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A Study in Style

IKEA Ultimate Dorm Room

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Ikea Ultimate Dorm Room

About the Charrette

Residence hall life is a highlight of the college experience for many undergraduates. Kean University design students partnered with IKEA of Elizabeth to increase the style and convenience of dorm living. 

Staged here in the Green Lane building is a model resident hall room. Designed by Kean architecture, interior, graphic, advertising, and industrial design students, utilizing IKEA products and styling, the model space is designed to inspire and promote sustainable solutions for small space living. 

“For many college students each year, a dorm becomes their new home. IKEA has smart solutions for small spaces so why not share them with those in our local community, especially students,” said Olivia Johnson, Marketing Specialist, IKEA Elizabeth. 

IKEA hosted a group of architecture and design students from Kean University’s Michael Graves College for the Ultimate Dorm Room Challenge on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. The charrette style competition required students to create a functional yet innovative design while also conveying the IKEA aesthetic. Kean students Mac Peters of Wayne, Jasmine White of Linden, Samantha Brennen of Hopewell Junction, Crystal Humphries of Point Pleasant, and Catherine Venutolo of Port Reading won first place for their Res-YOU solution resulting in the design seen around you here. 

Res-YOU’s versatile floor plan was designed to maximize space and encourage individuality. During the competition, student teams collaborated to create design solutions incorporating storage, work spaces and sleeping areas. 

In addition to designing a resident hall room, the students were required to create a merchandising and advertising campaign promoting the use of IKEA styling and products. 

Each team was given four minutes to pitch their concept to a panel of judges including IKEA personnel and Kean faculty and staff. Samantha Brennen described winning the charette, her first, as a “huge achievement.” 

“We designed a space that was customizable to make every student feel at home while they are away at school,” said Brennen. 

Robert Busch School of Design Executive Director Rose Gonnella observed, “students want to feel as though they are residing, not just occupying a space. For many, resident life provides a critical transitional step from living with one’s parents to taking greater independent responsibility on the pathway to creating a career and a self sufficient life.”