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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Diamond in the Rough

Diamond Village Graduate and Family Housing Community is going green. It has been chosen by Housing and Residence Life as the pilot project for a campus-wide campaign to increase the sustainability of the university's living areas. Kiera White, a third-year graduate student in Interior Design, is currently working on the project as an intern with the Offices of Sustainability and Housing. White was part of a design studio project team last fall that worked to develop ideas for Diamond Village, such as the rain barrels and herb gardens that are now commonplace in the community.

Currently, she is working with Diamond Village on the re-development of the entire area, which the university wants to develop as sustainability-themed housing. Their main focus is the "breezeway" or common area, which is used by many of the residents for meetings and recreational time.

"We are working to revamp and redesign the area with sustainability in mind." says White. The plan transforms the common area into a place that will educate the residents, get them involved, and allow them to practice day-to-day applications of sustainable living. White wants the area to be easily-accessible to all the residents, even to the younger ones, and plans to have children's activities available to those families interested.
White says that by the end of the fall semester, she hopes to have a design proposal, established budget, and specs for sustainable products ready for the continued work on the effort. She hopes that the success of this project will motivate the housing department to carry these ideas to current and future on-campus living communities.

"It’s a different way to look at design" says White about the combination of traditional and sustainable concepts--"it’s a way to merge the two together."