March 01, 2012
Senior Interior Design Students Collaborate with Tsoi/Kobus & Associates
Senior interior design students tasked with designing a children’s hospital this spring face a distinctive challenge: not only do they have to provide for the rapidly changing needs of a population that includes everyone from newborns to teenagers, but they have to turn the facility into a comforting and inviting environment for children and caregivers.
They will have some help, though. As part of an annual collaboration, the students are working with Cambridge, Mass., based architecture, planning, and interior design firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates (TK&A).
The semester-long project—the fourth collaboration of this kind between TK&A and Wentworth Institute of Technology—pairs four student groups with two TK&A mentors who guide them through the design process. Their interaction with the mentors includes monthly reviews and evaluations of their work, guidance on their designs, and the opportunity to make industry connections.
Herb Fremin and Lynette Suslowicz, the instructors for the course, say that the project teaches students how to create a soothing environment for children within the sterilized and even foreboding atmosphere hospitals can sometimes represent–a complex lesson that creates an extremely marketable skillset.
But Fremin says that the students’ dedicated work on the hospital designs demonstrate their interest beyond a final class grade or professional development. “They find purpose and meaning in the project without thought of reward.”