Kelly Taylor Interior Design

Kelly Taylor - Providence, RI

Design Solution

Brown University hired Kelly Taylor Interior Design to work with the Geological Sciences team—a group well-known and respected for its research in the dynamics of the solid Earth and Planets—to ensure that the department’s primary meeting room matched the significance of the work its researchers and graduate students performed. Out of date both aesthetically and functionally, the small 500 square foot space, nevertheless held sentimental value to the long-time faculty. KTID worked with many department members as well as Brown’s facilities department to maximize the assets of the space and create a coherent design solution that would answer their needs on the limited budget available. This project required versatility in spatial function and capacity, maximizing technological capability, controlling the incredible daylight that flooded the room, and adding sufficient lighting for darker hours. The challenges were aesthetic as well, as the faculty felt strongly that the outdated knotty pine paneling should stay, due to a sentimental attachment. According to KTID, knowing where to push and where to give in can help a client feel heard. In this case, they did not push back on the paneling; rather, any aesthetic intervention was the stark opposite— modern, clean and streamlined. KTID installed a state-of-the-art powered conference table that could be disassembled into two parts for evening cocktail parties and serving, and they provided laptop tables for the students to work on during the day and comfortable seating for the long thesis meetings that would often occur. KTID also arranged the current photographs and art of shuttles and planets into an arrangement that instantly told the visitor the room’s purpose. As such, KTID’s ultimate strategy was to listen carefully to all of the players and, through negotiation, create a space with which all these players would be happy.

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“While interior design can often seem like mere surface treatment,” Taylor says, “under that surface are human needs that need answering. This room had probably not been touched in thirty years. It was inefficiently used, uncomfortable, and technologically handicapped. The ease of everyday meetings and work the group now has is a result of the great design collaboration we experienced while working on the project.”