By Lynn Baker, NCIDQ, Interior Designer

In early October, Seth and I attended an interior design and housing class in the School of Design and Human Environment at Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis.  No sooner were we back on campus than we had the overwhelming urge to return to the college life, sitting in bohemian coffee shops and devouring pizza.  (We managed to do both during our day at OSU, although, not at the same time.)  Our real purpose for being on campus was to work with students in instructor Elif Tural’s design class on a project for the quarter.

For their studio course fall quarter, senior students are collaborating with Ascent Architecture & Interiors on the design of senior housing in Santa Clara, California.  With The School of Design and Human Environment’s background in research and design for aging populations, the students are well prepared to fully investigate the design needs of seniors. We provided the class with the site plan for the project, and developed a program for students to follow.

Throughout the course, Ascent’s team is acting as a senior housing developer, providing basic information about the needs of the facility and allowing students to fully investigate options and code requirements, and provide us with solutions. The students’ tasks will include:

  • Determining building placement;
  • Designing floor plans; and
  • Selecting materials.

Their methods will be similar to Ascent’s process when we begin work on the same project later this year.

During our visit to OSU, we discussed the program and presented an example senior living facility to the class.  We were impressed with the attentiveness of the class, the enthusiasm, and the numerous questions asked. We look forward to seeing their progress when we view their midterm presentations later this month!

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