Savannah College of Art and Design is often regarded as one of the country’s top schools for educating the next generation of graphic designers. Thanks to that reputation, the college’s department of graphic design has been growing so much that by 2010, the department had outgrown its main building and was occupying classrooms in other on-campus buildings. (Want an inside look at the San Francisco design scene? Take one of the Studio Tours at HOW Design Live.)
It was time to find a larger space that could accommodate the multiplying student body. But the only viable option was an 18,000-square-foot windowless basement in an industrial warehouse that featured an uneven dirt floor—uninspiring to say the least.
But while the space itself may have been lacking, Martin Smith, who runs the SCAD Design Group, and his team more than made up for it when they started drafting plans to transform the building into a state- of-the-art design facility, which opened to students in the fall of 2011.
The warehouse had been built into a bluff over-looking the Port of Savannah, so the team made the most of the locale and turned old shipping doors into large expanses of windows to bring in the scenery and the sunshine. They also set up collaborative furniture arrangements, created a large presentation room for students to show work, upgraded technology and included an open, multifunctional room that can serve as a gallery or discussion area.
It’s a transformation that’s almost as inspiring as the work that’s being created within its walls every day as aspiring graphic designers are hard at work bringing creativity to life.
- SCAD Museum of Art’s space also is turning heads. Check out the results of the $26 million landmark rehabilitation project.
Editor’s note: The above article originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of HOW magazine.
Interested in Making Your Workspace More Creative? Get Inspired: Read this collection of past Workspace columns, which detail unique design studios in HOW magazine.