Second-year students re-design campus bookstore

Interior design technology students turned their creatively-skilled eyes to the Vermilion campus bookstore. 

Second-year students were tasked with re-designing the retail space to make better use of its current footprint. And their objectives were clearly outlined: improve branding and presence; improve circulation; improve privacy for the order desk; and propose new display organization and design for updated aesthetic and function.

“There were a lot of elements that we had to consider,” says Taelin Howes, listing storage and walking space as examples. “Plus you have to balance the needs of the customers and your client.”

Howes was one of the students selected to present their bookstore design plans to Melody Moore, Lakeland’s bookstore supervisor. She shared a concept image, floor and fixture plans, material board, reflected ceiling plan, estimate of costs and millwork, among other details.

“My priorities for this design were branding and creating a welcoming space for everybody. I wanted to incorporate a rustic feel with corrugated steel and wood laminate, and then also highlight our college colours in the design. I also maximized the natural light from the windows with glass shelving,” says Howes, adding her design elements reflect many of the programs offered at the Vermilion campus.
Bookstore project
“The materials used are welcoming but follow along with the ag and trades programs. It’s a warm and inviting space so that connects to human services. Plus, the materials used don’t take a lot of manufacturing so that’s reflective of environmental sciences.”

Creating an entry with “presence” and relocating it were also key components of her plan. “With my design, the space will feel open and uncluttered,” says Howes.

Designing for a real client also proved to be helpful for the students. “Having Melody to speak with while we did this project was great because with design there are a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered to make decisions,” says Howes.

The cost to implement Howes’ complete re-design of the bookstore is an estimated $22,000. 

With the bookstore design plans from each student, Moore will be able to select the elemenBookstore projectts she wants to incorporate in the future to improve the function and design of the bookstore, pending available budgets. “It was so exciting to see what each student shared in their designs,” says Moore. “They took into account so many details when it comes to operating the bookstore and the customer experience.”

To return to campus as a Lakeland alumna and visit a re-designed bookstore is something Howes is looking forward to. “It will be awesome to see this space transformed with our designs,” she says. “To have a project come alive that you planned in college would be amazing, especially since this is a space that everyone visits on campus.”

Lakeland previously implemented design plans created by interior design students for Spurs, the Vermilion campus pub, and the Fireside Room, a meeting room at the Vermilion campus.

Bookstore project

Photos: From the top, Taelin Howes (right) shares her design plans for the Vermilion campus bookstore with Melody Moore (left). Howes' plans included detailed designs of the cashier area, complete with a gallery wall, a bird's eye view of the store and a perspective from the entrance.

April 6, 2017

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