“We wanted to create a reflective space, where the residents could feel safe and be themselves,” Christianson said. “The original space felt outdated. We wanted the new space to feel like home, even if only a temporary home. The project was a good opportunity to work with real clients and share our expertise.”
Holzinger and Vrieze agreed. “Working with real clients is beneficial. It was a good learning experience. Knowing what questions to ask so we can understand our client’s needs,” Holzinger said. “We were fortunate to have the opportunity and practice of a real-world job. Not a lot of schools offer opportunities like this.”
“We had to make considerations we hadn’t made before in other projects, like working more closely with a budget. This was our first group project we’ve worked on our interior design program,” Vrieze added.
UW-Stout students and graduates from several majors work with Positive Alternatives, including Human Resources interns from the psychology program and marketing interns, as well as interns and staff from the human development and family studies and criminal justice and rehabilitation programs. Kamholz is a 2003 human development and family studies alum.
Positive Alternatives, which has five locations in western and central Wisconsin, will host a virtual raffle on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, to raise funds for new furnishings and décor at its Menomonie locale. Details will be posted on its social media accounts closer to the event date. Remodeling by contractor Market & Johnson is scheduled to begin after the first quarter of 2024.
The interior design Senior Studio II class next spring will work on cabin and classroom remodels for another nonprofit organization, North Lakeland Discovery Center, an environmental education center in Manitowish Waters.
UW-Stout's interior design program blends fine art, design and technical disciplines. Students study art and architecture, while practicing lighting design and sustainable design, managing budgets and materials specifications.
Graduates lead careers creating meaningful, life-enhancing and safe interior environments for residential, corporate, retail, hospitality, health care spaces and more. Graduates of the program are 100% employed or continuing education within six months of graduation, according to UW-Stout’s Career Services 2021-22 First Destination report.
UW-Stout’s School of Art and Design, with six Bachelor of Fine Arts, two Bachelor of Science programs and a Master of Fine Arts in design, is the largest in the Upper Midwest with nearly 1,300 students.