Designing our Community

From the taste of the food to the smell of delightful aromas, a restaurant appeals to many senses. Division of Interior Architecture (IA) students Derek Kucksdorf and Konna Jahns helped the nearby Cousins Subs bring two additional senses–sight and feel–to its customers through the division's proposed new Design Center's first remodeling project in the campus neighborhood.

The Design Center offers opportunities for its upper-level students to engage in community design projects and gain valuable service-learning experiences.

"The Design Center allows students to sharpen their skills through real-life design challenges and experiences while still studying in the program," said IA Head Nisha Fernando.

"The Cousins Subs re-design, along with my required internship, has prepared me for what's to come after I graduate," Jahns said. "It was stressful at times to meet deadlines and to wonder how our clients would react to our design presentations; however, the entire process was so exciting and rewarding as we got to see our design ideas come to life!"

Kucksdorf and Jahns were supervised by IA Associate Professor Katja Marquart as they created a set of UWSP-themed design concepts and the final layouts for the re-design at Cousins, located on the corner of Division Street and Fourth Avenue. Photos of campus life adorn the walls as Pointers Athletics posters and purple and gold chairs provide customers with a feeling of school spirit.

"It was a lot of fun working with the students, and customer feedback has been very positive," said Dirk Deford, Cousins team leader. "I was very impressed with the amount of pride the students put into the project."

"This project was a great piece to put in my portfolio," added Kucksdorf. "It was definitely a conversation piece when I applied for grad school in New York City."

The division will continue to work with the university and the Stevens Point community on similar design projects in the future that focus on nonprofit organizations or individuals who normally would not have access to designers.