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In lieu of a portfolio review, Collaborative Design and Interior Design applicants are required to complete an Observation Exercise.

Applicants for Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020 only.

Collaborative Design Observational Exercise

The Collaborative Design program provides the opportunity for creative individuals to develop skills in the design process related to the design of objects, experiences, places and visual communications.

Instructions: Identify an object, experience, place, communication or fashion that could be made better. Then write a brief statement identifying the opportunity and/or need and the intended audience. In 300-500 words, describe the need you see and how you would propose to meet the need. Consider including the kinds of research that may be involved. You are welcome to include (in addition to the word count) diagrams, visual references, and/or sketches.

Interior Design Observational Exercise

Instructions: Spend a minimum of two (2) hours in a coffee shop or small restaurant and observe human behavior related to the function of the floor plan and furniture style as well as the interior decor of the space. Sit in at least two (2) areas of the space during this time so that you have different observation points. Write a 500 word (maximum) report including the following:

  1. A brief description of services offered. Include whether the service is cafeteria-style or full service. Is the menu simple with coffee and pastries or is it more complicated with sandwiches, etc? Are there other services?
  2. A description of the interior of the space and your vantage points or location within the space. (1) Include a description of the colors, textures, and materials; (2) Include a description of the focal point(s) and/or what is featured at the seated and standing eye levels; (3) Include a description of the dominant shapes.
  3. A description of how the space functions from both the customer's and the employees' points of view: (1) Does the traffic flow work? Why or why not? (2) Where do groups or individuals sit in relation to the interior if there are several options? (3) Where do groups or individuals sit as seats are taken? (4) Where do two people sit if they are seated at a table for four? (5) Other observations about function, design, and human behavior.
  4. Do you think the interior of this space is well designed? Why or why not?

At the top of your paper include:

  • Your name:
  • Title: Coffee Shop/Restaurant Observation Exercise
  • Name: Name of coffee shop or restaurant
  • Location: city and state only
  • Hours of observation:

Please complete this writing assignment and submit it to:

Admissions Office
Kendall College of Art and Design
17 Fountain Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3002

Note, you may also email your Observation Exercise to: [email protected]