who highlighted the significance of this nomination as it represents the only student project on the shortlist, with the others being the work of professional interior design firms in the UAE.
Chavez said, "The Design/Build Studio was approached by John Katsos, Director of the Office of Sustainability and Associate Professor, to help represent green ideas and tasked the studio to redesign the idea of a sustainable office.”
“The director allowed the studio much flexibility in the design but was adamant that the new design was to use primarily recycled material. Using prototyping and one-to-one material experimentation, the studio created a system using construction waste to complete the project at a minimal cost.”
The design/build project forms part of the interior design program’s curriculum for students in their final year of studies. The curriculum was developed as part of the college’s commitment to deliver the highest level of academic rigor and industry-relevant design education and training in the region.