I am currently a Senior in Industrial Design, and this semester I chose to design an updated and cost efficient College Dorm room. From my research, I feel the typical dorm layout is too similar to your average jail cell. I am planning on allowing the space to be as customizable as possible. Any input on design advice, new technologies, or materials would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
Well, the truth is, you cannot really control how someone, especially students, use their space.
My college dorm was converted from an old apartment building, so there are designated rooms for dining, living and bedrooms. However, most students tend to want to get a room to themselves and use simple materials as partitions. Whereas some are more clever and used the biggest room as the common studio space where everyone work together, living room as TV room and bed rooms as bed rooms.
There are then the typical cell-like dorms. Some people are used to studying in them. Some aren’t.
I would say go in the direction of allowing students to partition the space conveniently yet keep it within safety codes. Privacy is a huge issue especially with kids who think they are adults.
You also need to consider the number of occupants in the room. 1 roommate is very different from 7 roommates, speaking from experience.
RISD just build new dorms a few years ago and they are pretty awesome. They had a team design and custom build all the furniture… I think other colleges have ended up buying the furniture system from them, I’m sure you can google it up.