Bachelor of Interior Design student Amy Meyers was named the winner of Conestoga’s 2016 Tech Showcase, held at the Cambridge campus on August 16. Meyers was among more than 70 students who presented their best of program final-year projects to judges, faculty, industry partners and family. Tech Showcase winners are honoured with Conestoga’s Mastercraft Award which recognizes excellence in program-related skills.
After reviewing projects from thirteen technical-related programs - ranging from Woodworking to Robotics - judges said their decision was difficult, but noted Meyers’ passion, level of research, detail and understanding of the facility requirements stood out in her display, presentation and overall project.
Meyers conceived and designed a space for the Foundation Centre for Children with Vision Loss - a proposed early learning intervention service for children between the ages of 0 and 5 who are blind, or have severe vision impairment, that provides support to ensure the children meet critical early developmental goals. Meyers said the idea for the Centre was conceived from course work she had completed previously. “Multi-sensory design and designing interior spaces that can be appreciated and experienced by everyone equally has always interested me,” said Meyers.
For the concept, Meyers chose to design the former F.N. Burt Company factory in Buffalo, New York - an historic building that was home to the world’s largest manufacturer of paper boxes. The original building was erected in 1901, with a number of additions built through the late 1920s. It features original details and an enclosed exterior courtyard that appealed to Meyers. Her schematic design was based on approximately 30,000 square feet of space and she fully designed and detailed 17,000 square feet.
“The existing architectural elements within the building posed some challenges to the design,” explained Meyers, noting the number of structural columns. “Designing for a diverse age range of users with varying degrees of visual acuity was the main design challenge, but this allowed creative design solutions to arise.”
Design elements included lighted floors and colours that would provide contrast for the visually impaired, the use of felted walls to indicate the transition of a room into a corridor, retention of old factory flooring in rooms used in combination with porcelain tiles near doors to indicate exits, and multiple level wall rails. The rails are used as guides for the visually impaired to help them navigate through a space. Myers' use of multiple levels accommodates children of various ages, as well as adults.
Conestoga’s Bachelor of Interior Design (BID) program launched in 2011 and its first cohort graduated last year. This year’s Showcase marked the second time final-year BID projects were represented. “I was very surprised when I heard the news,” said Meyers. “I was not expecting to win as the Bachelor of Interior Design program recently joined the event. I am very grateful for the opportunity to represent the program.”
Meyers will be presented with the Mastercraft Award at convocation this Fall. Established in 1980 by former Conestoga president Kenneth E. Hunter, the award includes a Coat of Arms and a cash award of $1,000.
Conestoga’s Bachelor of Interior Design program, delivered at the honours level, is technically driven and focuses on interior design and architecture through project-based learning. The program was designed in consultation with ARIDO and is on its list of recognized interior design programs.
For more information, visit the Bachelor of Interior Design program page