GWU Interior Design Class


In March 2006, Susan Jollie and NWHM Program Director Holly Kearl met with a George Washington University Advanced Interior Design class from the Master’s Program to discuss the class’s upcoming project on designing the interior of the Annex of the Old Post Office – NWHM’s desired museum space. The class received floor plans of the three-floor building, a history of the building, Ms. Jollie’s ideas for renovating the building, and then were able to tour the outside of the building itself. Two months later in May, the GWU class presented their finished project to Ms. Jollie, staff, and board members.

On May 3rd, 2006, NWHM staff and board members attended the GWU class presentation at the GWU-Mount Vernon campus in Washington, D.C. The twelve members of the class worked in three groups of four, and each group designed one floor while also collaborating all together to ensure continuity in color and design throughout the building model. The theme the groups came up with was “breaking through with layers of strength” and they kept this theme in mind as they designed each floor. They came up with the layout of each floor – locating exhibit space, a research/library center, an auditorium for special events and women’s history films, cafes/restaurants, a museum store, and staff office space and storage. They also carefully planned out details such as the colors of the walls, material they would use on the floors and furniture, lighting fixtures, and how people would move between floors (a glass elevator and inclined moving walkways – new concept in the U.S.).

They also came up with an interesting idea for branding, using part of the American flag and the universal symbol for woman (the figure often used to distinguish women’s bathrooms in public places).

The NWHM staff and board members were impressed by the amount of time and effort the class spent on planning every aspect of the museum layout and came away with new ideas to consider when the time comes for designing the building.

NWHM staff and board members with the GWU Interior Design class

One Response to “GWU Interior Design Class”

  1. Diamond says:

    It’s great getting a group of design students involved in this type of project, as it is great to collaborate on such a large space. It also gives them some practical experience of extensive design work, and knowledge of how best to use space and arrange design features so that they flow from area to area. I’m sure the NWHM building looked amazing.

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