Interior Design

Dolores Shelter Program

Working to improve dormitory space at the Dolores Shelter in San Francisco, Interior Design students planned spaces to empower improve privacy for transgender guests.

Project Objective:

The “Dolores Shelter Program” introduced students to the principles of interior systems and spatial concepts through the creation/ development of 3D built and virtual spaces. In partnership with the Dolores Shelter Program [DSP], students undertook space planning and organization to empower DSP’s transgender population while improving the over-crowded dormitory and inefficient office/ common spaces. Students researched DSP’s site, conducted workshops, developed, and pitched proposals to the site Director to develop design concepts.

Project Outcome(s):

Students produced models to help visualize the design potential uncovered at the shelter and presented them to the Dolores Shelter administration. DSP staff was deeply invested in the ENGAGE project, and built close relationships with the students through regular feedback on designs and attending desk critiques at California College of the Arts. DSP Director Marlon Mendietta was so excited about the student’s designs for space saving furniture and privacy-providing bunk beds that he shared the ideas with shelter directors from across California. Assistant Professor Amy Campos has also presented this project at a variety of conferences in the U.S. and the U.K.


Most recently published as a case study in the compendium, Architecture Live Projects: Pedagogy into Practice. (Routledge, 2014).


Alemany Outdoor Kitchen

Tackling the need for outdoor cooking space at Alemany Farms, the IMPACT Award Team built a kitchen from scratch. Running as a scrappy and efficient design firm, Alemany Outdoor Kitchen branded their kitchen, designed a web page, organized workflow, managed labor, hosted events, and obtained city permit approval. With a beautiful new kitchen to show for it.

Located near multiple public housing complexes, the Alemany Outdoor Kitchen is a community resource and offers hands-on experiences for food education and production. Initially developed in an Upper Division Interdisciplinary Studio Course at CCA, Alemany Outdoor Kitchen [AOK] provides an open air space for food preparation alongside the existing food production available to community members at Alemany Farm. As providers of fresh organic produce for local individuals and families to feed themselves, Alemany Farm envisions the potential of a kitchen project.  


Our team is proud to create some buzz in the city with Alemany Outdoor Kitchen and we hope that success will reflect well on Alemany Farm, California College of the Arts, and the Center for Art and Public Life. With recognition from the city of San Francisco we hope to get more leads to new public projects and similar opportunities to start our careers as young designers.” –Alemany Outdoor Kitchen, IMPACT Awardee 2012


After IMPACT, Alemany Outdoor Kitchen offers jobs to the residents; it connects them to new non-profit organizations, improves curb appeal and offers recreation space.  During the process, the team functioned as a small architecture and design firm, branded their project, created a web presence, organized workdays, managed contract labor, hosted events, and gained permit approval from the city. Team AOK also launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the project. Alemany Outdoor Kitchen was recognized by the city of San Francisco for their design leaving Team AOK excited to serve as a model for similar projects in the future.  With the kitchen successfully completed, members of the community and the Alemany farm use the space for sharing and celebrating food.