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Students Offer Four Design Solutions to Campus Problems

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How can design and architecture affect life on college campuses? The most recent crop of summer interns at Gensler set out to answer this question as part of a partnership between the firm and the Barnard/Columbia chapter of Design for America (DFA). The Gensler interns and DFA members, led by Curbed Young Gun Eric Tan and other Gensler employees, divided into teams to address some big problems common college campuses. They came up with four proposals.

? This is the Scribble Matrix, meant to spur students to "burst the bubbles of isolation and use technology to share ideas and connect with each other as a more cohesive unit." The Scribble Matrix itself is a cube with screens, which "could serve as the epicenter for community projects and initiatives" and, perhaps, bring classroom work outside into the larger community.

? The Shack, too, is a cube-like structure meant to foster community, but in this case, it does so through recreation rather than display. The Shack houses recreational gear like gardening tools, sports equipment, and board games, as well as a grill, projector and seating. Items could be borrowed via a mobile app.

? This entry, Sensescape, is a bit more honest about one element in the life of a college student: stress. The installation "combines sensory stimulation and attractive design to remind the passerby to take a moment to oneself in which they can escape from their stress and engage in a whimsical moment of relief." How so? By doing things like distributing a "calming scent" via fans as someone walks by.

? The final proposal, UNI Fest, is an activity rather than an installation. UNI Fest is a "one-day extravaganza of fun, interesting, distinctive cultural events" for Columbia and Barnard students and for Harlem and Upper West Side residents.
· Exploring the Future Campus [Gensler]
· Meet the 2013 Curbed Young Guns: Eric Tan [Curbed]