Community Engagement: Lotus House Thrift Project


FIU’s Interior Architecture Department seeks to explore the many ways design can contribute to society. An example of how our program actively forms innovative educational programs and partnerships occurred this spring in the Sustainable Practices in Interior Architecture seminar, taught by Katie Rothfield. Students in this course designed the interiors of the new Lotus House Thrift’s Employment and Life Skills Center and Donations and Storage Center.

Organized into collaborative teams, Interior Architecture students created conceptual design proposals for these centers. They researched the Lotus House organization and investigated sustainable design practices that would meet both the functional and aesthetic needs of this setting. Each group’s design had to embody the principles of Environmentally Responsible for Interior Design (ERID). The students submitted their designs to the Lotus House stakeholders who reviewed them and decided to incorporate ideas from all groups’ final designs for the centers.

Lotus House is an organization dedicated to the protection and caregiving of homeless women, youth, and children. Lotus House Thrift, which is staffed and managed entirely by Lotus House guests and alumnae, both sells donated clothing and household items and gives donated goods to Lotus House guests. In May, the thrift store will move from its current Midtown location to its new location in the historic neighborhood of Overtown.

The ribbon cutting and fashion show of the new Lotus House Thrift took place on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 and was hosted by Channel 2 Art Loft’s Kalyn James.

This article was written with the help of Katie Rothfield, Visiting Instructor.

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