Immersive learning is a powerful opportunity for students, community partners, and faculty. Ball State defines immersive learning as high-impact learning that involves collaborative student-driven teams who are guided by faculty mentors. Students earn credit for working with community partners and clients such as businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies to address community challenges through the creation of a product that has a lasting impact.

As a faculty member, I have had the opportunity to facilitate numerous funded and non-funded immersive experiences embedded into my classes. Most recently, two funded opportunities were embedded into the Ball State University junior interior design studio, IDES 324 Studio 3, in the Fall of 2021.

The first project, funded through the University Design Center, was titled, “Redesign of First Presbyterian Pre-Kindergarten”. This nonprofit organization focuses on the pre-kindergarten educational experience sans technology while emphasizing, hands-on creative learning and play. The primary goal of this project was to provide the client with a variety of design choices for their pre-kindergarten area. The goals included creating functional, aesthetically pleasing, secure, and cost-effective spaces for the pre-kindergarten. The focal spaces included: the main corridor, all classrooms, restrooms, faculty kitchenette, storage and supply areas, director’s office, and an exterior playground.

Multiple student teams from the interior design studio delivered the following concept drawings and documents for the purpose of obtaining preliminary cost estimates by First Presbyterian Pre-Kindergarten for future renovation and implementation.

  • Floor plans of proposed areas
  • Furniture plans depicting locations of all movable pieces
  • Interior elevations of walls receiving a special feature (teacher storage wall, kitchenette, creative wall designs)
  • Reflected ceiling plans depicting design features, ceiling materials, and location of proposed lighting fixtures
  • Materials floor plan
  • Design of custom built-in pieces such as kitchenette, coffee bar, and storage solutions
  • Selection of materials (floors, walls, and ceiling), light fixtures, furniture, color coordination, and artwork, as deemed necessary by the client
  • Multiple photo realistic 3-D renderings of key spaces (corridor, classrooms, restrooms, playground, etc.)
  • Digital sample board displaying the proposed materials
  • Other documents as necessary for execution of the design

The client selected design ideas from multiple projects for implementation and the designs were combined into one final design proposal. Currently the client is working with a contractor to begin construction in summer 2022.

By Sarah Angne Alfaro
Assistant Professor of Interior Design

View Student’s Final Project