Access Your Life, the LSU Interior Design Student Organization (IDSO) fall service project, took place on September 28 at the House of Destiny, a transitional home for homeless women with cognitive and physical impairments.
The LSU School of Interior Design students performed a series of home modifications to make the living space for the residents of the House of Destiny more comfortable according to their special needs, including:
- replacing the old carpet in the home with new carpet tiles;
- replacing the bathroom hardware with ADA-compliant hardware;
- installing a new toilet and ADA-compliant bathtub bench;
- painting the bathrooms;
- planting fruit trees and maintaining the lawn;
- and other various minor home repairs.
IDSO Vice President Jordin Bandi said that “Access Your Life was an eye-opening experience. It was great to see that even the simplest improvements made differences in [the women’s] daily lives.”
The women who live at House of Destiny were present while the students volunteered, so the students had ample opportunities to talk with them about the improvements and involve them in the decision-making process for some of the minor repairs and modifications.
“It was really successful and rewarding for everyone involved,” said Marsha Cuddeback, Ruth Z. McCoy Professor of Interior Design at LSU.
“Access Your Life was a great way for us to use our design skills to help the community. We gained a better understanding of the needs of those less fortunate and the ways we can help them. It felt great to come together for such a deserving cause,” said Madeleine Rappold, IDSO president.
IDSO’s community partner for Access Your Life was Metamorphosis Inc., a non-profit organization that provides transitional housing to homeless women, veterans, and their children that owns and operates the House of Destiny. Lunch was provided for volunteers and residents by Kim Marshall and her family. Kim Marshall, executive director of Metamorphosis Inc., surprised the students at lunch with T-shirts printed with, “I am a Metamorphosis Inc. Design Hero.”
The faculty and student volunteers sent the sponsor and supporters of the project a scrapbook-style thank you card, highlighting the day’s activities and successes made possible by their sponsorships and support. LSU IDSO and the School of Interior Design gratefully thanked the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) of Baton Rouge for funding the service project; Knoll, Inc. for providing breakfast for the volunteers; LaBarre Associates for providing tools and supplies; J+J/Invision for providing the carpet; Letterman’s Blue Print & Supply for providing the banner; and the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance for their help in identifying a community partner.
“Out of all the service projects I’ve done, Access Your Life had the biggest impact because we made small improvements that were necessary for the betterment of the residents living situation,” said Sydney Taylor, a sophomore interior design student at LSU.
About LSU School of Interior Design
The LSU School of Interior Design program emphasizes creative problem solving, research and analysis, and graphic skills. Student activities are supported in the design studios, which form the core of the educational experience. Liberal arts, business, communication, and technical courses are required and complement the program’s strong emphasis on design. For more information, visit interiordesign.lsu.edu.
LSU College of Art + Design
102 Design Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803