Meeting the Needs of Refugees in Utah Through Interior Design


Valerie Jenkins

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Susan Tibbitts


Interior design tends to favor the ten percent of the population that has a large amount of money and can afford to have a personal designer for their home or company. I will be presenting the project I have been working on for my thesis, which is focused on designing for the remaining ninety percent of people. Design is, in a sense, more imperative for the 90 percent due to the natural efficiency and wise and prudent product use that comes with good design. The target audience for this project is the group of refugees that have been relocated to South Salt Lake. Approximately 50,000 people have taken refuge in Utah. They come from many different countries and typically have been through some traumatic experiences before they arrive. These refugees arrive without money, a plan for housing, or more than the clothes on their backs. These individuals are in serious need of efficient design in their lives, and this project has been used to research their needs, and create well designed spaces for them as a way to help them feel secure in a new home in America. I will be showing the work that I have completed to meet these needs through housing design, creating a marketplace where they could begin a business, and designing a transit center that would allow them access to the trains and busses that run through the area. Each of these designs potentially affect the refugee people, as well as the other individuals who belong to the ninety percent of the population.

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