An important feature of the new Brody Learning Commons will be group study space. As part of the continued effort to ensure students are engaged in the planning and design process of this new facility, last semester the Friends of the Libraries sponsored the yrBLCspace design competition.

The premise was simple: The best ideas for what’s needed in a group study room will come from those who are already using group study spaces. Accordingly, we invited all Johns Hopkins students to submit their vision of an ideal group study room. We left the contest open to any medium (from Google SketchUp to cocktail napkin and everything in between) and asked only that the contestants adhere to the following guidelines: The room designed should be between 150 and 300 square feet and should include specific technologies, furniture types, and amenities, as well as an explanatory essay.

First prize was $250 and a plaque in the new building indicating which design inspired the group study room. Second prize was $100, and third prize $50.

A panel of judges, which included university administrators, students, and an architect from the firm designing the building, reviewed all submissions and judged them on creativity, sustainability, effectiveness, and the flexibility of the space.

The judges agreed that all six submissions were very strong, and they were excited at the vastly different approaches the students took in deciding what was required for an ideal group study room.

First place went to Diane Hwang, a sophomore Neuroscience major in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences.

Hwang_Brody Commons Design Final

First place – Diane Hwang (A&S, Class of 2012)

You can see the full three-dimensional version of Diane’s winning design here. You will, however, need to download Google SketchUp in order to view the file. See here to download SketchUp and for a quick step-by-step tutorial to get you up and running.  

Second place - Carolyn Rossinsky (A&S, 2012)

Second place – Carolyn Rossinsky (A&S, Class of 2012) 

Second place was awarded to Carolyn Rossinsky, who is also a sophomore in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and is double majoring in Biology and Neuroscience. You can see the full PDF of Carolyn’s submission here.

The third place prize went to a pair of brothers, Shijit and Rohit Dasgupta. Shijit is a freshman and Rohit a sophomore, majoring in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, respectively, in the Whiting School of Engineering. Click here for the three-dimensional view of the room designed by the Dasgupta brothers. You’ll need to follow the instructions listed above to view the SketchUp file.

Third place – Rohit and Shijit Dasgupta (WSE, 2012 and 13, respectively) 

“I’m really thrilled by the strength and variety of the submissions we received,” said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums, who chaired the judging panel. “This kind of contest is not only fun, but it give us  very useful insights into what students at Hopkins need and want to make their studying more effective. While we look forward to seeing how Ms. Hwang’s design will inform at least one of the study rooms in the new building, I suspect that some element of each of the submissions — not just those that won — will be reflected in some way as we move forward with the design of study spaces on all levels of the Brody Learning Commons.”

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