The Indiana Borough Council enlisted teams of students in Professor Julia Gomboc-Turyan's Human Factors in Design Class to create and present plans for redesign of the council chamber during Spring semester 2012.


Left to right: Sharae Gilhousen, student; Kevin Kravetsky, Indiana Borough Council member; Jeff Raykes, Indiana Borough Manager; and instructor Julia Gomboc-Turyan

Thirty-six students were divided into teams headed by a student project manager. Each group presented a unique design to Indiana Borough personnel on April 17 and 19.

Before drawing up the plans, each team met with Jeff Raykes, Indiana Borough manager, to discuss the functional needs of the chambers.

“Government needs to be welcoming and transparent,” Raykes said. “We're looking at an overall better use of the space.”

He noted that the kitchenette area in the room was seldom used and that Indiana's history and culture were not evident in the room.

The students were encouraged to consider every element of the room, from flooring to lighting.

"They loved the fact that the space really exists,” said Gomboc-Turyan. “This is absolutely a great portfolio piece.”

The students created conceptual diagrams; a color-rendered floor plan; four perspective drawings; and summary specifications including finishes, furniture, flooring, and wall coverings. At least 12 specified materials or finishes were required to have sustainable properties.

The actual redesign of the chamber will likely include elements from each group's designs, according to Gomboc-Turyan.

“We wanted to give the council a space that is updated and functional,” said student project manager Caitlin Dunbar. “There's great satisfaction designing a space like this, because we know it will be put to good use.”