VF Corporation’s Global Business Technology department challenged senior design students at HPU to redesign its 1970’s bank building located at 444 North Elm St. in Greensboro. The building is currently being occupied by more than 100 associates.
“We were looking for really creative ideas for the space, and thought students could give us that,” says VF Vice President Chris Hobson. “We did our research, and HPU had the best interior design program in the area.”
VF received original ideas that incorporated the company’s core values and principles, particularly around innovation and sustainability, while HPU students gained invaluable experience.
The students met with the VF Corporation team to understand the structural constraints of the building and understand the needs of the associates working at this location.
In less than a month, the students designed and created a floor and furniture plan, including new lighting systems and wall plans, to accommodate three departments and ensure the space would be fun, tech friendly and inspiring for employees.
“My requirement before accepting the project was that students would learn from it, and it would be a great addition to their portfolio, as they are about to graduate and look for jobs,” says Dr. Jane Nichols, department chair of home furnishings and interior design. “They were able to go to the site, measure, take pictures and work with an actual client throughout the design process.”
The HPU students’ designs were artistic and innovative, with ideas such as a loft in the atrium of the existing building, game rooms, ski-lifts, beanbag lounges and trees with swings.
“I was absolutely blown away by the presentations,” Hobson says. “Their creativity, and the way they presented their ideas was very impressive.”
Hobson says the company will likely pick one of the themes and add some of the best ideas from the other designs with the goal of renovating the offices using the students’ designs.
“Having a fun place to work is just one way we can attract some of the best talent,” Hobson says.
VF chose two winning designs as part of a competition, one from each senior seminar class. In appreciation, for the students’ hard work and great design ideas, each participant will receive a certificate to design their own pair of Vans® shoes. The brand is owned by VF Corporation.
VF Corporation is a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel and footwear with more than 30 brands. The company’s largest five brands are The North Face®, Wrangler®, Timberland®, Vans®, and Lee®. Other brands include 7 For All Mankind®, Bulwark®, Eagle Creek®, Eastpak®, Ella Moss®, JanSport®, Kipling®, lucy®, Majestic®, Napapijri®, Nautica®, Red Kap®, Reef®, Riders®, Splendid® and Smartwool®. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.