Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Interior design students create plans for new tutoring facilities in Johnson Hall

Monday, August 13, 2012
Johnson Hall is home to the campus math department. - Photo by Nathan Hamilton

Southeast Missouri State University students are taking an active role in the renovations of Johnson Hall and are gaining real-life experience in the field of design as well as pursuing changes that they feel need to be made to Southeast.

Dale Farrow, a non-traditional college student at Southeast, is the president of the Non-Traditional Student Organization and the American Society of Interior Designers/National Kitchen and Bath Association student chapter. He, along with the Non-Traditional Student Organization, comprised a list of changes that they felt would be beneficial to Southeast.

The list made it evident that many wanted to see improvement in the math department, which led to the concept of bettering the student learning experience at Johnson Hall, the campus math building, and giving students the opportunity to design new tutoring facilities.

Farrow and other students involved partnered with the interior design department to create completion guidelines and rules for a competition in which students had the opportunity to design rooms 104, 104A and 112 in Johnson Hall. Interior design professor Dr. Michelle Brune and construction management and design professor Bryan Bowers gave students in their classes the chance to design the rooms as an in-class assignment in the spring semester.

"It was a great experience for each class dreaming, creating and learning to do a real-world project by going to Johnson Hall measuring each room, creating floor plans, surveying the best ways to make a more productive studying environment in each room," Farrow said. "Also getting real-world customer experience by interviewing Dr. Roberts and others on the math department's requirements and functions for each room."

Problems have occurred in the original concept for the competition, such as not having funding to create a $1,500 scholarship for the winner and the process taking much longer than was hoped. Farrow said that creating the competition has been a long but exciting process.

Farrow's goal for the tutoring facilities at Johnson was "to make them a showcase so unique and useable that all students would use these rooms."

Southeast junior Dalton Webb participated in the competition through Intro to Architectural Drafting taught by Bowers. Webb is studying construction management and design as well as interior design at Southeast.

"The design competition gave the other students and me an opportunity to design for a real-life situation," Webb said. "Instead of working on a mock project for class, one of our designs could be picked to design the rooms."

All construction and renovations on campus are still unfinished and no students designs have been chosen. Farrow said that he hopes that people at Southeast will make every effort to see the student designs through to completion and hopes to put all of the designs on display.

"By the end of the semester the students had created beautiful, functional spaces that made these study spaces one-of-a-kind works of art and would be a sample of student innovation for years to come," Farrow said.