Entrepreneurial Organization Partners with Students to Update Workspace
Posted January 21st, 2016

Students enrolled in Siba‘s Commercial Design class this winter are learning real-world lessons in conceptualization, budget, and client consultation. They are working with Gateway to Dreams on the “Business Lodge for Women,” project, an incubator workspace that is being designed for female entrepreneurs in the community. After visiting the 6400 square foot retail space at Chesterfield Mall formerly occupied by Hollister, the student designers have taken on the assignment of contributing their ideas on ways to re-imagine the existing floor plan into a co-working space.

Students toured the site and met with with some of the minds behind the Lodge--Becky Noelker and Karen Hoffman, founder of Gateway to Dreams. They learned about the organization, its goals, and the Ms. Noelker’s and Ms. Hoffman’s visions for the workspace.

Students face some unique challenges with the space. Since it was designed for retail, there is a large open area where the sales floor used to be--as well as the much smaller spaces of former fitting rooms-- that must be transformed into workable office and conference spaces. Students have been tasked to think of ways to convert the fitting rooms into pods for individual workspaces, designate a conference room space, and conceptualize a shared area in which members can collaborate.

Another challenge the student designers face is budget. They have been asked to look for frugal ways to implement their ideas. That will mean utilizing donated furniture and finding creative, yet inexpensive, ways to transform the space.

Students will present their ideas to organization leaders at the end of the March. Stay tuned for updates on their design process!