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Designing a space for unique clients

Bruce NackeLast September, associate professor of design Bruce Nacke, above, was asked if his students wanted to help design a boutique for a community that offers refuge for abused and homeless women.

Shortly afterward, he learned about the Community Engagement Grant, which provides funding to faculty members involved in service projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

“Everything fell into place — just very fortunate timing,” Nacke said.

Nacke’s students designed a boutique for The Gatehouse, a 96-unit living facility in Grapevine built by the non-profit organization called projectHandUp. The grant, given by the offices of Community Engagement, Provost and Research and Economic Development, covers such expenses for transportation, printing, prototype production and a panel discussion.

The Gatehouse has broken ground on an apartment-type complex, with residential units, counseling centers and a general store, that will open in October. The general store will include Keeps Boutique, in which clients can have the opportunity to shop for clothes and prepare a wardrobe so they can reenter the workforce.

The Gatehouse turned to Nacke on the advice of Tyler Spruill Kuelbs, a 1997 design graduate, said Jenn Cassidy, co-founder of Keeps Boutique.

“We were lost on how to design the store, when Tyler came up with the great idea of contacting her friend and former professor,” Cassidy said. “Bruce jumped in and came up with the design contest for his students.”

Nacke’s students in his Interior Design Detailing class created eight concepts for the boutique based on the needs Gatehouse officials discussed during a question-and-answer session. The nearly all-female class was excited when they heard the shelter’s officials talk about the project.

“They knew it was real,” Nacke said. “It gave it a lot more emphasis to say we’re going to build one of these pieces.”

They also heard from the architect, and they used electronic drafting software that allowed them to detail an element they designed, such as a display system or cabinets. While one concept was chosen, every submission had a design element the boutique could use for the store.

The winner was chosen for its space efficiency, clean look and the consideration of the sensitive nature of the client visiting the store, Cassidy said. The team of students that were selected consists of Alison Adgate, Zan Farrow, Katie Lewis and Scott Kielaszek.

“UNT gave a huge jump start on the vision of where to begin,” Cassidy said. “More importantly, having UNT in partnership with this community project added excitement and energy to the project.”

Gatehouse has launched a GoFundMe campaign to fund the students' design. 

Nacke also hopes to get involved in other projects with grassroots organizations.

“We can do more for them,” he said. “The needs are very diverse.”

- Jessica DeLeón, University Relations, Communications and Marketing

(Below, one of the concepts from the winning design from Bruce Nacke's class. Photo courtesy Alison Adgate, Zan Farrow, Katie Lewis and Scott Kielaszek.)

Gatehouse design

Posted on: Tue 10 June 2014

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