A Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) student has been named one of 100 future design grads to watch by a U.S.-based magazine, after designing a café for an Alzheimer’s care home.
As part of a third-year mid-term project, interior design students with the Wilson School of Design at KPU’s Richmond campus used Vancouver landmarks, such as the Jericho Sailing Centre on the city's west side, so patients would still feel a sense of connection to their communities, according to a KPU news release.
For his project, Paul Charowsky designed a café in the reception area of the care home in the re-purposed sailing centre.
That design earned him a spot on the Metropolis Future 100, a list of the top 100 future architecture and design graduates of 2021 by New York-based Metropolis Magazine, a design and architecture-focused publication.
He said, in the release, that it was a “super nice feeling” to be among the undergraduates named by the magazine.
“I’m gratified that someone appreciated my work,” Charowsky added.
He visited care homes as part of his research for his project, to find out what they need and what they were missing.
“It helps so much actually going to these homes as well and kind of experiencing what it could be just walking through it and, unfortunately, feeling unhappy walking through it,” he said.
Paola Gavilanez, a Wilson School of Design instructor who encouraged Charowsky to apply to Metropolis, said it was a “different way of looking at senior care design.”
“It’s completely outside the box but it has a deeply rooted research component behind it. And I think as designers one of the things we strive to do is improve people’s quality of life.”
She added that Charowsky and the other students developed “deep empathy for those who will be using the space” through their research.