Interior Design Students Assist with Mullins Library Remodeling Project

The research consultation area.
Photo Submitted

The research consultation area.

Mullins Library now has a new print station and research consultation area, thanks to Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design students and University of Arkansas Facilities Management.

The project began when Carolyn Henderson Allen, dean of University Libraries, reached out to the Fay Jones School for assistance.

"University Libraries aim to support and foster creativity, study, teaching and research," said Allen. "Bringing on students from Fay Jones School to assist us with this project was a win-win."

Interior design students, guided by assistant professor Kimberley Furlong, provided research and options for improvement. Student Natalie Banister served as the project manager with help from fellow students Janie Blair Luft, Amanda Burge, Morganne Bryner, Sarah Moll and Peyton Richards.

"As the faculty adviser for the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design's Student Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, I knew we had an excellent group of students that might be able to both assist the library and turn this into a small, real-world project with hands-on learning experience," said Furlong.

The students met with library staff members Lora Lennertz, Marco De Prosperis and Joel Thornton to observe the proposed project space and assess the Libraries' needs. They then researched sources, developed design solutions, presented a design proposal, produced the required drawings and specifications, and developed a budget.

"The design team took the time to gather research insights about the user experience," said Thornton. "The insights gathered ultimately led to better solutions for the print and consultation stations that truly enhanced our patrons' experience."

U of A architect Larry Smith put the finishing touches on the students' designs and created drawings for the U of A's carpentry shop, where the materials for the print station were made. Facilities Management also managed the installation process.

"These students have been brilliant, very creative!" said De Prosperis. "A special thank you goes also to Mr. Larry R. Smith and to all the Facilities Management group for their help on the construction's drawings, fabrication and installation of the Print Station."

Banister, Burge, Bryner and Moll graduated from the Bachelor of Interior Design program Saturday, May 13. Luft and Richards are on track to graduate from the same program in 2018. 

The print station.


Kelsey Lovewell Lippard, public relations coordinator
University Libraries


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