School of Visual Arts presents 10 senior thesis interior design projects

Dezeen School Shows: an aquatic research center designed to raise awareness of freshwater ecosystems is included in Dezeen’s latest school show by students at the School of Visual Arts.

Also featured is a healing center designed to promote wellbeing through exposure to white noise and a multiethnic restaurant that provides space for chefs to share their cultural heritage through food.

Institutions: School of Visual Arts
School: BFA Interior Design: Built Environments
Courses: Senior Thesis
Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee

school statement:

“The 2023 SVA Interior Design: Built Environments Senior Thesis addresses a wide range of project types, combining them to create a sensitive aesthetic interpretation of our built environment that centers on sustainability and responsibility.”

Render of an aquatic center featuring exhibits of fish and whales

Made By Water by Will Huanyo Kuang

“Environmental pollution driven by unregulated carbon emissions contributes to oceanic warming, and urban development without ecosystem sensitivity destroys natural aquatic habitats.

“To this end, a research center that implements a hatchery program focused on multiplying threatened and endangered wild populations of aquatic species is needed.

“Made by Water is an aquatic research center designed to raise awareness of marine preservation and freshwater ecosystems.

“The intent is to foster the development of healthy and sustainable fisheries throughout the greater New York City metro area waterways and to educate and engage the public in marine wildlife conservation.”

Student: Will Huanyo Kuang
Courses: Senior Thesis
Instructors: Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
E-mail: hkuang[at]sva. edu

Rendering of a faith-based community centre

NEXTsteps by Dawn Hood

“NEXT steps is a faith-based support service prototype that connects social service providers and mentors with at-risk adolescents to foster youth by leveraging the spatial resources of local partner churches.

“The NEXTsteps center exists to serve as a spatial network hub that affords small, high-quality service providers and mentors the use of space without the high cost of real estate.

“It provides adolescent foster youth as a home base to form critical skills and make life connections that help prepare them for their next steps as independent adults.”

Student: Dawn Hood
Courses: Senior Thesis
Instructors: Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
E-mail: dhood2[at]sva. edu

Collage of an interior design scheme, featuring a white building, black paint and plants

Floating Mind by Mini Zhao

“Life in modern societies is often fast-paced and flooded with short, instant messaging. The plethora of email, chat and text communications we receive daily fragments of our time and attention.

“Over time, such short messages may abbreviate our attention spans and inhibit our ability to ponder and achieve more cerebral processes.

“Floating Mind is an interior design project that aims to provide people with a slow-paced spatial experience that offers relief from the overwhelming pace of modern society and breaks the cycle of constant, instant-fed communications and digital media messaging.”

Student: Mini Zhao
Courses: Senior Thesis
Instructors: Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
E-mail: zzhao10[at]sva. edu

Architectural diagram of an immersive performance space in New York

Govx by Stephanie Schiff

“Only a four minute ferry ride from the fast-paced concrete jungle that is New York City, Governors Island – most recognized as a military base dating back to the 1700s – has been home to many different venues but is not (yet) an expansive performing arts theatre.

“For many millennia, the performing arts have been a vital part of society that gives space for expression and exploration of the human experience. For many performing artists, this exploration is as essential to life as eating and sleeping.

“Govx is an immersive performance space that allows for expressive, creative reflection and release. It is a sanctuary for its performers and patrons alike.

“It aims to foster the healing benefits of color, sound and movement on the human body.”

Student: Stephanie Schiff
Courses: Senior Thesis
Instructors: Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
E-mail: sschiff2[at]sva. edu

Rendering of a care home for the elderly

Resilience by Raymond Xie

“According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.7 million Americans age 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s and 73 per cent of that demographic are 75 or older.

“Alzheimer’s adversely affects many people of many ages, but especially the aging population.

“Resilience is designed as an innovative, sustainable and inclusive senior care residence that emulates a recognizable home rather than an institution.

“With the foremost goal of enhancing the quality of life through design, Resilience creates a safe, supportive and engaging environment that fosters independence, dignity and a sense of community for residents.

“The design promotes a holistic approach to care that prioritizes personalized attention, social interaction and purposeful engagement.”

Student: Raymond Xie
Senior Thesis
Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
zxie2[at]sva. edu

Rendering of a sound healing center

Ripple by Tina Huang

“Ripple is a sound healing center designed to encourage relaxation and promote healing through exposure to white noise.

“Through sound bathing, guests will be more likely to improve their mood and release stress and tension in their bodies.

“On average, people in large urban cities experience stress from over-sensory stimuli. Cities often rife with environmental pollutants such as loud noise and bright light that adversely affect human wellbeing.

“Increasingly a place to relax, destress and recover one’s mental and physical wellness is needed.”

Student: Tina Huang
Courses: Senior Thesis
Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
hhuang19[at]sva. edu

Art therapy center

Heart of Art by Jayden Perez

“Heart of Art aims to promote healing through the arts and guided art therapy. As a child, Perez noticed the efficacy of visual and literary arts to help stabilize their father through episodes of incarceration, depression, PTSD and anxiety.

“Its influence had a profound impact on Perez and shaped the way they learned to cope with their own mental health challenges.

“Through this imagined project, Perez proposes a solution to a real crisis of mental health that affects many in New York City.

“New York City is a hotbed of creativity and an epicenter of art and culture that has fostered the careers of many renowned artists.

“Besides fostering career opportunities, art is also known to foster healing through expression. In a city where simultaneously dreams are made and nightmares are lived, Perez is designing for help, healing and self-improvement.”

Student: Jayden Perez
Courses: Senior Thesis
Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
jperez12[at]sva. edu

A rendering of a community center for Asian individuals

Acceptance by Alicia Ng

“Recent upticks in political extremism and polarized identity politics have exacerbated tensions between neighbors across the country, and it seems Asian Americans find themselves more divided than ever before.

“The ripple effects of fake news and blame culture can have dire consequences on marginalized communities, and what is needed is truth, understanding and acceptance.

“Located in the heart of Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown, Acceptance is a place for Asian residents to gather within the bonds of community to practice spiritual health, support local growth and promote feelings of peace and safety within.

“The design emphasizes the use of natural elements and materials, which are intended to promote a relaxed and calming environment.”

Student: Alicia Ng
Courses: Senior Thesis
Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
ang3[at]sva. edu

Render of a restaurant

Our Table by Camille Lyn-Morilla

“Variety is the spice of life and New York City is ripe for experiencing culinary variety flavours.

“But too often traditional cultural foods are divorced from the traditional people and practices, which makes them appropriate and appreciated.

“Our Table is a multiethnic restaurant and culinary hub that offers space for local and global ethnic chefs and certified culinary artists to share their unique cultural heritage through food.

“Through the use of rentable kitchens, authentic dining experiences – along with cultural education – can be offered to a wide range of people who seek to learn and share.”

Student: Camille Lyn-Morilla
Senior Thesis
Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
clyn-morillo[at]sva. edu

Render of an interior scheme with wooden stairs and plants

The Village by Ares Liu

“The Village is a Chinese immigrant community center in San Diego, USA – it is a place where Chinese immigrants can get help to integrate into American society.

“For people with poor English, it is very difficult to go back to living in the United States even after living there for many years previously, and they don’t know how to get help with day to day things.

“This is not only a community center but also an activity center where people from all different cultures living in this area are welcome to experience Chinese culture.”

Student: Ares Liu
Senior Thesis
Gita Nandan and Anthony Lee
slui31[at]sva. edu

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and the School of Visual Arts. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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