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UCSD students design interior of new student housing project

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The University of California, San Diego has taken a unique approach to decorating the interior of its new student housing project.

The university allowed students to design six rooms in The Village, a new transfer student housing facility scheduled to open prior to the start of the fall semester. The $122 million project will house 1,060 students and is part of a greater effort to house an additional 3,000 students.

“Its sort of like the TV show ‘Design on a Dime’,” said Mark Cunningham, director of Housing, Dining and Hospitality. “Where they have to work with the space as presented -- no alterations -- and use the furniture we provide. But after that, it’s anything goes.”

Interior design students created “galleries” for entertaining and socializing, as well as “studio” spaces for creating and studying. Students designed a room for marine biology majors that incorporates music and surfing themes. Another apartment uses an urban palette to simulate walking down a city street in New York of Paris.

Other themes include Urban Nature, incorporating images, textures, smells and sounds of nature, and “Through the Looking Glass,” based on Lewis Carroll’s classic novel. Another design theme -- ReUse, Recycle, RePurpose -- will reflect the university’s sustainability efforts, and Modular Modern is designed to cater to male students interested in music and surfing.

In addition to benefiting the university and The Village’s future occupants, the project provided interior design students with valuable experience.

“The students went through the challenges of working with a real client and bringing a design concept to life with a limited budget -- challenges that all interior designers face in professional practice,” said Lily Robinson, the faculty member who oversaw the design teams.

The public will have the opportunity to view the students' completed designs Aug. 27 and 28 between 9 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. at The Village, located on North Torrey Pines Road. Design Institute students will be available to discuss their work. Registration is required is available at http://hdh.ucsd.edu/tour.

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