Design Problem

We are on a precipice of change in the design community. Our clients are requesting ‎designs for new ways of living, working, and gathering. This project challenges students to ‎reimagine the retail experience as part of a new live/work model. Configuring three shipping ‎containers students will provide a design solution for live/ work environment dedicated to ‎creating and selling handcrafted textiles in both in the physical and online marketplaces. The ‎project will employ indigenous textile as a conduit to understand and celebrate the diversity of ‎our communities by addressing a sustainable live/work space for the artist to live, create, ‎design, and work.‎

In a current and post-pandemic society, Americans are considering their living and ‎working environments differently after working from home for all or part of a year and having ‎that home life visible to coworkers, clients, and potential business partners. The notion of large ‎retail spaces and mass gatherings seems quaint after a year of living away from them. The ‎learned luxury of delivering foods, household goods, and necessities have changed how we look ‎at shopping and living. We do not want to lose local businesses, but we might not want to be in ‎crowds to support those businesses, either. ‎

The live/work model has been popular for generations of business owners. Historically, ‎shopkeepers living above their stores. For the last ten years, micro-business owners selling ‎online and manufacturing in their homes needed a space to create, develop, produce, store, ship, ‎and showroom their items. This live/work model suits our pandemic lifestyle and allows us to ‎maintain a business and livelihood while reducing overhead and living smaller. It requires a ‎building to have dedicated space for living and working to offer the ability to leave the job and ‎not live in the job. Thus, we can live and work sustainably smaller while addressing our spaces’ ‎ecology and aesthetics to develop hybrid areas supporting our home and work life. ‎

In this project, we address the live/work model in a sustainable way that also allows for ‎migration as needed by the inhabitants. The live/work shipping container consists of 3 shipping ‎containers that serve as a dwelling and business location. The business should allow for being ‎open to the public and completely online as the marketplace and health regulations require.‎

Projects will be judged according to having followed the requirements of the program, along with creativity and sensitivity to the population occupying the space.

  • Does the design reflect an understanding of, and cultural sensitivity to, indigenous people through research and application in the design solution?
  • Does the design reflect an understanding of and respond effectively to the needs of the live/work environment?
  • Is the design effective in addressing health and safety measures in response to the current pandemic, including the effectiveness of planning, including universal design, as well as the technical qualities of materials selections?
  • Does the design pay attention to ingress and egress sequence, and ease of accessibility and flow throughout the spaces?
  • Does the branding and name for the business utilize the concept and celebrate the space? Is the identity of the space evident through the interior design solution?
  • Does the project meet all the criteria and deliverables?
  • Has all research and photography credits been cited on the poster?

Deliverables for Undergraduates and Graduates

*Only 3 Undergraduate and 2 Graduate submission from each University will be accepted

(2) 24H x 36W posters (in PDF format) that must include the following schematic design proposal:

  • Name and branding of the textile artist business, sustainable live/ work space
  • Designer’s concept statement (100 words or less), relating the textile to the sustainable space concept and rationale of site selection.
  • Evidence and analysis of research
  • Location and rationale of site selection within the local community
  • Process work, annotated by the student (photos of models, sketches, etc.)
  • Site plan (locating the project on site and surrounding area following the tenets of LEED-ND to address SLL Prerequisite 1- Smart Locations, NPD Prerequisite 3- Connected and Open Community)
  • Floor plan
  • Interior elevations and/or sections
  • Rendered perspectives and/or model photographs including articulation of the “façade design” for the business entrance and the residential entrance, if different.
  • A concept for the interior materials selections including a statement of rationale. Technical specifications are not required, however the statement should make clear that the student/team has a rationale for materials selections with respect to sustainability,  health, and safety.
  • Text and descriptions as deemed necessary by the designer(s)

For Graduate Level Entries Only

In addition to the base requirements:

  • Interview with a textile maker and/ or a full time artist and micro business owner to inform the research and design process.
  • Design should reflect this qualitive research
  • Interview should be included in the submitted package