Interior Architecture and Design seniors demonstrate knowledge in their culminating virtual senior show

A digital rendering from Susan Hsin's capstone project
A digital rendering from Susan Hsin's capstone project.

Students in their final year of the bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and design at Colorado State University completed their capstone projects this semester in a culmination of years of rigorous work. Forty-six students contributed their work to a virtual senior show, where their poster presentations are linked on the Department of Design and Merchandising website. Their work will be presented in an in-person show on May 12, 2023, at the Nancy Richardson Design Center.

Capstone assignment

For the capstone assignment, students choose an existing large-scale location — ranging in size from 60,000 to 100,000 sq. ft. – to redesign. Successful projects illustrate research-based design and students’ competency in designing complex, large-scale interior environments with attention to contemporary social and cultural issues and paradigms facing the profession.

Students use their knowledge of building codes, structural systems, design theory, technical rendering, and materials to create the design of the space. After creating all the construction documents and digital renderings, the students present to a panel of industry professionals for critique and feedback. Their presentations include  a project poster that will be displayed at the in-person show in the spring. Students also create models using the technology available at the Richardson Design Center and material boxes from the Design Library.

Assistant Professor Jain Kwon leads the class through the rigorous assignment and the virtual and in-person show planning process.

Examples of student work

The Interior Architecture and Design Fall 2022 Virtual Show includes the work of the entire class. Please visit the website to see the impressive work created by the class of 2022/23. The students below completed projects of particular interest:

A digital rendering from David Baek's capstone project
A digital rendering from David Baek's capstone project.

Jaehwan (David) Baek

Headshot of David BaekBorn and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Jaehwan (David) Baek just completed his degree at CSU in the Interior Architecture and Design Program. Before attending CSU, he served in the Korean army. When he was young, he was inspired by drawing and painting, and his early love of art has inspired his design work. He believes architecture and interior design should not only be beautiful but also improve people’s quality of life and solve social problems.

Baek’s senior capstone project is the Seoul Refugee Support Center, a space for North Korean refugees who are often discriminated against and suffering in South Korean society. The number of North Korean refugees in Seoul continues to increase, and the refugee support center provides educational, legal-service, and mental-healing facilities.

A digital rendering from Cathy Dodin Thevenau's capstone project
A digital rendering from Cathy Dodin Thevenau's capstone project.

Cathy Dodin Thevenau

Headshot of Cathy Dodn ThevenauOriginally from Mauritius, Cathy Dodin Thevenau moved to Colorado to pursue her passion for design.  She is a first-generation college student who majored in interior architecture and design and minored in construction management. She is driven by the desire to design interior spaces that bring enjoyment and enrichment to everyone.

Thevenau’s capstone project proposes a conversion of the west terminal of the Colorado Springs Airport into a modern concourse and the east terminal into a brand-new spaceport for space tourism.  Because spaceport design is so new, Thevenau leaned on knowledge gathered from her internship at DWL Architects, additional architects who have worked in spaceport design, and the Head of Corporate Partnerships and Astronaut Sales at Blue Origin. She also looked at Spaceport America in New Mexico, recently designed by Foster + Partners, for inspiration. “There is little information available regarding what goes into the design of a spaceport,” said Thevenau, “therefore, I had to balance conceptual creativity with realistic expectations.”

A digital rendering from Johanna Mathew's capstone project
A digital rendering from Johanna Mathew's capstone project.

Johanna Mathew

Johanna MathewHeadshot of Johanna Matthew recently graduated from CSU with a degree in anterior architecture and design and a minor in construction management. She is passionate about bridging the gap between design and construction by bringing holistic understanding of the design and construction process.

“When I first started looking into what I wanted to do for my capstone project, I knew I wanted to design workspaces,” said Mathew. “I quickly realized that there has been a lot of work done to design for differing physical abilities and needs, but not for neurological divergence. I was able to merge my passions for mental health justice and workplace design.”  Mathew researched the needs of individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, individuals with autism spectrum disorder, and individuals with mood disorders like anxiety and depression. She combined these needs with creative design solutions for her senior capstone.

After graduation, Mathew will be working on the Salt Lake City Airport with Holder Construction.

A digital rendering from Brinley Shultz capstone project
A digital rendering from Brinley Shultz capstone project.

Brinley Shultz

Brinley ShultzHeadshot of Brinley Shultz earned her degree in interior architecture and design with a minor in business administration. She began her design career in Denver, Colorado, with her internship at Awakening Spaces. She is hoping to find a career to pursue her passion for creative problem-solving and building sustainably with mindful interiors.

Shultz’s senior capstone proposes repurposing the existing Leland James building in Portland, Oregon, into a functional, safe, and secluded living and wellness space called Nurture Shores. The goal is to implement design strategies and theories to provide a functional environment for individuals with epilepsy. Nurture Shores will influence the movement to address more neurological disorders in design and architecture.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.