Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA interior design students give an office makeover

May 23, 2011 - Kayli Steger
Interior Design students (Left to Right): Kali Benbrooks, Angela Lovelace, Katye Adams, Loren Brown and Khrystina Soriano pictured with Dr. Darla O'Dwyer.
Interior design students from Stephen F. Austin State University recently had the opportunity to put their design skills to the test during the second annual Jack Design Challenge, a four-week interior makeover for an SFA faculty or staff member.

Dr. Darla O'Dwyer, SFA food and nutrition instructor, was chosen for the challenge after submitting photos of her office and a statement of her needs. O'Dwyer was interviewed by six groups of students from Donna Pharris' Human Sciences 310 class who presented concept boards and allowed her to choose the design she liked best. Students then went to work implementing their vision and planning workspace solutions for her office in the human sciences building.

"With a project like this, students are able to put the design process into practice," Pharris said. "They begin with discovering the client's needs, move to creating a design for the client, and end with working closely with vendors and craftsmen to see the project to completion. Students are able to get a hands-on experience in a realistic setting."

Other projects included custom shelving, original artwork and detailed storage solutions. Kali Benbrooks, Angela Lovelace, Katye Adams, Loren Brown and Khrystina Soriano (pictured from left) designed the winning concept, and the class held a "big reveal" similar to interior design television shows. After working in her new space, O'Dwyer will complete a post-occupancy evaluation, providing valuable feedback for the young designers.

The project was co-sponsored by the Physical Plant, Student Affairs, Sherwin Williams Paint and East Texas Carpet, which provided them with the funding, materials and labor to make the project possible.