Innovation That Matters

3-D tool helps students decorate (and shop for) dorm rooms


Beginning a year at college can be stressful enough in its own right without the added hassle of scrambling to buy myriad dorm room supplies and decorations before classes begin. Target and other superstores may benefit from that rush, but a new site aims to help students plan and shop for their living quarters ahead of time with the help of some 3-D modelling. DesignYourDorm is a web-based 3-D interior design tool that allows college students to customize their dorm room interiors and purchase what they need online. When students register with the Los Angeles-based site, they begin by indicating the university they’ll be attending. Ultimately, that will generate a selection of floor plans with exact room dimensions used in the corresponding dorms, and DesignYourDorm is currently pilot-testing those capabilities with the University of Pennsylvania, according to TechCrunch. For universities that haven’t signed on, however, students are given a series of generic room layouts. Either way, they next choose the type of room they’ll have—single, double or triple, in various configurations—and then begin moving furniture and accessories around. Gaps can be filled in from items available from DesignYourDorm’s online store—furniture, accessories, appliances and more—and many of them can be virtually dragged and dropped into the room to see how they will look. Perhaps best of all, roommates can collaborate virtually over the summer using the site to plan and coordinate their purchases ahead of time. Once they’ve decided what they’ll need to buy, they can order the items and have them shipped directly to their college—order fulfillment is handled by Amazon, which passes revenue on to DesignYourDorm through its affiliate program. Similar in many ways to DesignMyRoom—which sadly got repurposed since we covered it last year—DesignYourDorm is free for both students and participating universities, which will ultimately get a cut of sales generated through the site, according to TechCrunch. Given that there are more than 18 million college students in the US alone, could be a good one to bring to campuses in your neck of the postsecondary woods! Spotted by: Roberta Steinberg



Download PDF