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Design Lab creates redesign for local church

By Wes Goldberg
On April 23, 2012

Finals week is here, and students from UCFs Advanced Design Lab arent bubbling in scantrons.

Transforming a run-down motel to a live-in art studio is no easy task, but that is exactly what students from UCFs Advanced Design Lab course were assigned to do.

More than 150 students competed to come up with the winning concept of redesigning the church-owned property in downtown Orlando for the Park Lake Presbyterian Churchs Faith Arts Village Orlando project.

The winning team was announced Friday at an award ceremony.

The first place team was Amber Zimmerman, Meghan Grimm, Darline Bencosme, Christine Tu, David Molina and Shanna Stiles.

Robert Reedy, professor of art and instructor of Advanced Design Lab, said the project gave his students the chance to learn more than just art. It gave them the chance to market and sell their ideas as well.

Reedy said his class is not only about teaching students about art, but about making a living using art as well.

We are showing them the connections between art and science, geometry and color, folklore and calculus, Reedy said.

Each team, which consisted of five or six students, designed a model of its vision and created a presentation for nine judges.

In addition to the model, each team transformed an assigned motel room to its creative space that would be used to display its ideas. Students created video presentations, custom shirts and business cards, as well as business plans for their proposals.

Besides having their work used for the redesign of the property, each member of the winning team, Reedy said, will receive an internship from Hugh Darley, a highly respected artist in Orlando. The winning team also received Wacom tablets and free studio space.

The judges went to each team and observed their presentations. The team of judges included art columnist Terry Hummel and city economic development director Frank Billingsley. Darley also joined the team.

Students had two buildings to account for and had to incorporate rooms for residence as well as separate studio rooms for working. Students not only had to consider the artistic nature of the building and rooms, but cost and practicality.

Rosie Grossblatt, junior art education major, said she never worked on a project like this and it helped her gain practical experience.

Its helped me open my eyes a lot about what I want to do with my life, Grossblatt said.

The property was originally purchased by the church for additional parking but the committee later decided to turn the building into studio space instead, said Dave Kaminsky, a member of the churchs committee.

Kaminsky said that the project is a gift to the community that is about spirituality of the arts.

Reedy was approached about the idea and offered for his students to come up with ideas as a competition. The project allowed students to gain experience and awards and gave the committee a chance to view different ideas.

A completion date for the space is not yet known. The committee will work with the winning students in the developmental stage of the building. After the committee puts together a proposal, they will seek funding for the project.

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