Carnegie Mellon University

photo of Stever House Buggy Books installation

August 29, 2019

Stever House Selected as Outstanding Design

Mandi Semple
  • Director of Marketing & Communications for Student Affairs

Stever House Re-Imagined was selected as an Outstanding Design in the category of Residence Halls/Lounges for the 2019 American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase. 

The Educational Interiors Showcase is shared via a print and digital edition, with circulation to more than 57,000 subscribers and school boards. American School & University has an engaged community of K-12 and college/university facilities and business professionals and reaches the key decision-making job titles. More than half of those who receive an American School & University design issue share it with an average of four colleagues. That means an audience of more than 182,000 can view the projects included in the edition.

In 2017, CMU Marketing and Communications partnered with Student Affairs to redesign the first floor of Stever House, a first-year residence hall and destination on the admission campus tour. Situated cognition
(learning associated with physical context) was a project requirement. The designers identified this as an opportunity to promote school pride, educate visitors and celebrate Buggy, a CMU tradition dating to 1920.

The personality of the project came alive with a careful balance of illustration, mural design, interior design and color theory. A large wall in the lobby became the surface for storytelling alongside nearly 50 years of buggy program covers and complicated die-cut buggy silhouettes. A decorative glass panel displaying the house symbol, the cactus, was designed to block the laundry room from the lounge. To emphasize the brand, the university mascot mark was meticulously fixed into the hardwood floor under four layers of varnish.

Stever House Re-Imagined also received first place in the "speciality category" of the 2018 Marketing Award Competition during the Annual Association of College and University Housing Officers - International (ACUHO-I) Business Operations Conference. Read that news story.